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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Dowd Family Public Service Award

The Dowd Family Public Service Award, originally established in 2007 and revised in 2017, has been created to encourage law students to pursue a legal career emphasizing public service. The University of Akron School of Law is well known for its many graduates who have entered public service in a variety of fields, including municipal law departments, county prosecuting attorney’s offices, public defender offices and state and federal judicial positions.

The award is conceived to facilitate experience with public service by specifying internship or work experience with selected legal offices and/or governmental entities in the public sector, and to support the awardee with a stipend of up to $5,000.

David D. Dowd, Jr. (1929-2016) served as a United States District Court Judge in the Northern District of Ohio for more than 30 years, before that sitting on the 5th District Court of Appeals for the State of Ohio, and serving as the Prosecuting Attorney for Stark County. Before joining the Prosecutor’s office, Judge Dowd practiced law with his father, David D. Dowd, Sr. (1904-1976) in Massillon, Ohio. The Judge learned an ethic of service and citizenship through his father, whom he memorialized in 2007 through the creation of a fund at the University. The Dowd family has combined funds donated in memory of Judge Dowd with those previously contributed in honor of David D. Dowd, Sr. to remember them jointly through this award.

Students completing their second year (full-time) or third year (part-time) in law school will be given preference for the award, but students completing their first year (full-time) or second year (part-time) will also be considered. The applicant must agree to consider a legal career in public service upon graduation.

The awardee shall commit to working in a public service office during his/her law school career for a period of not less than eight weeks.

A priority for the public service agencies to be considered follows:

The first priority shall be the Office of the County Prosecuting Attorney in Stark, Summit and Wayne Counties; the law departments in the cities of Akron, Canton, Massillon and the public defenders offices in Summit and Stark Counties.

The second priority shall be the office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Ohio.

The third priority shall be for the other prosecuting attorney offices in Ohio and other municipal law department offices in the state of Ohio.

The fourth priority shall be for public service agencies not listed in the first three priorities.

The number and amount of the award(s) shall be set on an annual basis by the Awards’ Committee as described below.

The awards shall be distributed based on the amount of income available from the investment of the funds contributed to The Dowd Family Public Service Award held by The University of Akron Foundation.

It shall be at the sole discretion of the Awards’ Committee as to how many awards are to be presented in any one year as long as only the income of the endowed fund is used to present the awards with the exception that the Awards’ Committee, at its sole discretion, may use the corpus of the award funds, not to exceed five percent in any one year to fund the awards.

The amount of an individual award shall not exceed the sum of $5,000.00.

The Awards’ Committee shall include the dean of The University of Akron School of Law or his appointee who shall serve as the chairperson of the committee; a tenured professor of The University of Akron School of Law; the Assistant Dean for Career Planning; on a rotating basis, the prosecuting attorney of either Stark or Summit County or their appointee.

Applicants shall write a letter of purpose to apply for the award, addressing the topic of public service in the context of his or her goals in the legal profession, both short and long term. The letter should also specify the legal setting in which the student proposes to serve from among those cited above.

The decision of the Awards’ Committee as to how many awards and the recipients of the awards shall be final.

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