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Choose Ohio First


Attention high school students! Ohio Northern University and the Ohio Board of Regents have partnered to deliver a terrific opportunity for Ohio students who major in education within a STEM field.

STEM Teacher Education Scholarship Program
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Apply before March 1, for an opportunity to earn a multi-year, renewable scholarship of up to $6,500 annually. The awards are a combination of Choose Ohio First funding from the state of Ohio and funding from ONU. The scholarships are awarded to promising undergraduates who are interested in pursuing a major in science, technology, engineering or mathematics with the goal of becoming a teacher. As an added bonus, ONU is including up to an additional $1,000 for textbooks for Choose Ohio First Scholars for the freshman year.

This year is ONU's second year participating in the Choose Ohio First program. ONU currently has 14 Choose Ohio First Scholars and hopes to include many more in coming years.

"We have very strong academic programs here at ONU. We have strong faculty and wonderful facilities," says Dr. Tena Roepke, associate professor of mathematics. "And because of these things, we’ve been granted funds from the Ohio Board of Regents through theChoose Ohio First program to get interested qualified students to come to Ohio Northern to experience these programs and learn from our teachers."


This scholarship gives me the opportunity to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher.

Heather Saunier, Middle Childhood Education, Dayton, Ohio


ONU is the only university in Ohio that offers education degrees in all of the STEM fields, as well as Ohio teacher licensure in all applicable STEM fields. These degrees/licensures include:

  • Integrated Sciences (grades 7-12)
  • Life Sciences (grades 7-12)
  • Physical Sciences: physics and chemistry (grades 7-12)
  • Physcial Sciences: physics (grades 7-12)
  • Physical Sciences: chemistry (grades 7-12)
  • Technology Education (grades 4-12)
  • Integrated Mathematics (grades 7-12)
  • Engineering Education (with teacher licensure in integrated mathematics, grades 7-12)
  • Middle Childhood Education: math and/or science concentrations (grades 4-9)

Additionally, the T.J. Smull College of Engineering offers a major in Engineering Education, which leads to the ability to teach secondary mathematics with an engineering focus. Hear from one of our Choose Ohio First Scholars about why the Engineering Education major was right for her.

Not only is the Choose Ohio First scholarship a presigious, merit-based award, but being a Choose Ohio First scholar helps students acclimate to college by providing them with a community of peers from day one. Choose Ohio First scholars enjoy social events on campus and also engage in professional and academic development activities.

Only students who indicate an interest in following a program of study in the Center for Teacher Education with a major in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, technology, engineering education or middle childhood education with mathematics or science concentrations will be considered for a Choose Ohio First Scholarship. Other requirements include:

  • Applicants must be residents of the State of Ohio or a graduate of an Ohio high school. 
  • Potential recipients must have an overall cumulative high school grade point average of 3.0 or above (or the equivalent) and/or an ACT composite score of 23 or higher.

Application process
Below are the steps that must be completed to apply for a Choose Ohio First Scholarship.

  • To receive full consideration, freshmen, transfer students, adult learners and veterans must apply for admission to ONU and submit all the required supporting credentials by March 1.
  • Incoming students must complete the FAFSA financial aid form and request the records be sent to ONU.
  • To receive full consideration, COF applicants must complete the application with a brief (one-page) essay stating your career plans and how the COF scholarship will help you meet those goals. This must be submitted by March 1.

Requirements of COF Scholars
In order to continue to receive the COF scholarship throughout the next four years (pending funding), recipients are required to:

  • Maintain a college grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
  • Complete the necessary field experiences and internships required within their major.
  • Participate in Choose Ohio First Scholars programming on campus
  • Participate in program surveys, interviews or other data collection activities required by ONU and the Ohio Board of Regents

Scholarships will be awarded as funds are available. Incoming first-year students are encouraged to apply for the Choose Ohio First Scholarship ASAP with priority consideration given to applications received by March 1. After this date, applications will be processed in the order they are received. Award letters from Student Financial Aid will go out in the spring

For programmatic information, contact Dr. Tena L. Roepke, associate professor of mathematics, at 419-772-2353. For scholarship information, contact Melanie Weaver, director of financial aid, at 419-772-2271.