Mt. Hood officials plan to offer a new, streamlined online academic scholarship application system for students at the beginning of Winter Term.
“AcademicWorks” will basically be an online application that matches applicants to scholarships they qualify for, and helps speed up the process for students and faculty members.
“This system will allow you to set up an account through your MHCC student portal,” explained Marcy Gilcrest, newly designated alumni outreach/scholarship specialist at Mt. Hood.
The application will be accessible through the portal because it will be linked to student registration information, said Gilcrest. “Your FAFSA information, your registration information, credits earned, GPA – all those things are automatically loaded and linked to your account without having to manually put them in.”
Letters of recommendation for students will also be sent through the new system. Applicants will no longer be required to seek out instructors and advisers to write those letters. They would just fill out an electronic form linked to the application, and their instructors/advisers would fill in the appropriate information for that scholarship, digitally.
Gilcrest said fine-tuning for the new system is not complete.
“We’re still working on the IT portion of the project, and we need to do a test group first,” she said about the system status, but the hope is to have it ready early in Winter Term.
Of course, most scholarships require an essay.
Workshops for scholarship essays will also be offered at MHCC, but also are in the planning stages. “I would highly recommend the workshops because you’re going to have English tutors and writing tutors in the specific scholarship essay writing workshops,” said Gilcrest.
Scholarship essays written during the workshops can basically just be pasted into the online application. “At the essay workshops, you’d be able to form a general essay, and then work it towards ours” or that of the OSAC (Office of Student Access and Completion) system, said Gilcrest.
A significant reason for having an electronic application process was to streamline the process, a major recommendation of a campus scholarship committee looking at better serving students.
The scholarship action committee “just really wanted to make sure that both the students and the staff were able to process scholarships in a more timely manner, and a more efficient manner, and the only way to do that was to digitize the process,” said Gilcrest.
It will be vital for applicants to connect with their MHCC Saints email account.
All correspondence between students and the college regarding the new application process will happen through the Saints email system.
“So, if you don’t actively use your Saints email, at least log in and forward your Saints email to your personal email,” said Gilcrest.