Ohio students looking to lighten their college tuition load have a lot of options when it comes to scholarships and grants. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can find scholarship opportunities from many sources in Ohio. But that search can be confusing and overwhelming. That’s where we come in—we’ve researched to make it easier for you.

Here, you’ll find all the information you need to understand the difference between scholarships and grants, where to look for them, and how to apply successfully.

The Difference Between Scholarships and Grants

When it comes to financial aid, scholarships, and grants are similar in that they don’t have to be paid back. But there are some key differences to consider.

The main distinction between scholarships and grants is that scholarships are typically merit-based, while grants consider your financial need. Scholarships reward students for their academic ability or special talents and might require essays or video assignments in addition to an application. To receive a grant, you usually have to show a financial need as evidenced by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Where to Look for Scholarships and Grants

There are many different resources available for grants and scholarship funding, including:

  • Federal grants
  • Private scholarships
  • State grants and scholarships
  • School grants and scholarships in Ohio

You can also look for organizations that specialize in specific types of student aid, such as those related to your ethnicity

How Are Scholarships Awarded?

The short answer: academic achievement. The main way students are awarded scholarships in Ohio is by submitting an application that’s usually due at least a few months before the start of classes. The review process for each scholarship may vary but usually includes a review of your grades, test scores, essays or video assignments, letters of recommendation, and other materials.

When Should I Apply for Scholarships?

It’s always best to start early when looking for scholarships in Ohio. Generally, applications are accepted year-round, but some have deadlines that must be met. Late winter and early spring is the main season for scholarship applications and the most competitive time, so it’s best to get your applications in as soon as possible.

How Do I Find Scholarships?

There are a few ways to research and find scholarships in Ohio. If you don’t know where to look, check these out:

  • Your high school or college counselor: A great place to start is your local school. They may have scholarship opportunities that suit you, as well as application tips and help with the FAFSA form.
  • Financial aid office at your college: A financial aid office can provide information about grants and scholarships offered by your college, or from other sources in the state.
  • Foundations: Some foundations and corporations will offer scholarships and grants to students, so it’s worth researching what’s available from these sources.
  • Religious or community organizations: If you’re affiliated with a church, mosque, temple, or other faith group, they may offer scholarships for college education. Local civic groups and organizations may also have scholarship funds available.
  • Local businesses: Your local business community may offer scholarships or other forms of assistance to students in their communities. It’s worth asking around!
  • Ethnicity-based organizations: Organizations that serve specific ethnicities, like the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, can be a good source of scholarship money.
  • Your employer or your parents’ employers: Ask your parents and their employers if they have any scholarship funds available for students. It’s worth a shot!
  • Federal agencies: The government may offer grants or scholarships based on need or merit. Be sure to research what’s available from federal, state, and local sources.
  • Your state grant agency: Each state has its own grant programs that can help students pay for college. Check out what’s available from your state grant agency.

How Do I Apply for Scholarships?

Each scholarship has its own requirements, but some common ones include:

  • Checking your eligibility
  • Filing the FAFSA
  • Completing the assigned essay prompt or video assignment
  • Compiling required materials (transcripts, ID, test scores, letters of recommendation)
  • Meeting posted deadlines

You’ll want to take advantage of the resources available for college students.

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