SDSU unveils new personalized scholarship portal for spring 2020


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SDSU unveiled a new personalized scholarship portal, set to launch spring 2020.

by Aretha Matsushima, Staff Writer

San Diego State’s new scholarship portal, set to launch spring 2020, will allow students to apply and search for scholarships through a single application. 

The system overhaul comes after a San Diego Union-Tribune report showed millions in scholarship funds went unused by SDSU students in the past decade.

The new Scholarship Search and Application Portal will be personalized to each student’s eligibility, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships Associate Director Chip Pierce said. The student will fill out a general application that links them to the appropriate university scholarships for which they qualify. Any additional information that may be needed, such as essays, can be attached in the portal. 

“The system is so smart that it reads all of your information and filters the scholarships that apply to you,” Pierce said. “(It) does all of the work for you.” 

This is a significant switch from SDSU’s former scholarship portal, which required students to sort through scholarships they may not be eligible for.

“With the current scholarship tool, students would have to individually search for scholarships by major and class level on their own,” Pierce said, “However, the new scholarship portal will find all of the scholarships for you.” 

The new scholarship portal will not be available in time for the fall semester, SDSU Scholarships Assistant Director Kari Hooker said.

“We are currently running one last cycle of the existing scholarships during this fall semester,” Hooker said. 

Some students had the opportunity to try out the new scholarship search portal early and, and Pierce said they were impressed with its new features. 

“We have ran a test-group with students who have said the system is much more efficient,” Pierce said. 

According to a report by the San Diego Union-Tribune, $20 million dollars of SDSU scholarship funds went unused in the past ten years. Campus officials, cited in the article, attributed the undistributed funds to the outdated scholarship tool that students found difficult to use. 

In response to this issue, Pierce said he believes the new portal will make scholarships more accessible to students. 

“The scholarship system would definitely allow finding these scholarships to be much easier,” Pierce said. 

In preparation for the start of the new portal next spring semester, Hooker said the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will be tabling and advertising the new system to students.