New online tool, resource center make search for external scholarships much easier
The class of 2015 was the most indebted class ever with each graduate owing about $35,000 on average, according to a study by Edvisors.
A new Scholarship Resource Center at UWL is dedicated to helping students borrow less by helping them find more scholarships, says Jen Weber, UWL financial aid counselor. Students can get help searching and applying for scholarships by visiting the center, located in the financial aid office, 215 Graff Main Hall. Or students can use online resources available on the Scholarship Resource Center website. It includes an external scholarship database with about 550 scholarships external to UWL.
However, Weber says one of the first steps in the scholarship hunt should be applying for UWL scholarships through the UWL Foundation’s online database. Because those scholarships are available to UWL students only, the applicant pool is typically smaller. The UWL Foundation offers more than 700 awards totaling about $800,000 on the UWL Foundation scholarship website. The deadlines to apply for scholarships through the UWL Foundation are Saturday, Jan. 16, for School of Education scholarships and Monday, Feb. 15, for all other scholarships.
“Now is a great time to apply for scholarships because students aren’t having to juggle classes and assignments,” says Weber. “We tell students to think of the application process as a job or a class and commit to work on applying for scholarships once a week for an hour or more. If you earn a $500 scholarship and you spent five hours applying, that’s a good deal.”
The external scholarship database makes the job of searching for external scholarships much easier with categories to narrow the search including factors such as a student’s year in school, college, major, gender, military status and more. Students can search for scholarships that match up with their personal achievements and unique personalities.
The deadlines for scholarships in the external database vary and UWL financial aid staff are continually adding new scholarships. The goal is to take a lot of the legwork out of the search process so that students can focus on polishing their application, says Weber.
Students can drop off their applications for review, get one-on-one advice related to the search process and more by visiting the center.
“When students apply for scholarships, we want them to submit the best application possible,” says Weber.
On the scholarship resource center website, students can also find an online survey where they enter specific information about themselves to help narrow their scholarship search.
UWL’s Scholarship Resource Center will be offering a scholarship session where students can search for scholarships or bring applications for review every Monday morning during spring semester from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. starting Monday, Jan. 25, in 150 Murphy Library, UWL’s Institute for Campus Excellence.
Student groups or residence halls are also welcome to contact the center to set up a presentation.