Pre-Application Stage

Pre-Application Stage

Prior to accepting any applications, each state organization should have a basic understanding of financial aid and marketing for recruitment purposes. The organization should also be aware of and use the Planning for the Future (PFF) tool to contribute, manage and retrieve information on youth and young adults that may be eligible based on the death, serious injury, or debilitating illness of a parent, as identified in the workers’ compensation field.

Setting and revisiting eligibility and judging criteria that will help vulnerable students succeed are essential steps – especially because higher education and financial aid are in a state of flux, if not turmoil, at the state and federal levels. Whether you operate with staff, volunteers, or a hybrid approach, this guide can serve as a beacon for states seeking affirmation, direction, or renewal in their approach.

Financial Aid 101

All states should have a basic understanding of financial aid, how it works and how scholarships fit into the bigger picture. State scholarship coordinators may also want to understand the larger trends that are impacting their scholarship dollars.

Financial aid is defined as “all forms of financial assistance awarded to a student to pay for college.” Some of this is called “self-help” aid, such as subsidized work-study or loans. Grants and scholarships are the types of financial aid that do not have to be repaid. Sometimes students use these terms interchangeably without understanding the difference.

Grants are more likely to be offered by state, federal, and tribal institutions, even if the university is the administrator of those funds. These grants may be based on certain under-represented statuses or income levels. While they are generally need-based, such as a state grant to attend a public institution in that state, they also may have a merit component. Institutional grants are funds coming directly from the college and may be called institutional scholarships.

The distinction between state, federal, and tribal grants, compared to institutional grants/scholarships, is important because private scholarship dollars, such as those from Kids’ Chance, must interplay with these other sources. There are two possible unintended consequences of which Kids’ Chance should be aware:

  • Displacement – results in no net gain to the student. This occurs if the institution replaces its own institutional scholarship that they would have awarded to a student, with funds provided by an outside scholarship source.
  • Over-Award – occurs when the combination of financial aid from multiple sources exceeds the actual Cost of Attendance. This situation is not allowed by federal policy. Over-awards are more likely to occur with high-merit students who are getting multiple awards, high-merit and high-need students who may be “fully packaged” with no loans, and students who have multiple sources of aid limited to “tuition only” policies. Over-award has been an issue in some states where state-funded programs, such as free tuition or “promise scholarships,” and large scholarship providers restrict scholarship use to tuition only and leave students with little choice but to turn down an award.
Adopt a Cost of Attendance (COA) scholarship model, allowing students to use the funds on any legitimate item included in a college or university’s published cost of attendance.

In the U.S., official Cost of Attendance is based on eligible expenses defined by the federal government. Students can use financial aid toward covering the COA and each university must publicly post their COA. This excerpt is from

“If you are attending at least half-time, your COA is the estimate of

  • tuition and fees;
  • the cost of room and board (or living expenses for students who do not contract with the school for room and board);
  • the cost of books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and miscellaneous expenses including a reasonable amount for the documented cost of a personal computer; and costs related to a disability…”
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) has been a mechanism by which to assess a student’s need. Although it is not a perfect measure, it is the most common financial indicator used by scholarship providers. The EFC definition and name has been changed by the federal government and starting in 2022 will be called Student Aid Index, or SAI. Every state that used to require an EFC figure should update its application to reference SAI instead.

The Student Aid Index is the amount that the federal government determines a family should contribute to a student’s cost of college. The SAI is calculated by the government based on the financial and situational information students provide in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In 2022, a student’s financial need can now be a negative number. A figure of zero ($0) used to be the lowest EFC but now a student’s SAI can be less than zero, indicating the most significant financial need.

States are encouraged to be flexible and forgiving in determining scholarship need if there are extenuating financial circumstances that can be verified. Do not use highly detailed budgets or reporting that require the applicant to provide information about grocery budgets, rent, utilities, car payments, credit card debt, or other personal financial information.

States may consider asking, “Are there any significant financial changes since you completed the FAFSA?” because the FAFSA is based on income data from nearly two years before the student would have applied for a scholarship. Another possible question is, “Are there any significant financial barriers not reflected in your financial aid figures?” At its core, Kids’ Chance scholarships seek to help students pay for college and were not originally based on high academic merit or drastic financial need – the parent’s injury, illness, or death was the main criterion.

Aim for a minimum scholarship of $4,000 per student per year.

