Navigating the path to a college scholarship can prove daunting for some students and their families. That chore will get easier when South Florida State College launches a one-stop online shop for students seeking scholarships from the SFSC Foundation.

SFSC’s Online Scholarship Manager will go live on Feb. 8, giving prospective students the ease of applying for scholarships through SFSC’s website.

Scholarship seekers can access the Online Scholarship Manager at www.southflorida.edu/scholarships. The online application process is open only to students who have already been admitted to SFSC. Students can apply for admission to SFSC online at www.southflorida.edu.

Applicants looking for scholarships will enter their personal information and a short biographical statement online. Once the student hits the finish button, cloud-based software will match students with the scholarships they are eligible to receive.

“This is a major step forward for our financial aid award process,” said Jerry Donna, SFSC’s director of financial aid. “With the Online Scholarship Manager we will be better able to match students with scholarships, ensuring that we offer as many awards to as many students as possible.”

In the past, students had to download a form, write in their responses, and get it to SFSC. The college’s financial aid staff would pour over documents for weeks, working to match students with the best scholarships.

Donna said the new online system will greatly simplify the process for applicants. He said students can start the application, save their input, and complete the process over several days. Once the application is complete, students will receive an email with a link to check the status of their application.

The SFSC Foundation awards hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to students in SFSC’s degree and occupational programs. As the number of scholarships increased each year, SFSC saw the necessity in ensuring that every available dollar found a student.

SFSC opted to partner with AcademicWorks, a technology firm specializing in cloud computing for higher education. Bringing the process online required collaboration across several SFSC departments, including information technology, accounting, and financial aid, Donna noted.

The application deadline for the summer term is March 15. Donna recommends that prospective students apply by the deadline. He said the Online Scholarship Manager may tentatively match a student with a scholarship but require additional information to complete the match.

Donna said scholarship applicants will receive decisions by email in April for the summer term. He noted that no award is final until an applicant has completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

For more information about SFSC’s financial aid program, call 863-784-7134 or follow the financial aid link on SFSC’s website: www.southflorida.edu.