National Debt and Scholarships
The scholarship management process can be difficult from many different perspectives. Institutions of higher learning or other organizations that provide scholarships may not have the resources to effectively manage the influx of applications coming in. On the other hand, in a perfect world, that number of applications would be even larger, creating a need for a more effective system to manage the review process. Scholarship management software like CommunityForce’s can help staff keep organized during the review process and become more efficient. Eventually, this may open the door for a greater number of applicants to seek additional funding.
More students should apply for scholarships
With student debt mounting in the U.S., students will increasingly start looking for alternative ways to fund their education. According to Forbes, two-thirds of students graduating from U.S. colleges and universities have taken on some amount of debt. The website cited data from The Institute for College Access and Success, which found that the average student that borrows money ends up more than $26,000 in debt. A smaller number of students take on more significant debt loads. About 1 percent of graduates are saddled with $10,000 or more, and 1 in 10 takes on more than $40,000. As of August 2013, student debt nationwide had reached $1.2 trillion.
Even so, many high school students are reluctant to apply for scholarships despite the fact that this is money that won’t need to be paid back. And while a scholarship won’t necessarily prevent the accumulation of debt, every little bit helps. An article for The Washington Post noted that most graduating high school seniors actually qualify for 50 to 100 different scholarships. As incoming students learn more about their options, it’s likely they will begin apply for scholarships to alleviate the future burden of debt. While this would be a positive trend, it may also burden the staff that review these applications.
Invest in better scholarship management software now
Colleges and universities want to accommodate scholarship-seeking students as much as possible, and delivering gift money in a timely and efficient manner is part of this need. As the number of applications increases, it will become more important to utilize an automated platform that helps staff stay organized. CommunityForce‘s scholarship management software can help staff stay on top of the review and delivery process. This platform maintains applications, contact information and more all in one central database, which makes it easier to manage the process from start to finish. The system collects all answers, making it easier to scan and look them over. Review staff can easily gain visibility into what stage colleagues have reached, giving all employees greater insight into how many stages are left in the procedure.
Better scholarship management can also benefit students in other ways. Because review boards have greater visibility in the application process, these staff can quickly ascertain if any elements are missing and send out a request to gain the remaining parts. Better scholarship management means more effective delivery of funds and less of a headache for college and university employees.