grants for grads

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty 277320

Recent college graduates, including those earning postgraduate degrees, can now receive down payment and closing cost assistance and a favorable mortgage interest rate through OHFA's Grants for Grads Program. Eligible borrowers can use the grant to reduce the out-of-pocket expenses associated with buying a home.

If you are an income-eligible first-time homebuyer, graduated from an Ohio high school and have earned an associate, bachelor's, master's, doctorate or other postgraduate degree within the last 18 months, you can take advantage of the Grants for Grads Program.

  • OHFA will issue a grant in an amount for 2.5% of your home's purchase price.
  • You can use the grant to pay for the down payment, closing costs, or other prepaid expenses incurred prior to closing. Keep in mind that while the grant will help cover some of your up-front costs, you may still be required to contribute some money as well.
  • The grant will be issued as a second mortgage with a 0% interest rate with no payment due. The loan is forgivable after five years. However, if you move out of Ohio prior to the five-year mark, you are responsible for paying a portion of the grant back to OHFA as indicated below:


Months resided in homeAmount of grant owed to OHFA if you move out of state
Less than 12 months 100%
12 months to 24 months 80%
24 months to 36 months 60%
36 months to 48 months 40%
48 months to 60 months 20%

Do I Qualify?

To qualify for the Grants for Grads Program, you must:

  • Be a first-time homebuyer
  • Meet Specific Guide Lines
  • Graduated from an Ohio high school
  • Apply for the grant within 18 months of graduating from an educational institute recognized by the Ohio Board of Regents

In addition, you must either:

  • Complete a free homebuyer education course offered by any housing counseling agency approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or
  • Use the streamlined OHFA homebuyer education program.

Your lender can help you choose the OHFA program that is right for you.

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