Scholarship applications: There’s a better way

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Most of us use a variety of tools to help us streamline our work and get things done more efficiently. We use auto-fill to quickly enter our names and addresses when we shop online.  We have password apps that connect various accounts with a single click. If we apply for a home loan, many services now allow us to create one application that is submitted to various banks to get the best rates.

Students who are applying to colleges and universities can use the popular Common App – a digital application system that allows students to apply to any of more than 700 member colleges and universities by filling out an application once online. The same information then goes to each school the student selects.

And yet scholarship applications are still mostly singular applications that require students to fill out the same required information – name, address, personal information, grades, essays – every single time.

We created Scholar Snapp to solve this problem. Scholar Snapp is a free, easy-to-use solution that allows students to reuse their application information on different scholarship applications. By using Scholar Snapp, students save valuable time and potentially find more funding for college. Scholarship providers can import application data, allowing students to stop being data entry specialists and instead spend more time personalizing their applications resulting in stronger applicant pools. It’s a win-win.

And it’s not just about time. Students from low-income families often don’t have unlimited internet access to apply to applications over and over again. Since Scholar Snapp stores more than 300 fields of information, students can save not only basic information, but also essays, letters of recommendation, and videos.  Remember the Common App above?  They became Scholar Snapp enabled two years ago, so we thought everyone would love this solution, and that we had made all students’ lives easier. Not so fast.

We ran into another big challenge: not many scholarship providers can use Scholar Snapp – even though they want to. Why not? Because their technology vendors who build and host their applications aren’t Scholar Snapp certified.  So now it’s time to help solve that problem.

Today, we are kicking off a new way for scholarship vendors to be Scholar Snapp certified. The foundation has opened a competitive process for vendors to get ready to use Scholar Snapp, and we will cover the costs of implementation. How much does it cost the vendor?  Zero.  What’s the cost to the scholarship provider?  Nothing.  What’s the cost to students?  Nada.  The first six qualified vendors will become Scholar Snapp certified to help us get closer to the goal of all students being able to use Scholar Snapp.

It’s time to bring scholarship applications into the 21st century. Join us.