Columbus OH
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Scholarships & Financial Aid

Youth for STEM Equity (YSE)

Provides free programs for youth, including STEM Escape Room events, museum visits, and educational lectures. They are student-led non-profit based in Columbus, Ohio promoting diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the field of STEM. They also post helpful STEM-related content and scholarship opportunities on their Instagram. Go online to learn more and find their next event.

A Call to College

Partners with Newark City Schools to assure every student the opportunity to pursue and complete graduation after high school. The PEAK Program provides outreach and curriculum for elementary and middle school students to help with literacy, career education, and exposure to college. High school students can access one-on-one advisory services, high school course selection, SAT/ACT information and prep, college selection & application help, assistance completing the FAFSA, college visits and more. A Last Dollar Grant is a need-based, renewable scholarship for Newark City School graduates to pursue full-time education at a college or technical school.
314 Granville Street, Newark, Ohio 43055
(740) 670-7424

Africentric Personal Development Shop (APDS)

Non-profit behavioral healthcare agency providing alcohol and drug treatment, licensed counseling, domestic violence education and intervention programs, and support services for families affected by addiction. They also offer a summer camp, UCANN Serve and UCANN Lead programs for ages 11-17 to experience mentorship and civic engagement, Urban GEMS science and gardening after-school program for ages 12-19, and awards two scholarships per year for youth ages 17-22 pursuing higher education. The organization was founded by and centers the African community but serves all regardless of race, gender, disability, or economic status.
1409 East Livingstone Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 253-4448

American Legion

Offers support programs for veterans and their family, such as temporary financial assistance, a cash grant to support minor children of veterans who are eligible for American Legion membership. They also offer youth programming, award college scholarships, and list veteran discounts and services and places to find counseling and mental health support.
Contact Information:

AmeriCorps & ServeOhio

Federal agency for service and volunteerism. They offer a variety of work programs for adults age 18+ to receive educational scholarships and other benefits in exchange for service. Service opportunities include NCCC climate change mitigation, VISTA alleviating poverty, Foster Grandparents, and much more. Initiatives in Ohio include Teach for America, Ohio State University Extension Public Health, and other programs aimed at improving education, economic prospects, and health in Ohio. Community-based organizations should apply for AmeriCorps grant opportunities.
30 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 728-2916
National Service Hotline: (800) 942-2677

Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs Exchange Programs

The U.S. Department of State sponsors multiple programs for educational, cultural, and professional exchanges across the world. Full scholarships for youth are available.
High School Study Abroad:

City Year Columbus

A division of AmeriCorps, City Year Columbus places full-time mentors in under-resourced Columbus City Schools to help students graduate and reach their full potential. Individuals ages 17-25 with a high school diploma and a desire to serve youth in the community can apply to be a City Year Americorps Member. Members receive a paid stipend, benefits, are eligible for education awards, and receive career and leadership training. Visit the website to learn more and apply.
350 East First Avenue, Suite 250, Columbus, Ohio 43201
(614) 586-4520

Columbus State Community College (CSCC) Financial Aid

Columbus State Community College has locations in Columbus and Delaware, Ohio. Their financial aid page has great information on financing higher education that anyone can use. Find information on local, state, and federal scholarship and grant opportunities, guides to completing the FAFSA, understanding student loans, and more.
550 East Spring Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 287-5353
Financial Aid Video Library:

Columbus Zoo & Aquarium & The Wilds

The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium offers several educational opportunities for youth. They offer week-long day camps for Grades 1-7, with optional extended care for an additional fee. The 4-day and 4-week summer camps are for ages 3-entering Kindergarten. youth participate in a variety of activities designed to have fun and promote environmental awareness, including hands-on animal experiences. ZooKids is a preschool program for ages 3-5 multiples days per week during the school year. They also offer Dayventures and Summer Camps at The Wilds conservation center in Cumberland, Ohio. Scholarships are available.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Chapter Youth Initiatives

