Huskies Scholarships program tries to ease application process for students

Huskies Scholarships is in its second year of operation at St. Cloud State University and by many accounts, the program has been successful, offering over 530 scholarships and creating a central hub for students to easily browse all scholarships.

“I’m really pleased with Husky Scholarships. It’s a major program that so far has gone smoothly and done a nice job centralizing all our scholarships. This is the second year we’ve had it and the program is pretty much finalized as of now,” said SCSU’s Director of Financial Aid Michael Uran.

SCSU partnered with Academic Works, a nationwide company that provides scholarship software, to revamp the previous system which forced students to track down scholarship information through the offices of each major program at the school.

Uran said under the previous system, some scholarships would be forgotten about and thus not awarded because of the complicated and unorganized structure. Huskies Scholarships solves this problem by using a software that can rate and organize students by their non-debatable academic record, and then give each selection committee a list of top recipients who are then further analyzed based on an essay or involvement in other school activities.

Each department has its own scholarship selection committee, and together the group awards scholarships that are restricted to students in their own department. Restricting certain scholarships to different programs and majors across the university helps in the distribution process, but it also encourages alumni and other donors to give money for scholarships to support programs they’ve been involved with.

“The donors don’t select which students receive their scholarship, that’s up to the committees, but it does facilitate a bond between the two at the award ceremony,” said Uran.

The program also has a general application form which students can fill out quickly to be automatically considered for scholarships they qualify for. Even though this is the program’s second year, not all students seem to be aware of it.

“I just wish I could easily apply for multiple scholarships at once and not have to write an essay or do any of that other stuff for every one,” said SCSU student Josh Filas.

Other students said they couldn’t remember applying for scholarships prior to this program but like the current structure and plan on applying for at least one before the upcoming deadline of March 1.

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