Finding and applying for scholarships could be an entire part-time job, at least. If you’re one of the administrators or donors of a scholarship, you know how important it is for your application process to be streamlined and easy to understand. It’s also essential to make sure your guidelines are clear so students don’t waste time applying for scholarships they don’t qualify for.
There are a lot of issues to watch out for. If you don’t have a good interface and simple instructions, students will often give up and move on to find an easier and less time-consuming application process. Don’t lose hope! We’ve come up with a list of four steps you can take to make your scholarship application easier to complete.
1. Use an Eligibility Quiz
It’s vital to let your audience know whether or not your scholarship applies to them as soon as possible in the application process. If you don’t let them know upfront what the requirements are, you may end up wasting their time! That’s why an eligibility quiz should be the first step in your application process.
An eligibility quiz will allow you to screen for your basic requirements quickly before your would-be applicant spends too much time poring over the information. The quiz will stop those who aren’t eligible from continuing to the full application, saving time for them and your staff.
The questions will be simple, weeding out those who aren’t in the right state, have GPAs lower than the requirements, or anything similar. Make sure to save essay questions for those who are eligible to fill out the entire application.
The eligibility quiz process can be fully automated.
2. Add Question Logic
A smart form doesn’t present every question to your applicants—only the relevant questions based on their previous answers. This saves the applicant time because they don’t have to read the question before realizing they should skip it. It gives the applicant confidence in your application process, and it’s much more professional.
Smart forms use branching logic to determine what question to present next. For example, if your form asks an applicant if they have traveled abroad for study, and they say no, the smart form will automatically skip the following questions: Where did you travel, and how long did you study there?
3. Separate Your Application into Stages
Dividing your application into stages makes it more user-friendly and makes your application not as daunting. Craft each section to get the information to determine if the applicant should advance to the next stage.
For example, your eligibility quiz should serve as your first stage, weeding out those who don’t meet the basic requirements. Then, the second stage is your smart form, which will use question logic to determine which questions should be asked. Your third stage can be submitting references or anything you choose.
4. Allow Applicants to Save Their Progress
In today’s busy world, it’s rare to have the time to fill out a lengthy application all in one sitting. Also, a technology mishap could cause an applicant to lose all the work they’ve done. Give them the option to save after each stage. That’s what is expected these days, and it’ll save a lot of trouble.
Is there a shortcut?
Yes, there is! Now that we’ve shared these four tips with you, we have one more helpful suggestion. Registering your scholarship on Scholar’s App will save you from worrying about all the steps above. Scholar’s App creates a custom application for your scholarship and only shows your scholarship listing to applicants with a profile that matches your criteria.
We offer specialized accounts for students, parents, school counselors, and scholarship providers so that everyone has the tools they need right at their fingertips. Counselors who sign up with Scholar’s App and encourage their students to do so have seen a 75% return in completed applications. Scholarship providers have seen double the number of completed applications, all verified and qualified according to their specifications.
The tools offered by Scholar’s App simplify the process for everyone involved. Give it a try!