Financial Aid and Scholarships

Youngstown State University has a comprehensive program of financial assistance which includes scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans. Most of these programs are administered by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Links to the following resources are conveniently located at the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships' website Financial Aid and Scholarships.

  1. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): A common form used to apply for federal and state need-based grant aid and student loans.
  2. Youngstown State University Scholarship Search: An online search engine to locate and apply for YSU-specific scholarship funds offered through the Youngstown State University Foundation.
  3. Youngstown State University Foundation Scholarship Application: An online form application which, upon completion, considers students for a number of scholarships awarded through the YSU Foundation and its donors. 

All YSU applicants for admission, or current students, seeking financial assistance through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should apply no later than December 1 for new students and February 15 for continuing students. Students interested in applying for institutional grants and scholarships should adhere to those individual deadlines as noted on their respective applications.

For maximum consideration, both new and continuing students are encouraged to meet priority deadlines in applying for financial aid.


Scholarships are gift aid awarded to students on the basis of superior academic performance or talent, other specific criteria as set forth by the individual donor, and/or on the basis of financial need. Scholarships do not have to be repaid. Amounts may vary depending on the academic ability, financial need, and/or the current state of funding or endowment support for the scholarship. Scholarship funds have been established at YSU by individuals, corporations, clubs, and both religious and fraternal organizations. In addition, the Youngstown State University Foundation administers endowments which provide substantial funding for numerous scholarship programs at Youngstown State University, including the Scholarships for Excellence program.

Scholarships awarded to current Youngstown State University students are based on the student’s academic record, character, and/or financial need. Scholarships for incoming freshmen are awarded on the basis of high school academic record, grade point average (GPA), scores on standard college entrance examinations, and in limited situations, class rank. Scholarship applicants are considered for all scholarships appropriate to their aims and interests.

To be considered for scholarships, students should complete all appropriate forms by their established due date each year. To search a complete listing of scholarships, visit the office website.  Additionally, students seeking consideration for need-based scholarships will also need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) found at

Scholarships for Excellence

Please check with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for the most current scholarship information.

Scholarships for Excellence programs are awarded by the University and jointly funded by the YSU Foundation and the University. The YSU Foundation, with an endowment of over $300 million, is committed to providing the “edge of excellence” for the University, providing more than $10.9 million in scholarship assistance annually for YSU students. The Scholarships for Excellence programs are awarded to eligible new high school graduates, transfer students, and current students. Current and transfer students will automatically be considered for these scholarships. In addition, incoming freshmen should apply for admission by February 15 to be considered for these scholarships automatically.

Please note: Undergraduate Scholarships for Excellence program guidelines are subject to change. Students cannot be awarded more than one scholarship through the Scholarships for Excellence program.

Click the following link to view a current list of the Scholarships for Excellence.

YSU Foundation Scholarship Application                                                                                                     

The Youngstown State University Foundation (YSUF) is an independent, non-profit organization that distributes resources from privately held funds to support YSU students through scholarships. The YSU Foundation is the designated philanthropic entity of Youngstown State University. Upon completion of the single application, students will be considered for a number of YSU Foundation scholarships. See the YSU Foundation Scholarship Application on the office website for additional information and to apply.

Other YSU Scholarships

For a listing of scholarship opportunities currently available to YSU students, go to the Scholarship Search.

Students are also encouraged to explore these supplemental options for scholarship resources:

  • Their particular college or department for academic specific scholarships
  • Student's and/or parent(s)’ employer for scholarships or fee remission opportunities
  • Local community resources for scholarship programs, such as church organizations and libraries
  • Free internet web searches through sites such as Fastweb or FinAid


Grants-in-Aid are gift monies that do not need to be repaid. The amount of grant aid awarded is determined by the recipient’s financial need and/or academic record and character. The following is a list of Grant-in-Aid funds a student could potentially qualify to receive:

