Affording college can seem like an uphill battle, but one strategy for making it work is to apply for scholarships. Even if you don’t think you’ll win, applying is worth a try.
Whether you’re a resident or heading to school in the state, scholarships in Ohio can help cover the cost of your college education.
Here are scholarships you should consider applying for, along with the due dates for your application.
1. Beat the Odds scholarship
Offered by the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio, this scholarship is given to high school students who have both overcome hardship to persevere academically and given back to their communities. Five Ohio students win the award each year.
Award amount: You could get $5,000 and a laptop.
Deadline: Information on the 2019 deadline will be released online in September 2018.
How to apply: To be eligible, you must be a current high school student in Ohio and graduating by July of the year the scholarship is awarded. You can find application materials online starting in September 2018.
2. Community Foundation of Shelby County scholarships
The Community Foundation of Shelby County offers more than 60 scholarships. The qualifications for these scholarships vary. In general, though, high school seniors and current college students who are from Shelby County or nearby areas may qualify.
Award amount: You could get $9,000, according to Scholarships.com.
Deadline: The application for the 2019 scholarship will be available in December 2018.
How to apply: Application materials are available at the Community Foundation of Shelby County website.
3. NIADA/Manheim regional scholarship
The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) annually administers scholarships to students in four national regions based on leadership abilities and academics. The scholarship is sponsored by Manheim, an automobile auction company.
Award amount: You could get $3,500.
Deadline: Keep checking the website for 2019 scholarship information.
How to apply: Application materials will be posted on the website. For additional information, you can contact Jacinda Timmerman at NIADA.
4. Ohio EPA scholarship
This national scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students at both public and private Ohio institutions. You must demonstrate a commitment to a career in environmental science or environmental engineering.
Award amount: College seniors can win up to $2,500. Sophomores can earn up to $1,250.
Deadline: The 2019 deadline for these scholarships hasn’t been released yet.
How to apply: Details for 2019 applications will be available on the website.
5. Ohio News Media Association (ONMA) scholarships
If you’re majoring in a field relevant to the news media industry, such as journalism, marketing, advertising, or communications, you could be eligible for one of four scholarships from the ONMA.
Each year, two students earn a $2,000 award through the University Journalism Scholarship. The Harold K. Douthit Scholarship is a $1,500 award that’s given to one student annually. The ONWA Annual Scholarship is worth $2,000 and given to a college junior or senior. For high school seniors, the annual Minority Scholarship is worth $1,500.
Award amount: You could win between $1,500 and $2,000.
Deadline: Information for 2019 scholarship deadlines will be available through the ONMA website.
How to apply: You need to download the application when it becomes available on the organization’s website. If you want to get a head start, take a look at the 2018 application in case there’s any overlap heading into the next year.
6. Hamilton Community Foundation scholarships
The Hamilton Community Foundation offers three scholarship opportunities to students who are pursuing a postsecondary education and who are from Hamilton or went to Hamilton-area high schools.
Whether you’re a graduating high school senior, a current college student, a returning adult student, or a recent graduate, you could find a scholarship that matches your background.
Award amount: The foundation doesn’t publicize the award amounts for all of its scholarships. Its Talent Attraction Program Scholarship, however, awards up to $5,000 over a 25-month period to recent graduates.
Deadline: The 2018 deadlines for high school seniors and current college students have already passed. But applications for adult students and recent graduates are accepted on a rolling basis.
How to apply: Head to the Hamilton Community Foundation website for more information.
7. Ohio Parks and Recreation Association scholarships
The Ohio Parks and Recreation Association Foundation has three scholarships available to students who have an interest in parks and leisure studies. The following three types of students may qualify: those majoring in parks or law enforcement; those who exemplify the future of the profession; and those majoring in recreation in general.
Award amount: The Ohio Parks and Recreation Association website doesn’t list award amounts.
Deadline: The deadline for these scholarships is May 2019.
How to apply: In 2018, applicants had to write an essay in addition to filling out an application form. The essay question and form are available here if you want to prepare for next year.
What to do if scholarships in Ohio don’t cover your full cost
If scholarships in Ohio aren’t enough to cover your living and tuition expenses, look to national awards. If those don’t pan out, you could consider student loans.
1. Federal student loans
Federal student loans are offered by the government to help you afford the cost of college. Many students use federal student loans because they typically come with lower interest rates, plus borrower protections. For example, you may be eligible for income-driven repayment.
You don’t have to pay interest on federal student loans while you’re in school. You can also qualify for these loans with bad or no credit.
2. Private student loans
If you’ve exhausted all other financing options for your education, you could consider getting private student loans to cover remaining costs.
You’ll start incurring interest on private student loans as soon as you take them out. Private student loans don’t come with the same protections as federal loans. However, private student loans could help make college possible if you’re out of options for free money and federal loans.
Compare private student loan lenders to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Create a strong financial plan
Whether you pay for school by securing scholarships, loans, or a combination of the two, the key to lasting financial health is creating a budget and planning ahead for repayment. Give your finances a good look as you map out your repayment plan for any loans you take out. And be persistent in applying for scholarships that could help you avoid student debt.
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