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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Olson, Susan J., PhD, Adult Learner Book Scholarship

The Susan J. Olson, PhD, Adult Learner Book Scholarship was established in November 2015 by Susan J. Olson, PhD, a professor in the LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education at The University of Akron who is retiring in December 2015 with 27 years of service. Olson’s exceptional career, which has positively impacted thousands of students and advanced the University, has been recognized by her colleagues, who voted to award her Emeritus status.

An educator for 35 years, Olson taught at Pennsylvania State University (where she earned her PhD), Central Michigan University, Nova Southeastern University, and ARIN Intermediate Unit 28 in Indiana, Pa., prior to joining The University of Akron in 1989. At UA, her accomplishments were many, including serving as an administrator for 15 years, teaching the first credit course in Distance Learning Classroom in 1998, leading the approval of the first fully online degrees by the Higher Learning Commission in 2010, serving three years as chair of University chairs and directors, and securing $500,000 in grants. During her career, she directed 26 dissertations; served as a member of more than 50 dissertation committees; directed seven master’s theses and projects; and refereed 19 publications, 24 presentations, and two journals. She also is the recipient of 16 regional, national, and international awards recognizing her excellence.

Olson created The Susan J. Olson, PhD, Adult Learner Book Scholarship to provide financial assistance for returning adult students pursuing a bachelor’s degree through the UA Adult Focus program. As the number of traditional-aged college students declines, Olson desired to take advantage of UA’s ability to serve nontraditional students.

Candidates must be age 25 years or older and demonstrate economic need, e.g., Pell Grant recipient or Pell Grant eligible. Initially, one $100 scholarship toward book costs will be awarded annually, with more scholarship monies awarded each year if additional funds are available. The Adult Focus Scholarship Committee and the Office of Student Financial Aid will make the scholarship selections.

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