We are proud to partner with practitioners supporting students to college success. In this blog series, hear from partner organizations about their programs, best practices, and GradSnapp tips and tricks, along with inspiring work helping students reach the graduation stage.
Community Affairs Scholarship Program Manager
St. David’s Foundation
Tell us about the St. David’s Foundation.
St. David’s Foundation works within our Central Texas community, with a focus on making Austin the healthiest community in the world. The St. David’s Neal Kocurek Scholarship was started in 2005 honoring longtime CEO of St. David’s Foundation, Dr. Neal Kocurek, and serves as our flagship scholarship program.
The program offers funding for students from a five-county region in Central Texas who are pursuing careers in health and medicine. It offers students $7,500 per year for up to eight years of total funding, following students through graduate and medical school. Depending on the needs of the student, the scholarship can be up to $60,000, and can even follow some students for as long as 10 to 12 years throughout their journey if they take gap years to work or pursue research opportunities in between schooling.
What gaps or pain points were you experiencing before implementing GradSnapp? What are you able to accomplish now that you couldn’t before?
Our scholarship program started very small, with paper applications and everything done by hand. As a staff of one, I was opening every transcript and manually entering their information. We started growing quickly and when we reached 200 students, this manual process became very taxing.
With GradSnapp, students are able to upload documents themselves which saves us an incredible amount of time and manpower. Keeping up with check-ins and requirements, we weren’t able to personally engage with our students then nearly as much as we are now.
I also find the check-in surveys particularly useful. Before we started using GradSnapp, I would learn of a student who was struggling if they personally reached out to us, or if their GPA was low and they were at risk of probation. GradSnapp allows us to get ahead of that through a streamlined approach to assessing financial, academic and situational factors that may be impacting student success. Students can complete the surveys when it’s convenient for them, and they often provide a level of insight it would have been difficult for us to capture one-on-one.
Learn more about GradSnapp student surveys: How summer surveys can lead to fall success
Can you tell us about a time or give us a specific example of when GradSnapp helped you better advise a student to success?
We’re finding that a lot of our students are struggling with stress, anxiety, and depression in a bigger way than we knew before. Because they are being prompted by the situational survey on GradSnapp, more students are choosing to disclose this information. This prompted us to consider what we can do to help them in this area – which led to us creating a service similar to an EAP, Employee Assistance Program, typically offered to employees or companies. This offers our students different types of support including counseling, wellness coaching, and legal and financial help.
Learn more about supporting students through a Scholar Resource Network (SRN): Flexibility and innovation in college completion: How to provide low-cost, comprehensive support services
How do you see GradSnapp impacting your capacity and capabilities moving forward?
Before we started using GradSnapp, we had reached the limit of our team’s capacity to provide the quality of support we wanted to offer at the scale at which we were growing. With GradSnapp, we are able to manage our scholarships more effectively and in fact, we are able to consider expanding them in the future.
April Reed is the Community Affairs Scholarship Program Manager at St. David’s Foundation, where she manages all aspects of the St. David’s Neal Kocurek Scholarship Program.
Learn more about how GradSnapp can support your college success initiatives: request a demo today!