Offers programming for youth ages 11-18 focused on leadership training, mentorship, and empowerment. The sessions are comprised of fun, interactive, educational and community service activities. The activities are a 9-month commitment. They also offer college scholarships for graduating high school seniors.
P.O. Box 163304, Columbus, Ohio 43216
(614) 470-1913

Gertrude Wood Community Foundation (GWCF)

A faith-based organization dedicating to strengthening community for youth and families living in the Driving Park neighborhood of Columbus. Programs include financial education, credit restoration counseling, intergenerational mentorship, and educational scholarships for teens and adults. The organization also provides help with housing rehabilitation and affordable housing for seniors at The Livingston facility.
1573 East Livingston Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 252-7456

Gratitude Initiative

Provides educational support and college scholarships for children with a parent in military service or law enforcement. Scholarships exist for children whose parent was wounded or killed, active duty, honorably discharged or a law/corrections officer that was injured, killed, or died by suicide. Check the website for program requirements and application details.
101 Vintage Drive, Red Oak, Texas 75154
(817) 200-7465

Handshake America

A year-long program for high school student athletes to receive personal and professional coaching in preparation for college. The program consists of regular meetings with coaches, leadership training, community events, and a college scholarship awarded at program completion. Students submit applications in the middle of their junior year. Visit the website to learn more and apply.
4010 East Fifth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43219

Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU)

National association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), colleges and universities committed to helping Hispanic students achieve success in higher education. Find information on internships, scholarships, college programs, pre-college support, career development programs, research opportunities, and more.
National Headquarters: (210) 692-3805

I Know I Can (IKIC)

Offers a range of services for students to prepare them for success in college. They offer classroom presentations for elementary school through high school, and printable college planning checklists for grades 9-12 on their website. Services for high school students include 1:1 counseling, ACT fee assistance, help applying for college, scholarships, and FAFSA, and transition services for post-high school. I Know I Can Advisors are available on-site at Columbus City, Reynoldsburg City, South-Western, and Whitehall High Schools.
215 North Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 233-9510

Imagine America Foundation

Sponsors scholarships for students to attend career colleges or technical schools. Scholarships are available for high school graduates, military students, and adult learners with financial need. Their website has useful information on career exploration, and how to apply for scholarships and grants. Visit the website for contact information and to apply.

Kiwanis Northwest Columbus

Volunteer organization serving kids in Northwest Columbus. They host several youth soccer programs, including Kiwanis Soccer Buddies for children K-6 with special needs. They also volunteer for habitat restoration at Upper Arlington parks, host Aktion Club for adults with disabilities, and award college scholarships to high school students with or without a documented disability. Find program details and contact information online.

Upward Bound Central Ohio

Upward Bound is a free program for income-eligible high school students to prepare for college applications and academics. Students can access year-round homework help and tutoring, cultural field trips, college tours, test prep and career guidance. The Summer program is a free, 6-week experience offering college prep, internship opportunities and more. Students receive money for full participation. Those typically underrepresented in postsecondary education (first generation, homeless, disabled, foster youth, or other barriers) are strongly encouraged to apply. Many colleges and universities across the state host Summer Upward Bound. Below are the organizations based in Columbus, Ohio. Requirements may vary between programs.

  • Columbus State Community College: For 9th and 10th graders at East, Linden-McKinley, Mifflin, Northland, or Independence High School. Participants are eligible for a free course at CSCC for college credit.
    550 East Spring Street, Columbus, OH 43215
    (614) 287-5340 or (614) 285-5082
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital: For high school students who attend or whose home district Linden-McKinley STEM Academy, Marion-Franklin, or South High School. Participants may receive transportation assistance and internship opportunities with Nationwide Children’s Hospital departments.
    700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
    (614) 722-2000
  • The Ohio State University: For 9th-11th graders who attend or live in the service areas of Briggs, East, South, or Walnut Ridge High Schools. Eligible graduating seniors can take free courses at OSU for 6 hours of college credit.
    (614) 292-2344 or (614) 292-1896
    154 West Twelfth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210

