Kent State Receives $1.5 Million in Choose Ohio First Scholarships for STEM Students

Kent State University has been awarded $1.5 million from the state of Ohio for the Choose Ohio First program that supports students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Among the 44 colleges and universities selected as the new Choose Ohio First award recipients in Fiscal Year 2022, Kent State is one of three institutions awarded the highest amount for scholarships, $1.5 million, which will be distributed over a five-year period.

The Choose Ohio First program began in 2008 as a way to increase the number of Ohio students enrolling in and successfully completing STEM programs at Ohio’s public and independent colleges and universities. Higher education institutions are vital engines for workforce vitality in the state, and the Choose Ohio First program provides support that will advance the economic growth of each region in the state. Designated Choose Ohio First programs are integrated with regional economies, meeting statewide educational needs, facilitating the completion of baccalaureate degrees in a cost-effective manner and recruiting underserved STEM student groups, including women and students of color.

Building on the strength of Kent State’s current Choose Ohio First-funded STEM programs, the university will focus on mathematics and engineering programs with the new scholarship award. The selected mathematics program at both Kent and Stark campuses will include a graduate program for teachers, and strong emerging programs in aeronautics and engineering at both the Kent and Tuscarawas campuses will be targeted.

The university will leverage its programs at the Kent Campus with the university’s Regional Campuses to reach additional underserved populations and provide pathways for students to connect between two- and four-year programs in these disciplines. 

“Choose Ohio First resources will greatly enhance STEM education at Kent State, with a focus on mathematics and engineering, for a diverse population of Ohio students,” said Lique Coolen, Ph.D., associate dean of Kent State’s College of Arts and Sciences and professor of biological sciences, who is the Choose Ohio First program contact for the university. “Our goal is to provide them with affordable higher education and career opportunities in Ohio and to fill the statewide need for STEM-trained professionals.”

Kent State holds the esteemed distinction of being one of only five institutions in Ohio to be recognized as an elite research university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

In total, the state has awarded $42,920,740 in Choose Ohio First scholarships in Fiscal Year 2022 that is estimated to support 4,850 students pursuing STEM degrees and certificates.

Recipients of the Choose Ohio First scholarships are required to participate in a work-based learning opportunity, such as a STEM internship, co-op or research experience, to help them transition effectively to the STEM workforce after graduation. 

For more information about the Choose Ohio First program at Kent State, visit

# # #

Media Contacts:
Eric Mansfield,, 330-672-2797
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Tuesday, July 26, 2022 03:45 PM
UPDATED: Saturday, April 13, 2024 10:38 AM
Emily Vincent