The matching engine in ScholarshipUniverse is intended to create pools of applicants who all meet the requirements of a scholarship. This saves reviewers and committees from spending valuable time determining if candidates are eligible. Instead, the reviewers can focus on differnetiation of qualified applicants. When the number qualified applicants for a scholarship is too large for the committee to effectively and efficiently review, the follow features and management strategies can be used in ScholarshipUniverse. 


Evaluate Matching Criteria

Tighten matching criteria by raising academic standards, add criteria to matching that may be implicit to being awarded, or make a donor preferences required. Try to avoid having funds with only one question or very low bars to qualify.  To review and adjust matching criteria see Scholarship Settings

Consider Capping Applications

The maximum number of applications allowed per cycle can also be set on the scholarship to limit the size of the pool. When the maximum is reached the cycle will close for the scholarship. This method does reward proactive applicants. If the cap is reached too quickly or the pool is found to be insufficent to award all available funds the cap can be raised or a supplemental cycle can be opened with another version of the scholarship.  To manage the maximum number of applications see Scholarship Settings.

Screen Applicants Prior to Creating Review Pools

After the cycle has closed, candidates can be screened on the Candiates tab of the scholarship (Plan>Scholarship). Using the column selector and filters minimum cut-off values can be quickly established and the candidate removed from prior to the pool being created. For example, eliminate students who don't meet preferences when there is sufficient candidates with the preferences. Or remove the bottom GPAs or use EFC or other financial data from the SIS to focus on the neediest students. To use a screening step prior to creating a pool navigate to Plan>Scholarships. Then open a specific scholarship and click on the Candidates tab.

Use Multiple Rounds of Review

ScholarshipUniverse allows for multiple rounds of review using either a recomendation scoring method or an initial scorecard to allow committees or pre-readers to do a quick review of existing applications. Then a second round can be used that only brings the top candidates to the full committee for a more in depth review.  To learn more about the recommendation scoring methos see [insert link]. To learn more about multiple rounds and how to narrow applicants for a subsequent round see 

Use Minimum Number of Reviews or Sub-committees for Review Pools

Review managers/Committee Chairs can also choose allocation methods that reduce the number of reviews that the committee needs to complete. This could also be used in combination with a subsequent round where the entire committee reviews top candidates. Two options can be used:

  • Required Number of Reviews: Set that each applicant must be reviewed by a minimum number or reviewers. For example there are 5 committee members and 100 applicants. By setting the number to 2. The system will auto distribute applicants so that each gets a review by two members of the committee. This reduces the total number of reviews by the committee from 500 to 200. 

  • Split Committee into Groups: This allocation method allows the Review Manager/Committee Chair to  split into "sub-committees".  For example, a committee of 4 has to review 40 applicants. By setting the allocation method to 2 the committee is split into 2 groups of 2 reviewers and each is assigned 20 applicants. 

These methods combined with a clearly agreed upon ScoredCard (See [link]) can be an effective and consistent method or review where candidates are either narrowed and reviewed in another round or differentiated using the SmartRank functionality.  To learn more about setting allocation methods across one or multiple rounds see Managing Pools.

Consider Switching from using and Application and Review Process to Auto-Matching

Some scholarships with broad minimum elibiligty requirements do not require differentiating items like letters of recommendation, essays, work samples etc. In these cases it may be more efficient to use data to determine eligibility with matching and then ranking/differentiation with SmartRank. If the scholarship is configure as Direct Award for the application method, students will be matched to scholarships and then a reviewer can further apply SmartRank rules to rank matching candidates. Auto-matched candidates are not notified they are under consideration and the matched scholarships do not appear in their list to help manage student expectations. To learn more about auto-matching and direct awarding please see the following articles [articles under development].