Classes will resume after fall break on Dec. 2, which is also the deadline for freshman Iowa State students completing the OneApp scholarship application.
While students’ classes are recessed for the break they can relax from their academic workload, but they may want to think about applying for scholarships with Iowa State’s scholarship system called OneApp.
Ann Wessman is the program manager for scholarships and student employment in the department of student financial aid.
“[OneApp] is the university wide scholarship portal for students to apply for, I would say, 99 percent of the scholarships that are awarded at Iowa State,” Wessman said. “It’s kind of our tool so that students don’t have to go to different places and fill out separate applications.”
To apply for OneApp, students can go online and log in using their NetID information to access applications for scholarships. Students are required to fill out the general Iowa State application and then are able to apply for scholarships within their college.
The general application is a series of questions about the student.
“We ask a lot of questions about their involvement — leadership, community service, those types of things,” Wessman said. “We ask questions about employment — if they are currently working, how many hours they work, we ask why they chose to come to Iowa State.”
Wessman said students are also asked about things like involvement in sororities and fraternities or if they are participating in a study abroad program.
The answers to these questions can direct students to other potential awards they qualify for.
“We want to know if they are involved, we want to know their leadership experiences, we might want to know financial background,” Wessman said.
After completing the general application, students are then supposed to fill out another application for their college. This is something Wessman said some students are not doing.
“One of the issues we’ve been having is that students are not filling out both the general application and their college application — they are doing one or the other,” Wessman said. ”If they don’t fill both out they are limiting the number of awards they are being considered for.”
Once a student has filled out both applications, their information enters a database along with other information about them such as their GPA or hometown. This information is used to point each student into the direction of more specific scholarships they are eligible for.
“Pretty much every unit on campus that you can think of has some scholarship that they are administering,” Wessman said. “There are places like the Women in Science and Engineering, learning communities, Sloss House.”
In addition to entities on campus which offer awards to qualifying students, Iowa State students can also receive scholarships from donors outside the university. These awards are also managed through OneApp. Just like scholarships from Iowa State, these scholarships are awarded to students meeting their criteria.
“The system itself [...] has also been very good for adhering to donor intent,” Wessman said. “When a donor sets something up with the foundation to award a scholarship [...] we want to make sure that we are selecting students who are really eligible for it.”
Applications for general, college and specific scholarships are considered by a committee. These committees are made up of faculty, staff and even students of Iowa State. Wessman said the selection committees tend to represent the awards they are selecting. Students who receive awards through OneApp will be notified in the spring of 2020.
While the Dec. 2 deadline is particularly for freshman, there are some awards for upperclassmen also due then as well.
Wessman said a lot of scholarships for returning students have later deadlines, but she wants to encourage students to make sure they don’t miss out on any opportunities.