Ohio Association for Gifted Children (OAGC)

Promotes and supports the development of gifted students in Ohio schools. They offer resources and  advocacy opportunities for educators and parents. They also offer scholarships for K-12, college, and summer education opportunities.
Physical Address: 104 Mill Street, Gahanna, Ohio 43230
Mailing Address: PO Box 30801, Gahanna, Ohio 43230
(614) 337-0386

Ohio Department of Education (ODEW) Scholarship Programs

Ohio provides scholarships to private schools for students attending low-performing public schools, scholarships for families considered low income, and students with learning disabilities to schools or programs to meet students’ needs. Go online for information about the EdChoice Program, Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program, Autism Scholarship Program, and additional educational resources.
25 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 728-2743 or (877) 644-6338
Subscribe for Text Alerts for each scholarship program:

Ohio Department of Education (ODEW) Ohio School Options

Outlines the school options available for students in Ohio including community/charter schools, private schools, career-technical education, STEM schools, College Credit Plus (formerly known as PSEO and Dual Enrollment), home schooling, scholarships, high school equivalence/GED, and adult diploma programs.
25 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(877) 644-6338

Ohio Department of Higher Education (OhioHigherEd)

Their website has information about two-year and four-year programs, credit transfer, ways to help finance college and more. They also offer Ohio callers information on preparation for college, admissions, student financial aid, scholarship information and general facts about enrollment at colleges and universities throughout Ohio.
25 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 466-6000

Ohio Education & Training Voucher (ETV) Program

This federally-funded, state-administered program helps youth who were in U.S. foster care. Students may receive up to $5,000 a year for qualified school related expenses. Funding is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible students.
General: (855) 471-1931
Education Services: (219) 426-2166
ETV Program:
Foster to Success Programs:

Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition

Provides young artists in Ohio with opportunities to advance their talent through scholarships or simply experiencing the process of entering their work in a competition. Students in grades 9-12 currently enrolled in an Ohio high school can enter art work to be judged for possible inclusion in the annual Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition. Students in grades 11-12 who have worked accepted are eligible for a variety of academic scholarships and awards. The exhibition is open to all Ohio high schools, both public and private, chartered by the State of Ohio Department of Education.
77 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 272-1678
Main Website & Scholarship Information:
Application Instructions:

Ohio PTA

Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) are networks of families and educators supporting children’s learning. The Ohio PTA offers annual $500 scholarships for high school seniors pursuing higher education at a college or university, a technical certification, or Special Education degree. Students must attend a school in a district with official PTA status to apply. The National PTA offer additional awards and programs. Their website has tons of helpful information for parents and educators on topics like special education, state assessments, college readiness, summer learning, safety, and more.
40 Northwoods Boulevard, Columbus, Ohio 43235
(614) 781-6344
Ohio PTA:
National PTA:

Ohio Reach

A network of foster alum, professionals, and schools across Ohio supporting higher education students with a history of foster care, kinship care, or out-of-home placement. The Ohio Reach scholarship is a renewable award given each semester, with applications due in the spring season. Emergency Funds are available for students needing financial assistance for an emergency or unexpected situation. Students can also contact the organization to get connected to other supportive services through their network. Visit the website to contact the organization or complete an application for scholarships / funds.

