Ben Hines is from a small town in eastern Ohio. He had never been on his own before starting his freshman year at UC in 2001. Once he arrived, he immediately got involved with intramural sports and other activities to meet people and make friends.
Though he didn’t really know anyone when he first set foot on campus, Ben made quite a few friends and acquaintances by the end of his freshman year. He was also doing very well in his studies. But for all the good news, there was still a big problem: Ben was taking out student loans to finance his education, rapidly sinking into debt. He considered several options to lessen the burden, including working more jobs in his free time and possibly taking a quarter off just to work and save money. He also thought about joining ROTC as a way to alleviate his financial strain.
But Ben caught a big break after his freshman year. There was an open spot in the Carl H. Lindner Honors-PLUS program, and Ben was the lucky one to get accepted out of hundreds that applied. The scholarship program combines business honors curriculum and work-related experiences that prepare students to make an instant impact when they enter the workforce. Students in the program receive merit scholarships donated by multiple people and corporations. For Ben, being accepted into the rigorous program was more than good news: it was a godsend.
"It was so great finding out that I had been accepted into the program! I knew it would be a lot of hard work – and it was – but the experience I’d get out of it would make it worth it."
Ben received several other scholarships while at UC, including the Cincinnati Direct Marketing Scholarship (from the Ohio Valley Direct Marketing Club). Combined with his Honors-PLUS scholarship, Ben no longer worried about financing his education.
"There is such a burden on someone who has to worry about affording lunch or dinner while going to school, working, and carrying debt. This financial support took me to the next level and gave me the freedom to think about the future and what I want to do with my life."
Ben co-oped at Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu, a company involved in business consulting, accounting, and other services while studying at UC. This contact led to a full-time position with the company in Washington, D.C. after graduation. Although he is no longer a student, Ben will always remember the experiences he had and the friends he made. And he will always be thankful for the donors who made his education possible.
"I’m not in a financial position yet to give to the University, but those who could give and did made a huge difference in my life. I will always be grateful for what I had here."