The reasons for this minimum are:

  • The cost of college continues to rise and so does student loan debt, which is at a crisis level.
  • Figures from the National Scholarship Providers Association indicated that of the 1.6 million students supported by their members, the average scholarship is $3,610. However, this doesn’t account for students who have a parent that is injured or deceased, which dramatically affects a family’s finances.
  • The Kids’ Chance average scholarship is nearly $4,300 per student per year.

Marketing and Recruitment

Through the discovery process to create this guide, KCOA learned that some states have long-standing marketing methods with strong outreach while others struggle to find enough applicants. KCOA also discovered the delicate balance and challenge in trying to recruit the number of students to match the available funding, thus, not over-recruiting and having to reject applicants. Marketing approaches also vary based on organizational capacity and the level of cooperation with potential referral sources.

Take a multi-tiered approach to marketing and recruitment. Track sources of your applicant pool. Relying on one source may jeopardize the sustainability of the program if that source becomes unavailable.

In the best-case scenarios, state organizations and affiliates have direct relationships with workers’ compensation insurers, claimant attorneys, medical providers, state workers’ compensation officials, judges, etc. These external advocates are making direct referrals between the eligible families and the Kids’ Chance representatives in the state. States that have not attempted to engage in such relationships should start there based on ample evidence that these entities are effective referral sources.

If a state organization or affiliate has geographic limits on where students can enroll in post-secondary education, states should be sure that the financial aid and scholarship personnel at the major colleges and universities where their recipients enroll are aware of Kids’ Chance.

Here are three examples of states that are finding eligible students beyond the efforts described above and beyond what is underway with KCOA’s Planning for the Future (PFF) initiative:

In Maryland, the Kids’ Chance board secretary makes a Public Information Act request to the state workers’ compensation commission. A sample is included here.


In Louisiana, the Kids’ Chance scholarship program is embedded in the state bar foundation with regular access to possible advocates and people of influence.

two states

In Nevada and Montana, Kids’ Chance organizations advocated for legislation that allows them to share information about Kids’ Chance scholarships to claimants and their families.

When a state organization or affiliate is trying to find more applicants, it should develop a highly targeted approach that focuses on likely sources where eligible students and their families may be discovered.

The marketing and recruitment tips listed below involve sharing information and making connections with organizations that interact with potentially eligible families.

  • Ask the state human resources association if it will promote the scholarship information among its members. Source:
  • Reach out to physical therapy or occupational therapy trade groups in the state. Sources: and
  • Connect with trade unions, employers, or government agencies involved in major civic projects, infrastructure, construction, etc. (New stadium, highway, or corporate headquarters being built? Do the stakeholders know about Kids’ Chance?)
  • Share information with first-responder organizations or state police associations that include thousands of men and women who literally risk their lives to serve their communities. Example:
  • Ask for PSAs (public service announcements) in the major metropolitan Business Journals, or garner reporting coverage by pitching a story about this unique scholarship program.
  • Ask to be listed on scholarship sites maintained by community foundations or philanthropic organizations specific to the state or region. Example: Washboard listing in Washington state
  • Reach out to business, civic and benevolent groups that can help promote Kids’ Chance, help connect to places where eligible families may congregate, or even possibly become donors or volunteers. Examples include Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, Elks, Eagles, Lions, American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, etc.
  • Take a regional approach in higher population states or those with large geographic scope and pilot recruitment efforts in one area instead of trying to stretch capacity to the whole state. Evaluate the efforts and replicate success in other regions.
  • Request a list of counselors from major school districts or from the State Department of Education. The state association of counselors is another good resource. In many cases, non-counselors can join as affiliate members to get the newsletter, share news, attend events, etc. Paid lists are also available but look first at publicly available resources to ask them for advice on how and where to promote the scholarship. Examples: and
  • Connect with state organizations or foundations that have high capacity and funding to conduct statewide outreach specifically about college access and success, financial aid, and scholarships. Examples: Oregon Student Assistance Commission and Reach Higher Montana. They are natural advocates for scholarship providers.
  • Distribute information to college access programs or networks, and other scholarship providers, in the state. Listings are available here: and
  • If you have students’ permission to share their stories, these may be disseminated to connect an abstract process with the real students who benefit from the scholarship. Examples can include vignettes on the state website, “selfies,” or more professional videos. The point is to give potential collaborators or partners quick, direct access to student stories. Examples include: Kids’ Chance of CA and Kids’ Chance of KY.
View and Download a Sample Scholarship Agreement and the Share Your Story Template

Lastly, if these suggestions seem overwhelming, consider hiring a virtual assistant, identifying a volunteer, or securing a marketing intern to help build a statewide marketing and recruitment plan, with network contacts/lists, that the Kids’ Chance organization can maintain after the initial work is complete.

