The increasing cost of education is leaving very limited options to students. Fortunately, scholarships from both public and private sectors are there to provide opportunities to numerous deserving students. The United States Department of Education alone awards about $46 billion worth of scholarships each year (Hanson, 2022). This means educational institutions are processing thousands of applications and managing existing scholars during the same period. As a result, scholarship management software has become an essential tool to ensure that each scholar receives benefits accordingly.
The best scholarship management software solutions assist education and scholarship organizations in expediting and automating the process of accepting applications for scholarships. With it, there is a significant reduction in the amount of paperwork, which allows evaluators to concentrate more on vetting applicants. This ultimately results in a more positive experience for everyone involved. To help you choose which one suits your organization, this guide will examine the best scholarship management software on the market, their core functions, and pricing.
Education is perhaps among the most important investments one can make to secure a bright future. It can help one build a network of professional contacts, find better job opportunities, as well as gain financial stability. However, quality education does not come cheap.
In recent years, for instance, college tuition and fees have grown by at least 20% for public two-year in-district, public four-year in-state, and private nonprofit four-year colleges in the past decade (Akers, 2020).
Source: Manhattan Institute, 2020
This increase in the cost of attending college has also been observed since the 1980s (Hess, 2020). So, it is no longer surprising that a student working part-time at a minimum wage could only cover 68.2% of his or her college education in 2016 whereas a student with an equivalent job in 1987 can cover 106.5% of the cost (Berman and Zehngebot, n.d.).
To make up for the deficit, students often opt to apply for loans (Hanson, 2022). In fact, student loan statistics reveal there are 43.4 million students with federal student loan debt as of 2022. However, with the current cost of tuition and fees, particularly in higher education, student borrowers find it challenging to repay them while saving up and making ends meet upon graduation.
Scholarships are a great way to offset student debt. So, many families explore this option when looking for funding sources for tuition fees (Sallie Mae and Ipsos, 2021).
Source: Sallie Mae, 2021
However, as schools offer different types and values of scholarships, opportunities may vary from student to student. According to recent scholarship statistics, an average scholarship is worth $7,400 (Hanson, 2022). This may be lower or higher depending on a student’s family income, whether or not the student can secure private scholarships, need-based scholarships, merit-based scholarships, or athletic scholarships.
With different scholarship types that a student can apply for, it can be difficult for schools and other academic organizations to manage applications properly. To help separate the chaff from the wheat, it is important for scholarship awarding bodies to have the right tools for the process. The tools could be in the form of financial aid management software or the focus of this article, scholarship systems. Below, this guide details the most popular scholarship management software. It can help narrow down your options and find which one works best for your organization.
SmarterSelect streamlines the collection and assessment of scholarship applications for universities and other institutions. It makes it easy for users to gather applications, organize assessors, and choose award winners. Moreover, it takes less than 24 hours to develop a frictionless application experience by utilizing the easy program builder and the templates in the Program Library. Using sophisticated automation, the platform saves applicants valuable time while making the application process easy and manageable. Additionally, since it accelerates the evaluation process for all participants, assessors can work together more effectively and efficiently.
Submit.com is submission management software that aims to make application administration, data analytics, and compliance easier. From government organizations to TV and film production enterprises, the platform is ideal for any institution that collects inputs from a large number of individuals. Educational institutions may use their capabilities to handle education programs, ranging from kindergarten to post-graduate. It is scalable to any scholarship program on a single common platform, making scholarship administration and monitoring easier.
SmartSimple Cloud for Scholarship Management is an all-inclusive solution that simplifies collaboration and streamlines the entire award and scholarship process. From applications and award matching to approvals and reporting, this platform can handle your requirements regardless of the complexity or scale of the programs being managed by the organization. It is constructed with a suite of highly versatile modules that can be quickly adopted to satisfy all of the specific needs and processes that are associated with the award and financial aid programs. Users have the option to incorporate, alter, or change as much or as little of the SmartSimple Cloud for Scholarship Management as they see necessary to guarantee that it genuinely supports their processes and workflows.
