HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from USM
Just in time for the holiday break, a period when students typically apply for scholarships, The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation has launched an online program that provides incoming and current students an easier way to discover and apply for donor-funded scholarships.
Created by Academic Works, the leading provider of scholarship management solutions for colleges, universities and foundations, the streamlined application process allows students to create a personal account and complete a general application. The system automatically matches students with all available scholarship funding based on their major/minor, grade point average, financial need, student activities and other criteria.
"Thanks to the continued generosity of our donors, the Foundation manages more than 800 scholarships. We consider it one of our greatest responsibilities to make sure their gifts are invested wisely and have maximum impact on our students," said Shannon Fleming, executive director of the USM Foundation. "This technology allows us to make sure our students are aware of all the financial assistance that donors have made available to help them succeed. It is one more step in our journey to create efficient use of the investments our donors have made in Southern Miss."
To use the system, which can be accessed by visiting usmfoundation.com/go, current and accepted prospective students must use their USM Campus ID and SOAR password.
"For many years, we wanted to move away from a paper-based system to one that was more student-friendly and efficient. This new system is an incredible improvement, and it greatly enhances the exposure of Southern Miss students to USM Foundation scholarships," said Bob Pierce, vice president for advancement.
Last year, the USM Foundation awarded nearly $3.5 million in direct scholarship support benefitting more than 1,500 students.
"Southern Miss alumni and friends are generous in their desire to help our students succeed in their college careers without incurring substantial debt. Scholarships are the single most significant area their gifts support," Pierce added.
Since the deadline to apply for most scholarships for the upcoming academic year is February 15, many students spend time during the holiday break researching and applying for scholarships. The USM Foundation is pleased to provide a more streamlined process for students seeking academic scholarships.
"Implementing this system will open the door for hundreds of students to seek out private scholarships," said Fleming. "It will also be confirmation to our donors that their gifts designated for scholarships are impacting the maximum number of students each year."
If students encounter any issues using the new online system, they are encouraged to firstname.lastname@example.org.