The Washington Apple Education Foundation held its first of three scholarship launches in Wenatchee today. Counselors and educators from the surrounding counties were invited to learn the specifics of the WAEF universal and vocational applications with a live walk through, familiarize themselves with the scholarship training provided that WAEF provides and converse with each other about ways to motivate students to complete applications. Below is an example of what the educators in attendance gained from today's launch.
I arrived to attend the Washington Apple Education Foundation's scholarship launch with excitement and anticipation: What would be shared with me today and how will this benefit the students at my school?
I was surprised to meet other counselors and educational representatives from several different counties all in one room! We were invited to introduce ourselves, our school and play a brief ice breaker which was helpful tolearn some of the personality dynamics in the group of ten representatives.
Talia Barajas, WAEF's scholarship program manager shared a lot of information about the applications received in 2017. Such as the positives- better grammar, more thoughtful answers and a stronger outreach from students to the WAEF office. She also let us know some vital information about the disqualified applicants. Many of the reasons for the disqualification of around 25% of the total applicants had to do with missing one or two items. Talia mentioned that WAEF is passionate about reducing that number, one of the reasons we were gathered today.
Talia walked us through the application as WAEF is using a new software platform this year. The application looked easy to manage, save and update as the student's would need. Many of us in the group were happy to learn that the application opened last Friday and that they had already received one draft within the first two hours. We were provided with the short answer and essay questions in hopes that we could share the questions with English teachers and so we would be familiar on how we could help students with this subjective and often difficult part of the application.
Finally, Talia provided an overview of the thorough scholarship training that WAEF provides to over 40 rural high schools over the months of October through December. WAEF will also be entering the students who submit complete applications in each school prior to January 10th, in a draw to win a $50 Amazon gift card. This will be a great incentive to get my students to apply early!
I was appreciative of the time that we had to share our opinions, ask questions and learn from the other school representatives answering the question: How can we motivate students to apply and complete applications? Some ideas included, getting applications completed and submitted well in advance of the deadline (the gift card incentive should be great). Other representatives shared their ways of getting students to organize their documents, whether it be a Dropbox account, or manual accordion folder- each had their own way to help students succeed. I'm appreciative of the time that was spent learning about WAEF scholarships, receiving posters for my school, and scheduling a time with WAEF to have scholarship training provided to the seniors.
WAEF will be holding two more scholarship launches this week. Wednesday, September 20th in Yakima and Thursday, September 21st in Pasco.