Here at JRF, we’re excited to announce that we’ve just wrapped up our 36th scholarship application cycle and are about to begin the application review process. Last year, this involved sorting and screening more than 700 paper applications, organizing and distributing the eligible applications to teams of reviewers then sorting everything again when those reviewers were finished.
All told, JRF staff spent an estimated 116 hours coordinating the application review process. And that’s just on our end! Women downloaded paper applications from our website and often completed the application by hand. Because we required two copies, they either photocopied their entire application or transcribed a second copy by hand before organizing everything, driving it to the post office and sending it to us.
Often, applicants asked the same question we were asking ourselves: Can’t this be done online? This year, thanks to a generous grant, we made that happen.
Transitioning to an online scholarship application shows that the need for support for low-income, non-traditional students is tremendous—more than 3,700 women signed up on the new application system, and more than 1,500 of those women started applications! In total, 694 women submitted applications for Jeannette Rankin Fund scholarships for 2014. We are proud to provide scholarships and support to 87 applicants
, and continue to work hard to serve more women who want to conquer poverty.
The online application process has already saved staff and volunteers over 30 hours of work, and we know the new system will only continue to increase our efficiency. Application review will take place online from March until May and gives us the opportunity to reach out to volunteers and supporters on a national scale, introduce more people to our mission, and help more women build better lives through college completion.
Moving online is a huge step forward, and we’re grateful to supporters across the country for making it possible. Thank you!