Scholarship application questions are quite predictable so it’s about time your organization challenges the norm to find the right set of applicants who are deserving enough to receive that coveted scholarship.

When attempting to take a deep dive and getting to know an applicant personally, it’s extremely important to give them the opportunity to share that insight comfortably without being intimidated. After all, not everyone is a writer who can pen their thoughts creatively.

Challenging the Norm

In this day and age, scholarship program managers and students alike have access to numerous forms of technology so it’s high time that you encourage them to use these channels creatively and to their greater advantage!

Your applicants are avid users of technology and carry a whole suite of creative applications around with them in their pockets. The way that they best express themselves and their aspirations is certainly multi-faceted these days and can’t be confined to a written essay.

Asking for information and urging your applicants to go beyond what you can find in their essay or transcript is the best way to go. It’s the student’s chance to highlight who they are, what their personality is like and to express their passion and enthusiasm.

Creating a video essay, a deck, or a photo journal are just some of the ways you can encourage your applicants to show you why they deserve that coveted scholarship. Getting a glimpse of their technical and creative skills are just two of the main advantages of employing these application methods. Try to veer away from traditional written essays that don’t reflect their true purpose and passion.

Making it Happen

It all sounds well and good to allow students to submit various forms of creative expression until you really think about the logistics of organizing all of those files and ensuring sure they’re uploaded in an easy and accessible way. Making the process easy, direct, and intuitive is essential to organizing the information you need to gather from your prospects and helping your review team do their job.

Many foundations are confined within old methods because they know how to work that process and they’re hesitant to move to something different. But when a scholarship management system is custom-made for your foundation to match your workflow, you can only expect improvement.

The Benefits of Optimizing Your Scholarship Application Questions

More information for your reviewers to evaluate and consider 

Sitting at a desk and reading answers to the same essay questions can be a daunting task for your reviewers. Allowing applicants to submit various different creative application materials means your reviewers will have much more interesting and relevant content to review and consider.

Engaged reviewers are effective reviewers. And effective reviewers are equally as important as highly qualified applicants in the scholarship process.

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Discover more qualified and competent applicants 

When you have limited resources available to award to applicants, you want to make sure you choose the best candidates. As you broaden the scope of how students are able to express their passion, you will yield more qualified and competent applicants.

A transcript or resume can only show a snapshot of someone’s experience and background. When applicants are able to employ a wide array of expressive technology, they begin to stand out to your reviewers in a whole new way.

Here are some guide questions your applicants can refer to as they work on their submissions:

  1. What are your specific educational plans and career goals and why?  What inspires you to achieve them?
  2. Explain how you have helped your family or made your community a better place to live. Please provide specific examples.
  3. Describe a personal accomplishment and the strengths and skills you used to achieve it.
  4. Describe a significant change or experience that has occurred in your life. How did you respond and what did you learn about yourself from that experience?
  5. Besides working and attending classes, what activities are you involved with? Is there a special passion you have for these activities? Summarize the time spent on each activity. Highlight leadership roles, special accomplishments, or recognition received.

Continuous growth and an excellent track record for your organization

This unconventional yet more creative application process will mean your scholarship program will grow in more ways than one and draw interest. It’s key to stay ahead of the curve so that your programs stand out and an online scholarship management system is exactly what you need to get the job right.

Make the review process simple and more engaging, and gain insight into the reports you can easily generate so that you can grow the funding portion of your scholarship program as well. Knowing that higher education is changing at breakneck speed and becoming more competitive than ever, investing in a robust scholarship management platform is one of the best ways you can boost your organization’s productivity and performance.

Create a smooth-running scholarship process with Scholars United, a platform to help universities, colleges, and corporations manage their entire scholarship application lifecycle in one centralized solution:

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Accept Scholarship Applications 

Need to import student data from enrollment systems, financial aid systems, home-grown student databases, or from systems like Banner and PeopleSoft? Scholars United enables these imports and our integration APIs are used to afford students and admins single sign-on using their existing SIS credentials, eliminating the need for multiple usernames and passwords.

Find The Best Awardees with Optimized Scholarship Application Questions

Flexible Scholarship Matches 

With our “One-Click Apply” option, students can apply for all available scholarships in just a few seconds.

Match Applicants To Funds 

Scholars United automatically matches all the applicants who qualify. Easily set up a scoring rubric and have the system create a pre-sorted list of applicants based on the highest relevance to the fund’s criteria and find the most qualified applicants.


Whether you’re a startup organization or a leading corporation, CommunityForce provides fully customizable, all-in-one online scholarship management solutions to maximize your efficiency, simplify complex processes, and improve collaboration so you can focus on increasing your impact. We’ve helped organizations streamline their entire process no matter the size and scope of their giving.