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8 September 2013

My Scholarship Profile provides more aid options

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Before the start of the semester, students received an email notification from the Office of Financial Assistant Services (OFAS) unveiling “My Scholarship Profile.”

The system aims to compile additional information that students do not already provide on similar financial forms, like FAFSA, to receive financial aid at UM.

“We didn’t have anything in our system that houses information beyond those applications,” said Joanne Brown, the associate director of financial aid. “This allows us to pick up those other qualities, so that when we receive donor scholarships that provide certain criteria for students to qualify, we are better at finding those student populations.”

The new feature, which can be found on CaneLink, consists of a questionnaire to find out more about students’ involvements in campus organizations, religious affiliation and disabilities, among others.

Sophomore Te’Quan Taylor finds the addition of My Scholarship Profile a benefit for new students.

“I think it’s a great service for freshmen and incoming students, so that they can be more aware of scholarships available to them,” Taylor said.

However, some students like junior T’Jhana Lynn have not found the feature helpful. She filled out the questionnaire after she receiving email announcement.

“It honestly didn’t tell me much,” she said. “I wish there was more communication about it, maybe advising meetings to make it more personal.”

Students should take note that simply filling out the profile does not guarantee notification or reward of a scholarship. It’s just a way for OFAS to compile characteristics about students in order to make it easier to identify students who qualify for certain scholarships.

My Scholarship Profile is also only available to degree-seeking undergraduate students.

The database will remain open for students until Oct. 1. When advisers receive donor funds with specific requirements, the OFAS will identify students that fulfill the donors’ criteria and eventually select a student.

“It will enhance the process of how we make use of our donor funds and help students,” Brown said.