For many, the benefits of providing scholarships are easy to understand. They provide financial support to worthy students seeking higher education, allow organizations and individuals to give back to the community, or even create a way to honor the memories of loved ones. However, the process of actually starting up a scholarship program can seem confusing and complicated. But when you plan early, starting up a scholarship program doesn’t need to be stressful. Here are five things to consider when starting up a scholarship program.


The first step of starting up your scholarship program is determining the scope and extent of the scholarship. To determine this, first, you need to understand why you’re starting a scholarship program in the first place. 

Is your scholarship program intended to help put your employees’ children through school? Is it for students studying in a particular field of study? Are you limiting applicants to a specific geographic area or planning to offer scholarships state or nation-wide? 

Finally, you need to consider how much you intend to award. Do you plan on providing a full-ride scholarship to a select few recipients or smaller bursaries to many students? Clarifying your scholarship program’s objectives will help you decide the size of the program and funding requirements in the future. 

Program Design

Once you have an objective for the scholarship program, you can work on the finer details. Common aspects to consider are eligibility, number of available scholarships, program dates, frequency of awards, and selection criteria. Using a scholarship management service such as Scholar’s App can make this process easy to track. 


Once you have set the program dates for your scholarship, it’s essential to stick to that timeline. It’s not uncommon for new scholarship programs to fall behind after their first awards cycle. As soon as a scholarship gets awarded, applications for the next academic year begin to flood in. To avoid being trapped under this workload, many scholarship programs rely on scholarship management services like Scholar’s App to help them keep track of program dates and ensure that things stay on time year after year. 


The financial aspects of scholarships aren’t limited to the scholarships themselves. Scholarship programs involve a lot of overhead. From legal fees to accounting, administration, printing, mailing, and promotion, there are a lot of extra costs that many scholarship providers fail to anticipate. To help keep costs in line, many successful scholarship programs rely on Scholar’s App to manage their programs and automate many of the smaller administrative tasks. Scholar’s App also helps with promotion and communication with would-be scholars. Using a scholarship management program helps minimize the amount of printing and copying required. Instead of mailing out copies of documents to each reviewer, team members can quickly and easily access them online. Not only does this help the environment, but it reduces overhead too. The more your scholarship program can save on overhead, the more funds you will have available to be awarded to young scholars. 


For many scholarship programs, the “why” is often easier than the “how.” Processes are often complicated. Many organizations don’t have the time to learn them. By using a scholarship management service like Scholar’s App, the process can be easier for all the parties involved. With Scholar’s App, many of the day-to-day administrative tasks, like collecting applications, conferring with reviewers, or notifying those successful applicants, are all automated, making it easier for organizations of any size to run a successful scholarship program. 

Creating a scholarship program from scratch can be an exciting time. It doesn’t have to be difficult either. While you’re helping students, Scholar’s App can help you help them.

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