The daunting task of finding a scholarship and seeing through the application process will now be aided by a new office.
The Office of Scholar Development and Fellowships Advising was established Jan. 15, to exclusively notify Temple students of scholarships available and aid in the process of obtaining the aid.
“Every scholarship I’m aware of is here,” Dana Dawson, program director, said. “There’s a great variety of opportunities.”
Scholarships are divided into two categories, those of which are coming from colleges or departments within the university and those coming from individuals or institutions externally.
All of these have been organized into a central location on the office’s new website. Links to the appropriate sources for internal scholarships are provided while external scholarships are more of the office’s specialty.
External scholarships can vary from a few hundred dollars to paying for an entire year or more of higher education. With these rewards comes high competition.
Despite this, students have been successful in winning these nationwide scholarships.
A Temple student won one of the prestigious Harry S. Truman scholarships last year and two students are finalists this year. Ruth Ost, director of the honors program, is optimistic about what the new office can do to further this success.
“We really can expand the number of students winning these scholarships and knowing about them,” she said.
Previously, advising for scholarships was separated between different staff members, such as Ost, in addition to the existing requirements of their own jobs. Now, Dawson is committed full time to advising for scholarships.
“We have wanted this and needed this for a long time,” Ost said. “The sky’s now the limit.”
Prior to being chosen for this new office, Dawson was the director of the McNair Scholars Program.
Dawson urged students interested in any scholarship to start preparation a minimum of two months in advance. The more competitive scholarships will also have a deadline of up to 10 months in advance of the payment.
“For some of these, students need to think a year ahead,” Dawson said.
“It’s really time consuming, but I would certainly make time for more people,” Dawson added. “What could be better than helping students win things?”
She said her office is open to those interested but unfamiliar with either internal or external scholarships. The number of scholarships is high, so the options are vast.
“They don’t need a perfect 4.0 GPA,” Ost said. “They can get a scholarship for having a 4.0 of activism or a 4.0 of causes they’ve pushed for.”
In the future, Dawson plans to develop the office’s website to work through a database of all scholarships. The user would enter his or her information through a form and would then be told all the scholarships which apply.
This system would then make it so that an interested student can look for his or her target scholarship prior to coming in. Dawson said that submitting this form would also make it so that she could know more about the student’s situation before meeting, helping her in advising them.
This idea is slated to be developed during the Fall 2013 semester and won’t be available for a year.
Marcus McCarthy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.