Named scholarships

When it comes to earning a college degree, the greatest obstacle can be funding.

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. Across the country, the average college-related debt for borrowers in the class of 2016 was $37,172; for Ohio students, that figure was $30,239.

If you are interested in making a significant contribution to student success, please consider a gift to the MAKING A DIFFERENCE AND MOVING FORWARD scholarship campaign, which is the University's most important initiative. You may also establish a named scholarship at The University of Akron, which 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

How do I apply for a scholarship?

This is not the page to apply for scholarships.

Students who want to apply for scholarships should visit the scholarship page on the Financial Aid site.

The Department of Development does not accept applications for or distribute scholarships. Scholarships are distributed through the University’s Office of Student Financial Aid.

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Thompson, Philip S. Scholarship for Diversity in Engineering and Business

The Philip S. Thompson Scholarship for Diversity in Engineering and Business was established in December 2006 and is intended to support the social need for greater diversity in engineering and business leadership. This scholarship was established in memory of Mr. Thompson’s mother, Mary Olds, who was the key force behind his persistence and ultimate success. Mr. Thompson’s personal story serves as a testament to students that success is attainable if one is fully committed and focused on doing the work this great University requires, and then applying that foundation of knowledge with the same zeal throughout one's career.

Philip S. Thompson is a 1972 graduate of The University of Akron with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and was the first black American student to receive a degree of this discipline from the College of Engineering. After graduation, he joined IBM as an engineer in the product development defense sector. From 1972 to 1993, he held a series of increasingly responsible roles throughout IBM ranging across such areas as product engineering management, strategic and operations planning, general management, and worldwide computer integrated manufacturing. Mr. Thompson left IBM in 1993 to become the vice president of operations for Pitney Bowes Monarch Marking Systems, and in 1994 he became the senior vice president of operations for Zenith Corporation.

In 1996, Mr. Thompson returned to IBM as vice president of business processing outsourcing. He later became the general manager, distribution sector and vice president of IBM Global Services. Mr. Thompson served as IBM's CIO and vice president of transformation from 2000 to 2003. In 2004, Mr. Thompson was named the vice president of emerging markets, a position he held until he retired in 2005. Also, during 2004, Mr. Thompson was named a Distinguished Alumnus by the College of Engineering at The University of Akron, and in 2006 he was awarded the prestigious Alumni Honor Award by the University.

The Philip S. Thompson Scholarship for Diversity in Engineering and Business is to be awarded to a black American undergraduate student of any engineering discipline offered at The University of Akron. If candidates are not available in engineering, the award should then be provided to a black American student enrolled in the College of Business Administration. The recipient should demonstrate an exceptional work ethic, outstanding leadership in both the classroom and community, and an extraordinary dedication to engineering and/or business administration. The recipient must prove financial need and maintain a GPA of 2.8 or higher in engineering or 3.2 or higher in business. The scholarship funds are to be applied to tuition and fees only. This award may be renewed up to five years provided the student maintains the required GPA. A recipient is to be determined by the College of Engineering scholarship committee or the comparable committee in the College of Business Administration. If no student applicant meets the specific criteria of this scholarship, the award funds are then to be directed back to the endowment principal.

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