28 Jan Foundation sees record number of applications
Move to online makes process more accessible
Article by Jillian Fellows, Chronicle-Tribune | Posted Sunday, January 19, 2014
After switching to an online application last year, the Community Foundation of Grant County is seeing more applications than ever before.
The Community Foundation, an organization that seeks to connect people, resources and causes to promote the betterment of Grant County, offers a variety of different scholarships to students each year.
“We have almost a half-a-million dollars that has been given to us by generous donors over the last 30 years and we have almost 130 different scholarship funds to give away,” explained executive director Dawn Brown. “Some are academic, some are based on athletics and some are based on other things like where they live or what they plan to major in.”
Brown said that they switched to an online application last year because students are more familiar with the technology. In the past, parents and teachers had preferred the paper version but that now the online application is much more accessible.
The sheer number of students filling our applications would seem to prove Brown right. As of Friday, 384 students had (started) the application.
“We are on pace to set a record this year,” said program manager Ashley McKnight. “Last year was our first year venturing into the online application and it was a huge success. We had about 300 (completed) applications total. This year we already have around 380 applications (started) and it’s only January.”
The application deadline is midnight on March 10, leaving students plenty of time to start an application. McKnight said that she has spoken with many of the high schools in Grant County to make sure students are aware of the opportunity.
“Madison-Grant has nearly 70 percent of their graduating senior class filling out applications,” she said. “A lot of the counselors are really promoting it better this year. The important thing is that they at least start an application. As long as they get started, then they get on my radar screen.”
Although the Community Foundation was able to give away over $400,000 to Grant County students last year, Brown said that nearly $70,000 in scholarship money went unclaimed because no students applied that fit the criteria of that particular scholarship.
“The more students who apply, the more opportunities we’ll have to give away scholarships with narrower criteria,” McKnight said. “And that’s what we want to do; we don’t want to have money left over.”