Otterbein Scholarships & Awards

The Otterbein application for admission is also the application for consideration for Otterbein scholarships. The completed application, including additional materials submitted as part of the application, such as the student’s high school or college transcript(s), ACT or SAT scores, and recommendations may be used in scholarship decisions. Some scholarships also require submission of the FAFSA, or interviews, portfolio reviews, auditions and/or participation in additional activities. Unless otherwise noted, Otterbein scholarships are renewable for up to eight semesters or first undergraduate degree, whichever comes first. 2.75 Otterbein GPA required for renewal.

Note: Otterbein institutional aid can never exceed the value of tuition.

Test Optional Admission and Scholarships Policy

Due to Covid-19 disruptions to the availability of ACT and SAT tests, Otterbein has adopted a test optional admission and scholarship policy for Spring, Summer and Fall terms 2022. Students with high school GPA of 2.75 or lower are encouraged to submit a test score if available. Some academic programs or courses may require an ACT/ SAT score, placement score or additional pre-requisite courses for enrollment.

Visit our Test Optional Policy page for more information >

Students admitted for Fall 2020 who filed the FAFSA received, on average, $5,400 more in Otterbein aid than families who didn’t file.
Ask us how!

  • Otterbein’s FAFSA Code: 003110
  • FAFSA applications available online at Oct. 1
  • FAFSA priority filing date for May 1 decision: Feb. 15

Scholarships Awarded at the Time of Admission

The following scholarships are awarded during the admission review process. Students cannot retroactively request consideration for these awards.

Merit/Achievement Scholarships:

Awarded to students who have demonstrated scholarship and leadership in high school. Consideration for these awards is based on a student’s overall application for admission. These scholarships are renewable for up to four years. These scholarships are exclusive of each other.

President’s Scholarship $17,000 to $18,000

Typically awarded to students with a high school GPA > 3.75, or students with a HS GPA >3.5 and/or are in the top 15% of their class, and have an ACT composite of 24 or higher (SAT 1180 EBW & M). Four year value $68,000 – $72,000.

Provost’s Scholarship $14,000 to $15,000

Typically awarded to students with a high school GPA > 3.2, or students with a HS GPA > 2.95 and/or are in the top 40% of their class, and have an ACT composite of 21 or higher (SAT 1080 EBW & M). Four year value $56,000 – $60,000.

Alumni Scholarship $12,000 to $13,000

Typically awarded to students with a high school GPA >2.75, or students with a HS GPA <2.75, and an ACT composite of 18 or higher (SAT 970 EBW & M). Four year value $48,000 – $52,000.

Otterbein Advantage Partnership Scholarship $19,000

Awarded to new first year or transfer students at time of admission in lieu of other merit awards for students under the age of 23 whose parent or guardian is a qualified employee of an Otterbein Advantage Partner. For a complete list of qualifying partners, visit Four year value $76,000.

Otterbein Honoring Service Scholarship $19,000

Awarded to recipients of Folds of Honor award or the Ohio War Orphans Scholarship. Value of this award replaces other Otterbein merit aid. Four year value $76,000.

Scouting Achievement Scholarship $15,000

Awarded to Scouts who have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout or the Girl Scouts Gold Award. Must apply by December 15. Replaces other Otterbein merit aid, except when value of other award is higher (students receives higher value award.) Four year value $60,000.

Other awards of interest (stack on merit/achievement scholarships):

Ammons Thomas Award $1,000 to $3,000

Offered to multicultural students who exhibit both strong scholarship and leadership. Consideration for this award is based on student’s overall application for admission.

Housing Grant $2,000

Offered to students choosing to live in a university residence hall (not available for students living in University apartments, theme houses, fraternity and sorority houses, or commuting.) Renewable if student remains in eligible university housing.

Sibling/Legacy Award $1,000

Offered to new First Year students whose parent or grandparent is an Otterbein Alumna/Alumnus or who have a sibling concurrently enrolled.

Awards requiring the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

FAFSA Completion Award $1,000

Awarded to all new first year students who apply and submit the FAFSA to Otterbein by January 15. This award is renewable for four years as long as students continue to submit the FAFSA by January 15 each year. This is not a need-based award. FAFSA Required.

Opportunity Scholarship

This last-dollar award covers the direct cost of tuition, up to the student’s full financial need as determined by the FAFSA, after all federal and state aid, including the Direct Student loan, has been applied. Must be an Ohio resident with a family income of $60,000 or less or be a federal Pell grant recipient. Amount varies. The Opportunity Scholarship does not cover room and board or books. FAFSA required.

