OHIO — Two higher education institutions are working closely together to make college more affordable for transfer students while targeting a broader scope of first-generation students.

What You Need To Know

  • It’s part of an expanded partnership between Columbus State Community College and Capital University

  • It will allow students who qualify to get tuition and fees free

  • The Main Street Scholarship provides at least $20,000; additional funding makes free tuition possible

  • To learn more about the scholarship and the partnership with Columbus State, click here

The partnership is between Columbus State Community College and Capital University and aims to help make college more affordable through the Main Street Scholarship, which provides at least $20,000. There's additional funding as well, which could lead to free tuition.

To qualify for free tuition, students must:

  • Be an Ohio resident
  • Be Pell-eligible
  • Have a GPA of at least 2.5/4.0
  • Complete FAFSA

Capital University President Dave Kaufman said they’re able to cover the costs because of the donations of individual alumni, as well as endowments.

"We’re very frugal with what percentage of that endowment we use, which is actually less than 5% because you want that sustainable, but we also have from corporations donate to us, alumni donate to us that are operationally focused," said Kaufman.

Those who cover the cost of professors or other positions help create avenues for the university to save money on those fronts. That in turn leaves the door open for those funds to be directed to scholarships for students. 

For students like Ashlye Nunez, who has applied for the scholarship, it gives a sense of renewed hope.

“It does take a big weight off your shoulders. A lot of anxiety I would say and worry," Nunez said.

Nunez is a patient support assistant but wants to enter a nursing program and become an RN. Getting there is still a journey as she has had her own struggles with changing her major and working to make ends meet while in school. That doesn’t include the challenge she’s had with paying for college.

For that reason alone, she has not been able to attend some schools she’s applied to before. Although disappointing, she’s excited about the possibility that’s before her with the Main Street Scholarship. 

Students who enroll for the 2023 fall semester will be the first recipients of the scholarship, which is renewable on an annual basis.