Scholarships are a game-changer for a lot of students. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that your scholarship program is making the biggest impact that it possibly can.

Here are some ways you can optimize the value of your scholarship program. 

Does My Scholarship Integrate With Other Financial Aid?

Students may receive funding from their educational institution directly, and some may receive a private scholarship. 

These are wonderful opportunities for students, but due to what is termed scholarship “displacement”, some institutions assign those private scholarships as part of the standard funding provided by families and use this policy to reduce their own contributions. 

Due to that, the maximum value ratio for this form of the student’s financial age is reduced. Fortunately, this practice is becoming less common, but there’s not a lot you can do to prevent this act if the educational facility has this policy in place. 

However, there are a few ways to work around this. 

Altering Scholarship Programs

Some proactive scholarship organizations have reached out to scholarship recipients to determine what sort of displacement they are facing, and have found ways to modify their programs to counteract this displacement. 

Some of these programs have varied their award amounts, made changes to the timing involved with allocation of the money, or even swapped their scholarship to a repayment, which allows the student to get maximum institutional aid with the scholarship money going towards their fees to reduce the total amount they are required to pay. 

Choose Your Recipients Carefully

Not all students are afforded the advantage of receiving scholarship assistance from their chosen institution, so finding students that meet this criterion will maximize your efficiency because you will not be in contention with displacement policies at all. 

The students will receive the full benefit of the funding you have to offer them. 

Work With Program Initiatives

As this practice is known to many universities, a lot of them work with initiative programs designed to prevent displacement from affecting the value of private scholarships. 

That means that there are organizations that have agreed not to displace, which means that promoting your scholarship among students of these agencies will ensure that they receive the full value of your offer.

Does My Scholarship Meet the Needs of the Modern Student?

There are more expenses that a student faces outside of tuition. There are textbooks, living accommodations, fees, groceries, transportation expenses, and a variety of others. So even though a low-income student may have received a generous scholarship that covers all of their tuition, they may find their ability to continue in their educational program threatened by daily living expenses. 

Although institutional scholarships are often restricted to tuition itself, private scholarships are under no such obligation. Having flexibility with your scholarship use options can really make a difference for some students. 

Diversifying your offering to cover all qualified expenses can allow the student to use it for anything they need related to successfully maintaining their university life. Offering provisions for a variety of different financial considerations can not only provide a greater value to more students but is another way to sidestep displacement. 

If nothing else, creating a smaller fund for these purposes as an emergency provision can improve your flexibility without hampering the way your program functions. This specific fund can be used in those specific situations to make the most of scholarship funding.

Does My Scholarship Grow With the Student?

A majority of scholarship programs are one-time payments, typically at the beginning of the student’s college career. Yet, what happens if that amount is not enough to get them through the later years in their program? That reduces the effectiveness of your scholarship to zero, as the student was unable to acquire their degree.

You may consider a renewable scholarship. That means that you offer amounts available each year to ensure the student can afford the back end of the program as well as the beginning. The student can activate this “renew” and they now have a safety net to guide them the rest of the way.

Final Thoughts

Making changes such as these to improve the value of your scholarships can be complicated, so you might consider a scholarship management service. 

Scholar’s App is a great option, as a free platform that assists donors throughout the entire lifecycle of your scholarship, making it easier to implement changes easier and without becoming a significant time sink. 

Help make the most out of your donation and ensure your funding goes the distance for every student in need.

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