Tuition Exchange Scholarship- up to full tuition.

Competitive award for students with a parent or guardian employed by a participating university. See for more information.

Otterbein United Methodist Ministerial Grants $500 to $7,000

Awarded to Otterbein students whose parent or guardian is a United Methodist Minister and who has unmet financial need. Replaces all other Otterbein need-based aid. FAFSA Required.

Awards with additional criteria or evaluation (must apply by December 15)

Full Tuition Scholarships

Otterbein awards three full tuition scholarships through an essay competition. The value of this award replaces all other Otterbein aid. By invitation only.

Battelle Half Tuition Scholarship

Competitive award for student leaders from Franklin and contiguous counties. Stacks on base merit award. Value of this award replaces all other Otterbein aid. By invitation only.

Humanities Scholars $1,000 to $3,000

Awarded to admitted Humanities students who live in the Creativity & Culture Living Learning Community or Honors housing. Requires interview. May be renewed for up to eight semesters as long as enrollment in a Humanities major is continued. Not eligible for students with Creative Writing Talent award or Music participation awards.

International Baccalaureate Scholarship $1,000 to $3,000

Recognizes students participating in the IB program. Must pass two IB courses to qualify. Not eligible to students with Full tuition, Battelle, Ammons Thomas, Humanities, STEM, talent, or participation awards.

STEM Scholarships (must apply by December 15)

Cardinal Science STEM Scholarship $4,500 to $10,000

Awarded to students admitted for full-time study in a Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Environmental Science, Physics or Zoo and Conservation Science. Must have a minimum HS GPA of 3.0 and be low-income. FAFSA Required. Interview Required. Renewable with 3.0 GPA and must remain in STEM major.

Choose Ohio First STEM Scholarship- up to $10,000

Awarded to Ohio residents admitted to the Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics, Engineering Physics, or Systems Engineering majors. Preference given to low-income, first generation and under represented students. FAFSA Required. Interview Required. Renewable with 3.0 GPA and must remain in STEM major.

Choose Ohio First Computer Science Scholarship- amount varies

Preference given to students typically under represented in Computer Science, including women, students of color and low- income students. Renewable for two additional years. FAFSA Required. Interview Required.

Wiese Engineering Scholarship- amount varies

Awarded to new students with an Engineering major. Interview Required.

Special Scholarships

Otterbein LGBTQIA Scholarship and other endowed awards

Otterbein donors provide more than $2.5 million in annual scholarship support for Otterbein students. The Otterbein application serves as the application for Otterbein endowed scholarships that are awarded through the admission process. Must apply by December 15. Some awards require interview or audition.

Yellow Ribbon Scholarship

Otterbein is proud to participate in the Yellow Ribbon GI Educational Enhancement Program which allows eligible veterans to attend Otterbein tuition free. Eligible Post 9/11 GI Bill veterans may also transfer their unused educational benefits to their spouses or children.

Talent and Participation Awards

Talent and Participation Awards $500 to $26,000

Awarded to students majoring in Art, Communications, Creative Writing, Music, and Theatre, or minoring in Dance. All talent and participation awards require a separate audition, portfolio review, interview and/or essay. Students must be majors in the department they are awarded a talent award. Limit of one talent award per student. Renewal criteria set by department. Students must remain a major in the awarding department.

Talent awards offered after a student has been awarded need-based aid may result in the reduction or elimination of the need-based aid.


Art Talent Awards $1,000 to $8,000 

Art majors can electronically submit two images of their art work for an initial talent award of $1,000 to $3,000. Admitted students can undergo a full portfolio review with the opportunity to earn an additional $1,000 – $5,000 in talent awards.

For more information visit


Music Talent Awards $16,000 to $26,000

Awarded to Music majors through an audition process. Talent award is offered in lieu of other Otterbein awards or merit scholarships.

Young Artist Award $30,000

Competitively awarded to five Otterbein Music majors who excel during the audition process. Additional auditions and submissions required. Replaces all other Otterbein aid and scholarships. Must apply by December 15.

Music Participation Awards $3,000 to $6,000

Offered to non-Music majors who agree to participate in Otterbein ensembles and take required private lessons and courses. Audition required.