  • Federal Pell Grant: A need-based federal grant provided to eligible undergraduate students pursuing a first bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree. A FAFSA must be filed yearly to be considered for this grant.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): A need-based grant funded by the federal government and awarded by YSU. Students who meet the eligibility requirements for the Federal Pell Grant, and meet the priority filing deadline of December 1 for new students and February 15 for continuing students, receive primary consideration for this campus-based aid program.
  • Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG): Grant funds awarded by the State of Ohio to full-time, undergraduate students who are residents of Ohio and who are pursuing a first bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree. Eligibility is based on family income. The FAFSA must be completed by October 1 of each year to be considered for this grant.   
  • Pennsylvania State Grant Program (PA State Grant): Grant funds provided to Pennsylvania residents who are YSU students. Students may be full-time or half-time undergraduates enrolled in an approved program of study requiring at least two years to complete. File the FAFSA by May 1 of each year to be considered for this grant.
  • YSU Foundation PA State Grant Supplemental Grant: Due to the legislative cap on Pennsylvania grants to Pennsylvania residents attending Ohio universities, YSU has initiated a supplemental grant program funded by YSU and the YSU Foundation. This grant will be automatically awarded to YSU students who are awarded and eligible to receive a PA State grant. The supplemental grant will be awarded in amounts up to 200% of the PA State grant, subject to availability of funds.
  • Veterans’ Administration Education Assistance: The Department of Veterans’ Affairs provides education assistance to veterans or current armed service personnel. Programs include contributory plans, rehabilitation benefits, work-study, and dependent/spousal benefits. Contact the Office of Veterans Affairs at (330) 941-2503 or toll-free at 888-GI-BILL1 (888-442-4551).
  • Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation Awards: Programs funded by the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation in Ohio (BVR) and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in Pennsylvania (OVR) that provide grants for tuition, fees, and/or books for residents with disabilities. Eligibility is determined by each state’s Bureau.
  • Ohio War Orphans: Grant funds for children of disabled or deceased U.S. Armed Forces veterans. There is a needs test required, the student must be an Ohio resident attending an Ohio college or university, and be under the age of 25 upon application. The grant pays a percentage of tuition and fees. For additional information, contact (614) 752-9528.
  • Ohio National Guard: Provides grants paying for 100% of instructional and general tuition fees for members who are full-time undergraduates. Apply through the National Guard. Pay close attention to deadlines. For additional information, contact (614) 336-7053


To assist in paying for educational and living expenses, currently enrolled students in good standing may apply for on-campus employment. On-campus employment opportunities are posted online.  Students are encouraged to check regularly for open positions.

Federal Work-Study is a need-based program that provides eligible students with funding for on-campus employment. Federal Work-Study students receive paychecks for hours worked and may utilize those funds toward educational and living expenses. To receive maximum consideration for this campus-based program, the FAFSA must be filed by the priority deadline of December 1 for new students and February 15 for continuing students with the student having answered “yes” to the question “Are you interested in being considered for work-study?” on the application. 


Loans are a form of self-help financial aid utilized by many students to help meet educational expenses. Borrowing responsibly is key as many loans have borrowing limits, accrue interest, and must be repaid.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans: The federally funded Subsidized Stafford Loan has its interest paid while the student maintains at least half-time enrollment. Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan interest accrues from the time the loan is first disbursed. (Note: Graduate students are only eligible for unsubsidized loans.) For a list of the most current interest rates on Stafford Loans, please see the the Federal Student Loan page on the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website. Repayment of both types of Stafford Loans begins six months after graduation, separation, or enrollment of less than half-time. Student borrowers cannot exceed their designated annual loan limits and maximum total debt allowed by federal law (see the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship’s website for more information). 
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan: This federally funded loan is for the parents of dependent, undergraduate students who are potentially eligible to borrow based on their credit-worthiness. Parents interested in this loan option should log into and complete the Parent PLUS Loan application for consideration. Repayment of the Federal PLUS Loan generally begins sixty days after the final loan disbursement of each academic year. Current interest rates on the Federal Parent PLUS loan can be found on the Federal Student Loan page of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website.
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professional Students: This federally funded loan is available to students who are enrolled in a graduate or professional program (a program that leads to a master’s or doctoral degree) and who have reached their annual Stafford Loan limit. Additional requirements include minimum half-time enrollment and good credit history as a credit check is required for approval. Repayment will begin within sixty days of the loan reaching full disbursement. Current interest rates on the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate and Professional Students can be found on the Federal Student Loan page of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website.  

