INDIANAPOLIS – The task facing IUPUI students searching for campus-based scholarships has just gotten a lot easier.
Until now, the problem wasn’t a lack of information, but too much.
The IUPUI Office of Student Scholarships has launched a search engine that quickly sorts through hundreds of scholarships and identifies which ones students are eligible for, based on the information students enter about themselves.
The search engine is available online and through a kiosk outside the scholarship office on the first floor of Cavanaugh Hall.
The office’s Scholarship Central website is comprehensive, said office director Beth Barnette Knight. “But there is so much data that it was difficult for students to sort through. The amount of information was so overwhelming that many students never made it to the application process.”
The office had tried in the past to make the amount of information more manageable, including enabling students to identify themselves by category, such as freshman or continuing student. But many students fit multiple categories, still requiring them to look at multiple online pages of scholarships.
The need to do more was also confirmed when the office went through the IUPUI Service With Distinction process in which students were surveyed about the office’s operation, Knight said.
Knight’s advice to students is to use the new search engine to see what scholarship possibilities exist. A common misperception is that all scholarships require a top grade-point average, so some students are surprised to find scholarships they are eligible for, she said.
Spending two hours searching for and applying for a scholarship is time well spent, Knight said. If students think about it as time working at a job, a $1,000 scholarship received would represent a job that pays $500 per hour.
“Students should educate themselves about all types of aid, and scholarships are one type of financial aid,” Knight said.
The office lists all IUPUI scholarships provided to it for inclusion on its website, which also has a separate listing for some community-based or external scholarships.