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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU launches unified scholarship application

New Mexico State University students can breathe a collective sigh of relief with the launch of a "one-stop shop" for all university scholarships that will make application easier and less stressful.



A partnership between the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Services and the NMSU Foundation, the Scholar Dollar$ system allows students to fill out one electronic form to be considered for all scholarships for which they are eligible. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Launched in December, the Scholar Dollar$ system allows students to fill out one electronic form to be considered for all scholarships for which they are eligible, instead of filling out an application for college scholarships and another application for general scholarships.

"Many scholarships have unique criteria, so we needed to customize a system for NMSU," said Diane Calhoun, director of scholarships and stewardship for the NMSU Foundation.

Scholar Dollar$ is a partnership between the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Services and the NMSU Foundation, which awards scholarships funded through gifts. The 46 award units in the program include all NMSU campuses. Essays are still a part of the scholarship application, but are consistent for all scholarships.

The application can be found at http://scholarships.nmsu.edu. Deadlines are Jan. 18, 2010, for entering freshmen who wish to be considered for the President's Associates Excellence Scholarship, and March 1, 2010, for all other scholarships. The electronic awarding process will begin after each deadline.

About 4,000 students in the NMSU system receive scholarships each year, with more than $1.5 million awarded last year. Although this number is expected to double in coming years, Scholar Dollar$ has the capacity to accommodate the large amount of information.

The old scholarship systems used by the university were scattered throughout the different colleges and organizations on campus, which meant scholarships were sometimes awarded incorrectly or not awarded at all. Scholar Dollar$ reduces the risk of error because the entire process is automated.

"When I was a freshman, it was difficult to find all of the different scholarship applications. The Scholar Dollar$ system is much easier to find, and I also don't have to worry about finding which scholarship I'm eligible for," said Adela Tapia, a civil engineering and business administration double major.

Amy Fratzola, a sophomore in the College of Business, used the new program when she applied for next school year's scholarships.

"Scholar Dollar$ was much easier to use because it was just one form, instead of having to fill out multiple similar forms," she said.