Merit-based scholarships

Rewarding academic achievement

Below is a description of the university's merit scholarships for the incoming freshman class of 2017. For most awards, we consider academic achievement only. For others, financial need is also considered. International freshmen are not eligible for merit scholarships.

​Ohio State's merit-based scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis and are not guaranteed.

How do I apply?

Freshmen admitted to the Columbus campus for autumn semester are automatically considered for most merit awards if they submit a complete admission application by November 1. However, three scholarships require additional steps or have different deadlines (see details in the scholarship list below):

  • Eminence Fellows Program and Scholarship
  • Morrill Scholarship Program
  • Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship

Should I file the FAFSA?

Yes. All students are highly encouraged to file the FAFSA by February 1 to receive priority consideration for the widest range of need-based scholarships, loans, grants and Federal Work-Study. (Priority consideration means you will be considered before those who don't meet the deadline). The 2017–18 FAFSA opens January 1, 2017. Visit Student Financial Aid for more information.

If I submit multiple test scores, which do you consider?

When considering students for admission, scholarships, or Honors and Scholars selection, we consider the best official composite / combined score from a single test administration. Ohio State does not mix sub-scores from multiple tests or adjust scholarship values for higher test scores submitted after the scholarship’s published deadline (for most, this is November 1).

Do you offer scholarships for National Merit Scholars?

Ohio State does not participate in the Merit Scholarship Program (administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation), though many applicants who are National Merit Finalists prove to be strong candidates for university-administered scholarships, including those described on this page. The university will honor Corporate National Merit scholarships for students who accept admission to Ohio State.

List of merit scholarships

These scholarships cannot be combined, with the exception of the National Buckeye Scholarship. Read more about eligibility and renewal requirements for merit scholarships.

One of Ohio State's premier merit awards.

Award amount: Full cost of attendance at Ohio State for four years, plus a $3,000 enrichment grant accessible after the first year of successful study.

Criteria: Recipients typically rank in the top three percent of their graduating classes and have an ACT composite score of 34 or higher or SAT combined Critical Reading and Math score of 1490 or higher (new SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing + Math score equivalent: 1520 or higher).

How to apply for Eminence

  1. Applicants must apply to the university by November 1. When completing the admission application, applicants must indicate their interest in University Honors and complete the associated essay.

  2. Within 1-5 days, the applicant will receive an email that acknowledges Ohio State's receipt of his or her admission application and provides a unique Ohio State username (lastname.#), along with instructions on activating this username and setting up a password. Please do so.

  3. Applicants must then complete the online Eminence application at honors-scholars.osu.edu/honors/eminence no later than February 1. The applicant's Ohio State username and password are required. The applicant does not need to wait for an admission decision to submit the Eminence application.

  4. Applicants who 1) are admitted to Ohio State, 2) are offered Honors affiliation and 3) have submitted the Eminence application will be reviewed for this award. The top 75 finalists will be invited to campus to participate in an interview and visit program.

One of Ohio State's premier merit awards, the Morrill Scholarship Program (MSP) offers scholarships and educational enrichment opportunities to academically exceptional students who are actively engaged in diversity-based leadership and service.

Criteria: Applicants should be academically exceptional high school seniors who will contribute to campus diversity and actively engage as advocates and champions of diversity, inclusion and academic excellence on campus.

Award levels: Distinction (the value of the cost of attendance), Prominence (the value of tuition), and Excellence (the value of in-state tuition).

How to apply for MSP

On your admission application, indicate interest in MSP and complete the MSP essay. Be sure to include leadership and diversity involvement on the Activity List. Although we will consider applicants who do not apply to the university by November 1, we will give priority to those who do meet this deadline. Learn more.

The Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship is awarded to at least one student from each of Ohio’s 88 counties. Those selected demonstrate both academic merit and financial need.

Award amount: Equivalent to the value of in-state tuition.

How to apply for Land Grant

Ohio residents who apply to the university by February 1 and file the FAFSA by February 1 will automatically be considered.

Award amount: $12,500 ($50,000 four-year value); can be combined with the Maximus, Provost or Trustees Scholarship.

Criteria: Those considered are non-Ohio residents who rank in the top 25 percent of their graduating classes and have an ACT composite score of 29 or higher or SAT combined Critical Reading and Math score of 1290 or higher (new SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing + Math score equivalent: 1350 or higher).

How to apply for National Buckeye

Applicants who meet the criteria and apply to the university by November 1 will automatically be considered.

​Maximus

​Provost

​Trustees

​Annual award
$5,000 ($20,000 over four years)
$2,500 ($10,000)
$1,500 ($6,000)

Achievements of those considered:​ ​ ​ ​

​Class rank
​Top 3%
​Top 10%
​Top 20%
​ACT composite
​32 or higher
30 or higher
29 or higher
SAT (Critical Reading and Math) 1400 or higher
​1330 or higher
​1290 or higher

New SAT score equivalent (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing + Math) ​

1450 or higher
1390 higher
1350 higher

How to apply for Maximus, Provost and Trustees

Applicants who meet the criteria and apply to the university by November 1 will automatically be considered.