Please see the department's website for the most current information on all federal loan programs.

Part-time Students
Aid is available for part-time students, though the amount of part-time aid and the types of aid available vary. Be sure to file the FAFSA by December 1 for new students and February 15 for continuing students for maximum consideration. It is also recommended to check directly with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to discuss how part-time attendance can ultimately affect a student’s overall financial aid eligibility.

Federal Verification

Students selected for verification are required to submit certain documentation to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Students should submit this requested documentation as soon as possible so that the processing of financial aid is not delayed. Even if the student initially applies on time, any delay in processing due to verification could result in that student not receiving financial aid that they may have otherwise been eligible to obtain. Processing typically takes up to 3 weeks, but can take longer during peak processing periods.

Keep copies of all tax forms, tax return transcript(s), and W-2 forms each year, as well as any documents or forms submitted to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Submitting Tax Information
There are two ways to provide your tax information for the verification process:

  1. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool provided on the FAFSA (recommended)
  2. Provide a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript or signed copy of the IRS tax form 1040

Tax return transcripts can be ordered by calling 1-800-908-9946, or online.

Special Circumstances
If a student and/or their family have unusual circumstances that have occurred during the academic year, such as excessive medical expenses or a loss in income, contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to discuss the situation with a counselor.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Federal and State of Ohio regulations require that Youngstown State University review the academic progress of students annually, whether they are a previous aid recipient or not. SAP is evaluated during the spring semester. The purpose of this review process is to measure whether a student is making satisfactory progress towards his or her educational goals.  All federal programs and the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) are affected when a student is not in compliance with the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.  The Pennsylvania State Grant Program (PA State Grant) is not governed by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, but rather by the respective state.

YSU’s Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for undergraduate and graduate students include the following three components:

1. Grade Point Average (GPA)

All students at Youngstown State University are required to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average.  Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA.  Graduate students are required to maintain a 3.00 GPA.  The following grades are included in the GPA calculation: A, B, C, D, and F.  The GPA calculation excludes the following grades: CR-credit; NC-no credit; AU-audit; I-incomplete; W-withdrawal.  For incompletes, the credit hours apply to the term the student was enrolled, not the term the student was making up the incomplete. Students who wish to improve their cumulative GPA by repeating a course will be subject to a GPA recalculation. However, a recalculation will be made for only the immediately preceding grade for the course, regardless of the number of repeats, and may be made only once for any course.

Students academically suspended cannot receive federal aid during the period of suspension.

2.  Max Time Frame

When a student's attempted hours reach 150% of the maximum hours needed to complete an associate (between 90 and 110 hours) or bachelor's degree (between 180 and 216 hours), federal financial aid eligibility will be suspended unless the time frame is extended with an appeal accompanied by an Academic Advisor Evaluation.  Graduate degrees must be completed by the length of time standards established and monitored by the School of Graduate Studies.

Please Note:

  • All credit hours attempted including graded courses, hours accepted as transfer credit, credit/no credit courses, repeated courses or hours when changing majors or degrees are included in the maximum time frame calculation regardless of the number of degrees a student chooses to pursue. Students seeking second degrees may reach the maximum time frame component at an accelerated pace under this policy. 
  • All terms of attendance are reviewed including terms of remedial coursework or when no federal aid was received, these hours are included in the attempted hours.

3. Percentage Completion

At the time of the annual assessment, completed hours as a percentage of attempted hours, must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Freshmen (0-29 hours earned) must complete a minimum of 55% of the total cumulative hours attempted;
  2. Sophomore (30-59 hours earned) must complete a minimum of 60% of the total cumulative hours attempted;
  3. Junior (60-89 hours earned) must complete a minimum of 65% of the total cumulative hours attempted;
  4. Senior (90+ hours earned) must complete a minimum of 70% of the total cumulative hours attempted;
  5. Graduate (13+ grad hours attempted) must complete a minimum of 50% of the total cumulative hours attempted

Percentage completion is calculated by dividing earned hours by cumulative hours attempted.  For financial aid satisfactory academic progress purposes, attempted hours exclude audited hours and withdrawals made by the last date to receive a 100% refund.  The following grades negatively impact the percentage completion calculation: F-failed; NC-no credit; AU-audit; I-incomplete; W-withdrawal.  For Incompletes, note that the credit hours apply to the term in which the student was enrolled in the course, not the term the student was making up the Incomplete. Repeated courses are included in the percentage completion calculation.

