Scholarships to be a month late

(Graphic by Adele Palmquist)
(Graphic by Adele Palmquist)

Last week, student awards sent out an e-mail to Wilfrid Laurier University scholarship applicants announcing that this years scholarships will be revealed in March rather than early February.

According to the registrar office, although students may not be pleased with this, it should not affect them in any negative ways, other than anticipation.

Compared to past years, this year, the student awards office is roughly one month behind.

The reason the scholarships are being awarded later is a result of the new system student awards has implemented.

This new system will work to better serve Laurier students who wish to apply for scholarships with a simpler system, which will be more beneficial to students in the future.

Ruth MacNneil, associate registrar: student awards, described the delay.

“We’re half in our old program and half in our new program, which has made things a bit more difficult to get done, but next year well be back on schedule,” she explained.

Rosemary Travers, a third-year student, explained how the system can be time consuming at first.

“It’s hard to know exactly what you’re eligible for and which ones you should apply to,” said Travers.

Now students complete two profiles. One being a general student specific profile, and the other faculty specific profile, which then pertains to the scholarships that the student awards office offers.

“Students will be able to be considered for more opportunities that are tailor made for them and what their interests are,” said MacNeil. Because this is the first year this new program is being used, there is still some fine-tuning to be done, which is contributing to the delay.

When asked how this affects the students, MacNeil explained that scholarships are not automatic and there is no guarantee that students will receive the ones they applied for.

Travers said she has applied for scholarships in the past and would be more inclined to apply with a simpler system in the future.

“If I were waiting to hear if I’d gotten a scholarship I’d be annoyed by the delay but if it’s because they’re making a new system, I get it. A simpler application system would definitely make students lives a lot easier,” Travers said.

In the past few years there have been an increasing amount of applications for scholarship awards received. MacNeil predicts that the received applications will increase again this year. This continuous increase in applicants means there is more competition.

Often, students think they’ve applied for it and they should get it, however they are in a pool of applicants with other individuals where the best applicant is chosen.

“I know the students are anxious to hear about he money and I recognize that,” said MacNeil. “The thing is that scholarships are not confirmed funding sources for students and I think that has to be understood. Scholarships are a benefit to them, but it is not an automatic award.”

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