This fall, the CPN Department of Education administered the first CPN Tribal Scholarship, a consolidated version of what was previously the tribal rolls, housing and higher education scholarships. In addition, we managed the transition from a paper application to an online one in an effort to streamline the process.
Over the past several months, we have had the pleasure of speaking with many of you via email, phone and in person about your scholarships. While change is never easy, you embraced the new processes and made them successful. Now that the September 15 deadline has passed, I am excited to report that CPN awarded 1,476 scholarships for the fall 2016 semester. We appreciate all of your patience and feedback as we survived this monumental change together.
On November 15, the spring scholarship opens. Students will have until February 15 to complete the online application at portal.potawatomi.org. As we collectively take a deep breath and dive into this new scholarship round, our team has come up with some important tips and reminders to consider as you complete your spring scholarship application:
Save a tree: Now that the online portal is up and running, we will no longer accept paper applications under any circumstances. Using the online system helps us to save paper and increase our efficiency.
Mark your calendar: If you submit an application after the deadline, you will not receive funding. Keeping a strict timeline helps our department plan its workflow to serve students better.
Verify documents: Make sure that you do not submit your online application until you have uploaded the three required documents: tax information, most recent unofficial transcript and a class schedule. Your name should be visible on each document so that we know it’s yours.
Make it clear: We cannot process scholarship applications if we cannot read the files uploaded. If you do not have access to a scanner, we encourage you to download a free scanner app or take a picture. As long as we can read the document, we will happily accept it in any form.
Phone it in: If you do not have access to a computer, remember that you can access portal.potawatomi.org to submit your application from your smart phone.
Stay current: Make sure your information is correct at tribal rolls before submitting your scholarship application. If there is an error on your tribal rolls file (incorrect name, birth date, etc.), we will be unable to verify your enrollment and fund your scholarship until it has been corrected. You can call 405-878-5835 to make any changes with the tribal rolls department.
Check your email: Each student profile must be connected to a distinct email address. For parents who are helping to complete their children’s application, this means that you must use a different email address for each child. Make sure that you use an email that will be checked often because our department uses email as a primary means of communication.
Take credit: Make sure that your class schedule lists the total number of credit hours. If a document lists only the course names, we don’t know how many credits a student taking and cannot determine whether they are part time or full time. For undergraduate students, part time is considered 11 credits and under, while full time is 12 credits or more. For graduate students, eight credits and under is considered part-time, and full time is nine credits or more. If your institution uses a different scale to consider full time status, you must submit an official letter from the university stating this policy.
Pick your pathway: The CPN Department of Education serves students pursuing an associate, bachelor or graduate degree with the online application. For students pursuing vocational or technical training, the CPN Employment and Training department uses a separate process. Call 405-598-0797 for more information about that program.
Don’t be afraid to ask: Never hesitate to reach out to any of us with questions. It’s a lot easier to troubleshoot something before you submit your application than after the deadline has passed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 405-275-3121 to contact us.
It’s inspiring to watch each student achieve their educational goals one semester at a time. We look forward to another successful round of scholarships this spring!