NEWARK, Ohio, May 22, 2015 — Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) President Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., and The Ohio State University at Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald, Ph.D., announced today that, for the first time in the history of both institutions, the combined scholarship offerings exceeds $1 million.
Students attending COTC's Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala campuses as well as Ohio State Newark will have access to more than $1.15 million in scholarship funds for the 2015-16 academic year that begins in August. This represents a 90% increase in available scholarship dollars compared to 2012-13.
Crossing the $1 million mark is directly tied to the success of the Next Generation Challenge scholarship campaign — a fundraising effort that generated over $21 million. Through a gift-matching challenge, local philanthropists J. Gilbert and Louella H. Reese matched $10 million in pledges to COTC, Ohio State Newark and the Newark Campus Development Fund between April 30, 2010, and June 30, 2012. As pledge payments from the campaign have come in and been added to the endowments at each organization, interest dividends have started growing at a rapid pace.
"With donors eager to see the impact of their investment in the community, many pledges are being paid early. Mr. and Mrs. Reese have already completed their $10 million commitment, resulting in an exponential increase in scholarships being awarded," said Stuart N. Parsons, chairman of the Newark Campus Development Fund. "On behalf of the Newark Campus Development Fund Board of Trustees, we want to extend our gratitude for every donor who invested in this scholarship campaign and to Bill McConnell for his outstanding leadership throughout the campaign. The lives of our local students and their families are being changed forever as our community is strengthened."
"We knew that completing the Next Generation Challenge scholarship campaign would have a tremendous payoff for our students and for our communities in the future," said Coe. "I didn't realize that we would be hitting this milestone so soon, but we are so pleased and so grateful for all of the philanthropic support we have received over the years from our community donors and partners."
The $1.15 million is nearly equally divided among both institutions, allowing each to offer more scholarship dollars to new and current students while targeting some scholarship dollars to meet specific economic and workforce needs.
At COTC the increase in available scholarship dollars allows the college to offer each of the first 50 new engineering technology students a $2,200 scholarship, which covers half of their tuition. With this investment, COTC will help meet the workforce development needs of the community by strengthening the pipeline of well-trained individuals who seek careers in manufacturing and science-related fields.
Ohio State Newark will use the additional dollars to target scholarships that support first generation college students and those with specific academic and financial needs. This financial assistance comes on top of the announcement of a proposed tuition freeze at Ohio State and will help ease the overall cost of obtaining a four-year degree.
"It's all about access. Having more than $1 million in scholarships available is so important and meaningful to our students," said MacDonald. "Many of these students would not be able to attend college without this support. We can't thank Mr. and Mrs. Reese enough for their vision and for everyone in the communities we serve for their support of the campaign."
Central Ohio Technical College and The Ohio State University at Newark have forged an outstanding array of educational opportunities for the central Ohio region and beyond. This partnership is viewed as a model for higher education in the state of Ohio. At COTC, students gain hands-on, applicable experience to begin working in the field or to transfer those credits toward a bachelor's degree program. Ohio State Newark offers the best of the Big Ten educational experience, access to Ohio State's 175 major programs, a rich research heritage and academic excellence.