“Scholarship search fatigue is a dream killer,” says Matthew Metz, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management at D’Youville, a private institution in Buffalo, NY. “The idea that a student could get so exhausted trying to find, wade through, and apply to legitimate opportunities that they’d give up and turn to taking on more debt—or drop out—was just unacceptable.” Scholarships are a crucial way D’Youville delivers on its commitment to make higher education affordable to everyone. “We strive to be a national model of the best way to deliver student financial success solutions to our students, and we knew our scholarship process had to change, fast.”
Scholarship Dollars Vital to Retention & Completion
Millions in merit, graduate, and undergraduate scholarships were available at D’Youville, including 100-plus donor-supported scholarships—but students struggled to fish viable, legitimate opportunities from the sea of scholarship information. Metz also wanted to make it easier for students to leverage external scholarships. With a large Gen-Z population, he knew his solution had to be guided, easy-to-navigate, and personalized.
“We made it a priority to create a mobile-friendly, 24/7 solution so the D’Youville Financial Aid Office never closes in a student’s mind,” says Metz, who also holds the title of Chief Innovation and Improvement Officer. “Having the scholarship solution available any time of the day was really important to us. We knew students were likely doing this work after school hours.” He turned to ScholarshipUniverse, the award-winning scholarship management technology by CampusLogic.
ScholarshipUniverse by CampusLogic
D’Youville revolutionized its scholarship management process with ScholarshipUniverse, a unique, adaptive and mobile-optimized solution that automatically matches student profiles against internal and fully-vetted external opportunities—all in one place. A scholarship one-stop shop, ScholarshipUniverse streamlines the search, and students can work on applications anywhere, at any time.
The ability to integrate ScholarshipUniverse with Colleague by Ellucian, D’Youville’s student information system, was another huge selling point. “Why does the student always have to put in information we already know about them? With ScholarshipUniverse, they don’t,” explains Metz. “That goes a long way with Gen Z—tailoring the experience for the students, making sure everything is as customized as possible.”
Reduced Administrative Work Equals More Staff Advising Time
D’Youville’s staff field fewer scholarship questions from students, thanks to the guided process, automated communications, and follow-up alerts. ScholarshipUniverse also simplified a previously convoluted process for all staff members. “It created an all-in-one point for us, which is fantastic,” Metz explains. “We’re really able to see what funds are available and how many students are eligible to receive them. It helps us visualize everything without using spreadsheets to do it all.” Configurable scoring and ranking rules have also streamlined the review process. And ScholarshipUniverse’s intuitive nature means committee members barely need training—another big timesaver.
Increased Student Application Rate Drives More Dollars for Students
But the real measure of success? Within 36 hours of launching, a significant portion of D’Youville’s student body had established ScholarshipUniverse accounts. D’Youville students matched and applied to 67 of the 100+ donor-funded scholarships worth $600,000 total. “They were matched based on the information they provided in ScholarshipUniverse. Thanks to that info and the matching algorithm, we had a much more accurate pool of applicants,” says Metz. “With less administrative work on our end, we know that the best match in terms of both eligibility and financial need was made.”
D’Youville students also matched and acted on 1,424 external scholarship opportunities. “Knowing that everything our students are applying to is vetted, safe, and tracked in our system offers huge peace of mind for us—I’m sure it does for students, too,” says Metz. To date, more than 7,800 scholarship application opportunities have been started.
Setting the Gold Standard for Change Management
D’Youville uses other products from the CampusLogic student financial success platform, and knew from experience that successful student adoption and staff engagement would require raising awareness in a big way. Metz got the financial aid office up and running, fully trained, and embedded ways for students to find ScholarshipUniverse across the student finance journey. “We push to it from our website, within communications across financial aid and enrollment, and discuss it at campus events,” he says. “The student video we created drives engagement.”
A schoolwide town hall provided the perfect stage to unveil ScholarshipUniverse and explain how it would make student experiences easier while bringing clarity and simplicity to disconnected internal processes. The response at the town hall, and overall buy-in, was overwhelming, Metz reports. “Our goal across the D’Youville community is to make sure students know ScholarshipUniverse will continually search and match them to relevant scholarship opportunities—so students can get back to focusing on their academics, on working, on life.”