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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Smith, Richard L. Student Teacher Scholarship

The Richard L. Smith Student Teacher Scholarship was established by Richard L Smith, who spent his life in Akron, Ohio. Born in 1934, he grew up in North Hill and graduated from North High School in 1952. He then attended and graduated from The University of Akron in 1956 with a bachelor's degree in education, a major in comprehensive social studies, and a minor in biological science. He began his teaching career in 1956 at Thornton Junior High School, the old South High School. He then entered the U.S. Army in 1957, and after officer's training school, returned to Akron where he served seven years in the Active Reserves. Upon his return home in 1957, he began teaching at Kenmore Junior High in Kenmore. Mr. Smith completed his master's degee in education in 1963 at Kent State University. 

Mr. Smith taught for 28 years at Innes Junior High. During his career there, he thoroughly enjoyed teaching and interacted and worked with approximately 23 student teachers. Mr. Smith was a 1966-1967 Martha Holden Jennings Scholar and received the Pearl Drews Award for Outstanding Teacher in Social Studies in 1977, and also received many other teaching honors throughout his career. Upon retirement, Mr. Smith became a Supervisor of Student Teachers at The University of Akron and enjoyed that job immensely for 10 years. 

The Richard L. Smith Student Teacher Scholarship will be awarded to a student-teacher who exhibits creativity, enthusiasm, and a commitment to youth and teaching. Although scholarship is important, it is not to be the primary consideration. A 3.0 GPA, or better, in the major field of study is desirable. It is intended to award the scholarship to a student-teacher in the social sciences with an emphasis on American history and government. Financial need and family responsibilities are important considerations. Student-teachers need to be able to concentrate on devoting their time and efforts toward a successful teaching experience. It is intended that this scholarship will relieve some of the financial concerns encountered by adult students while completing their teaching experience.

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