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.

Students on campus

Search for a Named Scholarship

Search by letter
Search by text
Search by category


Smith, Dean E. Family Scholarship Fund

Dean E. Smith’s family has sent four generations of students to The University of Akron. Dean’s grandfather, William E. Smith, was a principal in the Atwater schools and had a master’s degree from the University. Dean’s father, E. Leland Smith, received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University and taught for 38 years at Kenmore High School. Dean’s aunt, Opal Faye Smith, also attended the University and was a member of the Delta Gamma Sorority. Dean’s four sons are all graduates of the University. The Smith family has been an important part of The University of Akron Family.

Dean was an outstanding student during his days in the College of Business Administration. Dean pledged the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity during his undergraduate days and continues to be involved with the fraternity. He was the business manager of the Buchtelite and named to Who’s Who of College and University students. After graduating in 1954, Dean proudly served in the U.S. Air Force and is involved in veteran affairs to this day, with a special interest in World War II history.

Dean worked for more than 20 years at Ohio Bell in Akron. During that time he attended law school in the evenings and was awarded his J. D. in 1972. Dean established a private practice as an estate-planning attorney and has been most entrepreneurial in the development of his practice. Dean makes numerous presentations each year to groups of individuals to assist them with their will, retirement, and estate planning. Dean has also been very active with a number of community organizations, including Kiwanis.

Dean E. Smith has been a generous benefactor and ardent proponent of The University of Akron. To date, Dean and his many philanthropic clients have provided more than $7 million to The University of Akron. It is a very generous legacy that continues to grow through the years.

It is Dean’s intention that his endowed Dean E. Smith Family Scholarship Fund be used to provide support for students in the College of Business Administration. The ideal recipient will be the student who, while maintaining high academic standards, finds time to actively participate in the activities of the college and in student or fraternity or sorority life. Annual awards from this scholarship are to be made by the College of Business Administration in collaboration with Student Financial Aid.

Was this information helpful?