To D or not to D: Obstacles and opportunities with digitized scholarships

Many of us still view scholarships as government help, or an odd altruistic act of a celebrity or gigantic corporation.

However, with the development of digital technologies and availability of scholarships from around the world, the scholarship landscape seems to be shifting. Plenty of small- and medium-sized businesses are announcing their own scholarships nowadays, which sometimes even turn into internships and employment. Sweet, right?

So, what are the most common obstacles we encountered, and some of the benefits that accompany these scholarships?

Digitized world, analog problems

Even though they are digital, these scholarships still require same administration.

Documents can be uploaded electronically and/or via app, but students still need to fill out an application and possibly write an essay. Whether it’s technical knowledge on how to fill out an application or write a good essay, or students’ motivation in question, these challenges need to be addressed by counselors.

Lurkers in the digital world

Digitized scholarships present an additional threat: that of scammers and data abuse, both of which are serious issues. Not all scholarship providers are legit, unfortunately.

The solution to these cyber-lurkers?

Find a reliable platform that screens all the scholarship providers and presents only the verified ones.

The upside of the digital world

Old administrative and motivational issues of scholarships, accompanied by new cyber pitfalls, might make you re-consider using digital platforms at all, but there are significant benefits to be gained.

The danger of scammers and data abuse is erased by choosing a serious platform (at ScholarshipOwl, for example, we check and verify every scholarship before we present it to our members).

That still leaves administration and essay writing, and this is where digital possibilities really become interesting.

Availability = time well-used

The biggest issue with scholarships today is, of course, finding the appropriate ones and recommending them to students with high chances of winning. Even then, odds are that the competition will be quite stiff.

Students invest themselves during this process and become de-motivated when they don’t get that scholarship. Is it any wonder their drive and interest are plummeting?

The common answer to this conundrum is to opt for loans – they are highly available, and provide financial means necessary for furthering education. We all know how that usually works out.

Digital platforms bring innumerable scholarships to the palm of your hand (literally). The algorithm of ScholarshipOwl platform, for example, matches students with scholarships tailored for them. This also means higher probability of them actually winning.

But the biggest benefit for counselors is the time that becomes available. With digital support, time spent on browsing heaps of scholarships and finding verified, relevant ones is cut down to minutes.

This is where real potential is for better time management – since the technical drudgery is eliminated, you free up time for the administrative side of scholarships, and helping with essays to get your students those stellar scholarships.

Are digital scholarship platforms worth it?

As with any well-balanced essay, the answer is: it depends.

On the one hand, an unstructured, unprofessional digital platform might leave you and your students with more problems than the traditional route.

On the other, a well-thought-out platform with loads of experience frees up lots of time and streamlines the application process, while connecting your students to scholarships they have high chances of winning.

The best would be to try it out – check out ScholarshipOwl’s website, or any other verified scholarship platform, and see firsthand how you and your students can benefit.

This blog was written by Scholarship Owl. They offer some other great free resources that might be of interest:

Free comprehensive guide on college scholarships
Documents you need for scholarship application
10 common mistakes with scholarship applications
Common mistakes when applying for college scholarships
Writing a cover letter
Writing a scholarship personal statement