Financial Need Scholarships - How to score

Hi! We have a portfolio of 47 scholarships we oversee, and half of them have criteria where the student must demonstrate financial need. We ask them for their household income, number of household dependents, what other financial aid they are receiving, and if there are any extenuating circumstances to their financial situation.

My question is: what are some ways other foundations use to score/evaluate/compare financial need among different applicants? We have a rubric where we leave it up to a judgement call from the evaluator to say if the student has low financial need (3 points), medium (6 points), or high financial need (9 points). But that is for every scholarship, even the ones that don't require financial need. Should we put higher weighted scores for the financial need scholarships? Are there other ways to evaluate this? Are there better questions to ask of the students or the evaluators? Thanks for your input!

KaraAdams

Comments

  • In addition to the questions you ask, we also ask students to upload the SAR from the FAFSA and enter their EFC, as well as indicate how many dependents will be in college the following academic year (having multiple children in college at once can have a large impact). Additionally, we leave the financial need rating question off of any scholarships that are not need-based. We do not collect any financial data for those scholarships and do not ask reviewers to rate them on financial need since it is not a factor. Hope this is helpful!

    Laurie Abildso

    Vice President

    Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc.

    KaraAdamsHalieBrazier
  • edited January 13

    Instead of adding more weighted scores which could may have no ending over time, could it be possible for you to separate financial need-based scholarships from those who are not need-based right at the onset? It may help to streamline your process. Factors such as the ones @LaurieAbildso so mentioned could then be a catalyst to move an applicant to the 3-tiered rating system that you already use.

    HalieBrazierKaraAdams
  • edited January 18

    Our scoring rubric is very similar to @HaileyCarmerLaMaster. We ask the student to enter the EFC amount. We also ask the student to upload the SAR from the FAFSA to verify the EFC. The evaluator doesn't see the SAR, only what the EFC.

    KaraAdamsHalieBrazier
  • @HalieBrazier How do you verify the household income that a student enters?

    We use a base score for financial need and then ask the reviewers to also take into account any Special or Extraordinary Circumstances, Living Arrangements, EFC Score, Adjusted Gross Income, and if they are receiving free tuition from the local university. This question is asked for every applicant/scholarship.


    Financial Need (20 points possible)*

    Base scores:

    20 points = Significant Need

    -Has many expenses or circumstances that create a financial need for this applicant

    -Has many family responsibilities and provided an explanation of those responsibilities

    10 points = Average Need

    -Has some expenses or circumstances that create a financial need for this applicant

    -Has some family responsibilities and provided an explanation of those responsibilities

    0 points = Low Need.

    -Has no expenses or circumstances that create a financial need for this applicant

    -Has no family responsibilities

    -OR Did not provide enough information to determine a score

    The total score should factor in Special or Extraordinary Circumstances, Living Arrangements Summary, EFC Score, Adjusted Gross Income, and Free Tuition for those attending UVI.

    Scoring Options: 0 - 20

    KaraAdamsmadisonthompson
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