Young Scholarship Program gives Cleveland students a leg up at OSU

(Plain Press, April 2006) Each year about twenty graduates of the Cleveland Municipal School District are guaranteed admission to Ohio State University, along with a financial aid package based upon their individual need.

The students are participants in the Young Scholars Program, started by Ohio State University Office of Minority Affairs in 1988 to help urban students from ethnic or racial groups underrepresented in the university population to attend college. Students participating in the program include African Americans, Latino/Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Appalachian Americans. In addition to their ethnic background students chosen for the program come from low-income families. The Young Scholars Program also requires that when the students graduate from college that they be among the first generation of their family to complete a four-year university or college with a bachelor’s degree or beyond.

Teachers, guidance counselors and principals nominate sixth grade students each year to participate in the program. Students in the program must maintain a 3.0 or better grade point average from the seventh grade through graduation from high school. Students are provided with resources including tutoring and various academic and career-oriented workshops.

Students from eight other cities in Ohio also participate in the program. In the summer before their junior and senior year in high school, about 120 Young Scholars statewide spend two weeks together at Ohio State University. This helps them to gain familiarity with the campus and to meet other students that will be going to college with them.

In addition, the Cleveland students meet together at least once a month for various workshops. The workshops explore various career opportunities, work on personal development and cultural awareness. Students are provided access to ACT and SAT training to help with admissions tests for college.

The eighteen students completing the Young Scholars Program this year have a range of goals as they head to Ohio State University in the fall.

John Marshall senior Terry Dancy, who says he was nominated to participate in the program when he was in the sixth grade at Gallagher Middle School, says he would like to major in mathematics. Eventually he says he would like to teach mathematics on the college level.

Joseph Gould, a senior at John Marshall is interested in looking into a major in either architecture or journalism. Ralanna Toland of Jane Addams plans to major in business administration.

Amanda Hays of Cleveland School of the Arts says she is leaning toward majoring in biology and has an interest in marine biology, but wants to explore other interests before making a decision about what her major will be.

John McCray of Jane Addams wants to study sports and leisure activities. McCray, who likes soccer, basketball and track, says he would like to be a coach or get involved with sports management.

Keith Lofton, a Program Coordinator in the Cleveland Office of the Young Scholars Program says the program helps put together a financial aid package for each student. He says most students in the program qualify for a full financial aid package that includes payment for tuition and room and board. In addition, the Young Scholars Program offers additional assistance in paying for books and health insurance. The Young Scholars Program works with the students for up to fifteen quarters or five years at Ohio State University, says Lofton.

Lofton says the Young Scholars will go to Ohio State three or four days before classes start this August to allow them to meet with various university and student organizations on campus.


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