Planning for the Future (PFF)

The Planning for the Future program was initiated by Kids’ Chance of America in 2015 to capture information about future scholarship candidates beginning as soon as the children were identified, ideally immediately after the report of the death or injury. The PFF initiative was intended to improve the process for eligible families to sign up to be informed about Kids’ Chance scholarships.

The PFF process is automated through an online database. Attorneys, claim representatives, and families themselves may submit a qualifying child through the PFF form on the KCOA website. State organizations and affiliates receive referrals directly from the online database once a student reaches the eligibility age, in most cases at the age of 16. One of the most difficult aspects of managing this information is that if the qualifying injury, illness, or death occurred when the child was very young, the contact information may have changed by the time a student is in high school. The PFF program ensures that data is updated quarterly.

Each state is encouraged to include the PFF link on the front page of their website:

Planning for the Future (PFF)

Eligibility Criteria

Every state organization or affiliate must follow one requirement of Kids’ Chance scholarship eligibility: the recipient must be the dependent of a worker who suffered a serious injury, debilitating illness, or death while performing their job.

Conduct an eligibility review to check the relevancy of your requirements and degree of alignment with some of the suggested practices below.

Based on a review of eligibility documentation and sample Kids’ Chance applications, the recommendations below are related to eligibility.

  • Allow flexibility on residency as it pertains to college choices. Students are faced with higher education decisions that may require in-state or out-of-state tuition, or establishing residency in another state, to gain a more favorable financial aid package or tuition. With a proven claim in the state in which the scholarship organization exists, states should allow students the flexibility to attend college where it best meets their needs.
  • Experiment with an in-state “preference,” instead of a requirement if states feel strongly about in-state enrollment. They could allocate scholarships first to students who remain in-state and second to those who leave the state.
  • Implement scholarship programs that are need-based rather than merit-based to more closely match the intent of helping kids get to college through a Kids’ Chance scholarship. Doing so will allow state organizations to be more forgiving about grade point averages or other indicators of merit. Clearly state that the program considers financial need in all marketing materials and in renewal eligibility terms so that lower-performing students will not be deterred from applying for the scholarship.
  • Examine and discuss the issue of citizenship internally as it relates to eligibility. Communicate clearly if U.S. citizenship is a requirement. However, consider the consequence of that limitation to the overall mission and purpose. A person from another country could be employed by a company conducting work in the United States and have a legitimate injury, illness, or death. If the mission and purpose are to serve the dependents of the injured or deceased worker, requiring citizenship could conflict with the founding purpose of the organization.
  • State clearly if the information derived from the FAFSA (such as the Student Aid Report and Student Aid Index) is a requirement to complete the application or if exceptions can be made for extenuating circumstances. Some students who are qualified for federal aid do not complete the FAFSA for a variety of valid reasons. If the student has not completed the FAFSA, alternative questions may be:
    • What was your parent’s adjusted gross income in the previous year and how many dependents are in the household?
    • Does your family receive public benefits such as Energy Assistance or SNAP?
    • Our state has income-based programs such as [XXX] and [XXX]. Does your family qualify for these?

Judging Criteria

Kids’ Chance has a history of transparency and flexibility to award as many scholarships as possible to eligible students; however, the judging and selection process is sometimes perceived as a mystery to scholarship applicants.

Conduct a review of the criteria, ratings and tools used in the judging process to check for relevancy and fairness.

Based on a review of documentation and national best practices, KCOA is making the recommendations below related to judging criteria.