Transfer Students
Transfer students will be eligible for federal aid through the spring semester of the academic year they begin at YSU. During the spring semester, these students will be evaluated under the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Transfer hours will be included in the number of hours earned and attempted, but only YSU grades enter into the GPA calculation.

Non-Degree Students (undergraduates, post-undergraduate, and graduate)
A student must be enrolled in a degree program to receive federal financial aid.

SAP Appeal Process

If a student is non-compliant, he/she must appeal the denial of financial aid by submitting an appeal form that explains the circumstances.  Supporting documentation may be required to review conditions that can include: severe physical or mental illness or injury of the student or immediate family, death of a relative, or other mitigating circumstances.   Appeals will be evaluated by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Committee, which will respond via email with the decision within 30 days, whether approved or denied.

Students who do not appeal, or who are denied by the Committee, will not be eligible for federal financial aid programs effective summer semester and until they satisfy all deficiencies without receiving federal student aid funds. Federal regulations require students who successfully appeal to be placed on a semester based Financial Aid Probation and Academic Progress Plan. At the end of the probationary term, the semester based grade point average, semester based completion percentage, and/or semester based academic action plan requirements must be met to receive federal aid for the subsequent semester unless across-the-board compliance with overall SAP was established. The decision made by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Committee is final. As previously indicated, students can expect to receive an appeal decision via email within 30 days of the office receiving their Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form.

Financial Aid Refund Policy

The refunding of financial aid funds to the appropriate funding source corresponds to federal regulations, the Return of Title IV fund requirements and YSU’s refund policy regarding student fees upon withdrawal from class(es).  This policy is explained in greater detail in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Commonly Used Financial Terms

Cost of Attendance (COA): The total cost of attending school for one academic year, including direct costs (tuition, fees, living expenses (food and housing) and indirect costs (books, supplies, and equipment, transportation, and additional miscellaneous personal expenses).

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The amount that a student and their family will be expected to contribute toward educational expenses, as determined by the federal government, based on the information supplied on the FAFSA. For more information regarding the formula used to determine the EFC, go to the "How Aid is Calculated" section of the Federal Student Aid website. Information on EFC calculations can also be obtained by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID.  

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid): A common form found online at that a student (and parents when applicable) complete in order for the federal processor to determine the student/family EFC. The EFC is then used by YSU to determine a student’s overall financial need. FAFSA must be completed each year in order for a student to be considered for loans, grants, and certain scholarships.

Financial Aid: All forms of financial assistance which include gift aid (scholarships and grants), as well as self-help aid (work programs and loans).

Financial Need: The difference between the Cost of Attendance and the Expected Family Contribution.

Gift Aid: Aid, usually in the form of scholarships and grants, that does not have to be paid back.

Grant: Gift aid awarded to a student on the basis of financial need, and in some cases, academic performance and character. Grants do not have to be paid back.

Scholarship: Gift aid awarded on the basis of academic performance, talent, other unique criteria as established by the donor/organization, and/or financial need.

Subsidized: A subsidized loan is a need-based loan in which the government pays the interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time in school.

Verification/Documentation: The process by which YSU confirms the accuracy of the information supplied on FAFSAs each year as required by federal regulation. If a student is selected for verification/documentation, they (and their parents when applicable) will be asked to supply the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships with additional information and copies of documents such as W-2’s and federal tax return transcripts. 

Unsubsidized: An unsubsidized loan is not based on financial need. The borrower is responsible for all interest that accrues. 

Office Information And Hours

Mailing Address:

Youngstown State University
Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
One University Plaza
Youngstown, OH 44555-3505

Telephone: (330) 941-3505

Appointment Line: (330) 941-3506

Fax: (330) 941-1659


Web address:

Office Hours: Monday-Friday; 8:00am-4:30pm

Walk-in Hours: Monday-Friday; 10:00am-12:00pm and 2:00pm-4:00pm