Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Our organization is small; does it even make sense to establish a program?
Many different types of program sponsors provide scholarships, including companies, membership organizations, private foundations, community foundations, and individuals. Scholarships and recognition programs are an economical way to promote workforce development, assist an underserved population, gain publicity, achieve corporate citizenship, and ultimately help the growth of our society. Best of all, you determine the budget by number, size, and frequency of awards.
What is involved in establishing a sound recognition program?
Your key decisions for building a solid program are made by defining eligibility guidelines and budget. You'll need to determine:
- Eligibility criteria for the application
- Types of schools recipients may attend
- Financial need to be considered
- Merit-based considerations
- Total budget for awards and management fees
- Whether awards will be one-time or renewable
What areas of our organization will be involved if we manage our scholarship program in-house?
- Information technology
- Database support
- Phone/email support
- Human resources
- Shipping/mail distribution
- Marketing communications/public relations
What are the advantages of outsourcing scholarship management and administration?
Outsourcing a program saves time and money because you can focus your resources on your core business. With more than 30 years' experience in managing programs and a staff with many former educators and experienced businesspeople, we make scholarship management look easy. In addition, we do the work as a silent partner, so your organization keeps all the publicity.
Because this market is so targeted, organizations can find it difficult to hire the right scholarship expertise. Additionally, since the work on scholarship program administration is seasonal, the extra staff may not be needed all year. Using ACT's SRS:
- Saves time and money
- Increases credibility
- Provides competition results that are fair and repeatable
- Guarantees consistency
- Allows you to concentrate on your core mission
When should we start planning for a scholarship program?
You should start planning your scholarship at least nine months prior to your intended award date. If you want to schedule your scholarship to coincide with the academic year, you should start planning between August and November for the following fall semester. This allows you to launch your program in the spring, and announce awards prior to the school year.
What should we consider when establishing scholarship selection criteria?
The two most common scholarship considerations are academic achievement and financial need. These elements can stand alone or be combined with:
- Community or volunteer service or involvement
- Outstanding abilities, such as:
- Areas of art
- Specific fields of study or research
- Attendance at a particular school or type of school
- Considerations of diversity
- Entrepreneurial spirit
We have international employees. Can they be included in a scholarship program?
Yes. Many of our programs include international candidates.
What kind of budget is needed to establish a program?
Scholarship programs are inexpensive when compared to other types of marketing or community programs. Very few programs are exactly alike and few sponsors have the same resources or program objectives. Cost factors include the level of service you need, the number of applicants you expect, and the number and amount of awards you establish. In other words, you determine the budget.
How long should a program run?
The length of time needed to conduct a successful program is based on the size of the program and anticipated number of applications. SRS will assist in developing a calendar that will work for your program.
How are fees for program management determined?
We can help customize a program that is affordable. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
What are our responsibilities once a program is established?
Your responsibilities will be as many or few as you'd like. At minimum, we will ask you to weigh in on unusual questions of eligibility, approve the list of award winners, and provide funds for awards and fees. On the other hand, you can be involved in every stage of the program.
Who is responsible for managing our program?
Your program will be assigned to a dedicated program coordinator. The coordinator will work with you to initiate the program and will be your key contact for any calls or inquiries about the program. The program coordinator will also provide you with regular updates of program activity.
How are recipients selected?
SRS is experienced with all types of selection methods, and will help you determine the most cost-effective selection process to meet your needs. All SRS-sponsored selection methods focus on the information provided by the candidates as it relates to the goals of your organization.
Can you handle the disbursement of our awards?
Yes, we can.