As a scholarship provider, it seems like scholarship application cycles don’t give you much of an “offseason.” As soon as one application cycle ends, the next cycle is right around the corner. It seems daunting to finish off one round of applications and then immediately jump back to the start. But short application cycle turnarounds don’t have to be stressful. With a bit of careful planning and a scholarship management program, you can get quickly get ready. Here are three tips for getting your scholarship application ready for a new cycle.
Update the Program Dates
The first step of getting ready for your next application cycle is starting with your application open and close dates. Update these on your website and make sure that they’re published as soon as possible. Typically, scholars will begin searching for scholarship providers in the summer, not long after the previous round of scholarships has been handed out to a previous graduating class. You want prospective applicants to have as much time as possible to prepare their applications. After all, if you want to reach the best applicants, you need applicants to know when to apply. A scholarship management system such as Scholar’s App can help make updating program dates simple.
Refresh Your Workflow
Once you’ve updated your program dates, it’s time to take a look at your workflow. Scholarship application requirements can change, and those changes must be communicated to applicants and reviewers alike. Using scholarship management software like Scholar’s App can help keep the workflow clear. By changing the workflow before the scholarship application period begins, scholarship seekers will be ready with the documents they need on day one.
Scholarship management systems also help scholarship providers clean up their workflow by automating crucial steps in the process. They eliminate the need for continuous printing, copying, and email-forwarding of relevant documents. If your scholarship organization feels like you’ve barely had time to recover from the previous application cycle, switching to a scholarship management service could be just what you need.
Update Your Email Template
If you’re like most scholarship providers, you use email notifications to keep your applicants and reviewers updated during the application cycle. Ensure that your email templates are relevant and up-to-date by adjusting any scholarship application open and close dates or reviewer deadlines in your email templates. By updating your email templates and documents in advance, you’ll save time as you approach the application open date. Students are busy. Clear communications can help you attract the best applicants.
Once you’ve updated the program dates, refreshed the workflow, and updated your email templates, you’re almost ready for a new scholarship application cycle.
One last thing that veteran scholarship providers suggest is running a test cycle. A test run before opening the process up to applicants and reviewers is always a good idea, especially when new requirements or changes have been made to the workflow process. Testing the workflow helps you look at things from the applicant’s point of view and catch any details that may have fallen through the cracks. Testing will help make you aware of any potential questions applicants or reviewers may have during the application cycle.
If the prospect of a test run seems daunting, using a robust scholarship management system like Scholar’s App can help streamline the new application cycle and iron out any kinks quickly and efficiently. Visit Scholar’s App today and find out why it is the choice of scholarship providers across America.