Otterbein Scholarships & Awards

Academic merit scholarships are awarded based on strength of academic performance, leadership, civic engagement, and/or community service. Renewable for up to eight semesters of full-time study or the student’s first bachelor degree by maintaining a 2.75 GPA at the end of the student’s second year of study and making satisfactory academic progress.

Cardinal grants are non-need based awards and may be replaced with other institutional or endowed awards, or be reevaluated for adjustment annually.

Housing grants may be offered to students choosing to live on campus in traditional or suite-style residence halls with meal plans. Housing grants are not available to students living in Otterbein apartments or theme houses, fraternity or sorority houses, or students who commute or live in off-campus housing.

Students are encouraged to apply by Dec. 15 to be considered for the broadest range of scholarship opportunities, and may submit new information (test score or 7thsemester high school transcript) for reconsideration until Jan. 31, however scholarships and grants cannot be changed after need-based aid has been awarded.

See below for more information on our scholarships and awards!

How much does Otterbein cost?

How much will it cost?
2018-2019 Expenses

Tuition $32,042
Room $6,078 (traditional double)
Board $5,108 (120 meals)
Tech Fee $250
Student Life Fee $200
TOTAL $43,678

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:

Award Levels

  • Up to $13,000

    Awardees typically have HS GPA > 3.80 and/or are in the top 15% of their class, with ACT scores of 26 or higher (SAT 1240 or higher, total score.)

  • Up to $10,000

    Awardees typically have HS GPA > 3.0 and/or rank in the top 25% of their class, with ACT scores of 21 or higher (SAT 1080 or higher, total score.)

  • Up to $ 5,000

    Awardees typically have HS GPA > 2.7 and/or rank in the top third of their class, with ACT scores of 18 or higher (SAT 970 or higher, total score.)

Otterbein institutional aid (need-based, non need-based, merit and talent) cannot exceed the value of full tuition.

Full-Need Opportunity Scholarship

The Opportunity Scholarship covers the direct cost of tuition up to the student’s full need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), after all federal and state aid, including the federal Stafford loan, has been applied. The Opportunity Scholarship does not cover books, or room and board.


Your out-of-pocket expense, for tuition equals your EFC.

  • $0 EFC = no out-of-pocket expense for tuition
  • $100 EFC = $100 out-of-pocket
  • $500 EFC = $500 out-of-pocket, and so on.


  • New first-year or transfer students beginning Fall 2019 or later.
  • Must be Pell grant eligible. File the FAFSA by February 15.
  • Must be an Ohio resident.
  • Students must enroll full-time.


  • Renewable for up to 8 semesters or first degree by maintaining 2.75 gpa.
  • Must file FAFSA each year and remain Pell grant eligible.

Additional Scholarship Opportunities

Competitive Scholarships

  • Otterbein Full Tuition Scholarship Competition

    Students demonstrating superior academic achievement in high school may be invited to compete for three full-tuition scholarships. A completed application is due by December 15 to be considered. Due to the value of this award, it replaces all other Otterbein institutional aid. 3.0 GPA

  • Battelle Half Tuition Scholarship

    Competitive scholarship for student leaders from Franklin and contiguous counties. This award stacks on student’s base merit award. A completed application is due by December 15 to be considered. Due to the value of this award, it replaces all other Otterbein institutional aid. 3.0 GPA.

Talent Awards

  • Music Talent Awards for majors

    Music Talent Awards for majors: $5,000 – $24,000. Offered to students majoring in music. These awards are given on the basis of demonstrated talent as determined by audition. Includes the value of all other merit and non-need based grants. Audition required.

  • Music Participation Awards for non-majors

    Music Participation Awards for non-majors: $1,000 – $4,000. Offered to students not majoring in music but who are participating in an Otterbein Music department ensemble. These awards are given on the basis of demonstrated talent as determined by audition. Audition required.

  • Athletic Band

    Athletic Band: $1,000. Offered to students participating in athletic band, including color guard and baton twirlers. Audition required.

  • Talent Awards for Art, Communication, Theater and Dance

    Talent Awards for Art, Communication, Theater and Dance: $500 – $8,000. Offered to students majoring in Art, Communications and Theater, or minoring in Dance. These awards are given on the basis of demonstrated talent as determined by audition, portfolio review, written essay and/or interview. Additional steps required.

Other Opportunities

  • Legacy Award

    Legacy Award: $1,000. Offered to students whose parent(s) or grandparent(s) attended Otterbein.

  • Sibling Awards

    Sibling Awards: $1,000. Offered to each student with a sibling concurrently enrolled at Otterbein.

  • Yellow Ribbon Program

    Otterbein participates in the Yellow Ribbon program with special awards for students using post 9/11 GI Bill educational benefits.

  • Otterbein United Methodist Ministerial Grant

    Otterbein United Methodist Ministerial Grant: $500 – $7,000. Offered to Otterbein students with a parent who is a United Methodist Minister and who has unmet financial need. FAFSA Required. This grant replaces other Otterbein need-based aid.

  • Ammons Thomas Scholarship

    Ammons Thomas Scholarship: $1,000 – $5,000. Offered to multicultural students who demonstrate strong scholarship and leadership. Consideration for this award is based on review of the student’s entire application. Stacks upon base merit award. Students receiving the Ammons Thomas award are not eligible for the International Baccalaureate Scholarship. 2.75 GPA.

  • International Baccalaureate Scholarship

    International Baccalaureate Scholarship: $1,000 – $5000. Awarded to recognize participation in the IB Programme. Students taking at least two courses are eligible. Award amount is determined by level of achievement and on an individual basis. Stacks on base merit award. Students receiving IB Scholarships are not eligible for the Ammons Thomas scholarship, Community Service award, Van Sant Leadership award, talent or participation awards or Endowed Scholarships.

Awards Requiring Separate Application

Otterbein offers special endowed scholarships, GO:Fund Award (Guaranteed Opportunity Fund), CardinalCorps awards and the Van Sant Leadership award that require separate applications.

GO:Fund Award (Guaranteed Opportunity Fund): $2,500. The GO:Fund is a one-time grant offered to students admitted to one of the following departments (English, History & Political Science, Modern Languages, or Religion & Philosophy) to support participation in an Otterbein-approved study abroad or internship opportunity during the student’s junior or senior year. To receive the grant, students must remain in the department to which they were admitted, maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and have been consecutively enrolled fulltime for at least four semesters.

CardinalCorps Leaders are a group of students who coordinate weekly service programs at Otterbein. Van Sant Fellows serve as ambassadors for leadership development on campus.  Students who are awarded these scholarships will receive $1500 each year ($750 per semester).  These scholarships are awarded to first year students during the admission process only, and are renewable.  Current Otterbein students are not eligible to apply for this award. Questions? Email the Center for Community Engagement at

For questions about the endowment application email the Admission Office at

Eligibility for Otterbein Adult & Transfer Scholarships

Full-time transfer students with 30 earned credit hours from their institution and who meet the GPA guidelines are eligible for several transfer 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

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