  • Implement sliding scales or “ranges” of awards instead of the same amount for every student. The judging criteria can state that students with unmet need at X, Y, or Z levels qualify for A, B, and C scholarship levels. This is a more equitable distribution of charitable dollars.
  • Based on the stated eligibility criteria, especially related to the primary intent of a “need-based,” approach, analyze the degree to which the judging tools, matrices, and processes match the advertised intent of the scholarship.
  • Depending on the degree of misalignment between eligibility and judging criteria, if any, adjust either or both criteria accordingly. Some scholarship providers ask for detailed information about high school activities, community service, etc., but if that information is not judged anywhere, it causes an extra burden for the student to collect and provide that information. Again, is that the intent of the scholarship program?
  • Be transparent and share the basic criteria by which students will be judged on the application itself or scholarship web page. If a holistic judging process is used, state that. If a weighted process is used, share that. Below is a sample of a suggested Scholarship Review Rubric based on the Common Application.
    • Applicant’s SAI
    • Please comment on the applicant’s financial need.
    • Types of Aid Received (Choose from list: Pell Grant, Federal Student Loan, Unsubsidized Student Loan, College/University grant or scholarship; SEOG, Work Study, other.)
    • If “Other”, please explain.
    • Applicant’s GPA
    • Please comment on the applicant’s intended goals and career interests.
    • Please comment on any unusual circumstances or financial changes.
    • Recommended Fund amount 2022-2023 (Choose from list based on your award amounts such as: $1,000, $2,500, $5,000)
    • Please provide a brief explanation as to why you chose this amount.
  • Alert applicants if the state has a practice of following up during the judging process with applicants themselves, high school counselors or college financial aid officers.
  • Do not require letters of reference or recommendation. Nationally, scholarship providers are reducing the use of letters of recommendation if they do not provide significant value, or they will not be judged. Some providers are changing the recommendation or reference process to a multiple-choice scale on attributes they are seeking in students vs. requiring a formal letter from the recommender.

There are always opportunities for improvement and each state can use its own knowledge, combined with these suggestions, to determine their judging criteria and process.

Applicant/Recipient Stage

Applicant /Recipient Stage

Depending on the lifecycle and capacity of each organization, states may vary greatly in the level of processes and systems to provide customer service to eligible candidates through the application, review, selection, verification, notification, and award stage.

If capacity allows, state organizations may consider post-award interaction with students ranging from website vignettes to special event appearances or even alumni engagement strategies.

The guide provides a framework to help state organizations and affiliates consider their intentions and ways to maximize their awards based on the larger context of student life, higher education, data privacy, and financial aid.


  • Streamline the initial application to the degree possible or adopt the suggested Kids’ Chance common application.
    View and Download the Common Application
  • Ensure clarity and consistency in descriptions of the scholarship, initial applicant eligibility, and renewal eligibility. Use the same terminology across multiple documents and website text.
  • Do not request or require photographs at the application stage. This is strongly discouraged in the scholarship community because it has the potential to introduce bias and subjectivity into the process, and it may deter potential applicants from participating. It would be more appropriate to ask for photos at the announcement stage and allow students to opt-out.
  • Do NOT ask for full social security numbers. In the era of identity theft, privacy invasion, and litigiousness, doing so puts all parties at risk. If the social security number is necessary to access claim information, only request the last four digits as shown on the suggested Kids’ Chance common application.
  • Ask the student to provide a claim number. Remove burdensome documentation about the claim and current medical appointments, judgments, etc., from the application. At the renewal stage, do not ask students to report again on the parent’s incident. Kids’ Chance of America is basing this on best practices to not re-traumatize vulnerable students.
  • Alert students to the information they will need to gather to complete their application and the estimated time to do so. It can be discouraging for a student to fill in an application and then learn that they need to upload several documents that may not be readily available.
  • Design online applications with functionality for students to save information, log off, and return to the application. If this functionality is not possible, then clearly state at the beginning of the process that all applications must be completed in one session and give students a time estimate for completion.

Clearly state the deadline expectations. For print, use “postmarked by” or “received by” date, whichever is the policy. For online applications, state “submitted by 2023, [time] and [time zone].”

If the state allows rolling admissions, share the timeline of when applications are read, reviewed, and decided upon.


  • Gain clarity and consensus from the board and committee on the criteria by which students will be judged.
  • As the organization moves through the judging and selection process, balance the need to know with the need for student privacy. Ask, internally, “Is the information we gain going to make a difference in our decision?” If yes, continue pursuing it; if not, do not pursue it.
  • Clarify definitions and build a common understanding of financial aid. Require all scholarship committee volunteers to watch our Kids’ Chance video “Scholarship 101: Basics and Best Practices.”
  • Use specific selection criteria but allow for holistic decision-making. For instance, if “community service” is part of the selection process, consider how to measure students who cannot engage in community service but instead must seek paid employment, babysit siblings or fill the role of caregiver to a parent or other family member. Perhaps use the criteria “community and/or family service” if that is important to your state.
  • Although many state organizations award scholarships to every applicant, every organization should have a final selection policy in case the number of students who apply exceeds the scholarship funding available.
  • Alert students to the information they will need to gather to complete their application and the estimated time to do so. It can be discouraging for a student to fill in an application and then learn that they need to upload several documents that may not be readily available.
  • Provide all approved scholarship recipients with a congratulatory award letter clearly stating the terms and conditions of the scholarship and attestation language that they signed on the application. Include in the letter the Scholarship Agreement and Photo Release Form.
    View and Download the Photo/Video/Story Release Form
  • Before using any student photo or story, be sure that they signed the Photo/Video/Story Release form.
    View and Download the Scholarship Agreement and Photo Release Form


