Pilot Program Components

How Scarlet & Gray Advantage works

Scarlet & Gray Advantage, a bold new Ohio State program, was created to empower you to earn your degree, debt-free. By actively participating in the program, you will have opportunities to graduate on time without needing student loans.

What Ohio State will do

The university will provide students in the Scarlet & Gray Advantage pilot program with enhanced access to scholarships, work opportunities, and a learning community focused on financial coaching and career development.

What students will do

Students will commit to pursue a debt-free degree through the Scarlet & Gray Advantage program. As part of their active participation in the program, students will take advantage of financial aid, work opportunities and learning experiences.


Ohio State will ensure that participating students can cover the full cost of attendance for up to eight semesters through scholarships, work opportunities and, in some cases, a required family contribution. The estimated cost of attendance includes tuition, mandatory fees, housing, dining and indirect costs such as books and personal expenses.

What Ohio State will do

Ensure that your financial aid package, plus your family contribution, covers the full estimated cost of attendance. Your financial aid package will include any federal, state and external scholarships and grants, as well as Federal Work-Study. University counselors will provide you with financial aid coaching throughout your time at Ohio State.

What students will do

Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year and apply for available scholarships and grants through the university’s ScholarshipUniverse tool. Based on their family’s financial circumstances, some students will contribute to their education. Before considering a student loan, participating students will consult with financial aid counselors.

Work opportunities

Ohio State will help participating students identify paid work opportunities, both during the academic year and during summers, to help them financially support their education and develop work experience. Work opportunities may include jobs and paid internships — both on campus and with other employers. A list of opportunities for current Scarlet & Gray Advantage students is now available. Check our frequently asked questions to learn more about the Partnership Network and how summer employment can help students contribute financially to their debt-free pathway.

What Ohio State will do

Provide on-campus work opportunities for students during the academic year as well as access to a network of summer jobs and paid internships, both within the university and with outside employers. 

What students will do

Pursue job and internship opportunities available at Ohio State or through university networks by completing applications and other materials, including a profile on the Handshake website. You will decide whether to accept a particular work opportunity.

Learning experiences

Students in the Scarlet & Gray Advantage pilot will take part in a caring learning community that focuses on topics such as financial coaching and career development. Beyond university-led coaching, the learning community will also provide peer support for participating students.

What Ohio State will do

Provide coaching, workshops and other experiences where you can learn how to navigate college, develop your personal finance skills and begin the process of career exploration — all while meeting your peers in a caring and supportive learning community. The Scarlet & Gray Advantage learning community will be integrated with programs such as:

What students will do

Participate in the Scarlet & Gray Advantage learning community and other applicable programs to develop your career, financial literacy and academic success skills. You may participate in other learning communities — the Scarlet & Gray Advantage learning community is not residential.

How to join the program

Ohio State is inviting a select group of new first-year students to participate in a pilot program that will launch this year (2022). If you were invited to the Scarlet & Gray Advantage program and are ready to earn your degree, debt-free, please fill out the To Do List item in My Buckeye Link.