How We Select Financial Aid Recipients

How We Select Financial Aid Recipients

June 5, 2015 by Lacey Williams Henschel

Deciding how to allocate our financial aid budget is something we take very seriously.

The Django Software Foundation Grants Committee, along with a representative from the DjangoCon US program committee, use Grorg, a Django app created by Andrew Godwin to anonymously score applications. Once all applications have been scored, the results are forwarded to the DjangoCon US conference committee for the final decision on how dollars will be allocated.

To ensure that the first score is not influenced by others, each person scored applications without knowing the other people's scores. After making a first scoring, one could see the other marks.

The order of applications was also not determined - we scored in random order, so the probability that one person is scored higher/lower only because she was always on top/bottom of the list, was low.

We scored each application from 1 to 5 based on the following criteria, suggested by Daniele Procida:

  • What is the realistic benefit to the applicant?
  • Does the applicant have clear, specific, concrete, realistic ideas about what they will gain from attending the conference?
  • Do I feel the applicant really, really wants to attend DjangoCon US?
  • What is the overall value for money? The goal is to help as many people as possible attend DjangoCon who otherwise wouldn't be able to.
  • What is my overall feeling about the application?

Overall, we look for concrete ideas and commitments in applications.

We also look for a diverse group: the more different people are, the better DjangoCon US will be. We try to choose those who need it and those whose lives and careers will most be affected by attending DjangoCon. As you can imagine, the choice is not easy.

Our selection criteria and process is borrowed from the DjangoGirls Organizer's Manual.

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