“The UW Oshkosh Foundation is happy to announce that it has contracted with Academic Works—a web-based scholarship management system—to offer students a centralized method of learning about and applying for scholarship opportunities,” Foundation President Art Rathjen said.
Students currently discover information on scholarships in several places and through a variety of means from individual department websites, emails, social media and even flyers posted on bulletin boards. There are distinct application forms and procedures for each department, if not each individual award.
“Academic Works serves as a single source of available scholarship information so students don’t need to track down various listings and postings,” said Lori Kroening, Foundation data specialist and scholarship coordinator. “Students also will save a great deal of time trying to determine which scholarships they qualify for. Because much of the application information is pulled directly from Peoplesoft, students are required to complete fewer fields.”
Since Academic Works integrates with student records, the system is able to “match” students with the scholarships for which they are eligible.
“Current students will discover scholarship opportunities they didn’t know existed,” Kroening said.
Foundation staff members have spent the past nine months planning and implementing the new system. More than 200 scholarships available for current UWO and transfer students will be in the system when it launches in early April. Access to the system will be available on the Financial Aid, Admissions, Foundation and department websites.
In the coming months, additional scholarships will be added for incoming freshmen, likely bringing the total to 300 or more.
“Faculty and staff will experience a much more efficient advertising and selection process,” said Foundation data specialist Cindy Lancaster. “All scholarship administrators will still manage their scholarships as they have done in the past, but through the Academic Works system instead of on paper. They will not have to look up GPA, total credits, major or other qualifying factors for scholarships.”
The new system also will offer scholarship donors added assurance that their intentions are being honored, thanks to the objective guidelines defined within the system.
“By providing students with scholarship recommendations, streamlining the application process and affording the Foundation with monitoring capabilities, it is our hope that this new approach will result in greater numbers of applications and more consistent awarding of scholarships,” Lancaster said.