You’ve probably realized that launching, managing, and awarding scholarships can be a pretty tedious task. If you don’t have the help of an entire team of people to help you with your scholarship, you’re probably looking for help in the form of a scholarship management tool.
But what makes a good scholarship management tool? Doing things the old way will get the job done, but there are exponentially better ways to do it. You could transition to a digital application management system and get the work done in a fraction of the time, with a fraction of the effort, and a fraction of the cost, while delivering better results than you’ve ever been able to.
Now, you might be thinking – we’re already digitized. We’re using Google Forms or digital applications that can be sent to an admin via email. Even these methods have a lot of room for improvement.
First, the admin can easily get bombarded with receiving far too many applications that are from unqualified candidates. Second, having to download all those applications can take a long time. And that doesn’t even touch on the fact that these applications might be filled out incorrectly, or submitted in the wrong format.
Here’s how an efficient and intuitive scholarship management platform can help your organization:
Get Better Applicants
With application management software, you have the luxury of excluding people from your candidate pool before they even waste their time (or yours) filling out the application. Better still, if they do end up on your application page for some reason, you can add pre-qualification questions and additional information to your application that lets the candidate know right off the bat that they aren’t a good fit.
For example, if you have an income qualifier, you could include a rule in your application that automatically filters them out and tells them not to continue filling out the form if they exceed that income amount. Imagine the time and energy you could save from this step alone.
You’ll also enjoy the right applicants finding your applications. People that may have never heard of your scholarship, grant, or award program might now be able to apply for your program simply because they have easier access to it online. The truth is, people are constantly searching for programs to be rewarded with scholarships and grant money, but if they can’t find it online, those programs may never come into their awareness. Simply by bringing your program online with software that works, you’re making it easier for your perfect match to find your programs.
Gain Valuable Time Back
We already alluded to this, but you will save a lot of time by using an intuitive online application management system. For starters, you won’t have to print or download a bunch of applications and/or retrieve them from the post office. Notifications can automatically come to your inbox, and even be filtered based on rubrics and rules that you set up.
Imagine your applications being filtered so that all unqualified candidates are instantly rejected, and you only receive the cream of the crop for evaluation. Now imagine that with your rubrics, applications start being scored and then instantly sent off to smaller groups of people for quick assessment. Within moments you’ve saved an untold amount of employee or volunteer hours and now have a significantly smaller pool of candidates to sift through. That’s the power of smarter application management software. With a few simple rules, calculations, and automation you can streamline your process to save time.
Save Money on Resources
You can likely see how much you’ll save on employee or volunteer hours, but what about all the money you will save on things like postage, printing, storage room, etc.? All those things add up to big numbers. Instead of managing a big office filled with hundreds of file folders and filing cabinets, you can have all of your paperwork digitized. Your applicants can upload any number of documents such as transcripts, photos, referral documents, etc… and you can limit your uploads to specific formats such as PDF or JPG if you want to streamline things even further.
Thanks to smart software, you can refine your communication with everyone involved with your programs. Applicant requests for your assistance can be mitigated with embedded help information, online FAQs, and question-level hints. Evaluators and administrators won’t be bogged down with the same questions every day, but those questions will still be answered in a timely fashion. You can send instant emails and text messages to anyone so that people on your team and in your applicant pool will be able to receive instant updates of timelines, events, and relevant news. People can be made aware of the status of applications, deadlines, and other pertinent information with the click of a button.
The biggest cause of errors in the application process is humans that are working in the program. The reality is that it’s incredibly easy to miscalculate, misread and misunderstand. With a solid application management system, you can reduce human errors because it will automatically calculate numbers and sort applications for you. It’s much easier to move through the pool of candidates when things are automated.
It might not be at the top of your list in terms of benefits, but a lot of organizations have to print out every envelope, every referral letter you receive, and every application – reducing those mountains of paper can save hundreds of thousands of trees over the life of your program.
Security is extremely important these days. Identity theft is a bigger problem now than ever before, and as a result, people are very wary about mailing or even emailing sensitive data such as addresses and social security numbers. With an intuitive application management system, you can put your candidates’ worries and your own worries to rest knowing that all the data received will be encrypted and protected from cybercriminals and would-be hackers.
Simplify Award Determination
Finally, with a smarter application management system, you can simplify the award determination process. There can be a lot of emotion involved when it comes to giving someone a monetary award. In fact, one glaring error you can minimize is the award nearly going, or actually going, to someone that is unqualified. There’s nothing worse than a team of evaluators becoming emotionally attached to an applicant and getting overly invested in them only to find out that there was something in their application that disqualifies them. Errors like this don’t have to happen!
Using simple rubrics and automated filtering systems, you can refine your list to a pool of only the most qualified people. Now instead of having upwards of hundreds if not thousands of decent candidates, you’ll have a small pool of the best people to choose from making it much easier to make your decision. Then, once you have determined your winners, you can make the announcement and award delivery just as seamless.
If you are affiliated with a college or university and looking for a solution to automate your complex processes, empower your outstanding applicants with the best scholarship management software.
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.
Perhaps the most basic scholarship application strategy is to encourage applicants to apply for scholarships they have the best chance of winning. While this seems obvious enough, figuring out what these scholarships are for requires thought and strategy. This searchable directory from Scholars United gives applicants complete access to available opportunities, the ability to manage active scholarships, and qualify via automated nominations and referrals.
Give your applicants a serious head start on the competition by encouraging them to apply early and after they do, begin narrowing the list down to awards they think they have the best chance of winning. Whatever the reason, there are likely to be scholarships that stand out as awards for areas in which they excel.
Empower your applicants to play their strengths when constructing their scholarship applications. Everything they indicate in their applications should highlight their strengths as aspiring scholars.
Our easy application portal makes this possible with the “One-Click Apply” option, so applicants can apply for all available opportunities in a matter of seconds. With the option to upload attachments, essays, and letters of recommendation, we offer nothing less than convenience and ease of use.
Put students’ success first and award the right candidates with Scholars United. Make your work easier, automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks, and focus on what matters – increasing your impact.