Austin, TX (PRWEB) January 03, 2012
AcademicWorks announces the release of an innovative scholarship awarding software package designed for colleges, universities, and foundations. According to the New York Times, college tuition and fees increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007 while median family income rose only 147 percent. These increasing costs in higher education are pressuring students and families to find additional financial aid resources, including scholarships. A recent Sallie Mae survey shows grants and scholarships made up 33 percent of all college spending in 2010, up from 23% the prior year.
Colleges, universities, community foundations and private foundations are searching for new technologies to meet this growing demand while equitably awarding scholarships in an increasingly competitive environment. AcademicWorks conducted detailed market research throughout 2010 to better understand the awarding practices and technologies used among these scholarship providers. The majority of participating institutions did not have an end-to-end technology solution in place, therefore requiring significant time and manual effort to process scholarship applications and awards.
Scholarship awarding is a complex process for most colleges and universities, requiring the collection of different sets of forms, supplemental documents, recommendation letters, and manual verification with their student information system. The review and awarding process may vary depending on the type of scholarship, and decisions may be made by different individuals in Financial Aid, Institutional Advancement, Admissions, Scholarship Committees, and Academic Colleges and Departments.
Community and private foundations face similar challenges when trying to match students with donor requirements across multiple scholarship funds. Foundations operate with minimal staff resources and struggle to support committee members as they review, submit and track award offers, and continuously monitor the eligibility of previous award recipients.
AcademicWorks released a new scholarship software platform in 2011 that offers the flexibility to address each of these needs within higher education institutions and foundations. The company offers integration services with student information systems such as SunGard Higher Education Banner, Datatel Colleague, PeopleSoft, Jenzabar and other platforms. AcademicWorks is offered as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application, and most implementations and integrations are completed within 3-5 weeks.
Early adopters of the AcademicWorks scholarship software include Indiana State University, Depaul University, the University of North Texas, The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, and the Cherokee Nation Foundation. Over forty colleges, universities, and foundations have started or completed implementation at the time of this press release.
AcademicWorks offers a configurable online scholarship management system that improves the process of matching students to the financial resources they need to make their educational dreams a reality. Their web-based platform allows organizations to develop a comprehensive profile of student qualifications and financial need that can be used to efficiently match students to scholarship opportunities. Using AcademicWorks, campuses and foundations will reduce staff time and cost, as well as increase their service level to students, donors, and the campus community.