By Teresa Steinkamp, Advising Director
Beginning January 2022, The Scholarship Foundation hopes and plans to return to in-person advising. We are eager to meet with, and support, students in the class of 2022. Students are facing many challenges right now, including added barriers and uncertainty related to attending and paying for college. We know it is urgent that we return to in-person advising. Our own data supports the value of advising; despite national data indicating worrisome enrollment trends for both new and returning college students, The Scholarship Foundation’s renewal rate for our scholars the past two years is 94%, higher than previous years. We know that our work makes a difference.
Although we know it is urgent to return to in-person advising, we are mindful that the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over. As such, we maintain our commitment to the health and well-being of our staff, and to the students, families, and staff with whom we work. We will be implementing consistent safety protocols across any meetings or appointments that take place at the Foundation’s offices, as well as field work in high schools and with nonprofit agencies. Listed below are the expectations we will require for Foundation staff to visit any off-site location for either a 1:1 student appointment (or series of appointments) or in-person workshops:
- At least two members of The Scholarship Foundation staff will be present and within sight during any appointment.
- All in attendance will be masked, regardless of vaccination status.
- A distance of at least three feet between attendees will be maintained at all times.
- Immediately prior to the appointment or workshop, all will self-screen for fever, cough, aches, or other signs of illness.
- Appointments will be scheduled in blocks of two hours or less, and no food or drink will be served.
In order to come to your site, we ask that you assure these guidelines will be followed. In cases where Foundation staff find these guidelines breached, we will issue one reminder of expectations and agreements for masking and distancing; if threat to safety continues, appointments will be terminated.
If you would like to schedule an individual or group appointment and can assure adherence and are, please contact Advising Director, Teresa Steinkamp, to begin scheduling with Student Advisors. If you cannot assure adherence to these safety measures, there are other options we can offer your students. The Foundation can accommodate appointments for individual students or groups of up to 11 safely in our office based on the above guidelines. We would welcome small groups of students to make appointments to visit for in-person advising support on FAFSA and related processes, as well as small group workshops!
We will continue to serve and support students and families regardless, whether in-person, virtually, or a combination of both. As a reminder, students can schedule appointments directly with a Student Advisor here.