• Feature Spotlight: Budget Calculator

    Have you ever found that an “official” financial aid calculation doesn’t accurately capture a student’s financial circumstances? If your institution factors financial need into awarding decisions, then it’s critical that you find a way to properly assess each applicant’s finances. AwardSpring’s newest feature, the Budget Calculator, is designed to help you do just that.

    The Budget Calculator is a simple, customizable calculator that documents a student’s incoming and outgoing funds to establish cash flow - and financial need. When the Budget Calculator is activated, students will see it within the application flow. There are two sections to the calculator, initially named “Resources” and “Expenses” (administrators can rename these sections if desired). The “Resources” section is designed to include fields like income, scholarships, grants, and parental or spousal contributions. The “Expenses” section is designed to include fields like housing, groceries, utilities, and child care. Administrators can create, label, and customize as many fields as they like under each section. In addition, administrators can provide introductory and field instructions as needed.

    We expect the Budget Calculator to be particularly useful in areas with high costs of living, where government estimates aren’t always accurate. You may also want to use the Budget Calculator if you suspect that your students’ EFC numbers aren’t telling the full story. You can always add the Budget Calculator for a cycle or two to see if it helps you make better awarding decisions. If you already use a different method of assessing student financial need, you don’t have to replace that method with this calculator - just use both, and see if you get any new insights!

    If you’d like to try the Budget Calculator, we recommend adding it between award cycles. Contact us at support@awardspring.com and we’ll be happy to walk you through the configuration.

    Want to learn more?

    Join our Budget Calculator Webinar:

    • October 29th: 1 - 2 pm CST
    • October 31st: 11 am - 12 pm CST

    Screen Share Link: Click Here

    Audio by Phone: 1-773-231-9226

    Use Code: 911 234 9065#

  • Feature Spotlight: Custom Fields

    AwardSpring administrators now have a simple way to add more information to scholarship records with our newest feature: custom fields. With custom fields, you can track and report on any data that’s important to you and your institution - and you have control over how that information appears in each scholarship record. Read on for more details about this new feature.

    What kinds of custom fields can I add to my scholarship record?
    In the “Details” tab of each scholarship record, you can add fields like:

    - Additional Fund ID
    - Scholarship Type
    - Endowed Account
    - Renewable
    - College Designation
    - Selection Committee

    You can add up to 10 custom fields to your scholarships. Here’s an example of how the custom fields could appear in your scholarship record:

    What custom field formats are available?
    You can require a single response, multiple responses (as many as you’d like), an open-ended response, or a numeric response. That way, you can customize fields to your precise specifications.

    Do custom field responses influence AwardSpring functionality in any way?
    Your custom fields will be attached to the scholarship record only as additional data. They will not have an impact on eligibility, follow-ups, or any other AwardSpring functions. 

    What is the benefit of adding custom fields to my scholarship records?
    If your previous paper or spreadsheet method of scholarship management included more details about your scholarships than your AwardSpring site does, now you can get back to tracking that data. You can also run reports on this information. To set up a custom report that includes data from your custom fields, email support@awardspring.com with the details of your request and we’ll be happy to set it up for you.

    Click here if you'd like to see a video overview of the new custom fields functionality.

  • Feature Spotlight: Award & Deny

    Once all of your scholarship applications have been reviewed, it’s time to make award decisions - and AwardSpring makes it so simple to find the perfect candidate. Here’s how to make the most of the options and information available in the Award & Deny tab of your AwardSpring application, so you and your donors can be certain you’ve made the very best award decisions!

    The Applicant Table

    Each applicant to a given scholarship appears in an applicant table located in the Award/Deny tab. By default, you’ll see columns that list each applicant’s average reviewer score and the amount of money already awarded. Hover over the average reviewer score to see a breakdown of each individual reviewer score. You can add new column to reveal information that will be important to your award decision. Answers to any questions asked on your application can be added here, and you can add as many new columns as you’d like.

    Filtering Applicants

    Once you have customized all of the information you need, you can add parameters around that information to narrow down your list of applicants. For example, you may wish to only award students with a specific major, a GPA over 3.5, or those who have indicated that they have a financial need. (This is a great time to filter based on your donors’ preferences!) Use the “Add Filter” button to add as many filtering criteria as you’d like; once your filters are applied, any candidates who do not meet the requirements will be removed from the list.

    Selecting Your Candidates

    With filters in place, your applicant table is now full of the very best candidates for your scholarship. Clicking the arrows in each column header will sort the table by that header; this can help you see, for example, the least-awarded students or best-reviewed students rise to the top of the list. Once you’ve chosen the best candidate, click “Award” in the Action column for every student you wish to award. You can then click the arrow to the left of the Action header to deny all non-awarded students, or you can go down the list and manually choose “Deny” for each non-awarded student.

    If you ever have questions about how to use the Award & Deny features, or if you’d like a refresher training course, just send us a note at support@awardspring.com and we’ll be glad to help!

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