Give Students a Reason to Apply: The Student-Centric Approach to Scholarships

Think about the last large purchase you made. Whether it was a major investment piece or something to make time spent at home a bit more comfortable, you probably conducted some research before splurging. Did you fall into a rabbit hole of search queries? Or perhaps met a tidal wave of options and time-consuming investigation? In that search for the perfect fit—that one thing that would meet all your needs—did you find yourself getting fatigued? Unfortunately, that’s exactly what students experience every day as they search for winnable, relevant scholarships.  

Financial obstacles are the #1 barrier keeping students from enrolling and completing degrees. The financial stability afforded to students through aid provides a foundation that allows them to focus on coursework instead of growing debt.  

Even with billions of aid in scholarship dollars available to students every year, a recent survey conducted by Sallie Mae® and Ipsos showed that fewer families are filling out FAFSA and utilizing scholarships to pay for the cost of education.  

Students Are Feeling Fatigue  

When prospective and current students suffer, schools do too. Financial Aid staff know all too well how cumbersome the manual scholarship search process is for students—they field questions from applicants and see money going unused every year. To understand the issue from the student perspective, we challenged three undergraduate students to visit their school’s websites and determine how many scholarships they were eligible for.  

After time wasted using traditional search methods that yield zero results or being bombarded with hundreds of scholarship options they may or may not qualify for, students are giving up.  

Schools cannot expect students to see themselves on campus if the students cannot even see a way to pay for their degree. Scholarship search tools that leave students with zero options pose a risk to enrollment, retention, and institutional revenue goals.  

Financial Aid Solutions Have to be Centered on Students  

According to data in Sallie Mae & Ipsos’ report, 58% of families reported using scholarships to pay for college in 2020, which marks a decrease from 65% of families, the year prior. Even more concerning, three out of four students surveyed reported not applying to any scholarships.  

Issues in the financial aid pipeline create missed opportunities for students to avoid debt and colleges lose qualified and underrepresented students by not meeting their needs. Student Financial Success technology—which includes ScholarshipUniverse—gives institutions the opportunity to reimagine how they recruit and retain graduates by removing financial barriers and putting students first.  

Scholarship Universe Puts Students at the Center  

ScholarshipUniverse (SU), a key part of the CampusLogic Student Financial Success platform, removes friction from the scholarship search and application processes so students can take back their time. ScholarshipUniverse gives students a user-friendly, mobile-enabled gateway to internal and vetted external scholarships they qualify for.  

Without the right tools, too many colleges, like D’Youville, struggle to bridge the gap between available scholarship funds and the eligible students who are not applying. Learn about SU’s impact directly from an undergraduate student:  

Students engaging in the manual scholarship search process know they are up against thousands of other applicants. But they can—and should—feel like the only student who matters. ScholarshipUniverse provides an adaptive, personalized experience that conveys the importance of individuality.  

Make Students The Priority  

Every student matters. Not only does a student-centric approach to enrollment obstacles recognize that fact, but it also gives schools a competitive edge. The students you are fighting to recruit (and retain) can see which institutions are creating solutions with them in mind, and which are not. They will remember this when it comes time to enroll at their chosen school.  

Learn more about how ScholarshipUniverse streamlines the scholarship management and application processes by setting up a demo with the CampusLogic team.  

 

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