The first fully automated scholarship management system based on the Scholar Snapp™ solution!
By RA James
October 13, 2011
When the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation unveiled their Scholar Snapp™ technology solution, the fundamental criteria for the automation of an end-to-end scholarship management system was established. This was huge; it was the first step toward standardizing the scholarship application process. The solution simplified and maximized students’ opportunities to complete an application form once and apply for multiple scholarships. The application data could be wrapped and transmitted to multiple scholarship providers.
A good news – bad news scenario?
Ok, Scholar Snapp™ creates a wider pool of applicants to review for qualification, and when scholarship providers create online applications that conform to the Scholar Snapp™ schema, eligibility filtering is automatic. But what if their application is not online and doesn’t conform to the schema? Writing an application that conforms requires a technical staff with Web, XML, and database programming skills, and every organization has one of those guys… right? For organizations working with reduced budgets and burdened with labor and paper intensive manual business processes, the challenge to make the leap to automation registers responses anywhere from a jaw-dropping-you’ve-got-to-be-kidding to a deer-in-the-headlights , and everything in between.
However, the desire to help students access more funds for college is practically universal, and the need to make the review, collaboration, award and reporting processes more efficient was obvious. How to make an affordable solution was the rub and the demand!
The demand was heard and CommunityForce accepted the challenge. Working with a league of process improvement consultants, non-profits, and providers, CommunityForce set forth on an in-depth needs assessment of all the business processes, work-flows, and technology required to fully automate and manage all aspects of the scholarship provider’s business functions. The results of the needs assessment was then evaluated in terms of the cost of development, hardware and software infrastructure, and the pros and cons of a server-based vs. application service provider (ASP) hosting and management solution.
ScholarshipCloud by CommunityForce was launched in July 2011 as a cloud-based ASP. The buzz is growing and so are we! We are reshaping our website and opening the lines of communication between our scholarship providers, universities and colleges, grant makers, non-profits and building something really cool for students. So stay tuned… subscribe to get our bi-monthly newsletter, friend us on Facebook and let us know what you are thinking about. We will respond!