We know that families are concerned about college costs. Oberlin's financial aid policies reflect a historic commitment to inclusion and academic excellence. By committing more than $87 million annually, we meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need, making an Oberlin education accessible to students from all financial backgrounds.
As part of that commitment, Oberlin also awards generous merit-based scholarships. We review all admitted students for merit scholarships; no separate application materials are required.
Oberlin Commitment Scholarship
To ease the burden of the high cost of college, Oberlin will award a renewable $10,000 Oberlin Commitment Scholarship to all new students who apply and enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences and/or Conservatory of Music in fall 2023. All new students—domestic, international, transfer—will benefit from this scholarship. It is renewable each year at Oberlin provided that a student is enrolled full-time, maintains good academic standing and makes regular progress toward graduation.
Oberlin Pioneer Scholarship
The partnership between Oberlin College and Pioneer Academics has created an unprecedented online education model. Through this collaboration, outstanding high school students are able to conduct accredited undergraduate-level research following concrete, holistic standards.
This $5000 scholarship will be awarded to any student for attendance at Oberlin, who has participated with any Pioneer Academics program, prior to applying for and being offered admission to Oberlin.
Conservatory Dean's Awards
These scholarships are offered by the Office of Conservatory Admissions to prospective conservatory students based on audition ratings and ensemble needs. The Office of Conservatory Admissions notifies selected students at the time of admission.
In 2019-2020, Oberlin awarded nearly 100% of admitted conservatory and double-degree students merit scholarships, totaling more than $11.7 million. The Conservatory also meets 100% of demonstrated financial need and awarded an additional $2.9 million in grants for need-based aid.
John F. Oberlin Scholarships (College of Arts and Sciences)
Merit-based scholarships are available for students in the College of Arts and Sciences. The Office of Admissions makes the awards based on academic achievement and notifies students selected to receive merit awards around the time they are notified of admission.
Oberlin College National Merit Scholarships and National Achievement Scholarships
Oberlin College sponsors a National Merit Scholarship in the amount of $1,000. Finalists in the National Merit Scholarship program competition are eligible for consideration for an Oberlin-sponsored National Merit Scholarship if they declare Oberlin as their first-choice college, have filed an application for admission to Oberlin College, and have not been selected as winners of other National Merit or Corporate National Merit Scholarships.
Oberlin College has three merit-based scholarships for which eligible international students may be considered. No separate application is required; all admitted students will be considered.
The Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane Scholarship continues the outreach that enabled Mr. Mondlane to attend Oberlin College. Successful candidates will be offered up to $10,000.
Any citizen from a sub-Saharan African country who is applying to Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences is eligible.
There is no separate application for the Mondlane Scholarship, apart from the regular admissions application.
The Oberlin College Office of Admissions will select Mondlane Scholars. Criteria for selection include a strong academic record and the potential to excel within an American liberal arts curriculum. This award does not require any supplementary materials.
About Eduardo C. Mondlane (1919-1969), Oberlin Class of 1953
In fall 1951, a tall, charismatic man transferred to Oberlin College from the University of Lisbon. Thirty-two years earlier, Eduardo Mondlane had been born in a peasant village in Portuguese, East Africa, the son of a tribal chief. He attended Witwatersrand University in South Africa until forced to withdraw by the new apartheid government. Interested in the fate of his native land, Mondlane went to Portugal to study. Finding discrimination there as well, he secured a scholarship to study in the United States. What he was to call his "American Decade" began with a B.A. at Oberlin College, followed by an M.A. at Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. at Harvard. His academic field was anthropology; his field of action became African Politics.
Mondlane worked as a research officer in the Trustee Department of the United Nations, a position that led him back to Africa and, in 1962, to Dar Es-Salaam, where he took the lead in developing national liberation movement in Mozambique. Tragically, he was denied the fruits of his vision by his assassination in 1969 in Dar Es-Salaam. Mozambique attained independence in 1975.
Mondlane's cosmopolitanism, his marriage to a white American woman, and his American education, rendered him particularly suited to forge a broad and inclusive nationalist movement. It is significant that he began his American education with a degree from a liberal arts college, one whose motto at the time was "Think one person can change the world?"
Eduardo Mondlane became a prominent force in changing the political landscape of Africa. It is wholly appropriate that Oberlin College established a scholarship in his name and memory to enable another African student to follow in his path and fulfill his dream of a world of peace and justice.
