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Scholarships

Scholarship Review

Thank you for volunteering to review Grand Island Public Schools Foundation scholarships. The personal review of the online student scholarship applications is extremely important to the integrity of the entire process. Without your time and dedication, it would be difficult to ensure each application would have the opportunity to be judged on its merit.

 

Scholarship Disclosure Form

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation requires a disclosure form to be completed by each reviewer for our records. This form is used to verify reviewers are volunteers and not compensated for their time. We also use this form to ensure students are not reviewed by their family members. If you are related to a graduating senior we can assign you to a review group they do not qualify for.

*The disclosure form is similar to the training sign up form. Please complete this form for our records.

Scholarship Training Booklet

Each reviewer group is unique and assigned to review specific scholarships. Below is the general reviewer guide containing information about navigating the online application. 

An additional review guide is emailed to each member of a review group which includes scholarship guidelines and reviewer tips specific to their assigned review group. Email Candi Wiemers at cwiemers@gips.org with questions.


Scholarship Terms & Videos

Blind Review:  Scholarship reviewers DO NOT have access to student identifying information. 

Equity Committee Meeting:  One reviewer from each review group is assigned to be the Team Leader. Each Team Leader is provided the combined scholarship rankings for their group. All Team Leaders are part of the Equity Committee. The committee selects scholarship finalists. This is a blind review process.

Filter:  The filter is a set of rules for the scholarship database to select only applications that meet scholarship eligibility qualifications. Applications MUST be filtered before reviewing. Reviewers do not need to apply a filter. Filters are embedded in reviewer scholarship lists.

Free/Reduced Lunch Benefits:  The application only asks two financial need questions. One is an essay on the Personal Essays page and the other is if the student qualifies for the free or reduced school lunch program. If the student qualifies, they must upload their benefit letter. Foundation staff verify benefit information. A Yes will appear in the F/R Lunch column if their benefits are verified.

Independent Review:  Scholarship reviewers complete the online review of scholarships independently. It is a blind review process. Reviewers do not have access to student identifying information. After the review deadline all of the scholarship ranks from each reviewer assigned to a scholarship are combined. The combined ranking is used by the Equity Committee to select scholarship finalists.

Initiative Points:  Students can earn bonus points for submitting their application before the application deadline. These bonus points are called Initiative Points. When making scholarship award recommendations, reviewers can consider initiative points. The maximum number of Initiative Points is 10. The earlier a student submits their application the more points they will earn. Initiative Points are listed on the score sheet and in the application list.

Master Reviewer List:  A list of all applications that qualify for one or more scholarships assigned to your group. This is the first screen after logging in. DO NOT review scholarships from the master list. 

Scholarship Reviewer List:   A list of eligible applications for that scholarship. Review applications from this list.

Recommend:  The checkbox at the bottom of the score sheet used to mark an application for further review.

Rank:  After an application is recommended and reviewed, the reviewer decides if the application should be ranked. The rank is a selection between 1st Choice, 2nd Choice, 3rd Choice...  Only one rank selection type may be selected per scholarship. However, one application may be ranked for more than one scholarship. All reviewer rankings are combined with other rankings from reviewers assigned to the same scholarship. The combined rankings are used to select scholarship finalists in the Equity Committee Meeting.

Reference Score:  Two references are required for each application. The references are asked to rate the students on several traits on a scale of 1 – 5 (they are asked other questions as well). The scores have embedded values. The highest score on the scale is 5 and has a value of 20 points. All of the scores from both references are added together to get a Reference Score. The highest value possible is 220. The Reference Score is a sortable column in the list and is on the score sheet.

Rubrics - Merit and Obstacle:  These rubrics help reviewers sort and evaluate applications. The Merit Rubric calculates a numeric value associated with high school performance. The Obstacle Rubric is a weighted calculation measuring free or reduced lunch status, family disruptions, minority status and language. Information about the rubrics and how they are weighted are included in your review packet if applicable to your review group.

Sorting:  The student applications that qualify for the group of scholarships you will review are easily sorted. Click on the column title and the list will be sorted according to that field. Think of the list as a spreadsheet. The sort feature is useful when there is a large list of applications. You can review the top GPA or ACT applications first. Each reviewer can review applications in any order they choose.

Team Leader:  A select member of the review team will present the team’s recommendations to the Scholarship Equity Committee for final selection.

Reviewer Training via Zoom

Zoom Training from February 22, 2021

Zoom Training from February 25, 2021


Scholarship Statistics

One Application for 160+ Scholarships
We have meticulously designed an online application process that allows students to complete one application for up to 160+ different scholarships. This application represents approximately $460,000 in total scholarships. Scholarships range from $250-$220,000 each.

209 Total Submitted Applications in 2021
(159 GISH, 50 Non-GISH, 0 in College)
Applications from:  Grand Island Senior High, Grand Island Northwest, Grand Island Central Catholic, Adams Central, Aurora, Centura, Doniphan-Trumbull, Giltner, Hastings, Loup City, Palmer, St Cecilia, Wood River, York

54% of 2020 GISH Submitted Applications Were Awarded
(15% of Non-GISH Submitted Applications Were Awarded)

94 Review Volunteers in 2021 
Our reviewers are divided up into review groups. Each review group is different and assigned to review specific scholarships. The GIPS Foundation has 22 unique scholarship review groups.


Important Dates

February 22, 2021 - Scholarship review open

February 22 & 25 - Reviewer Zoom Training

March 15, 2021 - Scholarship review closed

Late March - Equity Committee Meeting

Late March - Scholarship offer letters mailed

April 14, 2021 - Academic Honors Celebration

Late April - Student/Donor scholarship award recognitions


Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about the scholarship review process? Email Candi Wiemers at cwiemers@gips.org or click on a FAQ below.

  • How do I log into my reviewer account?

    To log into our online scholarship application go to https://gipsfoundation.org/what-we-do/scholarships.html and click on the orange button that says Scholarship Application.

    The Login page appears. Your User Name will be your email address and the password will be “review”.

    Once you have logged in the first time you will be prompted to change your password.

    You can choose any password you like. Make sure to enter it in the Password box and Verify Password box. Then click the save button. Logout and then log back in with your new password.

  • Should I read the scholarship guideline before I review applications?

    Yes. The scholarship guidelines assigned to your review group are sent to you in an email. The guideline page includes: background information about the scholarship and/or donor; scholarship award amount and number of awards; scholarship eligibility; special essay if required; and review tips. The review tips explain where you can find specific eligibility information in the scholarship application.

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