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This website publishes administrative rules on their effective dates, as designated by the adopting state agencies, colleges, and universities.

Rule 3333-1-61 | Choose Ohio first scholarship program.


(A) Authority

This rule is established by authority conferred upon the chancellor of higher education by section 3333.61 of the Revised Code.

(B) Policy

The choose Ohio first scholarship program, aims to recruit students into the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), medicine and dentistry or in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medical or dental education in order to enhance regional educational and economic strengths and meet the needs of the states regional economies.

This rule is not applicable to the primary care medical student and primary care nursing student components of the choose Ohio first scholarship program. Those components are governed by sections 3333.611 and 3333.612 of the Revised Code, respectively.

(C) Eligibility for the choose Ohio first scholarship program

State universities and colleges, as well as nonpublic four-year institutions of higher education are eligible to compete for state funds to implement novel, as well as well-proven, programs, strategies, and initiatives designed to recruit, or to ensure greater academic success for, students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medicine and dentistry. Eligible programs of study will be identified with specific STEM "Classification of Instruction Program" (CIP ) codes on the departments web page located at

(D) Requests for proposals

The chancellor of higher education shall prescribe a competitive process for making awards under this program to eligible institutions. The process shall include the periodic issuance of a request for proposals to all or any segment of the eligible institutions. The chancellor may limit the number of proposals eligible institutions may submit based upon criteria the chancellor considers appropriate. The forms used in the proposal process shall be prescribed by the chancellor and made available each time a request for proposal is issued. The requests for proposal process shall be published on the departments web page, located at Any request for proposals for the choose Ohio first scholarship program shall include:

(1) Instructions for submitting a proposal, including the timelines, required format and any specific forms to be used in the proposal; and

(2) Eligibility requirements for submitting a proposal;

(3) Student eligibility and scholarship amounts, such as but not limited to:

(a) A student is not eligible to earn more than one bachelors or graduate degree with scholarship funding.

(b) Only undergraduate students without STEM bachelors degrees are eligible to receive scholarship funding.

(c) A "Choose Ohio First" scholarship recipient less than full time with one semester left before completion is eligible to receive the minimum scholarship amount of one thousand five hundred dollars.

(4) Required cost share;

(5) Any minimum and maximum amount of award to be granted by the chancellor.

(E) Review process of proposals

(1) Administrative review of proposals

(a) Prior to review and evaluation the chancellor's staff will review the proposals to ensure each proposal complies administratively with the general guidelines, requirements, and program objectives.

(b) If a proposal does not comply administratively, the chancellor may ask the applicant of the proposal clarifying questions and request additional information. The applicant of the proposal has ten days from notice of the defect to remedy the proposal.

(c) At the chancellors discretion, a proposal that fails to comply administratively shall not be reviewed and evaluated.

(d) Proposals that are reviewed and evaluated will be posted on the departments web site,

(e) The applicant of a proposal not reviewed and evaluated shall receive written notice within thirty days of the posted results of the administrative review.

(2) Review panel

(a) The chancellor, in the chancellor's discretion, may convene a panel, comprised of experts the chancellor appoints, to review and evaluate proposals.

(b) The review panel, if convened, will review and evaluate proposals in the following manner:

(i) Address the responsiveness of the proposal to the requirements of the request for proposal;

(ii) Determine which proposals best meet the evaluation criteria;

(iii) Determine which proposals should be recommended to the chancellor for funding consideration.

(c) The review panel will make recommendations directly to the chancellor. The chancellor shall take into account the review panel evaluations and recommendations and shall make the final funding decisions. A proposal may be accepted in part (with changes) as determined appropriate by the chancellor.

(3) Review of proposals in absence of panel

(a) If the chancellor does not convene a review panel to review and evaluate proposals, the chancellor, or the chancellor's designee(s), shall review and evaluate the proposals in the following manner:

(i) Address the responsiveness of the proposal to the requirements of the request for proposal;

(ii) Determine which proposals best meet the evaluation criteria;

(iii) Determine which proposals should be considered for funding consideration, or in the case of review and evaluation by the chancellor's designee(s), recommended to the chancellor for funding consideration.

(b) The chancellor shall exercise independent judgment in making final funding decisions.

