Office of Student Life

Fully-Funded Students

What is a fully-funded student? 

Students are considered to be “fully-funded” if they receive scholarships, grants and/or loans that either cover all of their Cost of Attendance (COA) or have them within $2,000 of reaching their COA. 

Why is this important? 

Per federal guidelines, a student may not receive financial aid in excess of the COA. If the total financial aid exceeds the COA, a reduction in other financial aid may be needed. Therefore, students’ financial aid may be affected by the addition of the STEP Fellowship if they receive scholarships, grants, and/or loans that either: 

  1. Cover all of their annual COA or  
  1. Have them within $2,000 of reaching their COA (i.e., there is only room in their financial aid package for a partial STEP Fellowship).  

Students who meet either of these criteria will be notified by STEP via email with additional information and resources so that they can plan accordingly for the STEP Fellowship. 

What should I do if I believe I am a fully-funded STEP participant? 

We recommend that students contact Alexander Kaufman (, a student financial aid specialist who works specifically with STEP students, to discuss possible budgeting options to maximize the use of the STEP Fellowship. 

What are some project options for fully-funded students that will not reduce their financial aid package? 

There are a number of project options available to fully-funded students. Students can participate in a credit-bearing study abroad trip or in Ohio State managed programs such as Buck-I-SERV, the Fisher College of Business’s Leading Expeditions program, Outdoor Adventure Center programs, MUNDO programs or the STEP Total Photography Process. If there is room in their financial package, students may also be able to receive a partial fellowship for a project in any category. For more information, please reference the STEP Student Handbook or reach out to