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Scholarship Policy

This policy provides an overview of the scholarship funds’ selection process including timing, the parties involved, and the process that will be followed.

General

Each scholarship will have an application that provides, at a minimum, a description of selection criteria, a list of materials that must be supplied by the applicant, and a due date for the application. To the greatest extent possible, the process of selecting a recipient for a scholarship will be “blind” (i.e., the people evaluating applications will not know the names of the applicants). Respect Graduate School (RGS) uses two main criteria to allocate scholarship funds: 

  1. Scholarship is allocated based on the economic stance of the student (i. e. need based scholarship)
  2. Scholarship is allocated based on student’s academic stance and career aspirations (i. e. merit-based scholarship) 

Timeline

Applications will have a specified due date depending on the program start date and will be evaluated in a timely manner. Funds will be allocated before the program start date as determined by the scholarship.

Applicants

A student may apply for more than one scholarship, although there may be restrictions which are described in the applications. All information about applicants, including names, will be kept confidential. Immediate family members and grandchildren of the individuals in any of the following groups are not eligible for any scholarship in a particular year: 

  • Individuals directly involved in the selection process, including the current screener and current members of the Scholarship Selection Committee. 
  • Current members of the Board of Directors of RGS.
  • Full-time employees of the RGS. 
  • Scholarship Selection Committee (“the Committee”) 

RGS board of directors identify a 3-member scholarship committee at the beginning of every academic year.  Committee members are composed of: 

  • One of the program directors at the RGS 
  • One member of the RGS board 
  • One full-time staff member of the RGS 

The primary responsibility of the Committee is to evaluate applications for scholarships and to select recipients for those awards. The Committee may also be asked to: 

  • Publicize the availability of the scholarships. 
  • Notify recipients about their awards and publicize the award. 
  • Recommend changes to the scholarship applications and/or the policies that govern the overall management of the scholarships. 

Membership of the Committee

The Committee will elect a Chair who will coordinate the meetings and work of the Committee. Members should have little knowledge of and contact with the current pool of applicants. The Committee will vote on the decisions where necessary and make the decision based on majority. Votes may be taken by electronic means (e.g., email, telephone). The Committee will meet as necessary to accomplish its tasks. Committee members may attend by electronic means (e.g., via a voice or video connection). The Committee’s choice of recipient for a scholarship will not be subject to approval by the Executive Committee or the full Board of Directors of the Endowment. 

Screener

The screener will be appointed by the RGS board of directors and must not be a member of the Committee. The screener’s primary responsibility is to ensure that the identity of applicants remain unknown to the Committee so that the selection process for each scholarship is blind. 

Applications

Applications for scholarships will be made available on the RGS website. At appropriate times, scholarships should be publicized in other media channels. When submitted, applications become the property of the RGS. They will be treated in a confidential manner and will be seen only by the Committee and by others associated with the RGS, as necessary. Portions of an application will be released to others outside the RGS only with the applicant’s permission or in accordance with rules specific to a particular scholarship. 

Process

Receipt of applications

The screener will receive applications either in hardcopy or electronic form and will assign an ID code to each application, marking the applicant information page and each page of the application with that ID code. The screener will prepare a key file, listing the names of applicants along with their ID codes. The screener will make a copy of each application in its entirety except for the applicant information page. The screener will redact the applicant names and other identifying information in the copies of the applications. 

The screener will arrange for conversion of the redacted applications to a digital format (probably by scanning to PDF) and distribution of the files to members of the Committee through electronic means. The screener will preserve the original redacted applications along with the original unredacted version of the application, including the applicant information page. 

Evaluation of applicants and selection of recipients

After an application’s due date has passed, the Committee will meet as necessary to review and evaluate the applications for a scholarship. The Committee will determine the process and methods used to select the recipients of each scholarship but in all cases will base its selection on the criteria described in the application for that scholarship. 

The choice of a recipient will be by simple majority of those voting. Recipients may be vetted for eligibility by consulting with school authorities. The Committee should select a backup recipient in case the recipient is or becomes ineligible to receive the scholarship. If, for any reason, the Committee needs to contact an applicant during the evaluation process, it will do so indirectly through the screener so that the selection process remains blind.

After recipients and backups are chosen, the Chair will notify the screener of their ID codes and the screener will use the key file to determine the names of the recipients and backups. 

Notification of recipients

On or before a scholarship’s notification date, the RGS will notify the recipients of scholarships in writing or by some other method of the RGS’s choosing.

Preservation of records

The originals of all applications, the original redacted applications, and (if desired) the Committee’s worksheets will be preserved in the RGS archives for a reasonable period of time. All copies of applications should be destroyed.

Presentation and payment of scholarship

The presentation of a scholarship will be in accordance with the policies and practices of the RGS. RGS will determine the timing, amounts, and payees for scholarship funds. 

Non-award of scholarship

If, in any year, the Committee decides that no applicant meets the minimum requirements for a scholarship, the award for that scholarship will not be made that year.

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