Choose Ohio First Scholarships

The Choose Ohio First Scholarship Program is a State of Ohio initiative designed to significantly strengthen Ohio’s competitiveness within STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine) disciplines and STEMM education. 

Key Cincinnati STEMM academic programs have sought funding through Choose Ohio First (COF) to provide competitive scholarships that aid in meeting college costs while giving awarded scholars expanded and unique mentorship and programming opportunities in their discipline.

Choose Ohio First is part of a strategic effort to retain Ohio residents and bolster Ohio’s economic strength by ensuring a ready workforce for STEMM-related industries.

Eligibility Consideration & Application

Incoming freshman are reviewed based on their academic program.

Students considered for a renewable Choose Ohio First award will be reviewed compared to others in their academic major and must meet the following criteria:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident, Ohio resident
  • Academic major declared based on the award program's discipline(s)
  • GPA of 3.25 or higher
  • Full-time enrollment
  • December 1 complete admission application (the Common Application including UC-specific areas, high school-submitted transcript, official test scores sent directly from testing agencies, and at least one letter of recommendation)

Students who have a complete admission application will be reviewed for Choose Ohio First awards along with other UC freshmen scholarships.

Additionally, some COF awards use financial need as an element of consideration. Therefore, students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon after October 1 as possible. Again, a December 1 completion ensures consideration for limited aid programs.

Choose Ohio First awards will be based on individual program and range from $3,000 to $5250 annually.

Information on each award program is noted below.

Choose Ohio First 16-59: Diversifying Yield and Retention in Engineering, Sciences, and Allied Health

Engineering Research Center at night

The College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Allied Health Sciences are working cooperatively to provide mentorships, academic support programs, and unique experiences to undergraduate scholars in order to increase the number of diverse scholars pursuing engineering, science, and allied health majors.

The program seeks to produce an ethnically, gender, and economically diverse group of scholars trained to excel in the STEMM disciplines via industry or academia upon graduation.

  • Eligible Majors: Advanced Medical Imaging Technology, Aerospace Engineering, Architectural Engineering, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Communication Sciences & Disorders, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Construction Management, Dietetics, Electrical Engineering, Electrical Engineering Technology, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Studies, Food & Nutrition, Geology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Medical Laboratory Science, Neuroscience, Mathematics, Physics, and Social Work 
  • Annual Award Amount: $4,125

Choose Ohio First 16-62: Medical Science Undergraduate Enhancement

students in lab

The medical sciences major within the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine is an innovative pathway providing students with integrated academic, experiential, and mentored opportunities to prepare them for advanced training in medicine and biomedical sciences.

Within the competitive program, select Ohio residents are awarded Choose Ohio First scholarships that will provide funding as well as expand their mentoring and research opportunities. 

  • Eligible Major: Medical Sciences
  • Annual Award Amount: $3,000

Choose Ohio First 16-63: Leadership 2.0/Nursing's Next Generation

Nurse checking a patient

UC College of Nursing's Leadership 2.0 is a comprehensive academic excellence program seeking to increase the number of first generation, underrepresented ethnically and/or economically disadvantaged students in the college.

Leadership 2.0's focus begins with a pre-college outreach program and continues with a summer bridge program (dependent upon funding). Scholars participate in campus-wide and specialized academic support and retention activities with Choose Ohio First awardees receiving an enhanced scholarship package based on financial need.

  • Eligible Major: Nursing
  • Annual Award Amount: $5,250

Choose Ohio First 16-66: Ohio Actuarial Science Consortium Intiative

McMicken Hall

The Ohio Actuarial Science Consortium between the University of Cincinnati, the University of Toledo, and Youngstown State University is designed to increase the number of highly qualified actuaries graduating in Ohio. The Cincinnati program works to ensure that students in the mathematics major with a focus in actuarial science become well-prepared graduates who are competitively positioned to enter the actuarial profession.

Awards provided at each institution through Choose Ohio First will leverage connections with regional insurance and pension partners to increase scholars' exposure to the actuarial profession through mentoring, job shadowing, and internship opportunities.

  • Eligible Major: Mathematics (with a focus in actuarial science)
  • Annual Award Amount: $5,070
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Choose Ohio First Logo
Classroom of Students

Choose Ohio First is a unique scholarship opportunity for incoming Ohio freshmen in select STEMM disciplines to receive renewable awards and enhanced programs for scholars.

For maximum UC scholarship consideration, incoming freshmen should complete their admission application (the Common Application including UC-specific areas, high school-submitted transcript, official test scores sent directly from testing agencies, and at least one letter of recommendation) by the early action deadline of December 1.

All UC scholarship awards are made in accordance with the UC scholarship policies.