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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Criss, E. Robert, BME ’50, and Lois Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering

The E. Robert, BME ’50, and Lois Criss Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering was established by Bob and Lois Criss as a Scholarship for Excellence to provide a full scholarship for an outstanding student in mechanical engineering. The student shall fulfill all criteria set forth by the University to require a Scholarship for Excellence, as well as have declared a major in mechanical engineering.

Natives of Akron, the Criss' both attended the University. Bob served as a combat infantryman in World War II. He was severely wounded in the Battle of the Bulge in January 1945 and was discharged from the army hospital in August 1946, just in time to enroll in the University's College of Engineering in September. He was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity. Lois Gill was a student in the general college. She was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority. They met on campus in 1947 and were married in December 1948.

Following graduation with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, Bob had job assignments in product design and development and machine design and installation. He joined the Kyova Pipe Company in 1956 as plant engineer and was responsible for the construction, equipment installation, and start-up of the company's new plant in Ironton, Ohio. He built and served as plant manager of the plastic pipe plant in Springfield, Ill. He joined the General Electric Company in 1966. Utilizing his engineering training and prior experience, he constructed and equipped a major production facility in Worthington, Ohio. He also oversaw the construction of a plant in Ireland. During his 19 years at General Electric, he was responsible for many environmental engineering projects and for 15 years was responsible for compliance with all federal, state, and local EPA regulations. Bob was a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Ohio for more than 30 years. Bob credits the broad-based curriculum offered at The University of Akron, combined with the experience and focus garnered through serving his country, with providing the tools for a successful career. Together, Lois and Bob raised three sons: William, Robert, and Karl and have established this scholarship to help provide the same kind of educational opportunity Bob received to talented young people desiring a career in engineering.

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