The Ambassador Edwin O. Reischauer Scholarship fosters Japanese-American understanding and cooperation. Successful candidates will be offered up to $10,000. Reischauer Scholars will be educated in the liberal arts and committed to international understanding.
Any Japanese national who has been accepted for admission to the Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences is eligible for this award.
There is no separate application for the Reischauer Scholarship, apart from the regular admissions application.
The Oberlin College Office of Admissions will select Reischauer Scholars. Criteria for selection include a strong academic record and the potential to excel within an American liberal arts curriculum. This award does not require any supplementary materials.
About Edwin O. Reischauer (1910-1990), Oberlin class of 1931
President John F. Kennedy in 1961 made an unusual appointment. Rather than nominate a career diplomat as the American ambassador to Japan, he nominated a scholar and teacher of Japanese and East Asian history: Edwin O. Reischauer. In addition to representing the interests of the United States, Reischauer saw the ambassadorship as an opportunity to mediate between what he called his “two homelands,” and to build “an equal partnership” between two industrial nations across the barriers of language, culture, race, and history. Today, the partnership he built is a crucial source of stability in world affairs.
Described by the Washington Post as “the most successful Ambassador to Japan,” Reischauer was born in Japan to missionary parents. His father was a professor at Meiji Gakuin University, and his mother founded the Japan School for the Deaf in Machida. Upon graduating from the American School in Japan, he enrolled at Oberlin College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in history. He earned a Ph.D. at Harvard University, where he became a professor of Japanese studies and director of the Harvard Yenching Institute.
After the death of his first wife, Reischauer married Haru Matsukata. Like her husband, Matsukata was educated in both countries, and worked to develop “better understanding and peace between my two countries.” While many circumstances contributed to Ambassador Reischauer’s success, it is significant that he earned an American liberal arts degree. By enabling a Japanese student to follow this same path, the Ambassador Edwin O. Reischauer Scholarship is a fitting memorial to a significant American friend of Japan.
The Yakubu Saaka Memorial Fund was established with gifts received in memory of Yakubu Saaka, longtime Oberlin College Professor of African American Studies. Successful candidates will be offered awards of $10,000 for four years.
Any citizen from Africa who is applying to Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences is eligible.
There is no separate application for the Yakubu Saaka scholarship, apart from the regular admissions application.
The Oberlin College Office of Admissions will select Yakubu Saaka Scholars. Criteria for selection include a strong academic record and the potential to excel within an American liberal arts curriculum. This award does not require any supplementary materials.
About Yakubu Saaka
Dr. Yakuba Saaka served as a devoted and longtime professor of African American Studies at Oberlin from 1972-2008. For several generations of Oberlin students, his courses on African politics and cosmology were staples in understanding African culture and tradition.
A prolific scholar, Dr. Saaka published three books and many scholarly articles, and for many years authored the Collins Encyclopedia entry on Ghana. A specialist in African politics, Dr.Saaka practiced what he preached: he served in Ghana's Third Republic as a member of Parliament, as deputy foreign minister, and as a United Nations ambassador while on sabbatical from Oberlin.
He renewed his commitment to Ghanaian national politics by declaring his intent to run for president in the 2008 elections. Oberlin is proud to offer a scholarship in his name to celebrate his life and extraordinary career.
Restricted Scholarship Programs
Oberlin College offers special scholarships for graduates of Oberlin High School and for children of Oberlin College employees.
The Oberlin College Board of Trustees has established a program that provides tuition scholarships to the natural or legally adopted children of full-time college employees. The scholarships may be used for tuition and instructional costs only.
For more information, call the Office of Human Resources [440-775-8430].
Oberlin College offers full-tuition scholarships to qualified graduates of Oberlin High School. Applicants must have resided in the Oberlin School District for at least four years prior to high school graduation, must have attended Oberlin High School for four years, and must continue residence in the area while enrolled at Oberlin College. The Oberlin School District includes the city of Oberlin and parts of New Russia, Pittsfield, Carlisle, and Amherst townships. Applicants also must meet the admission requirements of Oberlin College and complete an on-campus interview with the Office of Admissions.
Transfer students are eligible for the scholarship, provided they meet Oberlin's admission requirements and are graduates of Oberlin High School who have met the residency requirement.
For information, contact the Office of Admissions at College.Admissions@oberlin.edu.