Endowment Scholarship

New changes to the application process seem questionable

Streamlining. Often times when this word is associated with something it is has a positive connotation.

When something is streamlined, it is altered to become more efficient for whatever task is at hand.

For Keene State College, that task is the application process for the Endowed Scholarships. 1

But is it possible for something to be considered too easy? In terms of the new changes to this scholarship, that seems to be the case.

According to the Endowed and Annual Scholarships page on KSC’s website, these scholarships vary “from year to year, based on each individual fund’s market performance… Other funds are awarded via department selections, unsolicited reviews of complete financial aid applications, and appeal requests.”

There is only so much money to offer to the applicants, since it is obviously not an unlimited fund available for the students, so what happens if too many people apply and qualify?

The Financial Aid Office sent an email out on Monday, Feb. 5 making students aware that they could now apply for the Endowment Scholarship.

The kicker of that email was the part where it mentioned that there is no longer an essay requirement.

This change was made in order to make the application process easier; streamline it, if you will.

The appeal of not having to submit an essay for a scholarship was massive among the student body.

The Equinox’s staff member Vincent Moore interviewed Susan Howard, the Interim Director of Financial Aid for his article “Scholarships Revamped”.

According to Howard, 300 students submitted applications within the first few days of it being available.

This number is substantial compared to the amount of students who applied for it in total last year, which was only 500.

Clearly, students are taking advantage of the simple application process now that it is not necessary to write an essay. Moore said, “The current application requires students fill in their name, date of birth, email and KSC identification number.

Students must then check-off applicable criteria, ranging from being a child of a KSC alumnus to participating in community service, before checking off a disclaimer and submitting.”

By making the application process so simple, obviously more students are going to apply.

But how will KSC verify that the boxes students are checking off really apply to them?

There are some people who are definitely more deserving of this scholarship compared to others. For instance, those who dedicated themselves to working hard to maintain scholarships.

By simplifying the application process this much, it almost takes away how special it is to really earn the money from a scholarship.

Suddenly, the motivation to work hard and earn a scholarship is gone because all students need to do is set aside 30 seconds of their day and check a few boxes to apply.

What is the point of having an application process if it seems like anyone can receive it?

Since it is now a requirement during orientation for students to participate in community service, that automatically gives students one box to check off under this scholarship.

Those who actually care about helping others and put in hours of their personal time to do so are suddenly on the same level as those who participated in volunteer work one time.

Without the essay, there is no way to differentiate those who really care and put in effort and those who just applied because it was extremely simple.

Maybe there is a valid way to ensure that students are being honest on their applications, but if there is, KSC has not made that very clear.

The new process seems more like a lottery than a scholarship without an essay to guarantee that this student is telling the truth.

While an easy scholarship application process may seem like a good idea to some, to those with a good work ethic it is unfair.

Students should receive scholarships when they have genuinely put in an effort and not because it seemed like a handout.