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In December of 2015, the Youngstown State University Board of Trustees approved the creation of an Honors College. This was made possible from the more than two decades of contributions made by students in both the University Scholars & Honors Programs, faculty, staff, and Directors Nate Ritchey from 1993-2000, and Ron Shaklee 2000-2015.

The Leslie H. Cochran Program was conceived in the fall of 1992, when former YSU President Dr. Leslie Cochran announced the commitment of Youngstown State University to a new University Scholars Program. The program was based on the premise that academic excellence deserves to be recognized on a par with achievement in the highest areas of human activity, and that this recognition should take the form of an award of full tuition and room and board for four years for those able to maintain a high level of excellence. The program, prior to 2015,  awarded 40 scholarships annually. 

Currently, the University Scholars Program is no longer a separate entity.  All students, no matter of scholarship level awarded meeting the Honors Program requirements, are members within the Honors College.

The YSU Foundation

All scholarships in the Honors College are funded in part by the YSU Foundation, and Youngstown State University.  In 1967 the Youngstown University became the Youngstown State University. A separate, private, non-profit corporation known as the Youngstown Educational Foundation was formed under the auspices of Dr. Howard Jones, and 37 community leaders. Dr. Jones had been president of Youngstown College and Youngstown University for 35 years. The name of the foundation was changed in 1983 to present form, the Youngstown State University Foundation, without affecting the private sector ownership or independent operation of the corporation.

The foundation is devoted to the support, expansion and development of educational programs at Youngstown State University deemed useful to the student and beneficial to the community. In the beginning, the Foundation provided only scholarships, loads, and grants-in-aid for students at YSU, but as the University’s commitment to community service grew, the Foundation’s commitment was broadened also.

For more information about the YSU Foundation, please call 330.941-3211.


5 Barry M. Goldwater Awards

3  Barry M. Goldwater Honorable Mentions

5 Phi Kappa Phi Fellowships

2 Fulbright Scholar Awards

Annual Top awards at Model United nations

Annual Top Awards at COMAP

6 proposals from Honors students accepted for presentation at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in New Orleans, LA 2013

13 proposal from Honors students accepted for presentation at the NCHC Conference in Denver, CO. 2014


More than 12,000 hours of volunteerism completed annually

Templeton Foundation Award

2009 Presidential Award for Community Service

In one semester alone raised over $5,000 for local charities

Shantytown raised over $50,000 for local charities since it started in 1998.

Raised 2,500 in the 2013 Scholar Wars for the Rich Center for Autism

160 Students at Harding Elementary participate in the Penguin Pen Pal Program


120 leadership positions are held in YSU Student Organizations with more than

40 being at the President or Vice-President level

University Scholars & Honors students proudly represent in football, men’s basketball, volleyball, swimming, soccer, track, and cross country

Seven university Scholars have held a student Trustee position on the YSU Board of Trustees.

Two University Scholars named Homecoming king, and two University Scholars Named Homecoming Queen with numerous scholars on homecoming court


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