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8 Things to look for in application management software

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

8 Things to look for in application management software

In a day and age where we want things done fast, managers in scholarship, grant, and awards programs may be looking for ways to do their jobs more quickly. As a result, some will turn to application management software. However, the reality is that application management systems are not all the same. In fact, many on the market are subpar at best, and completely inept at worst. 

The question is, how can you determine which application management solution is right for you? We got you covered, as the following points will help you evaluate different options in the market so that you can find the perfect software for your program.

1. Ease of Use


Application management is not always an easy job, so having to learn how to use complicated submission software makes the job that much harder. You need something that is plug and play, if you will. Your software should be simple to operate, without having to learn to code or having to go through a complicated installation process that takes time. You should be able to get to work on creating your application forms the same day you sign up to use the software.

Questions to consider in your vetting process:

  • Can I use the software myself, or do I need someone who can code?
  • Will I need to download apps and plugins?
  • Is training available if I do need assistance with the program?

2. Flexibility

The application management software you choose needs to be flexible with regards to how it can be accessed, how forms can be customized, and how you can communicate with your different types of users. Furthermore, you should not be restricted based on the number of applicants - whether you have just a few, or a few thousand candidates applying for your program, your software should be flexible enough to accommodate your unique needs.

Questions to consider:

  • Can the software integrate with other applications and share application data with apps such as DropBox, Google Drive, Salesforce, Trello, etc…?
  • Does it offer multiple question types, and the ability to attach multiple files?
  • Is it mobile user friendly?

3. Security & Accessibility


It’s no secret that data security is top of mind with more people than ever before. With data breaches becoming a regular occurrence, individuals are wary about common IoT security issues sharing their data to websites. With things like financial information, social security numbers, and other sensitive details, people want to know their data is protected. That is why you must use an application management software program that will keep this information safe.

Questions to consider:

  • Is data that is submitted encrypted? How is the user data protected?
  • Does the software program you use have a privacy policy in place?
  • Can authorized users easily access their accounts without sacrificing security? 

4. Data Storage

Applications typically will require the submission of things like referral letters, transcripts, income information, and other documents. Sometimes images and other files will be necessary to submit for candidates as well. Is the application management software you are considering capable of handling the amount of data you’ll need to store?

Questions to consider:

  • Where is your application data stored?
  • What is the cap on data storage allotted for users? i.e. How many applications can you accept and what amount of data will each applicant be allowed to submit?
  • Are there extra charges for file storage?
  • Is there a search function to make data that is stored easy to find?

5. Support & IT

At some point, you may need to get some help from the support team. A good application management software will be able to assist you quickly and easily. This support should be included in your purchase price and should give you several options from which you can get assistance. 

Questions to consider when shopping solutions:

  • Is there support via email, callback, and web?
  • When can you reach out to the support team? 
  • Is there a support center for frequently asked questions?
  • If you need additional training, are tutorials and webinars available?
  • Is there an online customer forum to get help from your fellow program managers?

6. Automation Features


Running things on autopilot is the dream of program managers near and far. Email communications that can be sent with the click of a button, automatic tallying of scores and miscellaneous numbers, pre-qualifying applicants so you eliminate unqualified people instantly...these are just a few of the things you should expect from your software solution.

Questions to ask:

  • What automation features does the software offer?
  • How much time will the automation features save me and my team in our process?
  • Are the most important automation features for your program available in the plan you can afford?

7. Collaboration & Review Tools

The best application management software programs make it easy to collaborate with your team. It’s also valuable to have a community forum where you can share your knowledge and experience, and also allows you to gather that same knowledge and experience from others who have been in the industry longer than you.

Questions to think about:

  • Can you share your applications with your team as well as other users of the software for feedback and ideas?
  • Is it easy for your evaluation team to log in and review applications that are being submitted?
  • How is feedback collected and shared? Can you choose what information is visible to each reviewer?

8. Network & Shareability


Social media is a valuable tool when recruiting applicants for your awards programs. As such, the software you are using should integrate easily with current social media platforms so that it’s easy to share your program with the world. Thus social media is an excellent tool for accessibility; sometimes, people get confused about using different software and platforms. For managing applicant queries on calls, one can use a  business phone system, as it is easy to manage the interactions efficiently. It’s also important to know where your applications will live online. 

Ask yourself:

  • Can applications for our program be accessed anywhere with WiFi? 
  • Are applications restricted to desktops? or can laptops, tablets, and even phones easily load them for users to fill out?
  • Will your software solution be able to help you find more qualified applicants?

FAQs About Scholarship Management Software

If you’re just now hearing about scholarship management software, you might have a few questions. Here a just a few of the ones we see most frequently:

1. What is Scholarship Management Software?

Simply put, scholarship management software is a program or application (sometimes referred to as a software as a service or SaaS solution) that can help scholarship program teams get their work done faster. Quality programs such as Smarter Select give you the ability to automate things like scoring your applications, corresponding with your candidates, and even writing your scholarship application form.

2. Why Use Scholarship Management Software?

There are several reasons you might want to consider using scholarship management software. These include but aren’t limited to:

  • You have more work than hours in the day
  • You have a small team and you’re having trouble getting everything done
  • You are struggling to write your application forms, and need some ideas for what to include in your form
  • You’re looking for help from scholarship program managers who have come before you (SmarterSelect has an amazing community forum that puts you in touch with managers and team members just like you!)
  • You’re looking to streamline the arduous process of launching, running, and completing a scholarship program campaign

This list barely scratches the surface, but the bottom line is when you use software, you save time, money, effort, and more! 

3. Who Uses Scholarship Management Software?

Believe it or not, scholarship management software is used by more than just people who are trying to give away money for students to go to school. It’s also used by grant managers, special programs, and other various awards. The great thing about this software is that it works for any team that wants to give away a monetary award by using an application form and selection process.

4. What should be kept in mind while choosing a Scholarship Application Management Software?

When looking for scholarship management software, you should look for a program that is flexible, secure, features wonderful customer support, helps you automate your systems and processes, allows for effortless collaboration, and is easy to use. It’s also important to find a software that fits your budget, and offers templates that help you to make quick work of things like creating an application form, writing acceptance and rejection letters, and corresponding with your pool of candidates.

The Smarter Application Management Software Solution

Enter SmarterSelect - the answer to all of your needs and more. If you have been looking for software that addresses everything we’ve mentioned above, we’re confident we can help you streamline your process, save time and money, and make your job easier. We’re in the business of working Smarter not harder, after all. Click here to learn more about what we can do for you.

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