The Student Government Association is currently in the process of creating an external scholarship database, which will allow students constant access to a site listing non-University of Alabama related scholarships.
Students will fill out an information sheet one time and then will be notified by their campus email about scholarships they are eligible for.
Mary Wills, executive secretary for the SGA, came up with the idea of the external scholarship database at the University after reading a magazine which revealed the University of Arizona had implemented a similar external scholarship database that was created by students for their students.
With financial stability being the number one concern for students, the SGA approached the University of Arizona to buy or rent their database, but all offers were refused. Because of the refusal, the SGA has teamed up with Management Information System students to build an external scholarship database solely for University of Alabama students.
“Coming from Los Angeles, I know how expensive it is to come here, so I think that this database is a great idea that will make it easier for kids to be financially stable,” Ali Kaplan, a freshman majoring in kinesiology, said.
What makes the SGA’s database different from other scholarship resources online like Zinch and Fastweb is that as long as you are enrolled as a UA student, you will be notified for matching scholarships all four years and throughout grad school.
“Ideally, every student will benefit from this database,” Wills said. “It will take away the hassle of finding scholarships and doing an application and realizing halfway through that you are not even eligible.”
The external scholarship database project will start in January and ideally will take three semesters to complete. It will launch in the first semester to a random selection of students who will try out the system, and then the database will be re-evaluated and tweaked for problems during the second semester. During the third semester, the program will launch for the entire campus.
The database will be linked through myBama, and the SGA will be doing promotion campaigns to make students around campus aware of the upcoming database.
“The external scholarship database will be created and maintained by UA students, which really shows the initiative of the students on campus,” Wills said.