Tech Tips: Scholarships

  • August 14, 2023

Scholarships provide funding for a student's educational costs, like tuition, books, or fees. They can be need or merit-based and often have specific requirements. Though most common for students entering a college or university for the first time, different scholarships may be available for current undergraduate or graduate students.

Challenges

  • Scholarships often require many different documents, such as reference letters, transcripts, and writing samples.
  • If need-based, the financial aid office may need to complete a separate verification.
  • Full submission packets are lengthy for reviewers to navigate.
  • Review processes may require several steps, and administrators need to quickly determine top applicants overall.

Solutions

  • The application form (Requirements page) will restrict applicants to submitting materials in the same order.
  • Reviewers will be able to export PDF packets of each application, with a paginated and labeled table of contents.
  • Build different routing steps for each stage of verification and feedback. Financial aid representatives can be looped in when necessary.
  • Download specific reports to easily see which applicants rose to the top through each routing step.

Tips

  • Collect basic information reviewers need at a glance in the top part of the application form, such as contact information, academic standing, and perhaps a brief personal statement.
  • Which file attachments are most important for reviewers to evaluate and make decisions? Have applicants upload those first so they appear earlier in the packet.
  • Need reviewers to rank applications? There are three different approaches, described in detail here: How to Rank Applications Using Routing Steps.
  • If Comments & Rating Combination routing steps are used, download the Rankings by Score report for the quickest snapshot. Dig in further with the Total Application Scores by Reviewer report, which displays averages and standard deviations.
  • Use Progress Reports to collect thank you notes to share with donors or other stakeholders.
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