Columbus Scholar House Success Story Featured in The Columbus Dispatch

Date Published: 
June 21st, 2023

With Housing Support from the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, 45-Year-Old Single Mother Graduates from Ohio State University 

A recent longform article in The Columbus Dispatch highlights how housing stability and programming provided by the Columbus Scholar House helped a 45-year-old single mother earn her college degree and discusses other programs across Ohio that provide housing support and related services to low-income college students. “'One degree at a time': Columbus Scholar House helps get student parents through college” tells the story of Nikia Gales, who lived in the Columbus Scholar House with her two daughters for five years and recently received her bachelor's degree in social work from Ohio State University.  

The Columbus Scholar House is a development funded by housing tax credits for student parents operated through a collaboration between Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH), Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, and other partners. According to OCCH, Scholar House residents must be 18 years of age, low-income, the custodial parent of at least one child, and be enrolled in a degree-seeking program at an accredited college or university. The Louisville Metro Housing Authority helped launch the nation’s first Scholar House site in Louisville, KY, and Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority also help run a Scholar House in Cleveland, OH.

Gales told The Columbus Dispatch that moving into Columbus Scholar House greatly eased her financial burdens and helped her to focus on finishing her degree: “I thought, ‘I don't have to worry about housing. Housing is not on my plate no more.’ That alone was a huge relief.” Last month, Gales received her diploma at a graduation ceremony alongside her peers, with her daughters Skylar and Payton in the audience.  

Housing authorities across the country are collaborating with developers, college access partners, community colleges, and universities to increase postsecondary educational achievement for low-income residents and college students experiencing homelessness. Learn more about such partnerships in our May 2019 report "Eliminating Barriers to Postsecondary Success.”

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