Online Scholarship & Financial Aid Databases

  • Finaid:
    A public service website with great information on student loans, FAFSA, scholarships, and loan calculator tools.
  • Big Future:
    A resource from the College Board with information and tools for career exploration, choosing a college, and finding scholarships.
  • CareerOneStop:
    A resource from the US Dept. of Labor that allows users to easily search for jobs, job training programs, scholarships, and more.
  • Unigo:
    Use the free database to search for thousands of academic scholarships. Create a free account to get matched results or to apply for one of their unique, essay-based scholarships.
  • Fast Web:
    A searchable scholarship database. Their website also has resources on FAFSA, student loans, internships, and resources for educators.
  • College Scholarships:
    An independent search engine for students to easily find scholarships, they also have information on student loans and grants.
    Create a free account to search for and get matched to scholarships. Their website also has tools for comparing colleges, calculator tools, and resources for parents and educators.
  • Appily:
    Use their free database to search for and compare colleges, explore careers, find scholarships, and resources for graduate school.
  • UNCF:
    A network of HBCUs and partners supporting African American students. Use the website to find scholarships, internships, fellowships, grants, and career help.
  • Destination HBCU:
    A Cleveland-based organization supporting HBCU-bound students. Use the website for HBCU-specific scholarships, college fairs, and workshops.


A national platform connecting high-achieving, low-income students to higher education opportunities. They offer multiple academic scholarships for students pursuing Humanities, STEM, Jewish students, and others. Scholarships cover education-related costs such as a new laptop, test prep materials, or test fees. The National College Match program is a full, 4-year scholarship to one of the nation’s top colleges for students who have excelled academically but are limited by financial hardship. The College Prep Scholars program is for high school juniors ready to commit to higher education. Go online for program details and application instructions.
(650) 331-3280 or (888) 275-2054

Rotary Youth Exchange

Program sponsored by Rotary Clubs for youth ages 15-19 to experience living as an international exchange student. Students attend local schools and live with host families while learning a new language, culture, and leadership skills. Rotary Club covers room and board costs and school fees. Application details vary depending on your local Rotary Club guidelines. Visit the website to find your local Rotary Club and contact them for more information.

St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Microloan Program

Provides low-interest loans for one-time expenses to individuals living in Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Hardin, Knox, Licking, Ross, or Union County. Loans are for expenses such as a car repair, home repair, education, and medical expenses not covered by insurance. They do not provide loans for expenses such as rent, food, or utilities. All applicants will be contacted by Microloan leaders who will help determine eligibility for a loan, coordinate with recipients and a local credit union, and connect applicants to local financial education workshops.
197 East Gay Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 285-4473 or (614) 221-3554
Contact for Delaware, Fairfield, Knox, Licking and Ross County:
Note: CAP4Kids does not recommend or endorse any specific company. We encourage families to carefully review and evaluate all services.

Stowe Mission of Central Ohio

A faith-based, non-profit organization that provides various services including a food pantry (appointment required), free hot lunches, dental clinic, and vision clinic. Their after school program includes academic, spiritual, and emotional support for K-6 students. Transportation is provided from five local schools, but kids from any school district are welcome. They also offer scholarships for graduating seniors at South High School to pursue college or vocational training. The Stowe Pregnancy Resource Center offers free ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, and consultation.
888 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43206
(614) 445-8400

Stowe Pregnancy Resource Center:
(614) 620-7286

The Columbus Foundation

A philanthropic organization based in Columbus, Ohio working to fund non-profits, arts programs, and other community initiatives. Individuals and organizations can use their website to apply for grants, small business funds, and a scholarship directory for high school and college students. They also offer a fellowship program for college students. Go online to find details and apply.
1234 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio
(614) 251-4000

The Willie & Vivian Gaddis Foundation for K.I.D.S.

Non-profit empowering marginalized and at-risk youth to pursue educational and artistic opportunities. They offer college tour programs and scholarships. Their website has helpful information for students and families about scholarships, HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities), college planning, and skilled trades programs.
PO Box 360832, Columbus, Ohio 43236
(614) 706-6909

TriVillage Mentor League (TVML)

Non-profit offering school-based mentoring to youth in grades K-3 at Stevenson Elementary in Grandview Heights and Greensview Elementary in Upper Arlington. The weekly program is run by their Mentoring Coordinator and volunteer teenage mentors. TVML awards two college scholarships each year to volunteer mentors who are graduating seniors from Grandview and Upper Arlington.
3600 Tremont Road, Columbus, Ohio 43221
(614) 255-7942

U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid & FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

