What is a Scholarship Office?
Believe it or not, having an office dedicated to scholarship accessibility is not a resource that many universities have. The majority of universities split the function of scholarship distribution with the financial aid office, which means that financial aid is managing everything like grants, federal loans, needs-based aid, and scholarships. Luckily, here at UNC Charlotte, we have a dedicated team ready to help all of our students find the scholarships that are the right fit for their experience.
Matching vs. Searching
The University Scholarship Office manages an online portal called NinerScholars. NinerScholars is very different from a standard scholarship “search engine.” Matter of fact, we don’t require you to do much “searching” at all. By simply keeping your personal and academic records up-to-date in the Banner Self Service system, NinerScholars will automatically pull in all of the relevant information about you, and “match” you to available scholarship opportunities.
For example, if a scholarship requires you to be a current Freshman student with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, NinerScholars will automatically display (or hide) this scholarship from you based on whether or not you meet that criteria.
Using a standard search engine, it could take you hours to find scholarships that you’re eligible for, but with NinerScholars, you will spend less time searching and more time applying.
What this means is that finding scholarships is easier than ever before. Simply login to the NinerScholars portal from our main website at – http://scholarships.uncc.edu- and create your profile. Once your profile is created, let NinerScholars go to work on matching.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t have work to do on your end. Applying for scholarships, especially merit-based scholarships, is hard work. You’ll need to be able to produce a great essay that sets you apart from other applicants. Remember that the people who are reviewing scholarship applications probably won’t meet you in person, so you need to make sure that you stand out on paper. We won’t go into the details of essay writing in this blog post, but know that applying for and obtaining scholarships does take effort.
Many scholarships also require that you prove your merit through recommendations or nominations. NinerScholars allows you to manage all of your recommendation requests in the same place where you build your profile and apply for the scholarships. By keeping everything in a centralized location, we hope that NinerScholars will streamline the application, recommendation, and review process for everyone involved.
At the end of the day, NinerScholars is a software program, which means it does take some practice to perfect your use of the tools. The University Scholarship Office is here to help with any technical issues that you may encounter along the way, and will always make sure that you can apply for the scholarships you want on time.
You can contact us anytime between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
Phone: (704) 687-5871
Stop by: Cone 346
This blog was written by Taylor J. Valley, a Graduate Assistant in the University Scholarship Office at UNC Charlotte, and a student in the Master of Public Administration program.