Submittable is an online scholarship administration platform that helps foster talent, assist reviewers, and simplify administrative processes for programs of all sizes. Educational institutions can attract busy potential candidates with a straightforward, modern scholarship application procedure and excellent communication methods. With a configurable scholarship application review method, it also saves time, aids reviewers, and helps to identify top candidates. Administrators can minimize the amount of time they spend on manual tasks by centralizing the scholarship administration platform and automating the award and reporting processes.
The all-in-one scholarship software from Openwater effortlessly handles the full multi-step, multi-review process, transferring applicants to scholarship awardees. With OpenWater Scholarships, all responsibilities—by applicants, judges, chairs, and administrators—are done in a single unified, completely integrated system. The service provider assists in the development of a custom-branded portal that corresponds to the existing website and visual identity. Its powerful analytics skills help to clear up ambiguities and streamline communication both inside and outside. Every action item has a status that can be easily checked, and reminders are issued automatically.
Reviewr is a platform that reinforces the digital experience by collecting, managing, and reviewing digital submissions on the cloud. The submission management software enables educational institutions and other organizations to spend less time managing and more time creating a difference. It offers specialized recipes that are developed on the basis of many years of experience and the feedback of thousands of customers. These tried-and-true methods make the most of grants, scholarships, and other forms of financial assistance by using tools that are specifically designed for the job. Reviewr combines all the bells and whistles with a tried-and-true strategy for streamlining processes and boosting participation.
CommunityForce is a no-code, reliable, and scalable platform for managing forms and applications. Designed for businesses, organizations, and educational institutions seeking digital transformation, it helps to seamlessly manage the whole application lifecycle of scholarships using a single centralized solution. The platform makes it possible to initiate relief programs in a matter of days rather than months. Moreover, it simplifies the process by automating tasks that are laborious and repetitive in order to save time. As a result of its high volume relief capabilities, institutions are able to process as many as 50,000 application submissions in no more than 30 minutes.
Evalato is a next-generation awards administration software that assists in collecting applications, empowering judges, and selecting the most deserving winners. It makes it easier for candidates to prepare and send in their applications. And, it gives companies the pleasure of organizing everything in such an uncomplicated manner. The comprehensive but user-friendly evaluation suite provided by the platform allows judges to carry out their duties in a quick and straightforward manner, using any personal or mobile device. The awards management suite makes it simple for organizations to choose the best applications and give them recognition.
Embark Campus is the most powerful, end-to-end online admissions software on the market, intended to accommodate programs of all shapes and sizes. It is able to assist educational institutions in accomplishing their objectives, whether they want a simple application consisting of a single page or an institutional solution to handle various programs and workflow among thousands of reviewers. The platform has cutting-edge capabilities that can be applied to a wide variety of use cases, including enrollment, application, assessment, and recruiting.
RQ Awards‘ primary mission is to streamline the processing of award, scholarship, grant, fellowship, and mentoring programs for various groups, organizations, and educational institutions. By automating the administration of their programs from beginning to end, the platform makes it simpler for applicants, reviewers, and administrators to do the work that needs to be done. Since RQ Scholarships is built on the RQ Awards Online Software, it is possible to have a customized configuration for any scholarship program. RQ Scholarships is a user-friendly online scholarship application program that can handle everything, from simple forms to intricate multi-phased evaluations. With this at your disposal, you can save hours of work with automatic eligibility checks and bespoke data reports.
The simple and user-friendly platform provided by AwardSpring was purposefully developed to provide assistance to any individual who is a part of the process of scholarship administration. With stress-free implementation, administrators, students, reviewers, and sponsors can all save time and minimize the amount of administrative work they need to complete. The software configures the organization’s website and trains its staff so that they have a positive and productive experience right from the start by using its time-tested and milestone-based SpringBoard approach. It synchronizes with the Student Information System (SIS) that is already in place, which ensures that all of the student data and information that is important is correct and up to date. AwardSpring is superior to manual approaches in terms of the amount of time and effort required to manage the scholarship cycle for any organization.
Through robust decision-making techniques, Good Grants delivers an unparalleled experience to scholarship applicants. Academic institutions are able to administer their scholarship programs in a single location, and they may do so with low-cost, flexible, and transparent options that make it simple to get started right away. It provides organizations with access to all of the resources necessary to run scholarship programs in an effective and efficient manner. Track applications and the progress of decisions in real-time, interact with applicants and reviewers, automate repetitive operations, and simply manage everything using one platform.
