Thanks to a $2-million grant from the Malone Family Foundation, Columbus Academy will be able to provide additional financial aid to struggling families.

Thanks to a $2-million grant from the Malone Family Foundation, Columbus Academy will be able to provide additional financial aid to struggling families.

The Gahanna-based school, which serves students from all over central Ohio, is the first school in the state to receive the funding. Columbus Academy is one of only three schools in the country to be awarded a Malone scholarship this year.

The $2-million will be added to Academy's endowment, from which $1.7-million was used for need-based financial aid in the 2009-10 school year. About 16 percent of the student body 171 pupils received aid.

Lee said the estimated $100,000 of interest from the Malone grant would be used for additional need-based scholarships next school year.

"The Malone Family Foundation's ultimate goal is to provide an outstanding education to every young student who is among the top 5 percent of their class and who displays the keen desire and motivation to learn, yet lacks the resources to finance such an education," said Cathie Wlaschin, Malone Family Foundation executive director. "We are very pleased to partner with Columbus Academy in this journey and look forward to changing the lives of very deserving students.

John Wuorinen, director of admissions and financial aid for Columbus Academy, said the grant will allow the school to increase its diversity and allow more students access to an education at the private school.

He said the district strives for diversity. Students from 50 different zip codes attend the school.

"It's a great opportunity for the school to reach out and help more students attend school," Wuorinen said.