Do you know that the long-term retention and success of your scholars still highly depend on your program’s post-award initiatives and management? The work you do does not simply end after you have awarded scholarships to the best and the brightest of them all. Economic, personal, and even disability-based barriers are just some of the factors students face that hinder them from getting ahead and thriving in the respective paths they chose to take.
To date one, of the biggest hurdles educational systems worldwide had to face is the coronavirus pandemic, not to mention, it has upended life as we know it. Students across the globe encountered difficulties beyond measure from schools and universities closing down due to outbreaks, to losing their ability to travel and having face-to-face interactions in a normal learning environment. Many of their parents and guardians suffered a loss of jobs that they depend on for income.
However difficult the situation proves to be, your organization is in a position to help. Continuously creating opportunities and offering your valuable support long after you bestow these scholarships can help students stay engaged and on track.
Here are some of the best ways you can manage your scholars and stay in constant touch:
Stay Updated and Committed
We’ve established that challenges are inevitable but your organization is in the best position to help. Lend a listening ear and allow your scholars to identify these barriers as well as how they have persevered. The information you will gather will also be beneficial to your organization in more ways than one. Enhancing your scholarship program to prepare your future scholars to face these challenges and providing additional support to prevent these from occurring at all are just two of the best ways you can further improve your services.
Monitor Your Scholars’ Performance and Progress
Checking your scholars’ grades alone will not give you a reflection of their entire scope of capabilities. Although low grades indicate there may be something wrong, it could be a matter of a poor fit in a course or program or something more serious like a challenging life event or even illness. Keep tabs by preparing individual progress reports which include the state of their mental health, time management skills, and how they are coping in general. Check for issues that may impact their ability to continue through their schooling, and see if you can provide assistance. Scholarship funds are meant to help students get through college – not just to it.
Keep in mind that their successful graduation and subsequent success in their communities as professionals are what brings your mission full circle.
Employ a Scholarship Management Platform
Keep your processes streamlined and less complicated by using a reliable scholarship management platform. Looking up past scholarship winners who may be willing to serve as mentors to your current scholars and including scholarship application questions that gauge interest in either mentoring or becoming part of a program has never been this easy.
Collaborate with admins and other reviewers for a seamless review process. View comments and communicate with committee members and determine the outcome all on the same platform – say goodbye to multiple apps to communicate, collaborate, and review.
Stay constantly visible and let your scholars know you genuinely care for their plight by checking in and reaching out to them individually whenever possible. You may also include newsletters in your regular communication. Feature topics and themes that they may greatly benefit from such as time management tips, writing cover letters and resumes, or preparing for on-the-job training.
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:
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.
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.