Using SurveyMonkey Apply, organizations can develop a scholarship application and review process that is completely frictionless, simplify administration, and reward the appropriate students more quickly. It makes assisting students easy, efficient, and effective by providing them with a user-friendly scholarship site, applications that are optimized, and robust communication tools. SurveyMonkey Apply can be easily integrated into pre-existing workflows, and it can automate the monotonous and time-consuming processes that are a part of any process. As a result, more time can be spent on the activities that are most important.
Zengine by WizeHive is an effective solution that takes into account the one-of-a-kind requirements of scholarship providers. Institutions have the ability to engage candidates from the very beginning of the application process with applications that lower barriers and increase fairness. They can put up both flexible and adaptable processes, making it easier to conduct evaluations, handle data, and administer programs. Additionally, the platform establishes long-term contact and progress reporting cadences with scholars, with a primary emphasis on the scholars’ continued enrollment and their eventual accomplishments.
ScholarshipApp is developed by the team behind ScholarshipOwl, a popular scholarship platform for students. This time, it aims to help academic institutions to create and manage programs through its free scholarship management software. It comes with dozens of features that help simplify the entire scholarship management process. Users can launch scholarship programs, accept applications, review applicants, and award scholarships in a seamless workflow.
Kaleidoscope is powered by the same organization behind the scholarship portal, offering students numerous opportunities and financial aid to fund their academic endeavors. The online scholarship management tool makes it easy for institutions to launch and manage scholarship or grant programs and help them tap into millions of qualified individuals. With its powerful yet simple features, even small teams can accept a sizable number of applications without getting overwhelmed. The platform also allows for a full view of existing funds and tracks any related financial details.
The Blackbaud award management software seeks to be the catalyst to increase student access to awards, promote meaningful stewardship practices, and boost cross-functional visibility throughout the process. By including features that are both intelligent and well-optimized, it facilitates easier access for students to scholarship funding and rewards. Additionally, the platform makes it simple to establish meaningful methods to manage both scholarship contributors and non-scholarship donors. This improves the visibility of cross-functional processes across the whole scholarship process, from the financing to the awarding.
Foundant for Scholarship Providers is an online platform that can organize and administer an unlimited number of scholarship possibilities. The Scholarship Lifecycle Manager (SLM) integrates the many processes involved in the scholarship application process into a single platform. Applicants may use its built-in capabilities to locate opportunities, contributors can use them to manage their requests, donors and evaluators can use them to access information, and scholarship coordinators can use them to monitor requirements and renewals. Then, organizations will be able to accelerate decision-making with online assessments, rapid views in-system through reports and post-award Follow Up forms for monitoring acceptance, requirements, and renewals.
Management of scholarships and other similar programs is a snap with Optimy, thanks to its adaptable and efficient platform. Optimy makes handling scholarships and other types of assistance, whether financial or social, a breeze because of its simple interface and focus on the needs of the user. No more spending time downloading apps, wrangling paperwork, or looking through hundreds of emails; this all-in-one administration tool lets organizations streamline their scholarship and assistance operations.
Utilizing Electronic Form Solutions makes the process of collecting and evaluating scholarship applications simpler, more efficient, and more effective. The technology allows for the streamlined assessment of scholarship applications while also providing candidates with an effortless experience. It is relied on by both large and small organizations, assisting them in the processing and administration of applications for various grants, scholarships, and other programs. Paper-intensive processes that need application and approval can be streamlined and automated, thanks to its many features.
Scholarships and similar programs are crucial to any academic institution and organization. However, these process-heavy endeavors often still rely on paper-based workflows. As schools, colleges, and universities focus on their digital transformation by implementing tech solutions from learning management systems to classroom software, financial aids, and relevant projects are often left behind. This leaves departments that are already understaffed with more tasks than they can manage.
Fortunately, the best scholarship management software and other similar tools—like the best education ERP software—are readily available in the market. They provide opportunities to streamline complex processes, from student submissions to applicant evaluations. This does not only improve productivity but increases the applicants’ experiences as well. And, with many of these solutions available as cloud applications, launching scholarship programs is no longer limited to geographical locations.