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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Wagstaff, Dr. H. Reid and Susan Smucker Scholarship

The establishment of The Dr. H. Reid and Susan Smucker Wagstaff Scholarship honors Susan Wagstaff's pro-education parents, the late Paul and Lorraine Smucker, whose historic connection to The University of Akron Wayne College and support of higher education in Wayne County is legendary. With their gift, the Wagstaffs also recognize and applaud the exceptional leadership of Dr. Luis M. Proenza as president of The University of Akron from 1999 to 2014. Most notably, the Wagstaffs desire to lessen the financial burden of higher education for Wayne County students. The Wagstaff Scholarship, when fully funded, will provide up to $5,000 annually in academic scholarships to students in good academic standing enrolled at The University of Akron Wayne College and who plan to matriculate to The University of Akron main campus to complete their degree. Scholarship support may be used to help defray the cost of tuition and fees.

Susan Smucker Wagstaff is the great-great granddaughter of J.M. Smucker Company founder Jerome Smucker, and the daughter of Paul and Lorraine Smucker. She is an art and design graduate of the University of Michigan. Susan Smucker Wagstaff’s father, Paul Smucker, was a determined advocate for the creation of a branch campus of The University of Akron in Wayne County. While serving as president of the J.M. Smucker Company, Mr. Smucker enlisted the help of other community leaders who shared his belief that an institution of higher education was needed in Wayne County. Together, Wayne County’s leading citizens were instrumental in founding The University of Akron Wayne College in Orville, Ohio, in 1972. Susan Wagstaff’s brothers, Tim Smucker and Richard Smucker, serve as co-CEOs of the J.M. Smucker Company. In addition, two of H. Reid and Susan Smucker Wagstaff’s four children, Paul Smucker Wagstaff and Kimberly Wagstaff Tober, hold leadership positions with J.M. Smucker Company.

H. Reid Wagstaff holds a doctorate in economic geography from the University of Michigan. He is retired from the J.M. Smucker Company, where he served in a number of positions, including director of fruit procurement, prior to being named vice president of government and environmental affairs. Prior to his role at the J.M. Smucker Company, Dr. Wagstaff served on the faculty at Arizona State University, teaching courses in economic geography and the impact on the environment. Among Dr. Wagstaff’s publications is the book “A Geography of Energy.” Dr. Wagstaff serves on a number of boards, including the Longyear Foundation and Museum in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Dr. and Mrs. Wagstaff are close friends of and generous donors to The University of Akron. Their past gifts have supported Wayne College and specifically, The Paul H. Smucker Scholarship, The Paul and Lorraine Smucker Learning Center, The Lorraine Smucker Memorial Fund, and The J.M. Smucker Company Multipurpose Room. In recognition of their commitment to Wayne College students, The University of Akron Board of Trustees has named the entrance to Wayne campus, in perpetuity, The Dr. H. Reid and Susan Smucker Wagstaff Way, noting the entry will be more commonly referred to as “Wagstaff Way.”

In selecting the Wagstaff Scholarship recipients, consideration will be given to applicants of all ages from Wayne County with a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher. If an applicant has a high school GPA of 2.5 to 2.9, that applicant also must possess a good work ethic and potential for future success. To demonstrate such characteristics, any such applicant should also submit a letter of recommendation from a guidance counselor, faculty advisor, or employer along with their scholarship application. The Wagstaff Scholarship is renewable for up to four years (two years at The University of Akron Wayne College and two years at The University of Akron main campus) for full-time students who maintain all scholarship requirements, provided however, that a Wagstaff Scholarship recipient may carry a minimum GPA that is less than the University’s standard scholarship requirements, so long as that student continues to demonstrate a strong work ethic, integrity, and the potential for future success in the workplace. The University of Akron Wayne College Scholarship Committee, with approval from the Dean of Wayne College and in consultation with The University of Akron Office of Student Financial Aid, will select the recipients of The Dr. H. Reid and Susan Smucker Wagstaff Scholarship

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