About Tuition Mission

The Tri-State Area Tuition Mission Foundation (TMF) was founded in East Liverpool, Ohio in 1962 and made its first tuition awards the following year. TMF serves multiple schools in seven school districts in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. TMF was, for many years, known as Dollars for Scholars® and was affiliated with the national Dollars for Scholars® organization ─ which was in turn administered via Scholarship America®.  In 2013, the foundation changed its name to the Tri-State Area Tuition Mission Foundation, or Tuition Mission (TMF) for short. TMF is administered by a board of directors and five officers.

In addition to bricks-and-mortar schools, we're happy to accept applications from students who are home-schooled or who are enrolled in online schools or other non-traditional institutions. Click on the sub-heading "Districts we serve" in "About Tuition Mission" for details.

TMF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable foundation. For well over a quarter century, no TMF funds were used for operating expenses. Instead, these were covered by the extraordinary generosity of a local benefactor. In 2018, at the suggestion of this benefactor, TMF began using some investment income to cover expenses such as postage, copies, etc. It’s important to note that TMF still directs 100% of donated funds directly to its student recipients.

People are sometimes surprised by what constitutes "financial need" for our purposes. Applicants could have a fairly high household income and still qualify under our formula. We encourage applications from anyone who feels they need help to pursue an education beyond high school.

Tuition awards are available for any education beyond high school. This can be a two-year or four-year degree program, vocational/technical training, a certification/licensure program or graduate school. 

 For the 2019 - 2020 academic year, the Tuition Mission Foundation made tuition awards totaling a little over $376,800 to 62 students. The top award is $7,000/student, which the majority of students received. 

On average, when it comes to tuition and fees, here's what a $7,000 TMF tuition award covers, from the most expensive to the least expensive:

20% private four-year university degree ($35,676)

48% private two-year degree, licensure or certification program ($14,587)

72% public, in-state, four-year university degree ($9,716)

196% public, in-state, two-year degree, licensure or certification program ($3,570)

Figures are for the 2018 - 2019 academic year (the most recent year for which numbers are available) and are taken directly from StudentDebtRelief.us and USNews.com.

Every single dollar of every single donation is used for scholarship awards. The only exception are donations given by supporters who specifically request that TMF invest their gift ─ which means that TMF then awards only the income from those invested funds. 

Since 1992, no funds have been used for operating expenses.  Instead, these expenses are covered by the in-kind contributions of a few extraordinarily generous supporters. We know of no other area charitable organization which can match our boast that 100% of funding raised goes directly to the charity's beneficiaries. 

All TMF tuition awards are interest-free. Awards are given with the understanding that they need to be repaid beginning a few months after graduation ─ in fact, about half of the money we award each year comes from repayments from past recipients. Since 1963, our foundation has awarded over 5,500 individual scholarships totaling over $6.9 million.