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COVID-19 Concerns in Scholarship Management (Session 2)

In this episode of Scholarship Coffee Talks; we discuss student interviews, committees, and scoring.

Topics Covered:

  • Student Interviews
  • Committee Meetings/Fatigue
  • Scoring
  • What other platforms would you recommend besides zoom for video interviewing of students?
  • Scholarship Deadlines
  • Keeping Video Shorts

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Student Interviews

Alyse Braaten, Foundant Technologies - Were students able to access the platform okay?

Angela Lee, Community Foundation of Lorain County - We do not interview students. Our meetings this year will be via conference call (first time). We have scored but will also discuss via phone to select recipients.

Committee Meetings/Fatigue

Continued conversation about managing committees here

Carolyn Siegfried, Mario Pedrozzi Scholarship Foundation - I'm an executive director in Livermore, California. So we're a suburban area about 45 miles east of San Francisco and we do not do interviews. We have transitioned to scoring for selection. However, we have a very long time to make the final decisions, though with scoring. With a foreign collection, you have obvious applicants that score at the top and applicants that score at the bottom, we still have a lot of discussions that happen around and in that broader middle group. So it's your typical bell-shaped curve. And that Is typically a five and a half-hour meeting with a break for lunch. I don't see us doing that long of a meeting on zoom. So I'm really looking for ideas or if anybody has gone through that process of those selection meetings. What's the maximum length, I guess. That's my first question. You know, for effectiveness. What's the maximum length?

Joann Farnham, Battle Creek Community Foundation - I have the same issue as Carolyn, we have committees that make a lot of selections. And wondering how this will work.


Jeanne Peihl, San Juan Island Community Foundation  - I would love to hear from foundations who have transitioned to scoring. What criteria do you use and would you be willing to share your rubric or scoring system?

Amanda Huszti, Lake Trust Credit Union - Instead of holding a meeting, we have divided up the scholarship applications among our committee members so that each one is scored several times and the committee members can see other committee members' comments.

Allison Findley, Community Foundation of Mendocino County  - We are going to try and build in as much time for a review of applications as we can. For those that we are doing committee only picks we are going to ask committees to please be flexible with time and allow multiple meetings over a week instead of just one big meeting.

Amanda Williams, ThedaCare Family of Foundations - Committee members are nurses and are not thinking about committee deadlines. Lots of applicants are also on the front line. I have uploaded the ThedaCare Family of Foundations scholarship committee job description and our scoring/evaluation form in Foundant to Compass.

Erika Orsulak, Thurgood Marshall College Fund - My advice on scoring rubrics/systems is to look at as many other scholarship providers rubrics as possible and use what works for you! I've borrowed lots of great ideas from smart colleagues. Happy to share those rubrics that I’ve developed and used in the past and present.

What other platforms would you recommend besides zoom for video interviewing of students?

Sandra Mahoney, Schaufeld Scholarship Program - Google hangouts

Carol Sloper, Greater Northwest Kansas Community Foundation -

Erika Orsulak, Thurgood Marshall College Fund- HireVue is an actual video interview platform that's easy to use.

Tiffany Hsiau, Institute of International Education - We use GoToMeeting and gotowebinar!

Jeanne Piehl, San Juan Island Community Foundation - Skype

Scholarship Deadlines

Continued conversation about scholarship deadlines here

Heather Crowl, Midland Area Community Foundation - I am curious about what everyone's deadline is for scholarship applications? Our applications were due by March 1st.

Carolyn Siegfried, Mario Pedrozzi Scholarship Foundation  - Our deadline was March 2; we are finishing the review process by next week.  Once all the scoring is complete, our scoring is exported into Excel to add weighting and sort by application type.  We have about 200 applications this year.

Carol Sloper, Greater Northwest Kansas Community Foundation - We did not adjust deadlines.

Maureen Regan, Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo  - The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has extended one deadline from April 15 to April 30.  We've asked our committee members to meet virtually.  So far committee members are good with this. For these scholarships, we are looking at how to get the awards to the students.  In the past, they have been presented at the schools during award or graduation ceremonies. We are looking at postponing the awards to the summer.

Keeping Video Shorts

Joann Farnham, Battle Creek Community Foundation - We have over 280 scholarships that award multiples and have approximately 19,000 applicants.  We do use the Foundant Evaluation, but the same kids keep coming to the top, this is why we have the conversation.  Again wondering how to keep these video meetings shorter.

Alyse Braaten, Foundant Technologies - Do you have other limits on the awards you give?

Bernice Uresti, San Antonio Area Foundation - We have a cap of 4 awards for the common app (57 funds); Students can receive more for any funds that have their own committee.

Bettie Stammerjohn, Community Foundation of Green County - The Community Foundation of Greene County extended the deadline from April 1 to April 15. Plus we have waived the transcript requirement because some schools require a form with parental permission to send transcripts. We kept Letters of Recommendation because the guidance counselors and administrators felt students could still get those. The extension has pushed back the review process by a couple of weeks but we will do that by rankings and discussion via zoom. Our review timeline is impacted by our board meeting in the middle of May.  We'll notify awardees by mail/email. Hopefully will plan an award program in the summer.

Alyse Braaten, Foundant Technologies  - One strategy starting with the highest dollar amount - rewarding the students with the highest scores with that..once you have gone through that. The strategy could be putting a cap on how many students can receive.

About the Author

For more than a decade, Foundant Technologies has specialized exclusively in making philanthropy easier and more impactful through intuitive technology solutions. All of our cloud-based solutions focus on grantmaker, grantseeker, scholarship provider and community foundation needs with the goal to make day-to-day tasks streamlined and help maximize the impact of the philanthropic community.

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