COVID-19 Resource

Supporting and Managing Scholarships During the Pandemic & Recession - Part 1

Publication date: 
May, 2020

Students and families are facing new economic, health, and caretaking hardships, many of which will continue during the summer and academic year. Colleges and universities are already announcing budget and staff cuts and a few are already talking about being primarily virtual in the fall. Donors to scholarship funds and managers of those funds will need to consider being more flexible in use of the funds. This will be peer exchange to learn how you’re looking at your scholarship policies and practices. We’ll be asking for you to raise your hands to offer your solutions to these questions (at least to start):

Changes in Students Status and Getting $ Out

  • Is anyone adding additional measures to scholarships offer/award procedures to ensure that the students who planned to go to college when they first applied for your scholarships will still be going to college this fall?
  • If students opt not to attend this fall due to parent job loss/financial hardship or other issues, will you hold funds for a semester or a year, or move on to another candidate?
  • What will you do if students opt to attend part-time vs. full-time?
  • Will remote working impact how scholarship/bursar/financial aid offices process scholarship payments from third parties. For example, should we be expecting delays in processing? What about the refund process to students?

Changes in Fund Criteria

  • What are you doing about funds with criteria or restrictions that would prevent qualified students from attending (full-time, on-campus activities, etc.)?
  • If a scholarship goes unawarded, will you let the spendable ride until next year to award more or push those funds back into the fund's corpus?


Go here to view Part 2 of this conversation.