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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Leathers, Dr. Violet E. Endowed Scholarship


The Dr. Violet E. Leathers Endowed Scholarship was established at The University of Akron in 2016 through a generous gift from Violet E. Leathers, Ed.D. A proponent of hard work and perseverance, Leathers chose to establish the scholarship to reward students who exemplify these attributes.

A Cleveland native who spent her formative years in Warren, Ohio, Leathers eventually made her way to Akron, where she became a three-time University of Akron graduate. She earned a B.S. in elementary education in 1974, an M.S. in special education in 1979, and an Ed.D in educational administration in 1985. She also holds an associate degree from Ohio University.

More than a student, Leathers has a relationship with UA that includes a long and distinguished career. Beginning in 1974, she spent nearly 25 years teaching in the College of Education (now the LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education) before retiring in 1996 as associate professor emeritus. Her tenure includes being named the College’s Outstanding Teacher in the 1995-96 academic year.

Leathers and her late husband, Noel L., who retired from UA in 1995 as professor emeritus of history and head of the History Department, and then returned to serve as vice president and provost until his second retirement in 2000, also are longtime benefactors of the University. In honor of her husband’s commitment to UA, Leathers previously established The Dr. Noel L. and Dr. Violet E. Leathers Honors College Scholarship for History and Education Majors.

The Dr. Violet E. Leathers Endowed Scholarship will provide an annual, nonrenewable scholarship for a student with a GPA of 3.0 or higher who is enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program in the LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education at The University of Akron. Preference will be given to:

  • Nontraditional students
  • Students with demonstrated financial need
  • Students who exemplify hard work and perseverance by working to pay for their tuition or by overcoming challenges to continue their education

Applicants will be reviewed and a recipient will be selected by the Office of Student Financial Aid.

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