How to start a scholarship fund
There are several ways to start a scholarship fund. There has also been many documentations that are out there which aims at educating people on how to start a scholarship fund, or a scholarship system. We have put together some of these steps is a sequence that would bring it to the understanding of just about anybody who wish to startup a scholarship fund.
These steps were basically put together to help individuals and/or organisations who want to give back to the society but don’t know how to go about the process of setting up a scholarship fund awarding system.
Read Also: 10 Biggest misconceptions about scholarships
Here are 8 simple steps on how to start a scholarship fund.
Decide your budget, choose if you would run the scholarship or use a scholarship management system
Most people have failed in their bid to start a scholarship program because they think it is all about handing money to deserving students.
You need to think about the cost of setting up the program and decide if you will use an online application system or paper application. Also decide the route of publicizing the scholarship and how to keep track of applicants.
After putting all these things into consideration. You will come understand fully how much you need to set out as the award. And also hoe much you need to set out for funding the program itself
You may want to involve a scholarship management platform to help you do the administrative part of the scholarship, which might cost you just not much.
Look for the funding
Now, the important part is to decide how to fund this program. Do you want to get involved with a non-profit organisation? Or do you want to solicit for funds? Or do you have enough financial buoyancy fund the program yourself? Make a decision.
You may want to speak to a financial tax expert before making this decision, because of the tax consequences that comes with any type of decision made regarding funds.
Now choose your target students. Set up a criteria which must be met for your award.
Students all over the world are in need of scholarship. Statistics showed that in the year 2017 $24,548 was spent on College fees, which is almost what an average family earns in a year. Consequently, two out of every five students depend on scholarship and grants to fund this college expenses.
When forming your criteria there many things to put into consideration, which may include the level of the students need, academic prowess, athleticism, involvement in extracurricular activities and community activities.
Your criteria should be set in a way that it would allow students from wide range of communities to stand a chance of being awarded your scholarship.
Therefore, it should not be discriminatory.
Also pay make your scholarship adheres to the legal standards of your government and international Scholarship legal standards.
Set up the paper work
After confirming the legal requirements, you need to do the paperwork. Set up the scholarship rules which should be accessible to students who are applying for the scholarship. This may include but not limited to timing and eligibility.
Choose an online or offline application process. It is ideal that you do an online application. Because it will aid for easy accessibility on the student side, and an easy collect of data on your own side. Because many students spend most of their time online, it will help for faster application process and winner announcement.
Keep in mind when setting up an application form to make it short. A long application form my scare the students away.
Set the deadline.
Whether or not you want to choose summer or fall is up to you. But as a starting scholarship program you need to give your applicants time to prepare and consider your scholarship.
We suggest you give your applicant six months from the date the application opens to the date it closes. This will aid for good understanding between you and your applicants. And also give you time to consider you’re winner.
Choose a promotion route
There are many ways to promote a scholarship program. This basically depends on your target audiences. If you want to offer Scholarship locally, you can talk to high school proprietors. But if you want to reach a broader audience, then you can set up an online system. You can also involve scholarship search engine platforms to help you with the publicity of your Scholarship award.
Select your winner.
A standard and ideal scholarship platform stays away from favoritism and any form of racial dependent treatment.
When selecting the winner of your scholarship make sure everybody is judged on the same scale.
If you are offering a scholarship for international students, then all the students should be judged on the same scale. And no student should be awarded a scholarship because he/she is coming from a particular country.
Remember it is an international scholarship.
But if you are offering a scholarship for a particular country, then all the students from that country should be judged based on the same scale.
Your winner should be notified via an email or a text message.
Award your Scholarship.
Scholarships are basically for academic expenses. That is why experts advise that scholarship should be paid directly to the school account and not to the student’s account.
When scholarships are paid directly to the school you are sure that the scholarship money is used for what it is meant for.
When scholarships are paid into the student’s account, the student might use it for other expenses which are not related to her/his or her academics which is basically what the scholarship was meant for.
It is important that you establish a policy to make your scholarship cover more than just tuition fees.
Is also important that you track your scholarship and make sure that it gets to the student or to be sure that it is used to pay for the student fees. Not all students ask their school if the tuition has been paid by the scholarship awarding system. And they might end up paying for what has really been paid for.
Hope this content was helpful. Do well to leave us a comment in the comment section.