So, you’ve decided that you’ll no longer rely on Excel spreadsheets and email threads to run your scholarship program. You want to choose a good scholarship software to manage your campaigns but you’re not sure which features to look for. This is not uncommon and the good news is – we have a list of the most useful features you must have to make your life easier and to award your students more quickly.
It needs to be cloud-based
Think of the apps we use most in today’s environment – Google Suite, Docs, Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Notion various social media platforms… They all have one thing in common – they are based in the cloud and they can be accessed from anywhere. In the age of the coronavirus pandemic, meeting in person with someone to discuss your scholarship doesn’t seem very feasible. If your scholarship software works in the cloud, you can work with a scholarship management team located anywhere in the world.
This also means that you can work asynchronously. Different members of your team can work on applications during different times of the day and even in different time zones.
It needs to have great integrations
Think of the apps mentioned above, such as Slack and Microsoft. They’re popular for a wealth of reasons – not just their amazing user experience. Slack itself has more than 1,000 different integrations. In other words, you can directly connect more than 1,000 different applications with Slack. For example, you do something in your favorite project management app and you immediately get a message in Slack.
In the same way, your scholarship software should integrate with a range of other applications. For example, every time someone applies, you get a new message in a dedicated Slack channel. Or each new scholarship applicant gets added as a new line in your Google Sheet.
Ideally, you want to choose software with as many integrations as possible and with your most-used workplace apps. Alternatively, it should integrate with Zapier, as this platform allows connecting a variety of different applications. The sky is the limit.
It needs to be easy to use
User experience is all the rave these days, be it websites, mobile apps or just your Netflix TV program. We’ve become used to things working flawlessly, every button having a specific purpose and a single app working the same way on different devices.
Your ideal scholarship software should be as easy to use as Netflix. In other words, the moment you sign up, you should naturally know what button to press and what type of results you can expect. In other words, there should be a team of professional designers and developers behind your scholarship software.
It needs to be secure
In an age where any bit of data can be hacked, keeping your students’ information safe is of utmost importance. Depending on what your requirements are, you’ll have students’ names, addresses, emails, GPAs and other personal information you want safe. If the data gets to the wrong people, the students will be in danger of cyber-attack and you will lose credibility as a company.
The best scholarship software out there has several layers of data protection to keep your data yours only. That way, you know you can collect applications and rest assured that nothing will happen to your students or your brand.
It needs to automate (certain) tasks
If you’ve ever launched a scholarship from scratch, you know that it can be very time-consuming. Most of the time, it comes down to the following:
- There are too many applications
- There are not enough reviewers
- You want to communicate with every student and tell them whether they made it to the next round or not
- It’s too difficult to choose between great students with similar achievements and interests
Great scholarship software has features that allow you to automate the tedious parts of scholarship management, such as setting up different requirements, sending emails to confirm applications and more.
On the other hand, your ideal scholarship software will give you the freedom to do certain things manually. For example, reviewing the last round of applicants and communicating with them, grading their essays and more.
Deciding on which scholarship software to use is not easy. You have to put your faith in one tool to do the heavy lifting of automatically selecting the best applicants, communicating with them and awarding them. However, the choice can be simple – just give ScholarshipApp a try. It does everything mentioned above, plus it’s free to try. You have nothing to lose and countless students to make them happy. Get started today!