Completing a Scholarship Application

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Objective

SWBAT finish one merit aid application (for $500 - $1,500) for a scholarship from an "at large" source.

Big Idea

... it's time to find some college money - the goal is one semester's worth of "book money" ...

Introduction and Context

5 minutes

At this point in the Scholarship Unit all the pieces are in place for students to begin applying finally!  They have completed two important forms -- Scholarship Form #1 and Scholarship Form #2 -- as well as sharing with me their meritaid.com target list.  All that is left now is to complete an application.

Class Time to Finish Application(s)

30 minutes

After the previous set of lessons is complete, I provide class time/lab time to work on the applications themselves.  You may or may not do so as well, and, of course, if you do provide class time, tailor it to your own course's purposes.  I, generally, end up giving about three days total, as this is the amount of time needed for me to conference with each student regarding his/her progress to finish the unit. Obviously, you can adjust this to fit your own unit goals.

I've identified 30 min. for this section of the lesson, as that is a good amount of time to use on the first day of conferences, which proceed after a brief overview of the process that will unfold as well as a short discussion regarding behavioral expectations during individual work (the conferences) with students.  I make it crystal clear that students are to work on applying for the best possible scholarship for them.  Even though I am conferencing (beginning today) to understand their application preference, I ask them to proceed on the assumption that I will "allow" the one they choose.  Think of these conferences more as a "check-in" than as a form of "permission" for an application preference.

Student Conferences: a Formative Assessment

5 minutes

At the beginning of the first day of the multi-day, work time sequence of days, I distribute the attached "first pass" handout, which serves as a formative assessment of the complete process. Students fill out the top portion and keep the sheet with them until I call them to my desk for their conference.

Just to review (one last time), at this point students have completed the following activities:

  1. they have attended a meeting in the CRC in order to understand the types of aid avail
  2. they have distinguished between financial aid and merit aid (via CRC and classroom visuals)
  3. they have identified their possible enrollment choice(s) for college (Scholarship Form #1)
  4. they have searched the relevant university (.edu) domains (financial aid office, admissions office, student aid office, etc.) as well as any domains affiliated with the colleges of choice (e.g. ISU alumni association discussed in my vid) (Scholarship Form #1 & #2)
  5. they have established meritaid.com accounts and completed searches for "at-large" merit awards (Scholarship Form #2)
  6. they have finalized the "target list" of merit scholarships at meritaid.com (shared with me as a .pdf/screenshot)

When I conference with each student, we review the .pdf copy of the meritaid.com target list and I "verify" which scholarship would be best to apply for for "points" in the grade book. Each student fills out the bottom section of the sheet at my desk as we discuss his/her application choice, then the student leaves the sheet with me.

Once I have finished all conferences and collected all sheets, I review each formative check and complete the middle portion of each sheet.  I review student completion of the items in the middle of the sheet by reviewing the data sets from each Scholarship Form, found in my Google Drive, as well as reviewing my folder of meritaid.com target list/.pdfs.  I simply circle "Y" or "N" to indicate if the task has been completed, and, then, I award a few points on the formative level in my grade book.  Once each class is finished, I make a photocopy set, and I, then, return the copies to students.  

I ask each student to keep the photocopy of the formative check and return it to me as a "cover page" for the scholarship application "proof packet" -- the set of printed pages that proves each student did in fact apply.  I ask for printed proof because there is a range of expectations for submission across the many, many awarding organizations.  Some applications are only paper via U.S. mail, but most are electronic via a browser=based form.  I settled on hard-copy proof of a completed process because it seems the most "universal" method for demonstrating completion.

Once the "proof packets" are submitted I, then, add points to the grade book on the summative level, as the process is finally and completely finished.