If you’ve just got started with your scholarship journey, you’ve probably realized that launching, managing and awarding scholarships can be a pretty tedious task. If you don’t have the help of an entire team of people to help you with your scholarship, you’re probably looking for help in the form of a scholarship management tool.
But what makes a good scholarship management tool and how will you know all the right features that a tool needs to have? How much should it cost?
Here are some of the answers to those questions, as well as a list of all the features you need in your ideal scholarship management tool.
1. It should be in the cloud
It’s fairly common today for organizations to have employees scattered across the country or even the globe. Your scholarship management tool should be built in the cloud, so that it can be accessed by anyone, at any time. If you’re using a traditional application that is tied to a specific device, you’ll only be able to access it from your office. Even worse, only one person can access it at a time. You want an app that allows you to connect to the internet and work on your scholarship from wherever.
Moreover, an app that is in the cloud can benefit from different permission settings. That way, different members of your team can access different portions of your scholarship management app.
2. It should have a system that collects students’ data easily
The bulk of the work with scholarships is sorting applicants and their data. If you get your applications in the traditional way (through email), you probably have tons of materials to wade through every day. Instead of listing each new applicant in an Excel spreadsheet or some other tool, your scholarship management tool should do the job for you. That way, you can see all of our applicants at a glance and they will be sorted according to their names, date of birth, university, GPA, etc.
3. It should automatically choose your winners
Speaking of sorting data, what good is a system that sorts 500 applications in a minute if you still have to manually choose your winner? Sometimes, you want to have the pleasure of selecting the best applicant yourself. Other times, you just want an app to take care of it on your behalf. For these cases, your scholarship tool should do the hard work and choose a winner according to your set criteria.
Not only that, but the app should automatically rank your applicants based on the criteria you set. That way, you can create an actual list of applicants instead of randomly giving out the scholarship to someone the app thinks is the best fit.
4. It should have customizable application forms
Having seen thousands and thousands of scholarships so far, I can tell you one thing – no two are the same. Each one has a different set of eligibility criteria, and your scholarship management tool should account for this fact. No matter what you require from your students, the app should have a way to require it from the applicants.
5. It should give you the option to export your data
Having all of your student applications in your scholarship app is a wonderful thing. However, sometimes you may need that data for some other use. Your app should come with an option to export your applicants’ data in other file formats, such as spreadsheets, CSV files, PDF files, etc. The data can then be accessed by virtually anyone with a working computer or a laptop, and the recipient won’t need access to your app.
6. It should let you communicate with students easily
All of the best scholarships have one thing in common – they keep the applicants up to date through the application process. Wouldn’t it be great if a student knew immediately if they qualify for the scholarship? Moreover, wouldn’t it be even better if they got an email every time they pass to the next round?
It’s absolutely doable, and the best scholarship management tools come with built-in email automation. You should be able to set up a range of automated emails, so that every time an action happens, it triggers an email that goes straight to the student. The benefits are twofold: you don’t have to send any emails manually any more and your students are kept up to date at all times.
7. It should be secure
Think of your students’ data just like it’s your customers’ data. It’s precious and no one except you should get access to it. It should be so safe that no matter what kind of cyber attack you endure, no one can reach the data that your applicants leave. The best scholarship management tools have several layers of encryption so that students know that they are leaving their data in good hands. The more certain they are that their data won’t be misused, the more likely they are to apply.
8. It should make it easy for you to create application pages
As a business owner, you probably have little idea how to write code. In reality, why would you need to know how to create web pages? However, you shouldn’t know how to create websites or website pages.
Nowadays, there are lots of apps that let you build landing pages, but your scholarship management tool should come with this feature right out of the box. This way, your applicants can have a seamless experience from the very first time they land on your website, until the moment they apply.
9. It should connect to Zapier!
If you’ve been online for more than a minute, you’ve probably heard of Zapier. This amazing application lets you connect hundreds of different applications to save tons of time and money.
Possible applications include getting your applicants from your scholarship management tool to an Excel sheet, plugging their data to your CRM, adding their contact information to your email marketing software or whatever comes to your mind. With Zapier, the sky’s the limit.
We have good news!
If you thought that it was impossible to have all of these modern features in a single scholarship management tool, think again. ScholarshipApp is a modern tool for businesses that want to launch scholarships quickly and provide a superb user experience for their applicants. No more spending ages on handling applications and weeding through piles of emails to choose your winners. Start with ScholarshipApp today and start reaping the full benefits of scholarships as a marketing tool!