Press Release

December 13, 2022 | By Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan has received a 2023 Choose Ohio First (COF) grant to support Ohio residents pursuing STEM degrees in one of 28 eligible OWU majors. (Photo by Allie Sanzenbacher)

Full STEM Ahead

Ohio Wesleyan Earns 2023 Choose Ohio First Grant to Support Scholarships for State Residents

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University has been awarded a 2023 Choose Ohio First grant of nearly $960,000 to provide scholarships, academic support, and work-based learning experiences to Ohio students pursuing degrees in the STEM or STEM education fields of science (including medicine), technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The State of Ohio and Ohio Department of Higher Education announced the 2023 awards this week, including Ohio Wesleyan’s five-year grant to fund scholarships for incoming students. The Choose Ohio First (COF) grants are part of a strategic effort to build Ohio’s economic strength by preparing a ready workforce for STEM-related industries.

According to the Ohio Department of Higher Education, 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 underrepresented STEM student groups including women and students of color.”

Ohio Wesleyan President Rock Jones, Ph.D., said the university is honored to receive its second Choose Ohio First grant in less than two years in recognition of its contributions to the state’s economic future.

“An Ohio Wesleyan liberal arts education helps students to think critically, work collaboratively, communicate effectively, and understand issues broadly and deeply from multiple academic perspectives,” Jones said. “Our STEM graduates will combine these skills with the specialized knowledge from their majors to help Ohio keep pace with the changing economy and to lead in the ongoing effort to invent, innovate, and improve lives everywhere.”

In addition to four-year renewable scholarships, Ohio Wesleyan’s COF students will receive comprehensive career and support services as well as guaranteed internship and research opportunities supported by the OWU Connection, the university’s signature student experience.

In recognition of the caliber of Ohio Wesleyan’s STEM students and majors, the university earlier this year was included in two college collaborations supported by Intel’s $17.7 million investment in a new Semiconductor Education and Research Program.

Ohio Wesleyan is part of the Intel-supported Center for Advanced Semiconductor Fabrication Research and Education (CAFE) and the Ohio Partnership for a Diverse and Inclusive Semiconductor Ecosystem and Workforce. The technology company is building a $20 billion semiconductor manufacturing site in central Ohio set to begin production in 2025.

Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner said Ohio Wesleyan’s new Choose Ohio First grant will help provide the productive, well-educated workforce needed to help central Ohio evolve into a high-technology hub.

“The continued support of the Choose Ohio First program means more of Ohio’s STEM students have an additional springboard to success,” Gardner said. “This new award exemplifies Ohio Wesleyan’s continued commitment to such critical fields of study as computer science, data analytics, and healthcare, as well as a commitment to its talented STEM students, who will also benefit from work-based learning opportunities.”

According to the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the state has committed more than $161.3 million over the past four years to support STEM and STEM Education scholarships. Learn more about the department and the Choose Ohio First grant program at

Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s STEM-related majors, enrolling at the university, and scholarship opportunities at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature experience, the OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to understand issues from multiple academic perspectives, volunteer in service to others, build a diverse and global perspective, and translate classroom knowledge into real-world experience through internships, research, and other hands-on learning. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “Best Colleges” lists. Connect with OWU expert interview sources at or learn more at