Financial Aid

Cincinnatus Scholarship Renewal

Because service is so highly valued at UC, the university named its keystone scholarship program for Cincinnatus – regarded as the ultimate model of selfless, heroic deeds. This humble farmer led his city to victory in a great battle in 458 BC. His success was so great that he could have claimed the right to rule Rome. The citizens continually pressed him to accept the dictatorship. For Cincinnatus, however, it was enough that his city was safe, and he returned to his farm.

All Cincinnatus scholarships are renewed for the length of the undergraduate academic program providing the student maintains a 3.0 GPA and completes the annual 30-hour community service requirement.

Questions and Answers

Following the spring term of each year, students will be reviewed and must have a 3.000 cumulative GPA as well as have completed 15 community service hours per semester of scholarship funding during that academic year (up to the annual 30 hours). Students are eligible for a maximum of 8 in-class, full-time semesters assuming continuous enrollment in a UC degree program.

Your submitted hours will be evaluated against the National and Community Service Act of 1990 definition: Those services designed to improve the quality of life for community residents (general public), particularly low-income individuals, or solving problems related to their needs. If you are unclear about service meeting this definition, you can review information or contact staff.

The Scholarship and New Student Financial Aid Office works with students and service providers to count activities when possible. However, there are areas that we ask students to view as more volunteer than service in nature and therefore not eligible for submitting for scholarship renewal.

Fundraising that Benefits Self: Raising money to fund one’s own student organization or place of worship is not acceptable. If you could benefit from the raised funds, it is not service that is assisting others.

Assisting at Your Place of Worship: Singing in the choir, ushering, running the video/sound equipment, grounds keeping, and teaching classes or providing childcare are examples of activities that are normal volunteer and involvement efforts by a member. However, activities through your place of worship that provide assistance to non-members (participating in mission work, providing meals for those in need) may meet the service definition.

Assisting Neighbors: Providing services to people that are generally at the same means is typically seen as volunteer work rather than service. You can see how activities such as mowing the neighbor’s lawn and helping the neighbor’s child with homework are not the same as a cleanup in an under-served area and tutoring children in a resource-poor school. 

On-campus community service hours must receive prior approval from the Cincinnatus office. On-campus hours must be for a program, project, or service open to the public and where no one is normally paid a wage so as to ensure that you and the University of Cincinnati are in compliance with IRS regulations. You are limited to no more than 10 on-campus hours annually

Ask yourself the question, “Who does this service benefit?” If you are participating in service on the UC campus, but the service is benefiting an organization outside of campus, then the service would be considered offcampus service. For example, Relay for Life taking place on-campus is considered off-campus, because it benefits the American Cancer Society.

Your service is due the last day of spring term each year.

While this may seem confusing to students who co-op and take classes in the summer, having an end-of-spring renewal allows for our scholarship office to reveiw grades and service hours together and then gives some students the summer to make up definciencies.  If we waited until summer to have hours due, there would not be any grace period availble for a student to get hours completed prior to the new year.

No. It is in your interest to utilize online options to report hours as you complete them. Online service hours are retrieved by the Cincinnatus Program monthly with no further action on your part. 

Contact Us

Questions on service opportunities:

Questions on your Cincinnatus scholarship, authorized service, or service hours: