Scholarships are amazing: they can make dreams of going to college come true. What’s not so amazing? The scholarship process—just ask The University of Arizona (UA). Discontent with how time-consuming scholarship management was, they were even more frustrated with the manual, disjointed way students had to search for scholarships. “Students would spend so much time finding a scholarship they felt was legitimate—and a good match to them—that the actual application would suffer,” explains Rebekah Salcedo, Director of UA’s Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.
Biggest Problem: No Central Information Source
Before ScholarshipUniverse, no central, complete set of resources existed for the university’s financial aid and scholarship office staff to point students to who were seeking scholarships. Students had to do a lot of legwork compiling lists of internal scholarships, searching for external scholarships, researching which they were eligible for and verifying each one’s legitimacy, details, and deadlines. It was an exhausting process. “There was no streamlined place to go for students to find everything,” Salcedo says. “That had to change.”
Internal awards committees, comprised of busy faculty members, were tasked with awarding scholarships based on very specific donor criteria. The university didn’t even collect some of that information, explains Ken Downs, program manager at UA. “With more than 40,000 students, how could we at the scholarship office know exactly who met all of the unique requirements?”
Salcedo and Downs knew there was a better way. Enter ScholarshipUniverse, the only mobile, easy-to-use, complete scholarship solution.
Student-First Scholarship Management
First developed by UA—now part of the CampusLogic student financial services platform—ScholarshipUniverse is very much a student-first solution. Fueled by CampusLogic’s award-winning SaaS technology, a unique adaptive scholarship matching engine automatically matches student profiles against thousands of award opportunities—all in one place.
With single sign-on, Wildcats can log into their campus portal, find ScholarshipUniverse—no additional login credentials needed—and seamlessly apply for scholarships. The platform also matches students to vetted external scholarships, providing direct application links.
ScholarshipUniverse gives students a competitive gauge, showing how many others have been matched to internal scholarships, and how many have applied. Thanks to the time saved in the search process, students can prioritize their application preparation to give them the best chance at earning additional funds. During the 16-17 school year, more than 30,000 UA students used ScholarshipUniverse, to great success: they earned over $6 million in external scholarships.
Increased Staff Efficiency
Streamlined processes and automated follow-up communications boost staff productivity. Four campuses, 14 academic colleges, and six departments and organizations all use ScholarshipUniverse, seamlessly providing the best student experience. Time spent in decision committees is down, too. Only eligible students are matched to awards, so committees no longer have to spend time weeding through stacks of paper applications from unqualified applicants. ScholarshipUniverse speeds the review and awarding process by collecting the specific information committees need to grant awards. Donors are happier too, since the tailored information collected drives strategic awarding and improved reporting.
Driving Scholarship Accessibility 24/7
The financial aid office now has one source to point to when students have scholarship inquiries. But best of all, ScholarshipUniverse provides students with easy, mobile, personalized scholarship management to fill gaps in their education funding. “With ScholarshipUniverse, we improved accessibility to education, reduced the amount some UA students owed, and provided the best student experience,” says Salcedo.