More scholarships for more students

The University of Akron has committed more dollars this year to providing more scholarships to more students. Changes in how students are permitted to use refunds of scholarship dollars were announced in January and February to students, staff and faculty. Still, questions continue and it is apparent that individuals who are expressing criticism are perhaps unaware of the reasoning behind these changes or how they are intended to benefit as many students as possible and strengthen The University of Akron.

Scholarship dollars distributed by UA are designed to help students pay for their education and on campus expenses -- specifically classes, general fees and on-campus room and board. University administration and our Board of Trustees recognize that more and more students need scholarship dollars to pursue their studies and earn a degree. The best way to make scholarship dollars available to more students is to ensure that the dollars available are used for educational purposes. Students can still use ALL scholarship dollars they earn for tuition and fees and on-campus housing and meal plans. We know that on-campus housing contributes to student academic success. And even if students choose to live off campus at their own expense, they can still apply scholarship dollars toward a campus meal plan.

This policy applies uniformly to all undergraduate scholarship recipients as well as tuition remission recipients who also receive UA scholarship dollars. UA tuition remission recipients are beneficiaries of an employee benefit, which includes free tuition and covers the General Service Fee for employees and includes free tuition for employee dependents. This generous benefit, which can amount to about $10,000 per year for a student enrolled in a full-time course load, is provided regardless of ACT, SAT, high school GPA, or subsequent academic performance at UA. Tuition remission recipients also are eligible to receive UA scholarships. When scholarships are added to tuition remission, some students are receiving nearly $20,000 yearly to offset the cost of college. This far exceeds the value of merit scholarships provided to students who do not have access to tuition remission (for example, a student with a 4.0 GPA and 36 ACT could receive maximum scholarship support of $9,500 in the coming year).

Any university must make difficult decisions on the best use of limited resources. As state and taxpayer support to public education declines, programs and staffing have been reduced across campuses, and more of the burden falls to students to pay tuition and fees. More students need our support to pursue their dreams, and taxpayer dollars supporting higher education should benefit as many students as possible.

If you have any questions regarding individual scholarships and refunds and how they can be applied, please contact

Refund policy summary

Students will continue to receive refunds for overages based on grants, external scholarships and loans.

External scholarships are funded by sources independent of The University of Akron. They include non-profit groups, government agencies and companies. External scholarships are not part of UA’s foundation or any scholarship that UA receives funds and provides tax deduction.

Internal scholarships include scholarship funds from UA’s General Fund and funds from private donors given to UA through foundation and may be endowed to then distribute as internal scholarships through colleges, departments, and/or financial aid.

Refund status

Refund status for charges on the UA bill above the cost of tuition, fees, on campus University owned housing, on campus meal plan:

Can be refunded Cannot be refunded
Loans Internal scholarships
External scholarships
(Third-party credits/checks)