Sharing Solutions: Blog

Benchmarking System Usage Statistics for Institutions & Organizations

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One responsibility  of the Client Success Team is looking for major data points to see how administrators, reviewers, and applicants are using the system. Are administrators using the new enhancements we release? What new trends are admins using? The answer to these questions and more help our team communicate and answer open-ended questions when an admin asks, “What can I be doing differently?” 

For example, many admins don’t know what’s considered "bad" when it comes to how many rough draft general applications they have. Is an 80% submission rate considered a success? Below you will find an in-depth look at the average number of drafted general applications overall each sector last year:

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A couple of things to note from this graph:

  1. Private institutions seem to have the lowest amount of drafted applications. This makes sense considering Private Institutions very rarely have students logging in to complete applications (they typically purchase additional functionality from AW called CUUI).
  2. Foundations have the highest number of drafted applications. This also makes sense because foundations, for the majority, do not have an imported data file. For this reason, they ask a high number of questions on the general application. A greater number of questions on the general application can burn the applicant out to the point that they decide to quit the application altogether.

Conditional applications have been around for a couple of years now and have been very impactful on how institutions and foundations structure their AcademicWorks system. Data below shows on average how many conditional applications each sector uses:

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A follow-up question to this graph is “How do you know if you need a conditional application?”:

  1. If you have a HIGH number of "apply to" scholarships
  2. If you have multiple departments that need their own application
  3. Wanting to allow certain students to see specific and isolated questions. Example- Incoming Student Application.

In addition to learning how you are utilizing the AcademicWorks platform, we also wanted to know if it has helped with efficiency and effectiveness at your institution. After polling our clients, we found some interesting results. Foundations, community colleges, and public institutions have experienced an increase in the number of applications since implementing AcademicWorks, however Private Institutions have not. This is because they utilize a functionality called Create Users Upon Import (CUUI). With CUUI, the system no longer requires each applicant to sign into the system and manually complete a general application, instead applicants are automatically considered for opportunities based upon import data coming from your student information system

We also found that while the process of reviewing and awarding took you the most time, automating these processes in the AcademicWorks system saved you the most time. 

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Another interesting factoid we found was that utilizing AcademicWorks increased the number of awards given to students for all of our clients except foundations. After asking a few foundations why they thought this was the case, they said it might be due to the finite number of awards they offer, which seems fairly static. For the others, with a complete view of all scholarships across the campus, the AcademicWorks scholarship management platform made it easy to see which scholarships funds have yet to be awarded, which means they are able to make sure they aren’t leaving any money on the table.

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To get a better understanding of your personal system usage, please reach out to our services team or your Client Success Manager.

Are you interested in learning more about scholarship management best practices? Subscribe to our sharing solutions blog to receive monthly updates about the latest trends in donor stewardship, donor reporting, and scholarship management. 

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Author: Morgan Love

Morgan Love

Morgan is a graduate of Texas State University with a degree in Public Relations and is passionate about event planning, communications, and marketing. She has been in the tech industry for a year and is loving her new home in higher ed. tech. When she's not in the office she loves spending time with her husband and puppy, reading a good book, traveling, and exploring the Texas hill country.