Innovative Funding

Take a moment to learn how Ohio State's innovative funding strategies are supporting access, affordability and academic excellence.

Innovative Funding supports academic mission

Ohio State is committed to academic excellence, access and affordability. We support this mission through innovative funding like leasing the management of parking operations. Over the next 50 years this unique funding source is expected to provide $3.1 billion to academic initiatives such as hiring faculty, offering more student scholarships, and supporting the arts and humanities.

Through fiscal year 2018, the $483 million infusion into our endowment has generated more than $128 million in distributions for teaching, learning, research, transportation and sustainability:

  • $22.1 million for student scholarships – Annual distribution of $3.9 million
  • $53.4 million to recruit and hire tenured and tenure-track faculty – Annual distribution to support faculty salaries of $9.5 million
  • $40.0 million to support the Campus Area Bus Service, parking and other sustainable transportation initiatives – Annual distribution approximately $7.1 million
  • $13.3 million to support the Arts District – Annual distribution approximately $2.4 million

As of Oct. 31, 2017, the parking endowments had grown to $568 million. Together, the distributions and endowment increases create a total value created since Sept. 2012 of $214 million

Student Scholarship Funding

Eminence Fellows Program

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The university is providing 95 Eminence scholarships this year. Since 2012, there have been 153 Eminence Fellows.

The Eminence Fellows Program cultivates productive relationships between outstanding students and faculty. Students are matched with faculty mentors, and go on to great achievements in their majors like award-winning research on food security, diabetes, immunology, education policy, and more.

Top Talent

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Students selected are high school valedictorians, national merit scholars, community leaders, entrepreneurs, scholar athletes and represent the top of the incoming class at Ohio State.

Community Engagement

Each class of Eminence Fellows collectively chooses a social issue to address and works to develop and implement a creative response. The current junior class project, Best Food Forward, is focused on food insecurity and is working to increase students’ access to nutritious food. The organization is developing a bulk food buying club and working on community outreach, all directed toward the ultimate goal of creating a student-run market on campus that provides locally sourced food at a discounted price.


Eminence Fellows entering in:

2012 31

2013 27

2014 29

2015 18

2016 27

2017 21

Total 153 students

Undergraduate Research Office

116 students supported through Summer Research Fellowships (up to $4,500 each) or Research Scholar Awards ($1,000 each)

College of Arts and Sciences

Knowlton School of Architecture

College of Education and Human Ecology


College of Engineering


School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

College of Medicine


College of Nursing

College of Pharmacy

College of Public Health

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The Undergraduate Research Office has utilized this funding to support 155 students in the past year through Summer Research Fellowships, presentations at national or international conferences, and other undergraduate research grants using distributions from a parking endowment.

Research Faculty

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Colleges have hired 125 Discovery Themes faculty, with support from parking funds.

Colleges have hired 125 faculty members and launched another 58 searches in the Discovery Themes, an interdisciplinary initiative to accelerate new discoveries and translate knowledge into practical solutions for meaningful impact.

More information:

Arts District Funding

$6.4 million to support comprehensive remodel of Sullivant Hall

Home to Ohio State’s Department of Dance; Department of Arts Administration; Education and Policy; Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design; Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise; and the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. Other distributions are being used to support the continuing enhancement of the Arts District.

Sullivant Hall Art