Student Enrichment Services launched a website in early March to streamline the application process for various scholarships, including funds for Dance Marathon and Alternative Student Breaks.
The One Form portal allows students to enter their financial need information only once, which will save them the effort of repeating their financial story, SES director Kourtney Cockrell said. Cockrell said she began working on the portal about two years ago when she became the director of the office, because the application process for various funds was “emotionally exhausting and taxing.”
The form also increases transparency as students can see all the funding opportunities available to them on one page, Cockrell said.
The One Form includes applications for Chicago Field Studies, the Associated Student Government Student Engagement Award and scholarships for students in Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association.
Madisen Hursey, vice president of the NU Quest Scholars Network, said she has used the form to apply for the ASG Student Engagement Award. Hursey said she appreciated the simplicity and navigability of the new interface compared to the various portals she previously had to go through.
“You only have to say your financial need one time, which is really nice because it can be really annoying to tell, basically, a computer over and over again why you need money,” the Weinberg sophomore said.
Cockrell said the Northwestern Career Advancement office is working to include two opportunities on the One Form: the Career Development Fund, a way for students to receive financing for travel expenses to career-related events, and the Summer Internship Grant Program, which awards funding to students with unpaid summer internships.
The form took two years to create because it required the collaboration of different NU offices, such as the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of the Registrar, Cockrell said. In addition, the website had to be secure because it handles sensitive financial information, she said.
The ultimate goal is to have more departments include their scholarship opportunities on the One Form, Cockrell said.
“I’m hoping that this fund will attract more and more units and departments to try and sign on as a partner,” she said.
Steffany Bahamon, president of the NU Quest Scholars Network, helped Cockrell develop the form and said the new portal helps students learn about new financial opportunities.
“We’ve gotten a lot of input from other students saying that besides the fact that it’s now easier to apply to all these different funds, it’s also easier to find them,” the McCormick senior said, “which is really important because oftentimes people wouldn’t even know that these funds exist.”
Bahamon said the form includes a wide variety of funding opportunities from different organizations, and added she would like to see the form grow.
“I would like everything to become as centralized as possible, so that whoever needs to use the form can find it and easily access these funds,” Bahamon said.
Email: [email protected]