  • Send scholarship payments directly to the post-secondary institution. This is considered a best practice and it helps prevent re-packaging of financial aid if a student reports the scholarship to their institution late in the process. By law, students must report all outside scholarships to their college or university. While there has been backlash to this type of policy from some scholarship providers, it is still the generally accepted practice.
  • All payments should be accompanied by an award letter that clearly states the terms and conditions of the scholarship, including information such as the student’s name, date of birth, and year in college if possible. Do not send social security numbers. The letter should also explain that if the student does not attend the institution in the second semester, the remaining funds must be returned to the Kids’ Chance organization.
    View and Download the Sample Scholarship Letter to Post-Secondary Institution
  • If an education provider, such as a career training program, is not a Title IV institution (those that participate in the federal financial aid program) the scholarship coordinator should ask for verification of enrollment and a copy of the bill, with the unpaid portion clearly outlined. Send payment directly to the education program, including a policy that ensures the return of the funds if the student fails to attend.
  • Allow scholarship deferments, especially for this vulnerable population of students, whether it is for a gap year, family medical issues, mission trip, or other legitimate reason. If the by-laws of the organization do not allow for deferment, and money must be spent in the fiscal year in which they were approved, then encourage students to re-apply when they return.
  • It is not necessary to send payment twice a year to the post-secondary institution unless you have historical knowledge of students dropping out during or after the first semester. In most cases, if you state in your award letter to the college or university that the scholarship amount is to be applied for the entire academic year, the financial aid department will apply it to the financial aid package in two equal disbursements.


  • Implement a process in which scholarships are “annually renewable” if a student is in good standing.
  • Make the scholarship application process easier at the renewal stage by providing an “express” or streamlined renewal. Students have already provided detailed information about the injury, illness, or death, and the scholarship program has already invested funds in them. Making the student repeat everything about the incident is daunting and duplicative and could trigger more trauma.
    View and Download the Common Renewal Application
  • Kids’ Chance is not intended, advertised, or implemented as a high merit-based program; therefore maintaining “Satisfactory Academic Progress” (SAP), instead of a minimum grade point average, should suffice for semester or annual renewals. SAP is a set of criteria determined by each higher education institution that a student must meet to be eligible for Title IV federal financial aid. If high merit is not expected, then adding a minimum grade point average is duplicative.
  • If a student is on SAP probation, KCOA suggests that each student be given the grace to improve their grades according to the college or university policy. If the student cannot maintain SAP, therefore making them ineligible for federal aid, the state organization may wish to rescind the scholarship.


  • Based on research available on other scholarship programs, states should be aware that providing vulnerable students with scholarship funding boosts confidence and the benefit to them is often “more than the money.” Each state should convey this in the congratulatory award letters affirming the organization’s confidence in them and their ability to pursue their goals.
  • Make the scholarship application process easier at the renewal stage by providing an “express” or streamlined renewal. Students have already provided detailed information about the injury, illness, or death, and the scholarship program has already invested funds in them. Making the student repeat everything about the incident is daunting and duplicative and could trigger more trauma.
    • Student recruitment
    • Application stage
    • Reminder process
    • Congratulations/awards process
    • College notification and payment
    • Scholarship agreement
    • Education records release form
    • Media/image release form
    • Special event/student speaker protocols
    • Graduation congratulations
    • Post-graduation engagement
  • Conduct a communications audit annually to ensure that any changes are accurately reflected in all documentation – in print and online.
  • Determine realistic standards and expectations for the frequency of communication with scholarship recipients and their optional or required responses to your communication.

