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!



  • 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.

  • 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.

  • We utilize a 1-10 point scale, with each point assigned to an EFC range (see below).

    Financial Need (EFC#)*

    EFC# (Expected Family Contribution)

    10 - $0 to $1,499 EFC 

    9 - $1,500 to $2,999 EFC

    8 - $3,000 to $4,499 EFC

    7 - $4,500 to $5,999 EFC

    6 - $6,000 to $7,499 EFC

    5 - $7,500 to $8,999 EFC

    4 - $9,000 to $10,499 EFC

    3 - $10,500 to $11,999 EFC

    2 - $12,000 to $13,499 EFC

    1 - $13,500 and above EFC

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