Attracting qualified scholarship applicants is often more challenging than most people realize. In fact, there are an estimated 1.7 million available private fellowships and scholarships, with numbers like that promotion alone will only yield partial results.
The vast amount of scholarships available can overwhelm students who often feel lost when trying to sort through long lists of potential matching opportunities. Many become discouraged and feel like giving up on what can seem like an impossible task.
In addition, some applicants find the application questions, such as the personal essay, tough to answer, particularly when limited to a written essay format.
All these factors can negatively impact the number of submissions scholarship donors and administrators receive.
Scholarship donors and administrators must rethink traditional scholarship application questions and utilize technology to expand and increase their current pool of qualified applicants.
New Approaches to Scholarship Questions
Time to ditch the five-page essays. There is only so much one can learn about a person from a written personal statement. Thankfully, there are far more effective methods for getting to know a scholarship applicant. In addition, by making the scholarship application process easier for students, scholarship donors and administrators can expect more submitted applications.
Video essays are a better way to get a fuller sense of an applicant’s personality, strengths, and character. It is also a more inclusive option, given some students may have a physical or mental limitation that impairs the quality of their writing. For example, dyslexia affects a staggering 15% of all students in the United States.
Allowing students to submit their personal statements in various formats ensures that otherwise bright, articulate, trailblazing applicants aren’t overlooked. Students who might seem average from a written essay may prove to be dynamic, innovative, critical thinkers when sharing their stories on camera.
Slide deck presentations are another creative way to let students tell their stories. Slide decks are more visual mediums that allow individuals to showcase both their creative and computer skills. Students can create dynamic presentations that tell reviewers why they are the best candidate for the scholarship award.
Audio essays are another excellent option. Scholarship application reviewers can listen to a student tell their personal story while hearing all of the excitement and emotions in a student’s voice, something not available in a five-page essay.
Technology Tools for Scholarship Management
High school and college students live online. It’s where they talk with friends, engage with class assignments, and find information. So, it’s natural that it’s where they will also be looking for scholarships. Without using scholarship application management software, your scholarship opportunity will likely become lost in the sea of the internet, making it difficult for students to find.
Technology tools such as Scholar’s App connect scholarship opportunities to students instantly. Donors and administrators can easily post scholarship opportunities online, and Scholar’s App does all the work to find qualified candidates.
In minutes, donors can customize each scholarship to reach the right students to ensure that they connect with multiple high-quality applicants. The platform performs automatic matching, meaning the scholarship appears on any qualified candidate’s dashboard, thus making students aware of a scholarship opportunity they might not have otherwise discovered.
Scholar’s App even provides personalized reminders that encourage the completion of each application helping busy students not to miss critical submission deadlines.
The all-in-one platform also stores all the information scholarship reviewers need to make quick award decisions, like essays, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.
What Are the Benefits?
While change can seem daunting, it can bring with it valuable benefits. Redesigning scholarship application questions takes work, but it is well worth it. By providing more options for responding to scholarship application questions, a wider variety of applicants will apply. Widening the applicant pool increases the chances of finding high-quality matches faster.
In addition, employing technology tools such as Scholar’s App streamlines the application evaluation process making it easier for reviewers to make decisions and access the information they need. The platform provides a central dashboard where donors and reviewers can conduct the scoring process together, allowing greater collaboration.
Scholar’s App has helped students receive over $20M in funding and has helped donors double their amount of completed qualified applications.
Ready to Receive More High-Qualified Applicants?
With almost 2 million scholarships and fellowships available to students, scholarship donors and administrators need to go the extra mile to get their scholarship opportunities in front of qualified candidates.
Take your scholarship opportunity to the next level and begin receiving more qualified applications using the Scholar’ App. Click here to get started.