Scholarship Policies - focus on administration of multi-year awards
We're looking to add some strength to our scholarship policy. While it covers the necessary/required bases, it leans more toward the nuts and bolts of establishing the fund and its criteria. Many of the nuances that come along through administration are handled on a case-by-case basis and I'd like to make it more standardized. "Because I said so" isn't very compelling.
I'm particularly interested in any policies/language that relate to duration of scholarships that are multi-year. If a student starts at a community college and is the recipient of a four-year scholarship, does it terminate once the initial degree is earned (in two years), basically leaving half of the scholarship on the table, or does it follow the student if they continue at a four-year institution to complete a bachelor's degree. We tend to follow a 'maximum of four years or until initial degree is earned', but it's more grey than I'd like.
The second policy element I'm exploring relates to the rules of engagement surrounding verification to receive the next installment of a multi-year scholarship. The intention is to have these students submit verification materials during our regular application cycle, but every year there's a small handful who ignore the language within award letters and future reminders, etc. and end up not submitting what we need to see.
Some of those students reach out to see why their scholarship never "showed up" on their account and then I have to explain where things got off track for them. Our typical stance is to have the student sit out for that year and then get back on track the following year. Most have no issue with that and actually take that tough lesson to heart by sprucing up their own organizational practices. While I understand the stance of "what's the big deal if you give it to them?" I think it sends a questionable message to the majority of students who honor the process and submit when/as intended.
Ultimately, I think the name of the game is to strike the best balance that supports/serves the recipient but doesn't produce collateral damage on the administration side.
TL;DR - share scholarship policies and any insights you have on administration of scholarships, especially multi-year (good, bad and ugly) to help us in our quest to strengthen policies 🙌
Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley
1226 Chapline Street
Wheeling, WV 26003