Most scholarships are created with a clear mission and vision in mind. Typically, the goal is not just to help any random student pay for school. It’s intended to help a very specific person - an ideal student that fits the ideals of the program. Because of this, we stress the importance of writing out your goals for your scholarship program, and then building your application to filter out all of the unqualified candidates so you’ll be left with only the people that most closely match who you are looking for.
You don’t have to start from scratch either! If you’re using SmarterSelect scholarship management software, we have an amazing collection of scholarship program templates you can choose from to get your application forms created faster and easier than if you had written the entire thing yourself. That said, below are three scholarship program templates in our collection, and some tips for how you can use them to find the perfect candidates for your program.
At the beginning of this scholarship application template, the eligibility requirements state exactly the type of person that will qualify for this scholarship. You can fine tune yours to meet the precise needs of your own program.
Let’s assume for the moment your scholarship is intended to go to someone working towards a degree in the performing arts. Your requirements might look like this:
You can also include information pertaining to what happens to the scholarship if the applicant fails to meet the requirements, drops out of their degree program, doesn’t return to school, is no longer in good academic standing, and more. While you don’t want the document to read like a law book, giving as much pertinent information as possible to applicants will help weed out those that don’t fit with the mission and vision of your program.
Pro Tip: Remember to use the template as a guide, and add your own requirements, or remove those requirements that don’t fit your needs.
We really like the personal statements in this template. What’s great about them is they can reveal more about the character of the applicant. For example, “your dream job” lets your evaluation team know what your applicant intends to do in the future. Or “What are you passionate about?” gives insight into the things that drive the applicant.
Even the question “What is your favorite book that you’ve read for pleasure (other than the Bible)?” can also be illuminating when trying to determine if the candidate embodies the person or people you want to give scholarship money to.
You can tailor your personal statements to reflect the vision and mission of your scholarship program as well. The questions you ask can indicate:
Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to have your scholarship program’s mission statement and goals in front of you while creating your form.
Referencing your mission/vision as you craft your form will make it that much easier to customize the scholarship application template into one that fits your program’s needs.
The items of note in this scholarship application template are those related to family assets, projected expenses, income, etc... These sections are especially helpful if the vision or mission of your scholarship program is to give funding to those candidates with the greatest financial needs.
You can get as specific as the template did, or keep it more generic. Using a template like this is a great way to ensure that the person applying wants to go to school, but is struggling to pay for it without going into debt.
Pro Tip: Have a threshold in mind for each of the questions if your scholarship is income based.
It should be easy for your evaluation team to sift through the pile of applications they receive in the beginning. Hard numbers in your scoring rubric are critical because the truth is you may have a lot of candidates that embody your program’s vision and mission, and the less you filter out the harder your choices will be when selecting your final recipient(s). Put another way, it’s better to eliminate the candidates who don’t meet your financial requirements before your evaluators get to the essay questions that pull their heart strings.
If your program has a specific person in mind that you’re looking for to give scholarship money to, you need SmarterSelect. Our scholarship management software simplifies the arduous process of creating an application form that yields candidates embodying your program's vision and mission.
We also provide access to an amazing community forum filled with program managers just like you that you can share your form with to get feedback from to make it even better. If that wasn’t enough, we offer training and tools as well that help you go from program launch to announcing your recipients with less time and effort. It’s never been easier to run a scholarship program with SmarterSelect in your corner.
Don’t take our word for it though. Click here to try SmarterSelect scholarship management software for free today!