• Why We Created AwardSpring NOW

    When we first created AwardSpring, we had just one version that was built to serve schools with robust scholarship offerings. But we soon realized that there were many small schools, foundations, and organizations with just one or two scholarships - and there just wasn’t a scholarship management solution that made sense for them. These folks didn’t need all the bells and whistles that larger schools expect, but they still invested a lot of time and effort in scholarship management that could be better spent elsewhere. In fact, small organizations with few scholarships are more likely to have ad hoc scholarship management processes run by individuals who only do it as part of their job rather than dedicated staff. Creating an organized and effective process in that environment can be really tough, and there are no benefits of scale when administering so few scholarships.

    So we wondered - could we create a version of our solution that served the needs of these smaller organizations while bringing the price down to a level that made financial sense for them?

    In 2017, we did. AwardSpring NOW is a slimmed-down version of our PRO software for smaller schools, foundations, and professional organizations with five or fewer scholarship opportunities. By whittling our PRO version features to just the essentials, we were able to bring the price down to just $99 per month for one scholarship, plus $29 per month for each additional scholarship. Now small schools and foundations can eliminate significant overhead, increase their number of applicants, and benefit from our expert guidance and assistance to make their scholarship programs more effective - and they don’t need to break the bank to do it. 

    At AwardSpring, our ultimate goal is to help more students get the scholarships they need. AwardSpring NOW makes it possible for us to partner with small schools and foundations to do just that.

    To learn more about AwardSpring NOW’s features and benefits, read this post by our COO, Daniel Orofino.

  • How We Built AwardSpring NOW

    Did you know that there are two different versions of the AwardSpring platform?

    AwardSpring PRO is our main platform, used by both big and small schools to manage scholarship programs with more than five scholarships. 

    AwardSpring NOW is a version made for foundations, businesses, and small organizations with five or fewer scholarships to administer. Since most scholarship management platforms focus on bigger schools (with bigger budgets), we saw an opportunity to create something that would help smaller organizations get all the benefits of our platform, without paying big bucks for it.

    When we designed AwardSpring NOW, our goal was to preserve the features that made the biggest impact and were of greatest utility to small foundations and organizations - and then lose the rest. We knew this would simplify the software and make it even more manageable for administrators who may not be well-versed in scholarship administration. It would also reduce the price to a point where it made good financial sense for any organization with more than one scholarship to manage.

    Our conversations with administrators from small foundations and organizations revealed four main problems with their scholarship management process that we could alleviate:

    1. Too much overhead or effort involved in matching students to scholarships

    For a small team, manually matching incoming applications to the right opportunities is a burdensome enterprise. AwardSpring NOW totally eliminates this step by automatically matching students to the opportunities for which they’re qualified.

    2. Lack of expertise in scholarship administration

    At smaller organizations, scholarship management is usually just one aspect of a person’s job, which means they have many other priorities and obligations. By partnering with AwardSpring, all administrators get access to our team’s knowledge and experience in addition to our platform.

    3. Tracking down and collating application materials from applicants

    Contacting applicants for essays, letters of recommendation, transcripts and other documents can take up a lot of time and energy. By requiring these documents within the AwardSpring NOW application, administrators no longer spend any time at all on this frustrating part of the job.

    4. Low volume of applications

    AwardSpring NOW is designed to be super simple for students to use, which makes it easier and more likely that students will actually finish their applications. Administrators can expect to see 50%+ more applications when they switch to AwardSpring NOW.

    By focusing the AwardSpring NOW platform on solving these main problems, we’ve created a solution that has everything smaller foundations need - and nothing that they don’t. At $99 per month for one scholarship, plus $29 for each additional scholarship, it’s a small investment that should pay dividends in time savings and scholarship program growth.

    If you administer five or fewer scholarships, you can try AwardSpring NOW for two weeks for FREE before committing. Start your trial now.

  • 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#

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