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How to Track Scholarships From Start to End

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

How to Track Scholarships From Start to End

Scholarship tracking as an administrator can become extremely difficult and stressful for everyone involved. Keeping up with multiple deadlines, applications, ensuring you have all the correct information, etc. is a big task for one person to manage. Luckily, there are ways to make this process easier for everyone involved. Regardless of your role in a scholarship program - from program organizers to candidates, selection committees to donors, and everyone in between - we’re here to simplify this process for you.

With the cost of college continuously increasing, more and more students are applying for scholarships to help cut the fees and make attending secondary schooling more affordable. On that same note, we’re also seeing an increase in scholarships available. From both sides of the coin, scholarships and their processes can become overwhelming and unmanageable. That’s why tracking scholarships from start to end is so important for all parties involved - it will save you time, effort, and confusion.

Continue reading as we teach you how to track scholarships from start to end.

Establishing a Tracking System

If you want to track scholarships from start to end, you’ll first need to establish a tracking system.

A scholarship tracking system is a system designed to track scholarships from start to end. There are many software and systems available to assist you in this process.

The important piece is choosing a system that best matches needs and scale.

A multitude of factors will play into what tracking system works best for you. As an applicant, factors such as eligibility requirements, location, and major may be relevant in choosing scholarships to apply for. As an administrator, the size of your organization and the types of scholarships you provide may be relevant in your tracking system decision-making.

SmarterSelect offers comprehensive and user-friendly scholarship tracking software to help ease the stress of scholarship administrators and managers. Our software complements nonprofit organization management.

Pre-Application Phase Tracking

For applicants, finding scholarships to apply for can be a lengthy and difficult process. They need to pay close attention to key information such as eligibility requirements, due dates and deadlines, and scholarship details.

It's good practice for applicants to keep this information organized. Creating lists or spreadsheets with scholarship details and deadlines can help them stay on track. Details are crucial - applicants should accurately track specific elements like scholarship providers, eligibility criteria, deadlines, due dates, required documents, contact information, etc.

There are multiple databases available to assist applicants in narrowing their scholarship search. Some options include scholarships.com and collegeboard.com. When using these database websites, applicants should utilize filters to narrow down results to opportunities that best fit their needs. For example, if looking for mathematics scholarships, adding keywords like "mathematics scholarships" or "STEM scholarships" can help surface relevant options.

Application Phase Tracking

The application phase is where the real work begins for scholarship providers. This is when the influx of applications and supporting materials starts pouring in. Multiple applications can arrive simultaneously, leaving administrators feeling inundated. With a high volume of applications comes an abundance of supporting documents to manage.

Establishing a system to monitor and track applicants throughout this process is crucial for providers. This will help scholarship teams stay organized and keep all applicant materials and documentation easily accessible. When setting up the system for this phase, providers want to ensure they select a solution that best fits the needs and scale of their scholarship program.

Creating an efficient system for managing the application phase is key to successful scholarship tracking. Scholarship providers using SmarterSelect benefit from all application materials being seamlessly filed into a cloud-based system. This makes it easy to search, retrieve, and review documentation whenever needed.

Evaluation and Selection Phase Tracking


As a scholarship manager or administrator, we know this phase can be incredibly stressful and difficult as you decide which applicants to award. The applicant's review process can take up so much time and energy when you’re trying to keep track of everything yourself.

Ensure you’re keeping this information as organized as possible. Your job in this phase is to track evaluation criteria, scoring, and feedback. It’s good practice to set up systems in advance to keep this information organized. For example, our scoring rubrics help you quickly filter unqualified applicants out of the pool. Then, you can take your condensed list of candidates and begin the review process with our collaborative tools that help you keep all applications organized and easy to access.

Award Disbursement and Follow-Up Tracking

This is the exciting phase! Award disbursement is where scholarship administrators get to inform applicants that they’ve been selected to receive a scholarship. I can imagine that informing chosen applicants is one of the most rewarding parts of your work. However, this phase can get tricky.

Ensuring all applicants receive their awards is a big task to manage. We recommend utilizing digital aids to help keep track of this process. For example, using an automated system helps you make quick work of drafting and sending both scholarship award letters and rejection letters.

With award disbursement comes, yet again, more paperwork and documentation. Applicants may have follow-up documents or steps they need to complete to receive the award. Using a scholarship management software will truly be your best friend for organizing and maintaining all these documents and reports alone!

Communication and Transparency

Communication and transparency are huge! It’s not fair to applicants to leave them in the dark, unsure if they were selected or not. Good scholarship administrators and management practice transparent and open communication, to their best ability, throughout the entire scholarship process.

This means ensuring all applicants receive necessary communication in a timely manner to complete any tasks or documentation. We know that this piece is likely to be overlooked when administrators have documentation and applications up to their noses.

We highly recommend setting systems in place to automatically manage communications for you. This will keep applicants informed and prepared, and will hopefully keep you from receiving a multitude of emails or phone calls with questions.

Data Security and Privacy


With scholarship applications comes the dispensation of a plethora of personal, protected information. Applicants are sharing demographic information including their names, date of birth, address, social security numbers, etc. They’re also potentially sharing sensitive information in their essays or personal statements. Legally, you are required to keep this information protected and safe.

That’s where a reputable scholarship management software really shines. Using one that holds data security and privacy in the highest regard helps you have peace of mind that all this personal data will be protected.

Continuous Improvement

There’s always room for improvement, right? Regularly completing program evaluations is essential for good scholarship administration. Assess what is working and what isn’t working in your program and brainstorm ways to make processes easier for everyone involved. We also recommend asking for feedback - from both stakeholders and applicants to identify any enhancements or adjustments you can make to your program.

Technology Makes Tracking Scholarships Easier

Keeping track of scholarships from start to end can become a difficult and stressful task. That’s why implementing systems and processes to track each step of the scholarship process is so important. Leveraging scholarship tracking systems streamlines the process for everyone involved and eliminates room for error.

At SmarterSelect we offer comprehensive, user-friendly software to assist scholarship administrators in these tasks. Schedule a demo today, and see what we can do for your team!


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