• Feature Spotlight: Additional Requirements

    Just like conditional questions, additional requirements can help streamline your application while collecting specific information from qualified students. But you can also use AwardSpring’s additional requirements to make administrative tasks easier after awarding. Here are three super useful ways you can use additional requirements:

    Further Qualify Students

    Additional requirements are useful when asking for essay responses or other information that will help you make award decisions. Since students will only see a scholarship’s additional requirements once they’ve already qualified, you can ask very specific questions without the need for conditional questions. For example, let’s say you have a scholarship for Latinx students with a GPA above 3.5, and you want qualified students to write an essay about what their heritage means to them. Rather than making this essay a conditional question in the main application, where all Latinx students would see it, make it an additional requirement of your scholarship instead.

    Employing additional requirements in this way gives you more configurability options if a donor has a long list of qualifications. To increase qualified applicants, we recommend limiting requirements on the main application and including as many additional requirements as you’d like for individual scholarships. This way, donors still get to include their “wish list” of preferred student qualifications without eliminating students from consideration who don’t quite match up.

    Manage Post-Award Tasks with Additional Requirements

    Another useful way to use additional requirements is to help you manage all of those post-award details that can take up a lot of time. You can require awarded students to upload a thank you letter, confirm their attendance at a celebration dinner, acknowledge that they’re aware of GPA requirements to maintain their award, or take any other actions that you need. Your AwardSpring application will automatically send reminders to students about fulfilling these additional requirements until all tasks are complete.

    Maintain Student Eligibility for Renewable Rewards

    If you have renewable rewards that require students to periodically reaffirm their eligibility, use additional requirements to collect the information you need. You can ask questions about GPA, a student’s major, or anything else - and only those students who need to answer the questions will see them.

    If you have any questions about additional requirements or how best to employ them, contact us at support@awardspring.com.

  • How to Increase Qualified Scholarship Applicants

    Promoting your scholarships far and wide is the first step to increasing applicants, but there are two more effective tactics you can employ to ensure those applicants are well qualified:

    Tactic #1: Encourage donors to make scholarship stipulations more inclusive

    Many donors feel that they should include as many requirements and qualifications as possible to find the perfect scholarship candidate. The truth is, the more requirements a student must meet, the greater the likelihood that none of your applicants will qualify. Encourage donors to reduce their requirements to the most basic level - and to share any preferred qualities above and beyond the minimum, which can help tip the balance when making award decisions. 

    Tactic #2: Make it easier for students to complete their application

    The easier the application process is for students, the more completed applications you’ll receive. An easy place to start is by reevaluating the questions you ask applicants. How many of those questions yield data that you actually use in awarding decisions? Ask your reviewers what questions and information are most important to them and consider dropping the rest. (Students and reviewers alike will appreciate shorter applications!) Also consider how many recommendation letters are really necessary. Many scholarship applications require three letters of recommendation, but 50% of students’ requests for these letters go unanswered. Would a single letter of recommendation suffice? As for application essays, help students focus by providing clear, specific prompts rather than open-ended, general questions. You can also set essay length limits, which will help students present stronger, well-edited work. 

    While these two tactics are sure to expand your pool of qualified applicants no matter how you manage your scholarships, using the AwardSpring system can help even more. Automatic matching, for example, applies students to all opportunities for which they qualify - even those the student may not have known about. To learn more about how AwardSpring can help you increase qualified applicants, contact us for a platform walkthrough.

  • Feature Spotlight: Conditional Questions

    AwardSpring’s customizable application allows you to structure your questions however you like, including using conditional questions. We highly recommend incorporating conditional questions to collect applicants’ background information and make your application simpler and easier to use; in fact, your implementation expert will likely use them when initially configuring your site.

    Conditional questions use “if/then” logic to personalize the questions you ask students based on their answers to previous questions. That way, you can ensure that students only answer questions that are relevant to them.

    Here are some examples of common conditional questions:

    - Asking a student to choose his state from a list that appears only when he selects “United States” as his country of residence.

    - A multiple-choice “Which branch of the military have you served in?” question that appears only if a student answers “Yes” to a question about prior military service.

    - An essay question that pops up for a student to write about her volunteer work once she indicates that she has extensive volunteer experience to share.

    Conditional questions are most useful for collecting background information in an efficient, customized manner, because you can nest conditional questions to dive deeper and deeper into a specific topic without making your basic application any longer. Using conditional questions will give students a better, simpler application experience - which can increase your total applicants.

    If you need help implementing conditional questions, contact us at support@awardspring.com.

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