Choose Ohio First

Choose Ohio First


Choose Ohio First

The Choose Ohio First Scholarship Program is a state-funded program aimed at graduating more students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM). The State of Ohio recognizes that a workforce trained in these areas is essential for strengthening our economy.

At CSU, Choose Ohio First scholars are pursing degrees in biology, chemistry, engineering, math, medicine, nursing, physics, science, technology and related fields. Students interested in teaching a STEMM discipline also qualify for the scholarship program.

Scholarship awards range from $1,500 to $7,500 per student, per academic year, towards the cost of tuition.  The actual amount awarded is based on financial need, with all eligible students awarded at least $1,500 per academic year. Scholarships may be awarded even if a student is already receiving scholarship support from other programs (Honors, Voyager, Athletics, etc.).  Scholarships are renewable to cover all four years of an undergraduate degree, contingent on continued eligibility and state funding.  

Choose Ohio First scholars are provided various forms of support and enrichment as they work towards completing their undergraduate degree.  A faculty advisor is assigned to lead each cohort and will serve as a mentor for scholars.  Engagement offerings vary by track, but may include advising, tutoring, peer mentoring, support for undergraduate research, and exposure to community service opportunities. There are also social activities to strengthen the cohort connection.


Who Can Apply?

You must:

  • Be a new entering freshman student or a transfer student for Fall 2019
  • Be an Ohio resident
  • Have an undergraduate degree plan for a STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, nursing or medicine) major
  • Have a high school grade point average of 3.25 or higher, or ACT score of 27 or higher, or SAT score of 1650 or higher
  • Have a commitment to COF program requirements
  • Have a current FAFSA on file with Financial Aid
  • Not already be receiving a full scholarship

*The Choose Ohio First program is only for students pursuing a first time undergraduate degree. Post-baccalaureate students are ineligible for this program.

**Please note that programs designated as "Upper Level" are only open to incoming transfer undergraduate students or current Choose Ohio First Scholars already participating in another program.

Below is a list of the 2018-2019 eligible majors for new program applicants. 
PDF icon'18-'19 COF Eligible Majors.pdf


General Program Requirements:

  • Be a full-time undergraduate student in a STEMM major (Typically 15 credit hours per semester)
  • Participate in required cohort activities (i.e.- meetings, poster sessions, etc.)  
  • Meet with assigned advisor at least once a semester   
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher  
  • Make progress toward a STEMM degree  
  • Have a 4-year graduation plan approved by your major advisor (Exceptions may be made for dual majors, students participating in a co-op, etc.) 


How Do I Apply?

Applications are no longer being accepted for Fall 2018.

The application for new students planning to enroll at CSU in Fall 2019 will open on November 1, 2018.


STEM Fellows (Residential Option):

Choose Ohio First scholars who decide to take advantage of our residential option are referred to as STEM Fellows.  We have two floors in Fenn Tower specifically designated for these scholars.  Through both formal and informal activities, scholars will be able to further develop rapport and connections with one another.  A limited number of need based scholarships are available to help with these associated costs.

Students should indicate their interest in being a STEM Fellow on both the Choose Ohio First application as well as the Department of Residence Life’s housing application.

Reasons to love living in Fenn Tower/on the STEM Fellows Floor:

  • Traditional residence hall experience 
  • ​Strong, tight-knit community 
  • Living amongst students with similar classes, majors, and academic goals! 
  • In-hall convenience store located on the first floor 
  • Lounges, classrooms, and study rooms right in the building 
  • Fully furnished units with in-suite bathrooms

 Here’s what Fenn Tower residents had to say!

“I love the closeness that everyone has in the building. There isn’t a day that I walk in or out and don’t run into someone I know. Everyone on my floor is amazing—we are all like a big family!”

“I absolutely love the setup of my room and the view of the West side is spectacular!”

“Being so close to downtown Cleveland is an incredible feeling! I can look out of the window of the common room and see the life of the city. I live with an amazing roommate and have made friends with those on my floor that I know will be lifelong friendships” 

“The atmosphere is very inviting and welcoming, and the rooms are nice and spacious”

“I like being surrounded by a lot of people to socialize with and ask for help in my classes if I need it. It’s like a small community right outside of my door”

“The floor plan gives everyone so many options to meet new people. The rooms are very nice and I like the amenities that it provides”

Available Tracks & Eligible Majors:

CSU Choose Ohio First Programs Academic Areas
Life Science Pipeline
Biology, Environmental Science, Health Sciences, Pre-professional 
Student Success in Mathematics
Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Pre-STEMM Education
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Grand Challenges
Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Health Sciences, Mathematics, Physics
Research/Science Outreach
Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Health Sciences, Mathematics, Physics
Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Health Sciences, Mathematics, Physics
Pre-Professional Programs
Pre-med, NEOMED/CSU Partnership
STEMM Teacher Education
STEMM Teacher Education

Below is a list of the 2018-2019 eligible majors for new program applicants.
PDF icon'18-'19 COF Eligible Majors.pdf