What’s the end goal for any corporation that puts together a scholarship program? Some may say they want the tax benefits, but most will tell you that the reason they developed their corporate scholarship is to make a difference. The question is, how can you be sure your scholarship is actually helping the community? To help answer this question, below we’re sharing some strategies for evaluating corporate scholarships and their direct impact in your community. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you’ll have a better grasp on whether or not your scholarship program is truly making a difference in the lives of recipients and in the community overall.
The six effective strategies to evaluate the impact of corporate scholarships are:
Now that you have a brief overview of the strategies, let’s break them down further so you can get a better understanding of how to evaluate your corporate scholarship’s impact.
What does this look like in practice?
When starting any scholarship program, you need to know what you want to achieve. This means identifying the desired outcomes and goals you have in mind.
What do I hope to accomplish with the scholarship(s)?
What impact do I want to make?
Then, you need to determine the best method of measuring the success of the program. To determine that, you’ll need to define specific metrics and indicators. These help track progress and determine if the program is meeting its objectives. Metrics can include things like:
Indicators like these are what provide clear signals of progress.
Finally, it’s crucial to align the objectives of the scholarship program with your corporation’s mission and values. The idea here is to ensure consistency and coherence between the program and your organization’s overall goals. When you have aligned your corporate objectives with that of the scholarship, you create a sense of purpose. It also helps ensure the scholarship program reflects the values and mission of the company.
To collect quantitative data in a scholarship program, you’ll need to track the academic performance and graduation rates of the recipients. This means monitoring their grades, attendance, and progress throughout the recipient’s educational journey. Keep tabs on their performance and you will have a better chance at assessing the impact of the scholarship on the academic success of your recipient(s).
You’ll also need to analyze retention and completion rates. What does this look like? Essentially, it means tracking the number of scholarship recipients who stay enrolled in their respective educational programs and successfully complete their studies. Keeping an eye on these two metrics are clear indicators of the effectiveness of the scholarship program in supporting students to reach their educational goals.
Finally, you’ll want to gather data on career outcomes and post-graduation success. This includes tracking the employment rates, job placement, and career advancements of scholarship recipients after they graduate. By collecting this information, you can assess the long-term impact of the scholarship program on the students' career paths and their ability to secure meaningful employment.
In summary, collecting quantitative data in a scholarship program involves tracking academic performance, graduation rates, retention and completion rates, as well as gathering information on career outcomes and post-graduation success. These data points provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of the scholarship program and its impact on the recipients' educational and professional journeys.
Gathering qualitative feedback in a scholarship program involves conducting surveys, interviews, or focus groups with the recipients. Using methods like this will allow for open-ended questions and discussions to understand their experiences and perspectives.
Obtaining feedback on the program's influence on personal and professional development is also important. How do you do this? Ask your recipients about the skills, knowledge, and confidence they may have gained through the scholarship program/period. You’ll also need to understand how the program has helped them grow personally and professionally.
Finally, work on capturing narratives and success stories from scholarship recipients. Taking this step is a powerful way to gather qualitative feedback. These stories provide firsthand accounts of the impact of the scholarship program on their lives. Sharing the feedback you gather can inspire others and demonstrate the program's effectiveness. It also can make for great blog, website, and/or newsletter content!
Engaging stakeholders in a scholarship program will require collecting feedback from various parties (i.e. educational institutions, scholarship providers, and program administrators). It’s important to seek their perspectives and insights to understand how the program is functioning and to identify areas for improvement.
Seeking input from mentors or employers who are involved with the scholarship recipients is also a good idea because these individuals have firsthand experience working closely with the recipients. Therefore, they can provide valuable feedback on their progress, development, and overall performance. Their input can contribute to the effectiveness of the program.
Finally, you should involve scholarship recipients in the evaluation process. Their perspectives are invaluable as they directly experience the program and its impact. By including them in the evaluation process, you can gain insights into their needs, challenges, and suggestions for improvement. This engagement empowers them and ensures that their voices are heard.
What does this look like in practice?
When assessing the effectiveness of a scholarship program, it is important to establish control groups or benchmarks for comparison. These groups serve as a point of reference to measure the impact of the program. They consist of individuals who did not receive the scholarship but share similar characteristics with the recipients.
Comparing the outcomes of scholarship recipients with similar non-recipients allows for a more accurate assessment of the program's effectiveness. By examining the differences in outcomes between the two groups, you can determine the specific impact of the scholarship program. This comparison helps identify whether the program is truly making a difference.
Evaluating the incremental impact of the scholarship program is crucial. This involves assessing the additional benefits and improvements that can be attributed directly to the program. By comparing the outcomes of scholarship recipients with those of similar non-recipients, you can gauge the unique contribution of the scholarship in enhancing academic performance, career prospects, or other desired outcomes.
The main point of this strategy for evaluating corporate scholarships and their impact is to determine if you should give away more money again in the future. It begins with assessing the financial resources invested in the scholarship program. In this stage you and your team will examine the costs associated with scholarships, administrative expenses, and any other related expenditures.
Comparing the costs with the achieved outcomes and impact involves evaluating the results and benefits of the program in relation to the resources invested. The big question you’re trying to answer is “Are the outcomes worth the financial investment?”
Determining the return on investment (ROI) and cost-effectiveness of the program involves calculating the benefits gained from the program and comparing them to the costs incurred. This assessment helps understand the efficiency and value of the scholarship program. In examining your ROI, your most important question is, “Are the benefits outweighing the costs?”
Evaluating the impact of corporate scholarships is crucial for understanding their effectiveness and ensuring that they achieve their intended goals. It’s critical to assess the outcomes and determine if the program is actually making the intended positive difference. In this post, we’ve covered six strategies to evaluate the impact of corporate scholarships. Again, they are:
By regularly evaluating the impact of their scholarships, corporations can identify areas for enhancement, make more informed decisions, and demonstrate the value of their programs to stakeholders and the wider community.
We’re betting that more corporate scholarships are making a positive impact than not. And, we want to help you streamline your scholarship program so you have more time to focus on the positive impact you’re making instead of drowning in paperwork. Sounds good? Click here to schedule a free demo of SmarterSelect to see what we can do for your corporate scholarship program!