New scholarship portal simplifies financial aid process

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The days of walking into the Office of Financial Aid and flipping through binders in an attempt to find a scholarship applicable are over for Marshall University students. The Rogner-Williams Administration along with Information Technology, the Office of Financial Aid and the Marshall Alumni Association recently launched an online scholarship portal to make the process more streamlined than ever. 

“We wanted to find something that was cost-effective but also fit those student needs,” Student Body President Stephanie Rogner said. “This system takes two to three minutes which makes it super quick and students are able to utilize it well.” 

After talking to a student while campaigning last year, Rogner and Williams said they realized this was a need for Marshall. 

“I remember during the campaign, there was a particular moment where we heard a story about a student who said he almost lost his education and he was way into it, upper-level classes and almost lost it over $600-$700,” Student Body Vice President Anna Williams said. “That’s a lot of money, but in the grand scheme of things for a college education, it’s not a lot of money when you’ve paid for so many years, and I just remember looking at Stephanie and saying, ‘We’ve got to do something about that.’”

Prospective students are able to use this portal as well to look at their potential costs to attend Marshall. 

“Whenever I was applying for college, personally, finance and the cost of college was one of the biggest factors,” Rogner said. “As a prospective student, you are able to go in and see how many scholarships are applicable to you and what the overall cost will look like.”

When students log in to the portal, they are able to search for merit-based and private scholarships that may be applicable to them. Williams said she wants current students to understand this system is for them as well. 

“Once you leave high school and are really in college the awareness and availability to scholarships can be a little slanted,” Williams said. “There’s the impression that there aren’t as many as you get further in school and this is often time when we require more expenses and when we see unexpected increases, so it’s really important that students have this resource.”

Both current and prospective students can access this portal by going to: marshall.edu/scholarships.

The Rogner-Williams Administration has made progress on multiple projects discussed while campaigning, including:

• The Emergency Student Relief Fund, or Tuition Gap Fund. This provides students in a crisis situation where they have had a significant number of financial downfalls and the students have exhausted all of their resources including the scholarship database. This fund is in conjunction with Student Affairs and the Alumni Association. 

• The Meal Sharing Program launched two weeks ago, and in that time, there have been 160 meal swipes donated. Multiple students who have needed food assistance have been helped. 

• In seven months, the Food Pantry budget has almost quadrupled. The pantry has a new fridge and freezer, courtesy of the President’s Office, and they are funded by 12 local businesses. 

• A Device Share Program has launched where students can donate used computers, tablets and phones they no longer use and the Information Technology Department will clean them so students that need them can check them out.

Kyra Biscarner can be contacted at [email protected]