Choose Ohio First

Through generous support from the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) participates in the Choose Ohio First Scholarship (COF) Program. This program provides competitive scholarship funding to recruit and retain Ohio students in innovative undergraduate programs. The Choose Ohio First Scholarship is part of a strategic effort to bolster Ohio’s economic strength by ensuring a ready workforce for STEMM-related industries.

CWRU receives funding to provide scholarships in the following programs:

  1. Supporting STEMM Success (SSS)
  2. Nursing
  3. Data Science
  4. Neuroscience
  5. Manufacturing
  6. Computer Science

All of CWRU’s COF programs emphasize career opportunities in STEMM fields and encourage students to participate in internship and cooperative experiences.

Eligibility requirements:

  • CWRU undergraduate student
  • Ohio resident
  • Have a demonstrated financial need and meet state and federal financial aid eligibility requirements. (Note: Students on full scholarships are NOT eligible.)
  • Agreement to follow Choose Ohio First program requirements

COF scholarships are awarded to incoming first-year students as part of their financial aid package. Choose Ohio First scholarships are renewable beyond the first year pending satisfactory academic performance.

Supporting STEMM Success (SSS)

The Supporting STEMM Success (SSS) program is designed for any STEMM major who could benefit from additional academic support to be successful; the program specifically targets students who have identified interest in STEMM majors but are less well prepared in mathematics. Students work closely with their course instructors to develop a plan for successful completion of their mathematics requirements. Through mentorship, additional instruction and other activities, such as the Spring Northeast Ohio Choose Ohio First Student Research Conference, SSS scholars participate with groups at Cleveland State University, Kent State University, Cuyahoga Community College and Youngstown State University. The program also works with GE Lighting, Explorys, Avery Dennison and other organizations to place students in internships and co-ops.

Nursing — Research, Education and Practice

The Nursing — Research, Education and Practice program supports students seeking careers in this high-demand field; registered nursing has the most job openings annually in Ohio according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), with more than 4,000 job openings per year. COF nursing scholars receive academic support, mentorship and help with resume writing and interviewing skills from the CWRU Career Center.

Data Science and Analytics

The COF program in Data Science and Analytics is designed to encourage students to pursue careers in data science and analytics — an interdisciplinary field that combines computing, data engineering, mathematics, statistics and other disciplines. Organizations of all sizes rely on data to manage operations and drive decision-making. CWRU's COF scholarship program will help prepare students for occupations in fields identified by the Ohio Office of Work force Development as “in demand” as well as assist students in maintaining and graduating with STEMM majors.


This program is a partnership between the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Neuroscience in the School of Medicine. Courses are taught by faculty from the neuroscience, biology, psychology, cognitive science and neurology departments. Students benefit from established relationships with members of the Cleveland Brain Health Initiative and entities of the BioAlliance. The program also leverages CWRU’s strengths in health care and biomedical research to prepare students for various related careers—which are estimated at more than 4,000 according to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.


The Case School of Engineering, supported by Sears think[box] and the Roger E. Susi First-Year Engineering Experience, supports students seeking careers in fields supporting modern manufacturing of engineered products. Manufacturing is being revolutionized by advances in data analytics, the industrial internet of things, advanced materials and machine design. Relevant majors include materials science and engineering, polymer science and engineering, systems and controls engineering and mechanical engineering. Choose Ohio First manufacturing scholars receive academic support, mentorship and help with resume writing and interviewing skills from the CWRU Career Center.

Computer Science

The COF program in Computer Science supports students pursuing degrees in computer science and related areas to close the gap between the number of computer science graduates and industry demand. Computer science-related job opportunities are abundant and can be found in every field imaginable: engineering, biology, medicine, finance, journalism, art, transportation and more. The COF scholarship will help to attract more students to this in-demand field. COF Computer Science Scholars receive academic support and mentorship from faculty, professional navigators and trained peer advisors. Scholars will also engage in career development workshops to facilitate securing placements for research as well as internships, co-ops and jobs.