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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Soderquist, Leslie E. and Ronald E. Soderquist Endowed Scholarship

The Leslie E. Soderquist Engineering Scholarship Fund was established in 1977 in loving memory of Leslie E. Soderquist, director, vice president, and for 31 years head of engineering for the McNeil Corporation, by his wife, Helen, who passed away in 1984, and his son, Ronald. In 2006, following the unexpected death of Ronald, The Leslie E. Soderquist Engineering Scholarship Fund was renamed by Ronald’s wife, Patricia. Today, The Leslie E. Soderquist and Ronald E. Soderquist Endowed Scholarship Fund honors the lives and legacies of both Leslie E. Soderquist and his son, Ronald E. Soderquist. 

Best friends and soul mates, Ronald and Patricia Soderquist grew up next door to each other, became high school sweethearts, attended The University of Akron together in the early 1950s, and were married for more than 50 years before Ron died in May 2005. Ron followed in his father’s footsteps, enjoying a distinguished career in engineering. As the chief engineer at RMI (Rotational Molding Inc.) in Gardena, Calif., Ron excelled as a project manager and inventor in the field of polymer engineering, specifically rotational molding. Ron was a kind, thoughtful, and altruistic person who believed strongly in the importance of education as a means for bettering one's circumstances in life. During his lifetime, many engineering students at The University of Akron benefited from his philanthropy. He also helped with tuitions for his nephews, nieces, and grandchildren. 

The purpose of The Leslie E. Soderquist and Ronald E. Soderquist Endowed Scholarship Fund is to provide financial assistance to deserving undergraduate students in the College of Engineering who have demonstrated high academic achievement, engineering ability, leadership, and financial need. The dean of the College of Engineering or his/her designee, in coordination with the director of Student Financial Aid, will award The Leslie E. Soderquist and Ronald E. Soderquist Endowed Scholarship. Recipients of the Soderquist Scholarship are eligible to receive the scholarship on a multi-year basis based on continuing need, ability, and satisfactory academic progress.

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