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UAA Office Opens New Scholarship Center to Aid Students' Searches

By Ramy A. Arnaout
Executive Editor

In an effort to aid students in the search for grants and scholarships, the Undergraduate Academic Affairs Office unveiled the new Scholarship, Fellowship, Grant, and Award Center earlier this week.

Located in 7-104, the center was designed to give students a first place to look for information on competitions and scholarships, said Ida G. Faber, a staff assistant in the Office of Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs and the center's administrator.

The center is "not meant to co-opt what other people do," said Travis R. Merritt, dean for undergraduate academic affairs. Instead, it will complement the Office of Career Services and Preprofessional Advising, the Graduate School, department offices, and other existing sources of scholarship and award information, he said.

By keeping in close contact with other campus information sources, Faber hopes the center will be able to point students in the right direction to find what they are looking for.

Students visiting the center will be asked to describe their scholarship and award interests on a profile form, Faber said. The center will use this feedback to get information about students' specific interests. In this way, "it will be student-directed," she said.

Students "will also be offered counseling for interviews" that scholarships and awards may require, Faber said. Office staff will be available to help students fine-tune application essays.

Students welcome center

The idea of a new scholarship and award center has been well received by both students and faculty.

"It's a great idea because students are basically disoriented" when trying to find scholarship and award information, said Antonio Morales-Pena '95. "This way, they know there is a center" they can visit to get that information, he said.

"It could be useful," said Jung-yoon Choi '98, who learned of the center through the freshman Yellow Flash bulletin. "It's nice to know you can go somewhere and that they are organized about" having the information available.

Bette K. Davis, coordinator of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, said that such a center is "especially needed for undergraduates. It's definitely a good idea to have a central place where students can get that kind of information."

The idea for the center was "born out of a survey three years ago asking how [the UAAO] promoted [its] resources to students," Faber said.

"MIT students are certainly as capable as any students in the country," Faber said. "We want to see them equally represented when scholarships are awarded."