With the new functionality, college-bound students use a map to quickly identify scholarship providers serving their area. With just a few clicks students can easily review application criteria and apply directly with the scholarship provider.
The new tool also includes scholarship opportunities available to students residing in the suburban Illinois or Kansas counties adjacent to the St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas.
The free-to-use, non-profit website is a collaboration of over 50 scholarship providers whose scholarships are listed on My Scholarship Central. The DeBruce Foundation and the Missouri Scholarship & Loan Foundation funded this new search functionality.
“With rising tuition costs and other types of financial aid stagnant or declining, scholarships can fill the gap,” said Melissa Findley, executive director, Missouri Scholarship & Loan Foundation, an organization that supports Missouri students attending Missouri higher education institutions. “With the revamped website students may find multiple scholarships for which they are eligible. It is a win-win for everyone involved for students to have access to scholarships and ultimately higher education.”
Since 2011, private scholarship providers have awarded more than $50 million in scholarships and interest free loans through My Scholarship Central. Over 9,000 students annually use the site to find scholarships, and this number is expected to grow with the new search functionality.
“Putting in place a user-friendly tool that delivers scholarship information in seconds will help facilitate applications,” said Robin Smith, senior director of The DeBruce Foundation, a national organization with a mission of expanding pathways to economic growth and opportunity.
Two-thirds of all jobs today require education and training beyond high school, underscoring the importance of making postsecondary education more accessible and affordable. Research commissioned by St. Louis Graduates found that adults in the St. Louis area with a bachelor’s degree earn 77 percent more than adults with a high school diploma. Scholarships play a critical role in making postsecondary education affordable for more students.
“College sets people on a pathway to economic success, and providing easy access to scholarship information removes a barrier for many,” Smith said.
ABOUT MY SCHOLARSHIP CENTRAL
My Scholarship Central was developed in 2011 through a collaboration of St. Louis Graduates (then the College Access Pipeline Project), St. Louis Community Foundation, The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, and Wells Fargo Advisors as a community-wide effort to increase students’ access to private scholarships and interest-free loans. My Scholarship Central expanded to include opportunities for students across Missouri in 2016.
The scholarship providers featured on the new search tool are: the Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, the Missouri Scholarship and Loan Foundation, Kansas City Scholars, the St. Louis Community Foundation, The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, and the Truman Heartland Community Foundation. The DeBruce Foundation’s Agile Work Profiler is also featured on the site. The convening and planning process for the expansion was supported by the Mid-America Regional Council.