How to Apply

Information regarding the 2018 Children's Defense Fund-Ohio Beat the Odds® Scholarship Application will be available soon.


For consideration in the Ohio Beat the Odds scholarship program, an applicant must:

  1. Be a current high school senior in Ohio attending a public, charter or alternative high school;
  2. Be nominated or seek nomination from a teacher, counselor, caseworker, or other adult who can speak to the student’s challenges;
  3. Have overcome significant adversity such as, but not limited to, poverty, disability, homelessness or abuse;
  4. Demonstrate participation in school activities, community organizations, employment and/or community service;
  5. Have a current G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher; and
  6. Graduate by July 2018.

Beat the Odds scholarship applications are reviewed by staff and a civic selection committee that reflects the professional and ethnic diversity of our community. We consider each applicant holistically and within the context of their academic achievement, personal circumstances, available support network, and commitment to service.


Winners will be interviewed and videotaped subjects of mini-documentaries to raise awareness about the challenges young people face. These mini-documentaries will be aired at the Beat the Odds Awards Ceremony in the Spring and posted online as part of CDF's YouTube library. Applicants must feel comfortable sharing their stories publicly.


Applicants for the Beat the Odds scholarship will be evaluated based upon:

  • An application form, which should tell the applicant's story, and include sufficient details to describe significant hardships/challenges faced, volunteer and service leadership experiences, and academics.
  • An educator recommendation from a teacher who knows the applicant well.
  • A community member recommendation from a mentor, employer or counselor who knows the applicant well.
  • A high school transcript.

Questions: Please email