There are numerous tasks for both students and their counselors when preparing for college and applying for scholarships. To combat this problem, Scholar’s App has a collaborative College Ready Checklist where students can tick off important to-do items. 

Counselors, however, have hundreds of students with different needs and requirements. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Education, there is only one counselor for every 455 students in the United States. Every year, hundreds of students reach out to their counselor for help on their scholarship applications, making high school counseling an extremely hectic job. 

So to remove some of that stress, we’ve created a scholarship checklist to help counselors keep up with hundreds of students and deadlines.

1. Start early by setting goals for your students

The college application process starts as early as August and counselors can cut their workload in half by educating students early on in the academic year. For students graduating in 2022, counselors can create custom checklists for their students.

Scholar’s App provides counselors the option to create individualized College-Ready Checklists for their students to ensure they do everything they can to prepare for higher education.

Related: College-Ready Checklist

2. (Passively) discover scholarships for your students

With millions of scholarships out there, it’s unlikely that your students will be able to find all that they qualify for. There are numerous ways counselors can help by discovering relevant scholarships including signing up for newsletters. 

Another way is to create a free counselor account on Scholar’s App and invite your students to join. Based on your students’ individual requirements, Scholar’s App will recommend verified scholarships that they can apply to. This process requires no active involvement from the counselor – appropriate scholarships are automatically recommended to qualified students. 

3. Prepare and send out student guidance documents

Once again, it’s best to curate resources for students that offer guidance, laying out the basics of scholarship applications and sending them to all students early on. 

Students can refer to those documents for frequently asked questions, giving counselors more time to focus on individual students. 

4. Use a messaging tool for easier communication with students (and parents)

Counselors also need to find a messaging tool that is optimal for sending out mass messages and documents (while keeping things organized). Many counselors simply use email or their mobile phone numbers but both of those options are far from perfect. Phone messages are prone to disorganization and emails can get stuck in spam filters.

Mainstream messaging tools like Slack can be used but there are better alternatives including a Broadcast feature within Scholar’s App that enables counselors to send mass messages with important information about scholarships. This allows them to stay in contact with their students and even parents/guardians. 

5. Verify your student’s scholarships

Unfortunately, there are numerous fraudulent scholarship funds that tend to dupe unsuspecting students or sell their personal information. Counselors should share resources to educate their students on how to identify these. 

Related: Fraudulent Scholarships

Counselors can also search for potentially fraudulent scholarships using Scholar’s App or cross-check scholarship information using our massive directory of thousands of scholarships, each of which is fully verified.

6. Send student documents to scholarships

As a counselor, you will certainly find yourself being actively involved in the submission of college and scholarship applications. For instance, many scholarship applications (and college applications through CommonApp) will ask for mid-year reports and transcripts and in some cases, you may need to share this yourself.

7. Use a dedicated tool for tracking individual progress

Counselors can use the numerous free Kanban-style boards (such as Asana) for managing individual student progress. However, there is a massive downside to this approach as these platforms do not have the necessary functionality to allow student-counselor collaboration.

Scholar’s App, on the other hand, not only enables counselors to track individual student progress but also maintains secure records and documents such as transcripts, resumes, and applications. Additionally, counselors can collaborate with students to make changes to their applications right on the platform. 

One modern platform for everything

You may have noticed a theme in this scholarship checklist – it’s based on leveraging technology to streamline your workload. Most school administrative workflows have simply not moved on with the times. Counselors often don’t have access to the modern tools that can make their work more effective and efficient.

For instance, with a free account on Scholar’s App, counselors can:

  • Get custom scholarships requirements from a fully-verified directory
  • Manage student transcripts
  • Send mass emails in the form of Broadcasts
  • Send deadline reminders
  • Collaborate on applications and essays with students
  • Notify parents/guardians
  • Request documents for incomplete applications, and much more

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