Donor Spotlight

Donor Spotlight

Jan & Tom Hodson | Make a Difference with Their IRAs

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FAO is honored to support over 280 donor-established scholarship funds in sustaining the continued educational pursuits of the region’s students. And we take pride in honoring the legacy and story behind each fund.

FAO 2021 Scholarship Applications are now closed.

FAO scholarship opportunities use a General Application Form, available here.  To learn more about the application process, or how you can help grow scholarship resources for our region’s students, call 740.753.1111. For a full list of FAO scholarships and descriptions, as well as additional scholarship opportunities in the region, click here.  To receive information directly in your inbox, sign up for FAO’s e-newsletter, or like us on Facebook for up to the minute news from FAO.

Volunteer to Support FAO’s Scholarship Program

FAO is currently seeking Scholarship Advisory Committee Members to play a critical role in reviewing and recommending scholarship awards to the Board of Trustees annually. The Foundation relies on the passion and expertise of volunteers to ensure stewardship of our scholarship funds, while providing the opportunity for committee members to play a role in the post-secondary pursuits of our region’s youth.
View position description here.

Please contact us at 740.753.1111 with questions.

Ways to Finance Your Education

Figuring out how to pay for college can be a stressful and challenging process. Most students will need some type of financial aid in order to pay for college expenses. Several types of financial aid are available, although each type is different in how it is awarded and how or whether or not it must be paid back.

Grants are a form of gift aid that means they do not need to be paid back, making them an ideal form of financial aid. Grants are awarded based primarily on financial need, but may also be based on merit. The largest grant program is the Federal Pell Grant. Other federal, state, and college grant programs are also available for qualifying students. To be eligible for these grants, you must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Scholarships are another form of gift aid, which are often awarded for achievement in academics, leadership, arts, athletics, financial need, or other criteria. Scholarships may come from private donors, businesses, organizations, foundations, or even colleges themselves.

  • Begin your college scholarship search with the high school guidance office. Here you can ask for local grants and scholarships that are awarded to the students at your high school every year.
  • The college admissions office is the next stop for scholarship information. Check to see what scholarships are available for students planning to attend the college and the list of qualifications for each. Do you already know what you’ll be studying? Then mention that, they may know of scholarships for the major your planning to study.
  • Call the University System of Ohio’s College Access Information Hotline to learn more about statewide scholarship opportunities: 1-800-AFFORD IT (233.6734) or visit Two places to look when searching for scholarships on the internet is and Both websites have been around for over 15 years and will give you a list of recommended scholarships. Be sure to verify any offers. You will want to be on your guard against college scholarship scams found in your email, in your snail mail, and even advertised in your newspaper.

Student Loans are a type of financial aid that must be repaid. They are available in two main forms: federal government loans and private loans, and may be secured by both students or parents. Federal loans generally have lower interest rates and more repayment options than private loans, but some communities offer student loan programs at reduced interest rates or interest free, so it pays to research various local opportunities to secure student loans.

Work-Study, also based on financial need, allows students to earn money while attending college through a variety of campus jobs. Students are paid an hourly wage and may earn up to an amount specified as part of their financial aid award package.

Military Funding. Organizations such as ROTC or the National Guard may pay part or all of a student’s tuition and college expenses. Students should contact local recruiters for information.

Additional ways to fund your college education include the following:

Cooperative Education – Students may earn money for college and college credit through a combined program in which they work as they attend school.

Part-time Employment – On-campus or off-campus jobs can often be tailored around students’ class and study schedules.

Tuition Payment Plans – Many colleges allow students to pay their tuition in installments rather than all at once.

Prepaid Tuition Plans – Some states offer prepaid tuition plans to qualified residents. The Ohio Tuition Trust Authority offers the CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan.

We would like to thank the Ohio College Access Network for providing the above information to our
organization and others throughout the state.
OCAN is an independent 501 (c)(3) organization that provides leadership and support for Ohio college access organizations while working closely with the Ohio Board of Regents, the Ohio Department of Education, and the Ohio Business Roundtable to help increase the college going rate in the state.