Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA launches new scholarship management system to streamline application process

September 12, 2016 - University Marketing Communications
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University recently launched a new scholarship management system to help provide students with a streamlined tool to search and apply for scholarships.

AcademicWorks, a comprehensive, integrated scholarship management system, simplifies awarding scholarships and facilitates the move toward centralizing the university's scholarship management in SFA's Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Tammy Mitchum, assistant director of SFA's Office of Student Financial Assistance, said the university awards thousands of scholarships totaling approximately $8 million per academic year, which includes university- and donor-based scholarships.

Donor-based scholarships are endowed by a donor, alumni or outside entity. The online AcademicWorks scholarship application provides hyperlinks where students can click to learn more information about donors.

"Many scholarships have faces behind the funding, so the donor page provides a way for applicants to read about the people who make these funds available," Mitchum said.

Nightly updates in AcademicWorks provide further advantages. AcademicWorks integrates with SFA's Banner enterprise resource planning system, which allows users to be matched more efficiently with scholarships.

The Banner system stores information about students, including their majors and minors. If a student changes his or her major, that information is entered into Banner and is then automatically updated nightly in AcademicWorks. Since different majors allow for different scholarships, students might be eligible to receive scholarships based on the new major.

The software targets the 2017-18 general scholarship application process, which opened Sept. 1, 2016, and closes Feb. 1, 2017. The general application, which matches students with available scholarships, is now shorter, taking less time to complete. The AcademicWorks system also is better able to match students with scholarships pertaining to their specific major or other scholarship-based criteria.

"Scholarships are essential to help SFA students further their education and limit their loans," Mitchum said. "Scholarships also help us attract high-quality students who are dedicated to their education. This new system will be easier and faster for students to use."

To view and apply for scholarships, visit mySFA or sfasu.academicworks.com.