How to Create a Scholarship

Although Scholars.shop has made creating and implementing a scholarship program seamless, we still want you to be prepared prior to posting your scholarship so that you can make sure that you and/or your organization is best fulfilling your mission. We'll help you create any kind of scholarship from a community based program, an education non-profit, a memorial scholarship, alumni program or just because!


The below are the steps to think about when creating your own scholarship:


1. Funds

Who will financially support the scholarship fund? 


It’s important to know what your budget is prior to offering a scholarship. This way, you can determine how many students you want to award and if there will be different value amounts for a 1st place or 2nd place and so forth for your scholarship.


Examples of places to raise funds:

  • Crowdfund to accept donations from from friends, family, or employees

  • Set-up a community or school event or auction to raise money for your scholarship

  • Contact your employer to see if they have a corporate giving program. Some companies will match employees donations, and match donations to scholarship funds!

  • Contact the local newspaper to make the community aware of your efforts and ask for donations. For information on collecting donations for your scholarship, see the link in our first bullet point

  • If you are setting up a memorial scholarship, include your intentions in the appropriate places to spread the word of your honoring and include where people and supporters can donate to contribute to your scholarship fund

  • If it’s for a school or community based organization, find a list of alumni to contact to ask for donations. Using your resources and the people around you that feel strongly towards your scholarships mission is one of the best ways to raise funds for your scholarship.




2. Determine Goals

What is the core mission of the scholarship fund?


This helps you set the criteria of what kind of applicants you would like to support as well as what kind of questions you would like to include in your scholarships application. When listing your scholarship, we ask for these three key terms that embody your mission so that students can easily find your scholarship by searching by key terms. Key terms also help students easily evaluate if they would be a good fit as an applicant.


Example: If you have an organization that supports low income students and you are trying to encourage them to go into a STEM field, your key-terms could be: ‘Low-income’, ‘STEM’



3. Scholarship Eligibility & Requirements

Determine if there is a minimum GPA, or test score that you would like students to have. Also will there be an interview during the selection process? Eligibility criteria usually goes hand in hand with the scholarships goals and mission.


Example: Minimum GPA is a 2.0 and we will require a phone interview



4. Who will manage your scholarship?

  • Who will will answer students questions throughout the application period?

  • Who will be the person, or people, that read/review applications?

  • Who will be the person responsible for awarding students and changing their application status on Scholars.shop?


5.  Set an application deadline for students

If using our site to list your scholarship for free or using one of our flexible scholarship plans for scholarship providers, we encourage you make your student award decisions within 60 days of the students application deadline. Plan accordingly that all readers will be able to review and your decide scholarship winners within that time period.



6. Create the application

  • Choose questions that you would like students to answer when submitting their application. On scholars.shop, we have a set of questions for you to choose from, or you can custom create your own.

Example: Please tell us why you are choosing a STEM major and what motivated you to go into that career path?

  • Additional documents - If you wish, you can choose to have students submit additional documents such as transcripts and request a person of their choice to write a letter of recommendation.



7. Determine student selection criteria

What will be the criteria you will judge student applications? What is the order of importance or these criteria?


It is important that everyone who is reading student scholarship applications know this criteria and stay consistent when reviewing all applications. For more information on choosing criteria, take a look at other articles we have written for scholarship providers.


Example: Most important is how many science and math classes the student has taken. The second important factor is the students grades in those courses.



8. Post and Advertise your Scholarship

  • Post your scholarship and advertise it using multiple different ways! One of the best ways is to list it using our site to reach students, community organizations and school scholarship facilitators.

  • Share your scholarship link on social media and any related personal websites!

  • Reach out to schools and organizations in your community to reach more students and people who would qualify for your scholarship.




9. Award your scholarship!

  • Within 60 days of the applications deadline, make sure all reviewers have reviewed applicants, made their notes and you have chosen a student or students to award!

  • Update all students application status. It's important to students to know if they have received or have been denied a scholarship. If using Scholars.Shop to manage your scholarship, we automatically send students a message to their email notifying them of their award status once you update it. When selecting a scholarship winner, you will be taken to the award page where you can directly transfer students their financial scholarship reward there. Easy as that.



Are your ready to post or create your scholarship? Click here to get started now!