Date and Time 

Sunday, October 8, 2017, from 12:00-4:00 pm PT



Scholar Selection

There is a need for change and innovation in college admissions and scholar selection. As more and more students apply for scholarships, our capacity to carefully process and evaluate each applicant is reduced. Addressing this and other current trends, a panel of selection experts will present on the "state of selection": its challenges, opportunities, and innovations. They will discuss various selection process models, such as Committee-Based Evaluation (CBE), which provide new, more efficient ways of reviewing applicants, and recommend effective practices that will help your organization select the best scholars without increasing staff time. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of both the who and the why of selection including innovations in identifying non-academic attributes, considering bias, and the necessity of examining students' context, grit, and perseverance through a holistic review. The panel will provide ways to operationalize lessons learned in your own program. Come prepared to share your ideas and engage in a conversation among professionals from university admissions/scholarships and private scholarship organizations led by leading thinkers in the field. We hope you will join us for this interactive and applied session and come away energized to improve selection of scholars in your own program. Both new and experienced providers are encouraged to attend. 


Members: $135, Non-Members: $165

* Please note that the Pre-Conference Workshop is an additional cost to the Full Conference.  


  • Michael Bastedo, Professor and Director, Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan: Michael Bastedo has scholarly interests in the governance, politics, and organization of public higher education, with particular interests in stratification, college admissions, and rankings. Bastedo has been a Fulbright Scholar in the Netherlands, research director of the Institutes on Public University Governance, and a Ford Foundation Global Policy Fellow at the Institute for Higher Education Policy. His work has been published in the American Educational Research Journal, Review of Higher Education, Higher Education, and Research in Higher Education. His most recent research, funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Center for Educational Statistics, has been reported by journalists at The New York Times, The Economist, The Times of London, U.S. News & World Report, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and others. He is affiliated with Organizational Studies at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. He holds a PhD in administration and policy analysis from Stanford University.
  • Beth Conrad, Senior Selection Associate at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation: As the Senior Selection Associate at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Beth Conrad oversees the development of the annual applications and management of the selection processes for three national external scholarship programs, 7th grade through undergraduate. Prior to this position, Ms. Conrad served six years as the program coordinator for grants. Before joining the Foundation in December 2004, Ms. Conrad held positions with a number of nonprofit arts organizations, including the Washington National Opera, Opera Theatre St. Louis, Theater Related Productions, the Virginia Stage Company, and the Virginia Opera. Ms. Conrad graduated with honors from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a B.A. in Arts Management and a B.A. in Music.
  • Yvonne Romero Da Silva, Vice Dean and Director of Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania: Yvonne Romero Da Silva currently serves as the Vice Dean, Director of Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to this role Yvonne worked as a corporate strategist and higher education specialist at the College Board and as an associate director of admissions, coordinator of minority recruitment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Yvonne is currently working towards her Doctorate Degree in Higher Education Management at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, studying change in the admissions evaluation process. Yvonne earned a B.S. in Mathematics from MIT, an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and an M.B.A from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
  • Oscar Sweeten-Lopez, President, College Success Tools at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation: As the College Success Tools leader, Oscar oversees the foundation’s comprehensive college success products and services. Prior to joining the foundation in 2005, Oscar was director of student retention and workforce development for the Oregon Council for Hispanic Advancement. Other past experience includes work with the Oregon Human Development Corporation and with AmeriCorps. Oscar has a bachelor’s in political science and Spanish from the University of Oregon and is a leadership fellow at the Institute of Nonprofit Management at Portland State University.

Our General Sessions are awesome!

Register today and hear John O'Leary, author and motivational speaker from Live Inspired; Trisha Ross Anderson from the Making Caring Common Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education; and leaders and advisers from College Advising Corps. Learn more about sessions and speakers here. See you in Seattle!

2017 NSPA Conference Sponsors

Keynote and Leadership Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors


Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors


Copper Sponsors

Scholarship Provider of the Year Sponsor