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5 Ways to Gather Scholarship Program Feedback from Applicants

Better application management of scholarships, grants, awards, and more.

5 Ways to Gather Scholarship Program Feedback from Applicants

What does feedback have to do with how to start a scholarship program? With any project, feedback is critical to learn what went right, what went wrong, and where there is room for improvement. Not only will it help you make tweaks for the betterment of future rounds of your program, but it shows the people you are asking for feedback from that you care. That said, below we’re sharing the best ways to collect scholarship applicant feedback to enhance your scholarship programs for future hopeful candidates.

The Best Methods of Obtaining Scholarship Applicant Feedback

There are many ways you can go about getting scholarship applicant feedback, and five of the most popular ones are:

in-app-survey1. In-app surveys

If you’re using scholarship management software such as SmarterSelect, you can quickly create and deploy in-app surveys that allow your scholarship applicants to give instant feedback on things like:

  • How hard the questions were to answer
  • What they would like to see added or removed from the form
  • How they felt about deadlines, material requirements, and more

long-form-survey2. Long-form external surveys

Regardless of whether you’re using scholarship application software or not, you can create a longer external survey using SmarterSelect to request scholarship applicant feedback. Then, using our automated communication features like SMS and email, you could send a link to all applicants requesting they fill it out. One benefit of using something like SmarterSelect, is you can filter the most common responses quickly so you can implement changes faster for your next round of your scholarship program.

phone-survey3. Phone calls

We admit this is perhaps the most time consuming method of requesting scholarship applicant feedback. However, some people prefer to reach out to applicants via telephone to have one on one conversations with applicants about how they felt the program went. If you opt to go this route, we highly recommend using recording and transcription software to make quick work of documenting everything for your team.

email-survey4. Email

There are two options for requesting scholarship applicant feedback via email. The simplest is to send a survey link via email as we mentioned above. The other is to ask applicants to reply to your message with their thoughts about the scholarship program. Admittedly, you will need to lead your applicants with your questions to get the types of responses you’re likely looking for. For example, if you want specific feedback such as “Were the questions easy to understand?” you will need to ask that outright. Sending a general email such as “Is there anything you would change about this application process?” might not be enough to garner helpful responses.

suggestion-board5. Suggestion boards via your website

If you have specific questions you would like answered, it may be helpful to set up a forum on your website or through a third party that allows people to comment and give feedback. This method may require additional administrative work on your team’s end, but it is another means of reaching out and getting anonymous responses from your applicants. 

What’s the Big Deal About Scholarship Applicant Feedback?

We alluded to this in the beginning of this post, but the number one reason to request feedback is to improve your scholarship program. Feedback informs you and your team about performance - were applicants enthusiastic about questions in your form, or did they feel deflated and like it was a waste of time as they filled out your form?

Feedback also has the potential to generate new ideas while aiding in the development of relationships with your current and future candidates. With SmarterSelect, it’s never been easier to gather scholarship applicant feedback. With our in-app surveys, you can instantly request responses from your entire pool of applicants. Learn more about what SmarterSelect can do for your scholarship program by creating a free account today.


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