Scholarships come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are countless reasons a student would have to apply for financial aid or receive gifted funding to attend school. The institutions and organizations providing scholarships to students must take care to accurately manage their finances to ensure strong relationships with donors and recipients. Implementing scholarship management software is an effective way to monitor this activity.

Why are scholarships important?

Scholarships provide an opportunity for many people to earn an education. Without assistance from an outside source, students may have trouble paying for the degree they need in order to enter the workforce and become a contributing member of society.

The University of Hawaii Foundation noted that often students work several jobs over the course of their college and graduate school years in order to pay for their classes, books and lodging. While this is certainly an option, it detracts from the time most pupils need to study and learn. Academic performance can suffer greatly when a student is overworked.

In addition, roughly two thirds of all college graduates are saddled with student loans upon leaving school. Due to constantly rising tuition prices, these loans average $20,000. Compared to the debt experienced by students in the early 1990s, this is a 50 percent increase. In a country where a college degree is beneficial during a job search, scholarships lessen the financial strain on many students.

Where do scholarship funds come from?

The funds for scholarships come from a variety of sources. Private, individual donors may make a large contribution to their alma mater to provide education for new students. Annual fundraising events across the country donate proceeds to scholarships.

For Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts, financial support recently came in the form of a $495,000 grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. The Salem News reported that Endicott’s Keys for Degrees program helps 10 single-parents each year pay for a solid education. The program covers almost 75 percent of the student’s child care costs and assists with room and board, food and campus life expenses on top of that.

Not only do scholarship recipients learn specific subject matter, they learn the importance of philanthropy and giving back. Without the kindness of others, the road to a degree would likely have been much more difficult. Hopefully, this sentiment continues with them through life and they find ways to donate to scholarships in the future.

What types of scholarships are available?

There are many different types of scholarships students can apply for or organizations can award. Scholarships.com defined several of these on their site. Two common examples are:

  • Academic / Merit: Exceptional performance in academics, athletics or artistic endeavors can land students a scholarship to a particular university or program.
  • First in Family: If someone is the first person in their family to attend college, they are eligible for financial assistance.

It’s important to note that many scholarships do not cover the entire cost of tuition. Rather, they are allocated for specific portions that the student must pay their school. Students are encouraged to apply for several different scholarships as needed. This may pose problems for organizations that have certain requirements that limit their resources to those that haven’t received funding from any additional sources.

How does scholarship software help?

Scholarship management software helps providers streamline their acceptance process and strengthen the important relationships they’ve established with donors. It also ensures policies are followed when it comes to allocating funds and distribution. Reports can be easily created with recorded data to demonstrate the effective power scholarships have on a community and its students.