11 Tips to Design Your Perfect Scholarship to Reach Thousands of Students

perfect scholarship
perfect scholarship

11 Tips To Design Your Perfect Scholarship And Reach Thousands Of Students

Launching a scholarship program isn’t rocket science. 

It’s quite the opposite actually.

All you have to do is decide how much money you want to award students, how students will be eligible to apply, how you’ll pick a winner, and then give your award name/description/terms, and you’re ready to launch. Super easy, right?

It becomes more tricky though when you actually want to run a successful scholarship outreach program, aiming to convert more (qualified) applicants. Without any prior knowledge or understanding of technology or the legal aspects involved, you’re going to have a hard time getting your scholarship program out there to all the eyes you need.

We created ScholarshipApp to tackle this very issue. We created ScholarshipApp so we could actually take care of all of the above for you, including your targeted outreach. Many would say, the most important part in any social or marketing campaign. After all, what’s an idea without distribution?

We’re a team that collectively has over 10 years in scholarships. Based on that, we want you to know our top 10 Tips to launch a successful scholarship program outreach campaign.

  1. Create a catchy name for your scholarship

Coming up with a creative and catchy name for your scholarship can help you grab the attention of the best students in your field. Make sure to include your brand name in some way. Without a catchy name, you’ll have a hard time appealing to Generation Z students. 

  1. Define your target audience 

Yes, you’re aiming at students, but consider if there is a specific subgroup you are looking to reach. For example, law students, or males/females of a certain age only, or those in a certain geographical location. If you are simply looking to get as many applicants as possible – then keep your eligibility wide open but remember, the filtering process will take much longer if you do it this way. If you’re addressing everyone, you’re probably addressing no one.

  1. Be clear and keep it simple. 

Tell students exactly how they can apply and what you are looking for. Tell them the deadline and when you will pick a winner. Keeping it simple will allow students to easily understand what you are looking for, and apply quickly with the relevant information.

  1. Tell the applicants that you received their applications.
    The only thing worse than not winning is not knowing. For example, on ScholarshipApp, we’re automatically letting them know when their application is received, when it’s in review and when the winner is announced, we’re letting them know if they won or not.

Everyone needs closure. Being transparent with them is helping your business create a connection that is hard to be broken. The ScholarshipApp system automatically notifies students of their progress and whether they were awarded the scholarship or not, always keeping the student in the loop.

  1. Have a user-friendly and easy sign-up process.

Technology is meant to work for us, not the other way around. Do you have a website for your scholarship? We’ll give you a website page that will match your brand so students can apply directly. You don’t have a page? We’ve got your back, we’ll give you a landing page that you can match to your brand.

  1. If your goal is to get a lot of applicants, then keep your requirements and sign-up process short and easy.
    If you are looking for a specific kind of applicant, then you may want to add additional requirements, expertise, and fields. For example, GPA score above 3, users from certain states, short answer questions, etc. If you do want students to take action, then think of something fun and engaging for them to do (for example, dress up and take a selfie, send a short video, take some action, etc.). Be clear in your description of what you are looking for with this.

  2. Add your scholarship to directories. 

Scholarship directories are a great way of receiving applicants (for free in most cases).

  1. Promote your scholarship to your existing audience.
    Let your users know about your scholarship. They might want to apply or have friends and relatives that want to apply, and will also appreciate the social impact you are creating.

  2. Use a platform that allows you to easily launch, manage, and distribute your scholarship.
    Chances are that offering a scholarship is not your core business. It is merely a side product or campaign you run on top of your other day-to-day items.
    Make sure it stays that way. While a scholarship can become a major marketing campaign for you, it can become too much to handle at some point. This is why we’ve created ScholarshipApp.

  3. Inform all applicants once you picked a winner. 

Of course, the winner will be happy to hear they have won, but keep in mind that all applicants are waiting to hear back from you, even if they did not win.
This is also a great way to stay in touch with your applicants (and in their minds), while you can also inform them about your upcoming awards or even about student-specific offers you may have.

  1. Consider offering a recurring scholarship.
    Offering a scholarship once is nice and will surely get you some attention. Offering your scholarship on a regular basis (once a month, quarter, semester, or even once a year), will allow you to benefit from regular directory listings, reengaging with previous applicants, and actually create a steady flow of users to your company/organization.

Communicate with your applicants. Not knowing what has happened to their application is a big disappointment and annoyance for students. It’s a small detail that the majority of the scholarship providers overlook and they are missing out because of it.

Letting students know you’re there for them – even if they did not win, as the majority of applicants will clearly not win – creates that positive bond between the students and your company.