The Ohio State University Scholarship

Merit-based scholarships

Rewarding academic achievement

For the incoming freshman class of 2020

For most awards, we consider academic achievement only. For others, financial need is also considered. International freshmen are not eligible for merit scholarships.

Merit scholarships are competitive and are not guaranteed.

Award amounts and criteria are subject to change without notice.

How do I apply?

Freshmen admitted to the Columbus campus for autumn semester are automatically considered for most merit awards if we received their complete admission applications by our November 1 early action deadline. However, three scholarships require additional steps or have different deadlines (see details in the scholarship descriptions 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.) 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 received after the scholarship’s published deadline (for most, this is November 1).

Wright State University Undergraduate Merit International Scholarship

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 the university-administered scholarships described on this page. The university will honor Corporate National Merit scholarships for students who accept admission to Ohio State.


List of merit scholarships

Merit scholarships are competitive and not guaranteed. 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: Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply. All applicants must apply to the Ohio State University Honors Program. Eminence Fellows are selected on the basis of outstanding potential and all majors are encouraged to apply. There is no “typical” Eminence Fellow.

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How to apply for Eminence

In addition to applying to University Honors, you must complete the Eminence Application by the deadline. Learn more about applying to be an Eminence Fellow.

One of Ohio State’s premier scholarship programs, the Morrill Scholarship Program (MSP) offers scholarships and educational enrichment opportunities to academically talented students who are actively engaged in diversity-based leadership, social justice and service.

Criteria: The Morrill Scholarship is awarded on a competitive basis to students admitted to the Columbus campus for the autumn semester following high school graduation. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States. MSP seeks academically talented high school seniors who will contribute to campus diversity and actively engage as advocates and champions of diversity, inclusion, social justice and academic excellence on campus.

Award levels: Distinction (the value of the cost of attendance), Prominence (the value of in-state tuition plus the nonresident surcharge for nonresidents), and Excellence (the value of in-state tuition for Ohio residents).

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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. We strongly recommend that applicants meet our November 1 early action deadline. Learn more.

The Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship is awarded to students who are Pell-eligible and demonstrate academic merit. 176 Ohio students are awarded each year, with an attempt made to award two students from each county.

Award amount: Full cost of attendance.

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: $13,500 ($54,000 four-year value); can be combined with the Maximus, Provost or Trustees Scholarship.

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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 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing + Math score equivalent of 1330 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.




Annual award $3,000 ($12,000 over four years) $2,000 ($8,000) $1,000 ($4,000)

Achievements of those considered:

Class rank Top 3% Top 10% Top 20%
ACT composite 33 or higher 31 or higher 30 or higher
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing + Math 1450 or higher 1390 higher 1360 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.

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