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Scholarship Universe to undergo a technological makeover

UA Scholarship Universe
Courtesy UA Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid | The Daily Wildcat

This month, a brand new version of the University of Arizona’s Scholarship Universe will be available to all students. 

Scholarship Universe, the University of Arizona’s online scholarship database, is planning to unveil a newly updated version of the website. Honors students at the university already have access to the updated site.

CampusLogic, a company that helps schools manage their financial aid services, purchased the website to market it nationwide.

“This is what we’re calling kind of a soft opening … to see how it works with a smaller population of students, and then we’ll be opening it to all of the students here very shortly,” said Kerry Cowen, departmental coordinator for Scholarship Universe.

Honors students were selected to test the beta version of the site, because they have access to scholarships for the Fall 2019 semester, whereas the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid already awarded all of the other students with their scholarships and will not be awarding more until the 2019/2020 school year. 

Through this trial run, they hope to get feedback from the Honors students in order to make any modifications necessary before opening access to all students, according to Cowen.

There has been no confirmed date for the release of the updated site yet. The Scholarship Universe page on the UA Scholarship and Financial Aid site states that the site will be returning in early October.

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“We don’t have an exact date,” Cowen said. “We’re getting some feedback to see how this soft opening goes, and then we will be sending out communication to students after that.”

Scholarship Universe is a “matching database” through the University of Arizona that is able to find students the scholarships they need. The website shows students both University of Arizona scholarships and scholarships outside of the university to maximize their options and find scholarships that pertain to them.

“It matches [students] based on the questions that they answer in their profile to help them get more closely matched to scholarships they would actually be eligible for,” Cowen said.

Cowen said  another key part of Scholarship Universe is it provides legitimacy. The website does background searches on all of the outside scholarships that students are given access to prevent unreliable or scam scholarships from being shown.

The university partnered with CampusLogic in 2016. It is a growth company through EdTech, which combines education and technology in hopes to create a more standardized and efficient education, according to its website. 

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CampusLogic made EdTech’s list of “top higher education solutions” in the 2018 EdTech Cool Tool Awards.

When CampusLogic purchased Scholarship Universe, it had to rework it into software that it already had. Scholarship Universe is no longer on the University’s server, which is why the remodel and update of the website is necessary, according to Cowen. 

Cowen said that most of the website will be the same as it was before and students will be able to use the site in the same way they always have. The site will have the same functionalities with just a few modifications to update the experience for the user.

However, the website now will show combined total amounts that students can get from the different scholarships if they were to apply and were awarded them all.

“It’s just going to be a more enhanced experience for students. I think they’ll be really happy,” Cowen said.


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