Your Scholarship Program – Is It Effective?

May 11, 2016

By Colette Hadley, Director of Consulting Services  

If you work at a foundation, college, or nonprofit with a scholarship program, what issues worry you about the program?  What are you wondering about? Your concerns might include:

  • Efficiently managing the outreach and application processes
  • Using best practices for recipient selection
  • Proficiently paying and tracking award recipients
  • Supporting students to be successful

Or maybe you’re focused on the bigger picture:

  • Finding out what happens to your award recipients
  • Defining and measuring impact and success
  • Attracting new donors and upgrading current donors
  • Keeping administrative costs in line 

Get your questions answered. NCAN’s consulting services helps foundations and communities to assess their college access and scholarship programs and improve postsecondary outcomes. We use the collective knowledge of our staff experts and our national membership to bring you the best practices in the field. 

Our services include: 

  • Studying and evaluating scholarship programs for administrative efficiency, use of best practices, and impact 
  • Transitioning from reflexively accommodating criteria-heavy scholarship funds to developing strategic needs-based scholarship programs (and how to work with donors) 
  • Implementing a need-based scholarship program that is strategically linked to the college access programs in your region to help ensure degree completion 
  • Assessing your community and school districts for college attainment rates and recommending improvements 
  • Understanding college completion rates for your scholarship recipients using National Student Clearinghouse data 
  • Developing a network of college access and success agencies in your region or state 

For instance, NCAN is advising the Stanislaus Community Foundation in California on managing a new need-based scholarship program and on how to attract potential donors. Amanda Hughes, Vice President-Programs states: “NCAN’s expertise has helped Stanislaus Community Foundation redesign our scholarship program to be more impactful for students and to better support donors in understanding the deep needs of first-generation college-goers.”   

NCAN is a membership and intermediary organization uniting the most important organizations and sectors in the college attainment field. We understand your business and your unique situation better than anyone else. We know how to get you from where you are now, to where you want to be.

Call on us to help you assess and build an exemplary program. For questions and assistance, contact Elizabeth Morgan, NCAN’s director of external relations, at, or Colette Hadley, NCAN’s director of consulting at

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