Provides free information on preparing for education beyond high school. Students can submit an online application for financial aid (FAFSA), get career information, search for schools, understand student loans, and search for scholarships. Click for a college preparation checklist, that explains how to prepare academically and financially for college with a ‘to do’ list for students and parents.
400 Maryland Avenue, Washington DC, 20202
(800) 433-3243
Additional Contact Information:

Westside Community Charter Schools

Community schools are tuition-free, public, nonprofit, nonreligious schools that receive state and federal funds but are independent of traditional school districts. Below are schools serving the Westside communities of Columbus, Ohio. Contact the schools directly to schedule a tour and apply for admission. Find more information on Community Schools and Ohio Education options here:

  • Franklinton High School: For Grades 9-12, located in the Franklinton community of Columbus. Their curriculum emphasizes STEAM, mentorship, and positive relationships. Program highlights include 1:1 weekly advising, robotics, computer programming, songwriting and performing arts, health, martial arts, and more. The school also has options for Special Education, College Credit Plus, Boys & Girls sports leagues, youth government, and summer camp.
    89 Avondale Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43222
    (614) 427-1012
  • LINC Academy: Elementary school in the Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus, serving Grades K-2. Programs include free meals, transportation, and afterschool program. The curriculum includes leadership development, social-emotional skills, a focus on early literacy, and community involvement.
    33 North Grubb Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
    (614) 565-8442
  • United Schools Network: Provides research-based character education curriculum to prepare students academically and socially for higher education. The United Preparatory Academies (UPrep) are elementary schools serving Grades K-5, and Columbus Collegiate Academies (CCA) are middle schools serving Grades 6-8. Program highlights include a longer school day, emphasis on character development and high school placement services for Grades 8-9.
    • UPrep East: 31 North Seventeenth Street, Columbus, Ohio 43203
      (614) 586-1228
    • UPrep State Street/Franklinton: 617 West State Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
      (614) 453-8993
    • CCA Main Street: 1469 East Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
      (614) 299-5284
    • CCA Dana Avenue/Franklinton: 300 Dana Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43223
      (614) 545-9570

United States Senate Youth Program

A week-long experience for two high school juniors or seniors from each state to see national government in action and meet and hear from senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense, directors of other federal agencies and more in Washington, DC. All transportation, hotel and meal expenses will be provided by The Hearst Foundations. In addition, each delegate will also be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship. In Ohio, the United States Senate Youth Program makes its student selections from among participants who attend Buckeye Boys State, Buckeye Girls State or the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) program.
(614) 387-3200


An official guide to federal information and services. Use the website to find helpful, easy-to-read information on topics like how the government works, government benefits, disability services, immigration and citizenship, taxes, legal issues and more. The website can also be used to register to vote, print tax forms or check on a tax refund, file a complaint, and other government-related tasks.
(844) 872-4681

Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!)

Provides year-long entrepreneurship programs for students in grades 6-12. Students learn to generate business ideas, conduct market research, write business plans, pitch to real investors, and launch their very own companies. Students can participate in their local chapter for the chance to compete for cash prizes and scholarship funds at the annual Saunders Scholar competition. Ohio has two chapters.

Young Scholars Program (YSP)

Pre-collegiate and collegiate student success program at The Ohio State University (OSU) for academically-talented, first-generation students in Ohio with high financial need. Student scholars receive college advising, academic coaching, mentoring, college planning tools, and more. They also have the opportunity to engage on-campus for day visits and overnight summer stays. Participants who successfully complete all program requirements receive a financial package at OSU. Applications are generally available in winter and due in spring. Go online for details.
154 West Twelfth Avenue, Columbus Ohio 43210
(614) 292-4884

Youth for Understanding (YFU) USA

YFU is an international education organization facilitating study abroad programs. Their website has information on hosting students, studying abroad, and resources for educators. They offer 200 full and partial merit-based scholarships and needs-based financial aid every year for students pursuing study abroad opportunities.

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