The future for high school graduates is incredibly daunting. Uncertainty lingers at every corner and competition is intimidating and fierce, especially in the world of scholarships.
Every year, Grade 12 students across the country prepare for the next step in their lives. They take their photographs, rent their fancy dresses and suits, and apply for the most prestigious honours. Sadly the grueling process of filling out scholarship applications often leave students feeling demoralized.
Toronto-based startup One App Scholarship is opening a new avenue for students applying for scholarships. Now, one application is all it is going to take to be eligible in multiple scholarships, with a total of 300 scholarships in the program. For a submission fee of $29, winning students will have an opportunity to earn at least $1,000 in scholarship money.
“We are trying to figure out what people’s strengths are,” explains cofounder of One App Scholarship and recent high school graduate Jacob Catalano. “On the application there will be questions like, ‘tell me a time when you are at your best’ or something along those lines, and what that question will do is it will allow the person to really delve in. And they will repeat that process a few times. After that we’ll ask them to reflect of everything they wrote. We are going to be awarding scholarships based on people’s ability to leverage their skills.”
The application process may be easier, but that doesn’t mean One App Scholarship is a free for all. Only the top 100 students who can highlight their most positive attributes will be entered per scholarship with a potential of earning money for post-secondary. “People associate scholarships with competition,” said Catalano, “But we didn’t want to make it daunting with the feeling of ‘I’m not going to win.'”
One App Scholarship is planning to launch on September 5, but the idea of a convenient application process is quickly catching on in high school classrooms all across the country. The monotonous task of applying for scholarships has deterred students from even giving it a chance since the existence of scholarships. It is often not the best student who wins the award, but the students who put in the most time and actually apply.
“It’s really fragmented,” Catalano told Techvibes when describing other type of scholarships. “Each scholarship wants to award a specific individual. They really want to try to identify with that one person when they are creating the criteria for the scholarship. It makes it seem very very exclusive. And not very welcoming to general public.”
Although the prestigious scholarships might never change their process, One App Scholarship is creating opportunity for those without the ability to invest the time. But the theory for this young startup is that if a scholarship wants to award their money to the best student, then it only make sense to get the most amount of people to apply, instead of simply scrapping from the bottom of a barrel.
While One App Scholarship is currently focused on helping Grade 12 students get the most out of their post-secondary experience, they are also aiming to assist university and college students as well in the next step of their lives—finding a job. One App aims to be more than just an application website; they are striving to be a mentor for the next generation of vibrant learners and workers.