Athletic Band $1,000

For participants of Otterbein Athletic band. Must play woodwind, brass or percussion instrument, or be a member of color guard or twirler. Audition/tryout required.

For more information visit

Theatre and Dance

Theatre Talent Awards (BFA Musical Theatre and Acting) $16,000 to $26,000

Awarded to admitted students through the audition process. Talent award is offered in lieu of other Otterbein awards or merit scholarships.

Theatre Talent Awards (BFA Design Tech and BA Theatre) $3,000 to $8,000

Awarded to admitted students through portfolio review or interview. Stacks on base merit award.

Dance Talent awards $2,000 

Awarded to students minoring in Dance. Audition required.

For more information visit


Communication Abilities Awards $1,000 to $3,000

Designed to recognize outstanding students interested in communications careers. Must remain a major in the Communication department and a 3.0 GPA to renew.

For more information visit

Creative Writing

Creative Writing Talent Awards $1,000 to $3,000

Awarded to Creative Writing (BFA or BA) majors through a portfolio review. Must Apply by December 15.

For more information visit


Teaching Talent Award $1,000 to $3,000

Awarded to incoming education students who have early exposure to teaching that led to college credit (e.g., CCP, CTAG). Examples of early exposure to teaching experiences include but are not limited to: Participation in your district’s Teacher Academy, taking education courses at your district’s career center, earning a grade of C or better in a CCP course in Education.

For more information contact Allison McGrath

Adult & Transfer Student Scholarships

Transfer students with less than 30 earned credit hours will be considered for the same scholarships, but their complete academic history will be used (high school GPA, class rank, ACT/SAT scores and college GPA). All students are eligible to file for need-based aid by completing the FAFSA form at

Associate Degree Scholarship - $17,000

We want to ensure all Community College graduates from an accredited institution know they are valued and will make a great addition to the Cardinal family. Students who have already earned their Associate’s Degree with a GPA of 2.75 or higher are eligible for our Associate Degree Scholarship. Students must remain in full-time status while completing their Bachelor’s degree to maintain the Associate Degree Scholarship.

Presidential Scholarship - $15,500

Awardees have an accumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher of college level work

Provost Scholarship - $11,000

Awardees have an accumulative GPA of 2.71-3.4 of college level work

Alumni Scholarship - $8,000

Awardees have an accumulative GPA of 2.0-2.7 of college level work

Additional Information & Resources

How much does Otterbein cost?

How much will it cost?

2020-2021 Expenses
Tuition $ 32,624
Room & Board $ 11,774
Student Fee $ 450
TOTAL $44,848

And while some of our families pay a little more each year for an Otterbein education than they would at a state school, they tell us they’re still saving money the long term. Why? Otterbein students are more likely to finish on time. Four years at a slightly higher rate is still cheaper than five years someplace else.

Sticker Shock?

Most Otterbein graduates begin their careers owing much less than the average price of a new car.* Also in the “win” column, your degree won’t depreciate the minute you drive off of campus.


*The average cost of a new car in 2018, according to the Kelley Blue Book.

Curious about your costs? Our Financial Aid Estimator will give you a quick estimate of what your financial aid package could be:

Please answer the following questions. To receive an estimate of your Otterbein Scholarship, please submit your GPA and at least one test score. For a more complete estimate of your financial aid package, complete the last four questions as well.


This is not an application for aid and does not guarantee admissions into Otterbein University. You must complete your Admission Application to receive your scholarship offer. You must submit a FAFSA to get your need-based aid award.

Estimated Package
Start Calculation Over »

The above financial aid package is designed to give your family an estimate of how much financial assistance you may be eligible to receive for the 2022 - 2023 academic year. This tool is designed for students who will be new first-year, full-time students and is not intended for use by prospective transfer, returning, continuing, international or part-time Otterbein students. This estimate does not represent a final determination, or actual award, of financial assistance or a final net price. Costs of attendance and financial aid availability change from year to year. This is not an application for aid and does not guarantee admissions into Otterbein University.

To determine the actual assistance that you will receive from Otterbein University, you should apply for admission by January 15 of your senior year and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15th. All prospective students and their parents are encouraged to complete and submit the FAFSA.

*The total cost of attendance used is based on the housing selected; Commuter ($40,720) or On-Campus ($49,714). These values include direct and indirect costs associated with being a full-time Otterbein student.

Submit your application before December 15 to take full advantage of Otterbein’s scholarship opportunities.

Apply Now >