By Sierra Wilson
In the current economy, every penny toward education counts. In such a climate, one might expect to see students lining up for scholarship available. However, the recent buzz on campus is that several scholarships in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CHSS) went unused this year because no students applied.
It turns out that the buzz went a little far; the scholarships were, in fact all awarded. The problem was that very few students applied for them—the number of applicants for some of the scholarships could be counted on one or two hands.
As a response to the low scholarship application turnout and in a general effort to better connect with students, the CHSS is currently gathering hundreds of student surveys and taking other measures to make sure students have the information they need to succeed.
Dean David P. Yells, of the CHSS says reaching students is a challenge. Students’ lives are now so saturated with information that they can become overloaded and “disengage.” Students seem to think that if there is something they really need to know, someone will just tell them.
“It’s a matter of trying to do it smart,” Yells said, of the CHSS’s efforts to communicate effectively with information-laden students.
One of the biggest tools the CHSS is trying out for reaching students is social media. In fact, the CHSS hired a media specialist this year to catapult the CHSS into the digital sphere. The CHSS now has an active Tumblr blog, Twitter account, Facebook page, and Vimeo page, all of which can be reached through www.uvu.edu/chss/studentresource/wearesocial/index.html. These venues will keep students up to date on events, tips, and other important information, like scholarship information, as well as some entertainment.
The big question is: of how to reach students best? This is where UVUSA comes in.
Chad Workman, the UVUSA Senator for the CHSS, approached Dean Yells to find out how UVUSA could best help students within the CHSS. He was told that the CHSS’s social media was “underutilized” and was recruited to help with a survey of CHSS student social media preferences.
Workman and the other UVUSA representatives serving the CHSS, are taking surveys to as many CHSS classrooms as they can, to discover how to link up with students. So far, over 500 surveys have been collected and more are coming. The CHSS will process the survey data and use it to better connect with students and meet their needs.
“The main reason why we’re doing this is because we want to see student success.” Workman said.
Workman also advises students to “keep an eye out”—there are many available ways to get educational funding at UVU. Assistant Dean of the CHSS, Toni Harris, seconds this point.
“Many colleges within the university have information about special scholarships, such as private funding like the Forgotten Carols scholarship,” said Workman. “Students need to know that some scholarships may require a specialized essay or other criterion to be complete. The best thing to do is to get in touch with your college and find out all of the scholarship opportunities available.”
Although the CHSS and other areas of UVU are trying to connect with students, it is still up to students to reach out for needed information.
To get started on learning about the different types of scholarships available to UVU students, check out www.uvu.edu/financialaid/scholarships/availablescholarships.html. Also, make sure to get in touch with your college to find out about college and department-specific scholarships that just might lead to higher education.