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Sept. 29, 2015
Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri and Northwest Missouri State University have partnered to create a centralized application form that will assist high school students throughout the region who are seeking scholarships.
Scholar-Link lifts the burden from prospective scholarship recipients who might otherwise need to complete multiple applications. Through Scholar-Link, students may fill out one application form for all available scholarships in the northwest Missouri region.
For area businesses, organizations and benefactors that fund and award scholarships, Scholar-Link has the potential to create a larger, more diverse pool of candidates and help more students receive funding assistance.
Community Foundation created Scholar-Link through a partnership with Northwest and the University’s computer science graduate students. Graduate students developed the application during a three-year period.
“We all are focused on access and affordability, and Community Foundation obviously is helping drive such as we all work on higher degree attainment rates,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “Northwest Missouri State University is proud to be a solution-provider as we assist the Foundation and regional students and families.”
The project began in August 2012 and 53 graduate students have worked on it to date, according to Community Foundation Administrative Director Stacey Helfery.
Community Foundation began research for the project in 2011 and identified 360 scholarships offered in northwest Missouri. Staff developed one scholarship application that included standard questions asked on all applications.
“Three factors made the Scholar-Link web platform a success,” Northwest Provost Dr. Timothy Mottet said. “First, it was a great idea. Second, the team invested considerable time assessing the needs of students and the application process. Third, a great team of computer science graduate students at Northwest Missouri State University, partnering with Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri, designed and developed a user-friendly scholarship platform. It was an impressive partnership with great synergy and an excellent example of how Northwest provides profession-based learning.”
Helfery said the Community Foundation hopes to offer a soft launch of Scholar-Link by early 2016.
“We are happy to partner with Northwest and the computer science graduate students on this project,” Helfery said.
The Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri Inc. was established in 2009 as a public 501(c)3 organization that promotes and encourages charitable giving to improve the quality of life for people living in northwest Missouri. For more information, visit http://cfnwmo.org/.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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