Scholar Snapp: A 21st solution to a 20th century problem

Picture this: You walk into the doctor’s office for your annual doctor’s appointment, and you check in at the reception desk.  You give your name and they hand you a clipboard with a stack of forms to fill out.  You begin the painstaking task of tackling the forms, filling in name, address, phone number, etc. You turn to the second form, and, lo and behold, the top of the form asks for the exact same information – name, address, phone number, etc.  In fact, as you sift through the forms, you notice that EVERY FORM asks for exactly the same information and you have to write it over and over again.

Now apply that scenario to students applying for scholarships to help them pay for college.  Without a “common” way to fill out scholarship applications, students are forced to rewrite their basic information over and over again on each and every application.  And for a low-income student, this is particularly burdensome.  Low-income students typically have part-time jobs, significant household responsibilities and homework.  In other words, these are students who do not have the extra time to spend on scholarship applications.  Yet, they have to endure this process if they want to be able to pay for college.

All students deserve the best possible chance to win scholarship money to be able to attend, and eventually graduate from, college.  But low-income students not only deserve the chance, they also need it because of their financial constraints.  So it’s incumbent upon us to solve this problem.  For them.

Our solution? Scholar Snapp

It’s in the DNA of the Dell Scholars Program to simplify the process of applying to, attending and graduating from college for low-income students.  We know the odds are against them, and we continually seek innovative ways to make the road easier.  This was the genesis of Scholar Snapp.

Scholar Snapp is a free, simple to use data standard that allows students to reuse their application information — including contact information, essays, transcripts, etc. — from one scholarship application to another thereby streamlining the college scholarship application process.  It saves students valuable time, especially since many of these students are applying for 50 or more scholarships.

We chose a data standard over a common application to allow each scholarship provider to retain its own individuality.  We wanted a technology solution that wouldn’t jeopardize the integrity of any individual application.  Think of it in relation to Bluetooth technology – wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances.  Similarly, the Scholar Snapp technology allows the exchange of student information from one scholarship application to another.  It was important to us – and still is – that it be simple for not only students, but for scholarship providers as well.

All students deserve the best possible chance to win scholarship money to be able to attend, and eventually graduate from, college. But low-income students not only deserve the chance, they also need it because of their financial constraints. So it’s incumbent upon us to solve this problem. For them.

The time is now

Technology has come so far in saving us time.  You can use your fingerprint to unlock your smart phone. You can text your family all at once to tell them you’re running late.  You can even fill out college applications using a common application.  Students expect these things, as they’ve grown up in an age where technology solves problems.  Scholar Snapp makes sense to them; having to write their basic information over and over again does not.  And Scholar Snapp not only saves all their basic information such as profile, transcript, financial and family background information—it also saves their original written content from application essays to interview questions.  It’s a complete solution.

So we’re urging scholarship providers to join the Scholar Snapp movement and come alongside us to make applying for scholarships faster and easier for students. The time is now.  The need is there.  And we’re willing to help you get there.