How this University Created a Campus-Wide Scholarship System

November 28, 2017 Casper Harratt

Problem: Multiple Applications, Multiple Spreadsheets

Every department at East Carolina University had its own scholarship application, which the University Scholarship office tracked using spreadsheets. Students seeking scholarships had to visit individual departments to identify opportunities. With so many different applications and awards, staff and students found the entire process challenging from start to finish.

“East Carolina University serves a large population of first-generation college students,” said Melonie Bryan, Director of University Scholarships at East Carolina University. “It was extremely important to simplify the application and awarding process, because calculating the amount owed after any scholarships and financial aid were awarded was very difficult for students and their parents.”

Blackbaud Award Management Creates a Campus-wide Scholarship System

East Carolina decided on Blackbaud Award Management because it was the only solution available that provided the integration and flexibility required to address institution and departmental awards. With Blackbaud Award Management fully integrated, students can access all scholarship opportunities across campus from a single website. In the first year, 250 different campus-based scholarships were awarded via Blackbaud Award Management. Additional scholarships will be integrated into the Blackbaud Award Management solution for the next year's scholarship cycle.

Key student data is automatically imported the student information system on a nightly basis. The application and import data are used to automatically match students against available scholarships, eliminating the spreadsheets and staff time associated with manual assignment.

Improved Student, Staff, and Parent Experience

Within the first year of introducing Blackbaud Award Management, East Carolina has already seen significant improvements to the scholarship process for both students and administrators. Over 2,800 ECU students completed the online scholarship process in the first year of use.

The large pool of applicants and simplified process made it much easier for the scholarship office to award the most qualified students. “I was recently able to award 90 scholarships and notify students all in one day,” said Melonie. “Before Blackbaud Award Management, the awarding process alone would take me several days. I would then have to send the award letters out through campus mail,” she continued.

“This year, we are looking forward to sending out a single, consolidated award package for students and parents to get a clear understanding of exactly how much is owed to the school after financial aid and scholarships.”

But her favourite part of the improved scholarship experience? “I have actually received thank-you letters from students and parents complementing the new system!” she said.

Simplify Scholarship Management

Blackbaud Award Management has helped East Carolina and over 600 other universities invest in the best student award technology for them, and we’d love to help you as well.  Drop us a line or check out the webpage for further details.

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