Named Scholarships

When it comes to earning a college degree, the greatest obstacle can be the funds to do so.

For this reason, The University of Akron is pleased for the opportunity each year to assist talented, deserving students achieve their dreams, thanks to more than 1,300 Named Scholarships established through the kindness and generosity of thousands of UA alumni and friends, corporations, and foundations.

Scholarships truly are the best way to ensure that today’s students persist to graduation. Scholarships allow students to enroll full time and remain focused on their studies; they also reduce drop-out rates, decrease the stress of student loans, and shorten the road to graduation.

The need for scholarships grows each year, however, as students continue to face an increased financial burden in pursuit of a college degree. In fact, 94 percent of today’s baccalaureate students borrow to pay for college – versus just 45 percent in 1993. And across the country, the average college-related debt for borrowers in the class of 2013 was $35,200.

If you are interested in making a significant contribution to student success, please consider establishing a scholarship at The University of Akron. Scholarships can be created to honor a living person, in memory of a loved one, or to contribute to the growth of an area of study. To learn more, please contact the Department of Development at 330-972-7238. 

Please note: All scholarships are distributed through the University’s Office of Student Financial Aid. Students interested in applying for a scholarship may visit the Financial Aid webpage, call 330-972-7032, or e-mail The Department of Development does not accept applications for or distribute scholarships.

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Pontius, Kathryn Samuels Scholarship Fund

The endowed Kathryn Samuels Pontius Scholarship Fund was established in memory of Kathryn “Sammy” Samuels, class of 1935, by her loving family and friends. Katie was once described as being born to serve her family, friends, and mankind. She married Harry Pontius in 1937 and was the wonderful mother to six sons. Her family remembers her as always being happy and smiling continuously, regardless of the problems, difficulties, or situations that arose. She was very involved in civic activities, education, and her church. Once, when she was asked how she managed to meet all the demands placed on her, she said, “Be like a duck, calm on the surface and paddling like mad underneath.” Katie accomplished a great deal in her 74 years. She graduated from the University of Akron in 1935 and received her master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. She was a tennis and basketball champion in college and remained a sports enthusiast throughout her life. Her loving family once said that Kathryn ”made this world a better, more beautiful, friendly, and worthwhile place because of her life upon this earth.” This scholarship will always serve as a tribute to all that Kathryn Samuels Pontius accomplished and to the joy she brought to others.

Note for students interested in applying for a scholarship: The Department of Development at The University of Akron does not accept applications for, or distribute, scholarships.

For information on how to apply for a scholarship, please visit UA's Office of Student Financial Aid page.

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