The Morrill Scholarship Program for Ohio State University Freshmen

By Bright Silas

The Morrill Scholarship Program is one of the merit-based scholarships offered by the Ohio State University. Established in 1870, Ohio State University is a public land-grant research university in Columbus, Ohio.

In a previous article, we provided a bird’s eye view of five scholarships offered by the Ohio State University, including the Morrill Scholarship Program. The others include:

The Eminence Fellows Program and Scholarship

The Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship

The Maximus, Provost or Trustees Scholarship

The National Buckeye Scholarship

In this article, we take a deep dive into the Morrill Scholarship Program. If you need adequate information in order to help you clinch this scholarship, you are in the right place!

We will highlight every detail you need to know about this scholarship, including its objective, target audience, benefits, eligibility criteria, and how to apply successfully

ABOUT the Morrill Scholarship Program (MSP)

Originally known as the Minority Scholars Program in 1982, MSP was renamed the Morrill Scholarship Program in 2003. The MSP is one way Ohio State University shows its commitment to creating a diverse campus that includes all community members.

This program is Ohio State’s premier diversity/merit scholarship program, rewarding academically talented students who actively engage in diversity-based leadership, service, and social justice activities. 

A major objective of MSP is to recruit, retain, and help students attain success by providing scholarships and educational enrichment programs that develop advocates and champions of diversity, inclusion, social justice, and academic excellence on campus and throughout the community. 

The acceptance rate for Morrill Scholarship at the Ohio State University varies from year to year depending on several factors including the number of applicants, the quality of their applications, and the funding for the program. 

The Morrill Scholarship Program is highly competitive, with the Ohio State University receiving thousands of applications every year. In recent years, the program has had an acceptance rate of around 10%, so only about one in ten applicants are accepted into the Morrill Scholarship Program.

Annually, about 300 Morrill scholarship awards are given and within the MSP, only about 40 students are awarded Distinction Scholars, the highest award tier each year. Nevertheless, it is still possible to win a Morrill Scholarship Program award, so if you meet the requirements, you should apply.

Who qualifies for the Morrill Scholarship Program?

The Morrill Scholarship Program seeks academically talented high school seniors who will contribute to campus diversity and actively engage as advocates and champions of diversity, inclusion, social justice, and academic excellence on campus.

All students admitted to the Columbus campus for the autumn semester following high school graduation are automatically qualified for this program. Applicants must be U.S citizens or permanent residents. 

What are the benefits of the Morrill Scholarship Program?

The Morrill Scholarship Program is a full-ride scholarship. It offers three award levels namely:

  • The Excellence Scholarship award

The value of the scholarship is equal to the value of in-state tuition for Ohio residents. This signifies that the award will only pay toward Ohio State’s estimated tuition cost (Instructional and general fees). 

  • The Prominence Scholarship award

This award equals the value of in-state tuition plus the non-resident surcharge for non-residents. This signifies that the award will only pay toward Ohio State’s estimated tuition cost (Instructional and general fees) and the non-resident fee (for out-of-state students). The value of the estimated tuition and non-resident fee is removed from Ohio State’s cost of attendance.

  • The Distinction Scholarship award

The award equals the value of the cost of attendance. This signifies that it covers the entire estimated expenses of attending the Ohio State University for two semesters. This includes tuition and fees, room and board, textbooks, and every other educational/personal expenditure. This is determined by the Office of Student Financial Aid.

All three award levels are renewable for up to 8 semesters on the condition that students  maintain a GPA of 3.0.

Morrill Scholarship Program requirements

To be eligible for MSP, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States.
  • Maintain the minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 by the end of your fourth semester when the first-grade review occurs.
  • Be highly competitive and show an outstanding academic record as there are other qualified students vying for the award. The scholarship will consider your grade point average, class rank (must be in the top 10% of your high school class), the rigor of the high school curriculum, and ACT or SAT scores (if available) 
  • Enroll full-time at the Columbia campus of the Ohio State University to pursue your first undergraduate degree. Attending another institution might cause a student to lose this scholarship.
  • Demonstrate financial need as determined by the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

How to apply for the Morrill Scholarship Program?

Step 1: Apply for admission to The Ohio State University by November 1 early action deadline. Send in your complete application (Common Application) which opens on August 1, and all required materials (application fee, test scores, transcripts, etc.) by 11:59 p.m. ET on November 1. 

Note: If you want to be considered for the Morrill Scholarship Program, we strongly recommend that you submit the application and all required application materials by November 1. 

Step 2: On the application check the appropriate box that shows your interest in being considered for the Morrill Scholarship Program and then complete the essay prompt (You can get advice on how to write a great essay here)

Step 3: Be sure to include leadership and diversity involvement on the activity list. 

Note: If you’re considered for the Distinction Scholar award, you will be invited for an interview. All scholarship decisions will be determined before March and all students will be notified by the end of March at the latest. MSP notifications are sent out on a rolling basis via email.

If you need more information on how to apply, visit the admissions application site for more information. 

If you have any questions. Please contact MSP at


Receiving a Morrill Scholarship at the prestigious Ohio State University is considered a big feat, because of its competitiveness. To help you stand a chance at getting this award, this article has outlined all the adequate information you need for a successful application.

At Scholarship Monitor, we are committed to providing you with up-to-date information on scholarship opportunities. Make sure to always check back for more updates and take advantage of the resources we have provided to help you achieve your academic and career goals.

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