COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Like most students enrolled in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, Holly Huellemeier has received empowering financial assistance in the form of scholarship.
“Getting that scholarship from the college really motivated me academically and it made me want to come here because it made me feel wanted,” said Huellemeier, a freshman from Georgetown, Kentucky. “It motivated me to strive for academic excellence because I know that there is someone behind me.”
Offering scholarships — which are supported through donations — helps the college attract top students who are selecting from competing institutions.
“College is an investment and we have a team in place to see how we can enhance that investment,” said Jill Tyson, CFAES coordinator of prospective student services.
Most years, about three-fourths of students who paid their acceptance fees received scholarships, said Pat Whittington, assistant dean of student development for CFAES.
Last year, that figure was closer to 80 percent, Whittington said.
Before deciding to attend Ohio State, Huellemeier said she had also visited Purdue University, the University of Michigan, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Kentucky.
“No other university pursued me in the way that OSU pursued me,” she said. “I feel empowered.”
While the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering appealed to Huellemeier, she wasn’t entirely sold on Ohio State until her second visit, when she toured the CFAES campus and met with faculty.
“It wasn’t just the money, because I would have come here anyway after seeing the community here,” Huellemeier said. “But to alleviate the stress of student loan debt, it is such a burden.”
Huellemeier said she made the “life-changing decision” to attend Ohio State after winning the George B. Durell Memorial Scholarship (601869), a renewable scholarship for students in the college. In addition, she earned an award from the Joseph D. Blickle Educational Development Fund (600592), which supports students in agricultural engineering.
Benefiting from scholarships has also inspired Aaron Miller, of Amanda, a senior majoring in agriscience education.
“That's a real selfless thing they’re doing,” Miller said of donors Sue and Walt Bailey, who created the Sue and Walt Bailey Endowed Scholarship Fund (640262), which supports Ross County students majoring in food science and nutrition or agricscience education, and the Sue and Walt Bailey Scholarship Fund (312983), which supports undergraduates in food science and nutrition.
“Eventually, when I get settled, I want to create a scholarship, too, to pay it forward,” Miller said. “My life is going to be easier as a result of the scholarship and I want to do that, too.”
Miller, who is receiving the Bailey S&W Scholarship this year, said the award has brought plenty of stability to his family situation and has meant that he will worry less about paying off student loans after graduation.
He is currently student teaching at Southeastern High School in Chillicothe. He teaches several different courses: agricultural construction, natural resources, animal science and student leadership.
More information about donations and the impact of giving to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences can be found at cfaes.osu.edu/development.