COLUMBUS, Ohio — Higher education can be expensive for the average Ohioan.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, upwards of 85% of college students receive some type of financial aid to go to college. However, in some cases, people need extra money from privatized grants or scholarships.

One bill would stop a college or university from reducing financial aid if a person receives a private scholarship.

What You Need To Know

  • HB 98 would stop financial aid reduction even if a student receives a private scholarship 

  • The bill was heard among lawmakers before the House Higher Education Committee 
  • Currently, a state institution can reduce financial aid if private scholarships and grants exceed the cost of attendance

 Mary Winchkorff, a Salem High School alum, testified before the House Higher Education Committee. She said scholarships are supposed to be used to help ease a student's financial situation. However, Winchkorff said when a student has other private scholarships provided to them, then a university reduces financial aid.

"This placement occurs when the financial aid package a college offers a student with their acceptance letter is reduced when the student receives other scholarships and awards," Winchkorff said.
Winchkorff told committee members she believes what is being done to students receiving private dollars is unfair.  
"A 2022 graduate of Sound High School received a scholarship from the same high school alumni association and was accepted to Stark State College. As part of his acceptance, the state had offered his first semester for free," Winchkorff said. "This offer, combined with the scholarship he received from us, would pay for his entire first year of college. However, when he registered for classes and mentioned his scholarship, Stark State informed him he would not be eligible for a free first semester."

Winchkorff told lawmakers this legislation could help students budget accordingly. Republican State Representative Josh Williams said if students decide to put in hard work to get private scholarships, then they shouldn't be penalized by having money taken away.

Currently, a state institution can reduce financial aid if private scholarships or grants exceed the cost of attendance.