(F) Evaluation criteria

(1) The chancellor, or the chancellors designee(s) or review panel if convened, will review each proposal submitted in response to each request for proposals. Proposals received by entities deemed to be ineligible to submit proposals as defined in the request for proposals shall not be reviewed. The review of proposals shall include, but not be limited to, the consideration of one or more of the criteria specified in section 3333.62 of the Revised Code.

(2) Special consideration will be given to proposals that recruit socially disadvantaged individuals. Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identification as members of groups without regard to their individual qualities. Socially disadvantaged individuals could also include:

(a) At least one objective distinguishing feature such as race, ethnic origin, gender, physical handicap, long-term residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society, or other similar causes not common to individuals who are not socially disadvantaged

(b) Personal experiences of substantial and chronic social disadvantage in society.

(3) The chancellor will endeavor to make awards under the choose Ohio first scholarship program as set forth in section 3333.64 of the Revised Code.

(4) Past performance for institutions that have previously been awarded "Choose Ohio First" scholarships may be considered in each competition that may include, but not limited to, meeting reporting requirements, retaining and graduating students, and serving as primary contact for student questions.

(G) Public meeting

Prior to final funding decisions by the chancellor, each proposal submitted for consideration shall be summarized by the chancellor's staff at a public meeting. Each public university or college with a proposal pending for consideration shall have the opportunity to review the summary and answer questions or respond to concerns about the proposal raised by the chancellor's staff.

(H) Selection and award agreement preparation

(1) Upon completion of the review and evaluation process, and, if applicable, after recommendations have been made, the chancellor shall determine which proposals receive awards, in whole or in part. Applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their proposals.

(2) After a proposal has been selected for funding by the chancellor, the chancellor's staff will seek approval from the state controlling board to prepare the final award agreement.

(3) At the request of the chancellor, an institution selected for funding and seeking approval from the state controlling board shall attend the controlling board meeting.

(I) Award agreements

(1) The institution with an award approved by the controlling board shall enter into an agreement with the Ohio department of higher education. The agreement will be based on the proposal as amended with the inclusion of a revised budget or other amended conditions set forth by the chancellor.

(2) Funding at the requested levels will be contingent upon performance against the stated goals and available funds.

(3) For three additional years following the completion of the project period, the institution will be required to submit an annual report detailing the overall status of the project.

(4) Any institution that violates the terms of its award agreement may be required to repay the award plus interest at the rate specified in section 5703.47 of the Revised Code.

(J) Reporting and performance requirements

(1) Institutions will be required to submit regular reports as specified in the award agreement. At a minimum, performance reports, periodic success stories attributable to the state-funded program, and annual reports for three years following the project period are required. The institution will be responsible for submitting reports to the chancellors staff utilizing the specified mechanism.

(2) Each newly funded choose Ohio first scholarship program institution will be required to implement a continuous assessment plan that evaluates the program at its campus. Institutions are expected to complete the project as described in the proposal as funded and as amended. The chancellors staff will assign a project administrator who will work with the institution throughout the duration of the project. The chancellors staff and institutions will develop a series of performance metrics that will be used to measure progress of the program. Institutions will be required to collect appropriately disaggregated baseline data, to measure progress through the collection and analysis of standardized data elements, and to submit required progress reports that record the achievements of the plan within the context of the original goals.

(K) Funding

(1) Cost share

(a) The award agreement will set forth information regarding the program project budget and cost share. All reasonable institutional operational and capital costs, that are directly associated with delivering the project outcomes identified in the agreement may, in the chancellor's discretion, be counted as eligible cost-share. The value of institutional, public, or private industry cooperative work experiences and internships shall count toward the statewide aggregate amount of other institutional, public, or private money.

(b) As set forth in the award agreement, participating institutions must make regular cost-share investments in the funded choose Ohio first scholarship program project, but will have until the end of the reporting period to meet the full cost-share obligation.

(2) Allowable and nonallowable expenses

(a) The entire award should be used for scholarships, fellowships, grants, or other monetary or nonmonetary incentives to students, however, at the chancellors discretion, the award agreement may allow for some amounts of the choose Ohio first program to be used for administration.

(b) All costs incurred in preparation of a proposal shall be borne by the applicant, or applicants for a collaboration proposal, and are not recoverable under an award.

Last updated October 27, 2023 at 12:15 PM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3333.61
Amplifies: 3333.61 thorugh 3333.69
Five Year Review Date: 2/1/2023
Prior Effective Dates: 9/26/2007 (Emer.), 11/12/2008