Learn how Universities Canada unique scholarship management expertise can work for you.
The value of a scholarship program
As society’s fundamental need for higher education continues to grow, so too do families recognize its benefits. More than ever, employees see foundational value in company scholarship programs for their dependents.
Scores of leading organizations (including 40% of the 2012 Canada’s Top 100 employers) have learned that scholarship programs empower them to:
- Improve employee loyalty, morale, and retention
- Deepen and strengthen company and employee connections to the community
- Reduce internal administration with expert third-party services
- Champion fields of study aligned with organizational goals
Those who work with Scholarship Partners Canada – Canada’s recognized leader in scholarship management– have learned how we can offer an unmatched wealth of unique expertise and remove most of the administrative burden of a scholarship program. Here’s how you can plan and launch your own program with Universities Canada or improve upon what you currently offer.
How much preparation time is required?
Drawing on 50 years of experience, Scholarship Partners Canada can assist with everything from the overall program vision to the smallest of details. This means that starting or rejuvenating a scholarship program with Scholarship Partners Canada requires as little as three months.
What criteria should be used to award scholarships?
That depends on your program objectives. Scholarships can go to employee dependents or to members of the public at large. Programs can be designed to recognize merit, reimburse tuition, target an under-represented group, bolster an internship program, or meet virtually any other objective.
Must I cancel my existing program to work with Scholarship Partners Canada?
Absolutely not. Scholarship Partners Canada applies the same depth of expertise to help organizations start from scratch or enhance programs that already exist.
What kind of start-up budget will be needed?
Although the size of the budget depends entirely on program scope, applicant volume, promotional methods and other factor, you should note that scholarship programs offer a rich return on investment in goodwill and corporate social responsibility within the community. Talk to a Scholarship Partners Canada representative for details.
What would be my organization’s ongoing responsibilities?
This will hinge on your desired level of involvement. However, minimum responsibilities include approving the list of award winners, promoting your program, and providing the funds for scholarships.
What are the topmost advantages of working with Scholarship Partners Canada?
- As Canada’s experts in higher education, we bring an unmatched track record and almost 50 years of experience in scholarship program management.
- Our comprehensive approach means we can virtually eliminate your administrative burden, letting you focus resources on your core business.
- Our seasoned expertise ensures an impartial and fair selection process as well as program continuity and reliability.
Scholarship Partners Canada will work with your team to design your scholarship program, establishing the key elements such as:
- The objective of the program
- The number of awards you will offer
- The duration of the award (single year or multi-year)
- Any selection criteria such as grades, community service, fields of study, etc.
From this process the program guidelines, application form (online and/or paper) and other relevant documentation will be developed. Universities Canada will provide you with ideas for promoting your program within your organization and assist your team in other ways to ensure a smooth and successful launch of your program.
To oversee the launch and ongoing administration of your award program, an experienced and dedicated Program Officer is assigned to your program. Each Program Officer has access to the administrative support of Program Assistants who process files and respond to information requests from interested individuals.
Your applicants will have access to Scholarship Partners Canada’s online application system which allows them to enter their information and submit their application through a secure link on Universities Canada’s website.
As an alternative to the on-line application, applicants can complete and mail a paper application form along with their supporting documentation to the Universities Canada office. The Scholarship Partners Canada team will send correspondence to all applicants confirming the receipt of their application and directing them to their online account. The online account allows students to follow the status of their application throughout the application, adjudication and payment processes.
To protect the integrity of the program and ensure the standards of fairness are met, strict deadlines are established and followed throughout the process.
File review and adjudication
Scholarship Partners Canada will use its scholarship management system to ensure applicants meet the minimum eligibility criteria established and identify any applicant whose application package is not complete. Scholarship Partners Canada will correspond with the applicant in an attempt to ensure the missing information is made available prior to the deadline date.
If your scholarship program includes a competitive process, Scholarship Partners Canada will manage a selection process in a manner which is cost-efficient, fair, transparent and defensible. It includes the preparation of all eligible and complete files for adjudication by a selection committee. Committee members are gathered to review applications and identify the appropriate number of award recipients.
Scholarship Partners Canada has been held in high esteem for its ability to bring together specialists to participate in selection processes for scholarship programs, drawing committee members from a pool of university and/or college representatives of financial aid, registrar or admission offices, as well as academics knowledgeable in admissions and scholarship requirements. When required, experts in a specific field are included in a committee.
All adjudication processes (competitive and non-competitive) are designed to select deserving candidate(s) based on the scholarship program goals and objectives and selection criteria while respecting the high standards of transparency and fairness established by Scholarship Partners Canada.
For scholarships or awards with a tenure greater than one year, Scholarship Partners Canada will manage the renewal cycle of the scholarship program each year according to the program guidelines. Eligible award holders will be contacted in early spring and provided the procedures and requirements for the renewal of their award. The information provided by the award holders will then be evaluated to ensure they meet the criteria for renewal and award holders will be informed of the renewal decision in writing. As with applicants, award holders will have access to their online account to follow the progress of their award through the renewal and payment cycle.
Program monitoring and review
Throughout the scholarship year, Scholarship Partners Canada monitors the progress of each scholarship program through the application, adjudication, renewal and payment cycles. Any challenges or issues of concern will be brought to the attention of the scholarship sponsors. Key reports will be produced to provide feedback on program activity.
Each year, the Program Officer and a representative of your organization will undertake a Program Review during which the successes and challenges of the past year are reviewed if necessary. The application, program guidelines, as well as the policies and procedures used throughout the program year will be reviewed and updated as required.
Scholarship Partners Canada provides a financial management component to your scholarship program. Sponsors have the option of distributing the funds either directly to the student or through Scholarship Partners Canada’s payment distribution channels established with universities, colleges and trade schools in Canada and the US.
Clients choose Scholarship Partners Canada’s financial management services with confidence knowing that the processes are supported by strong financial controls and management practices.
All funds received from the sponsor and disbursed to award holders are recorded in both the scholarship management system as well as in Universities Canada’s corporate financial system.
Annually, a Program Financial Statement will be provided, along with detailed reports of transactions at the award holder and program level. An invoice for administrative fees incurred for each scholarship year will be sent to the sponsor on an annual basis.
Each February, Scholarship Partners Canada will prepare T4A’s for all students whose institution does not provide the tax form for external scholarships.
Scholarship Partners Canada has established service standards to ensure consistent and reliable administration of the scholarship programs it manages by:
- responding to all requests from potential or existing applicants for information about the scholarship program or their file within two business days
- acknowledging the receipt of an application to applicants
- building integrity and fairness into the programs it manages. The date of the receipt of the application, renewal and/or supporting documentation will be adhered to strictly and accounted for using a detailed tracking system; and
- providing an objective, arms-length adjudication process for the identification of award recipients.
While Scholarship Partners Canada does remove the administrative burden tied to activities of a scholarship program and ensures continuity of service to applicants and award holders, we may ask a program sponsor to participate in the following:
- Establishing the program objectives with Scholarship Partners Canada’s assistance
- Approving and reviewing the design of the program and guidelines
- Confirming the eligibility of applicants, if required
- Authorizing Scholarship Partners Canada to release selection results
- Paying program funds prior to payment of awards
- Responding to the communication of the annual program review, and approving the launch of the program by an established launch date
- Promoting the scholarship program
A member of our Scholarship Partners Canada team would be happy to discuss your organization’s interest in establishing a scholarship program. We are prepared to entertain any questions you may have and start working with you to develop your own unique scholarship program that can best serve your organization’s goals to support postsecondary education.
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