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Mount Union Nets Nearly $900,000 Grant for Scholarships Supporting Ohio’s STEM Talent

November 16, 2023

COLUMBUS ­– As part of the Choose Ohio First (COF) program, which aims to strengthen Ohio’s workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the University of Mount Union was awarded a grant totaling $881,496 as part of its 2024 fiscal year funding round. 

Mount Union’s grant will aim to increase scholarships and access for financially disadvantaged students from Ohio to advanced practice health careers — with special focus on the University’s graduate programs in Physician Assistant Studies, Physical Therapy and its recently announced Master of Science in Nursing in Family Nurse Practitioner, the latter pending final approval from the Higher Learning Commission. As part of the program, these new COF scholars will focus some of their coursework on studying Ohio-specific critical healthcare concerns, disseminating their knowledge to peers across all disciplines.  

pa student in lab

“The COF scholarship funding will also accelerate our efforts to mitigate the significant staffing shortages of physicians in regional ER’s by continuing to produce Physician’s Assistants that serve in that setting, and by attracting students to our new, first-in-Ohio MSN ER nurse practitioner program in Fall of 2024,” said Dr. Sandra Madar, co-vice president for academic affairs at the University of Mount Union. 

The Ohio Department of Higher Education stated that nearly $40 million will be awarded over the next five years as part of the COF program. Mount Union has already received more than $700,000 from previous COF funding rounds that has gone toward providing “gap funding” to students from area high schools interested in STEM. 

"The Choose Ohio First program has significantly strengthened Ohio’s competitiveness within STEM disciplines, and our campuses, including University of Mount Union, have done an excellent job of preparing their STEM scholars for success," said Chancellor Randy Gardner. "I applaud University of Mount Union for being among this latest group of awardees." 

Learn more about additional scholarship offerings and grant funding from Mount Union by visiting More information about the Choose Ohio First program can be found at