Named scholarships

When it comes to earning a college degree, the greatest obstacle can be funding.

For this reason, The University of Akron is pleased for the opportunity each year to assist talented, deserving students achieve their dreams, thanks to more than 1,300 named scholarships established through the kindness and generosity of thousands of UA alumni and friends, corporations, and foundations.

Scholarships truly are the best way to ensure that today’s students persist to graduation. Scholarships allow students to enroll full time and remain focused on their studies; they also reduce drop-out rates, decrease the stress of student loans, and shorten the road to graduation.

The need for scholarships grows each year, however, as students continue to face an increased financial burden in pursuit of a college degree. In fact, 94 percent of today’s baccalaureate students borrow to pay for college – versus just 45 percent in 1993. Across the country, the average college-related debt for borrowers in the class of 2016 was $37,172; for Ohio students, that figure was $30,239.

If you are interested in making a significant contribution to student success, please consider a gift to the MAKING A DIFFERENCE AND MOVING FORWARD scholarship campaign, which is the University's most important initiative. You may also establish a named scholarship at The University of Akron, which can be created to honor a living person, in memory of a loved one, or to contribute to the growth of an area of study.

To learn more, please contact the Department of Development at 330-972-7238

How do I apply for a scholarship?

This is not the page to apply for scholarships.

Students who want to apply for scholarships should visit the scholarship page on the Financial Aid site.

The Department of Development does not accept applications for or distribute scholarships. Scholarships are distributed through the University’s Office of Student Financial Aid.

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Pianalto, Sandra Woman’s Leadership Endowed Scholarship

The Sandra Pianalto Woman’s Leadership Endowed Scholarship was established in 2018 by Sandra Pianalto, who funded the scholarship by generously donating her compensation as Executive-in-Residence, Chair in Banking at The University of Akron.  The Executive-in-Residence position was established in 2014 in the College of Business Administration with an initial gift by FirstMerit Bank, N.A., now Huntington Bank.

Sandra “Sandy” Pianalto graduated summa cum laude in 1976 from The University of Akron with a B.A. in economics.  After graduation, Pianalto became a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., and was on staff of the Budget Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.  She continued to follow the guidance of her UA economic professor and mentor, Dr. Elizabeth Erickson, to look for opportunities to help shape a healthy economy.  Pianalto began her career at the Federal Reserve Bank in 1983 and held various roles of increasing responsibility over 20 years, culminating as its President in 2003.  With advanced degrees in economics and management from George Washington University and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, she enjoyed helping to shape the culture of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.  Pianalto is widely recognized as one of the most powerful business leaders in Northeast Ohio and for guiding national monetary policy.

Pianalto retired from the Federal Reserve Bank in 2014 and remains committed to a life of service.  She serves as Chair of the Board of University Hospitals; Life Director for the United Way Greater Cleveland; a board member for College Now Greater Cleveland; and as Executive-in-Residence, Chair in Banking at UA’s College of Business Administration.

Pianalto is passionate about education and opportunities for women to develop strong leadership skills that will position them for success while improving surrounding communities.

The Sandra Pianalto Woman’s Leadership Endowed Scholarship will be awarded annually to a full-time undergraduate student-studying in the College of Business Administration at The University of Akron.  Scholarship recipients and scholarship amounts may vary, depending on the availability of funds.  The recipient will have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and demonstrate an exceptional work ethic, outstanding leadership in both the classroom and community, and a dedication to community service.  Preference will be given to female students studying economics.  The scholarship will be applied to tuition and fees only.  The College of Business Administration Office of the Dean will identify candidates, with final selection by Pianalto.  In Pianalto’s absence, the Dean of the College of Business Administration will determine the recipient according to this criteria.

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