UA Board approves more than $13 million in college scholarship support


The University of Akron Board of Trustees approved an agreement providing for renewable full-tuition scholarships at The University of Akron for eligible Akron Public School high school seniors pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

This is an innovative arrangement that leverages the value of a decommissioned public school building near the University’s campus.

The agreement between UA and the Akron Public Schools involves the “disposition” of the Central-Hower High School property, with a value estimated at $13.5 million. 

The agreement allows the partners to launch what they are calling the Akron Public Schools Innovation Generation Scholarship, originally announced in February 2012 as a bold new effort to grow Akron’s next generation of innovators from its own backyard.  The APS Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting on Monday, Dec. 17, to consider the agreement.

Under House Bill 487 (Section 733.10), Ohio legislators approved a novel concept in the transfer of ownership of specific public school property located adjacent to a public university for the purpose of advancing public education. The University could accept the offer from the public school district and, in exchange, provide the school district with in-kind services or educational programs or assistance valued at an amount reasonably related to the appraised fair market value of the property. The new legislation applied directly to Central-Hower High School, a 230,000 square foot facility located in the middle of the main campus of the University. A portion of the building is currently home to APS’ new STEM High School.  

$13.5 million in scholarships

The appraised value of the property, $13.5 million, is the total value of full tuition and general fee scholarships to be made available to graduates of the APS who attend UA and who:

  • Have a 3.0 high school GPA and score a 27 on the ACT, or
  • Rank in the top 10% of their high school class and score a 26 on the ACT, or
  • Have a 3.5 high school GPA and score a 24 on the ACT.

Currently, more than 20 APS seniors who have applied and been admitted to UA for the fall of 2013 would qualify for the APS Innovation Generation Scholarship based on their current GPA and test scores. The full tuition and general fee scholarship is renewable upon maintaining a minimum 3.0 college GPA.

Students must attend UA full-time in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. The tuition scholarship may be reduced by any grants or other scholarships the student receives that apply to tuition or fee payments, and are not subject to repayment.

In presenting the agreement to the UA Board of Trustees today, President Luis M. Proenza said, “We have been anticipating this collaborative approach to incentivizing students to work harder to achieve better grades. Scholarship programs like this increase graduation rates from high school and college and ease the financial burden on students and families. The scholarship opportunity allows students to go to college full-time, rather than have to balance college and part-time work, which usually delays graduation.”

Separately, the Trustees appointed Sandra Pianalto to an advisory position to the Board. Pianalto is president of the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank.

Media contact: Eileen Korey, 330-972-8589 or