Simplifying scholarship application and management processes

FluidReview leads to increased student participation and administrative ease at the University of Ottawa

With a student population of over 40,000, managing scholarship applications and processing supporting documents was more than a daunting task for the financial aid team at the University of Ottawa. The Canadian institution had been using an obsolete online system, which did not support the automation of supporting documents and created a burdensome student application and review experience.

“We scanned approximately 85,000 supporting documents per academic year,” says Guylaine Renaud, awards administrator for Financial Aid and Awards. “We also did not have an online system for the review committee to evaluate students’ applications.”

An all-in-one package
After researching many solutions, one trait was an unfortunate trend: Most scholarship application systems had some of the elements that Renaud and her team were looking for, but lacked all of the steps that the University of Ottawa required:

  • A simple student application
  • The ability to automate the collection of supporting documents
  • A robust application review and evaluation portal
  • The ability to easily award scholarships
  • The ability to notify students of awards
  • The ability to automate donor thank-you’s

FluidReview by SurveyMonkey was the only system that supported the University of Ottawa’s complete scholarship application and review process.

FluidReview, a SurveyMonkey company, is a powerful scholarship management system that can seamlessly integrate into an institution’s existing scholarship process. Administrators can set up rules and guidelines for scholarship awards, create tasks for applicants and manage all applications and steps in one platform.

Renaud’s office, the University of Ottawa IT team and a FluidReview development team and project manager spent over a year customizing a powerful, interactive platform that was aligned with the institution’s specific needs. The university began by piloting the Admission Scholarship application process through FluidReview, and all other scholarships were then added. Extensive training and even a FluidReview-produced guide video were provided to address all questions.

“FluidReview created a testing environment and a production environment for us,” says Renaud. “It is crucial to do appropriate testing before pushing to production.”

Processes made simpler
Students can now view available scholarships, submit their applications, receive award notifications and thank their scholarship donors all through FluidReview at the University of Ottawa. They no longer have to send in supporting documents separately. And with that ease of process, the number of student applications for scholarships leapt in the year after FluidReview was implemented.

Before FluidReview, 4,000 students applied for scholarships per year, and Renaud and her team processed approximately 45,000 separate applications per year. With FluidReview? Over 15,000 students applied for scholarships and over 172,000 applications were processed in the first year.

“FluidReview and the University of Ottawa have the same objective: Assure that the student’s experience is good and efficient,” says Renaud. “And the reviewers now have a system that makes their task easier. I would definitely recommend FluidReview to any university looking to streamline the management of their scholarship awards.”

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