grants for grads product

Recent college graduates can now receive down payment assistance and a favorable mortgage interest rate from an OHFA participating lender with the Grants for Grads product. Eligible borrowers can use the product to reduce the out-of-pocket expenses associated with buying a home.

If you are an income-eligible first-time homebuyer, have graduated from high school or have a GED and have earned an associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctorate or other postgraduate degree within the last 48 months and have not had ownership interest in a principal residence in the past 3 years, you can take advantage of the Grants for Grads product.

  • OHFA will issue a grant in an amount 2.5% or 5% of the home's purchase price. Homebuyers have the choice of using either 2.5% or the full 5% towards the down payment and closing costs.
  • 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 home
    Amount 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%
  • Grants for Grads buyers also receive all of the benefits of our First-Time Homebuyer program at interest rate that is slightly lower than OHFA's standard mortgage rates.
Do I Qualify?

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

  • Be a first-time homebuyer purchasing a single family home
  • Meet OHFA income and purchase price limits. The limits vary by county.
  • Be a high school graduate or have received a GED
  • Apply for the grant within 48 months of graduating from an educational institute recognized by the US Department of Education's Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutes having earned an associate's, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree
  • Obtain a mortgage through an OHFA participating lender

In addition, you must either:

  • Complete a free homebuyer education course offered by a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, or
  • Use OHFA's Streamlined Homebuyer Education.

Learn more about your homebuyer education options.

Downloadable Information

You can download a Grants for Grads Fact Sheet (1.02 MB Adobe PDF File) now or visit our download center for information about any of our loan products.


Your lender and/or real estate agent can guide you through the home buying process and answer any questions you may have regarding OHFA's Grants for Grads product. You can also check out our Grants for Grads FAQs and homeownership FAQs for more information.

If you need additional assistance, please contact:

Office of Homeownership
Ohio Housing Finance Agency
57 East Main Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215


The Ohio Housing Finance Agency is an Equal Opportunity Housing entity. Loans are available on a fair and equal basis regardless of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, military status, disability or ancestry.


home | about OHFA | programs | homeownership | renters | housing partners |
news & events | links & resources | site map | contact