Student Information and FERPA

Implement an education records release policy with explicit written consent from every scholarship recipient, as indicated below.
  • One of the most important and contentious issues in the scholarship industry is related to student information. As a provider of financial aid, scholarship providers previously had the right to request a student’s financial information directly from a post-secondary institution, with or without a student’s consent. In the past, some institutions required student consent as an additional protection for the student and to mitigate their own risk.
  • Now, student consent is required if your state wants to get information directly from the college. More information is available here.
    View and Download the Education Records Release Form
  • Students have many rights through the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), one of which is to block requests for information about their status. It is important to educate students about the scholarship provider’s need to gain access to their enrollment information for disbursement, verification, and renewal purposes.
    • State organizations should take care to manage applicant and recipient information with the highest security possible because of the detailed and sensitive information gathered in the application process. This includes online and print security, record retention, and destruction policies, and common understanding and training for staff, board members, and volunteers about the importance of this issue.

Recipient Showcasing

  • The most effective strategies to raise awareness and raise money for Kids’ Chance include showcasing the impact of the scholarship and the success stories of recipients. Every state should have a method by which to capture and disseminate student stories.
  • A Photo/Video/Story release form MUST be on file for you to use your students’ images and stories. This is a crucial protection for both the student and the organization.
    View and Download the Photo/Video/Story Release form
  • Here are a few examples of how and when to showcase students:
    • Guest speaker at fundraising event
    • Guest speaker at board meeting
    • Meeting with potential donors
    • Feature story in a newsletter
    • Photo and story on state organization’s website
    • Feature articles in media
    • Interviews with members of media
    • Blog posts – your own or on other blogs
    • YouTube videos – include the link in promotional materials
    • Printed cards with student stories:
      • Send to advocates
      • Send to potential partners
      • Use as leave-behinds
      • Use as leave-behinds
  • Follow the basic tenets of good storytelling. Provide clear expectations to the student. Contact them in advance if necessary, and always retain their authenticity.
    View and Download Share Your Kids’ Chance Story
  • Plan to reimburse students for any expenses incurred to participate in events or promotional efforts.

Scholarship Recipient Engagement Strategies

View and Download Scholarship Recipient Engagement Strategies


At the state and national level, the Kids’ Chance mantra of “more money for more kids” begins with having a great story and evidence of impact. The metrics and reporting by which each state and the national organization hold themselves accountable is part of the Kids’ Chance culture and is worthy of time and attention in this guide.

The Council of State Organizations challenges each state to examine what success looks like now and in the future, and how to measure it. At a minimum, states should know the general college-going statistics in their state, the number of potentially eligible scholarship families, and their own numbers about the applicants and recipients.

This section also includes a brief framework for scholarship program evaluation that can be adopted at the discretion of state organizations and affiliates, to the degree that they desire or have the capacity.

Metrics and Reporting

  • In any scholarship program, the first step is to know about the eligible applicant pool. Kids’ Chance of America began a national initiative in 2022 to better quantify the student pipeline and leverage the support of the work comp sector to identify kids through the Planning For the Future program. KCOA will partner with states to share this information as work continues to identify the scholarship need and find all eligible applicants.
  • States should know the basic demographic, social, and economic profile of college enrollment in their state and compare that to historical information from their program. This information is publicly available, at minimum, from state higher education coordinating boards, flagship universities’ websites, or other public websites about college enrollment. The point is to understand the figures while acknowledging that Kids’ Chance students are likely to be more vulnerable and therefore under-represented in college enrollment. For example, if 20% of high school graduates in your state go to college, it may be realistic that students dealing with a catastrophic loss enroll in college at lower rates, especially if they have significant financial need.
  • States should track the following figures to better understand their own pipeline, areas of influence, areas of improvement, and areas out of their control. Examples include:
    • Amount of funds raised each year
    • Amount of scholarship funds awarded each year
    • Range and average scholarship amount each year
    • Number of first-time recipients each year
    • Number of continuing recipients each year
    • Number of people who start the application
    • Number of people who complete the application
    • Number of scholarship recipients who were identified through PFF
    • Number of potential renewals each year (or semester)
    • Number of actual renewals each year (or semester)
    • Number of graduates each year
    • Number of graduates employed, if possible
    • Reasons why students “left” the scholarship (dropped out, didn’t verify, etc.)
    • How did the student hear about Kids’ Chance?
    View and Download the Sample Scholarship Dashboard

Program Evaluation

  • More scholarship providers are engaging in formal program evaluation to gauge their impact, gather evidence of success, and learn about areas of improvement. They often use this information to refine what they do, capture recipient opinions and stories and incorporate it into their fund development efforts. Depending on the capacity of each state organization, KCOA and CSO encourage internal or external evaluation.
  • Develop a simple survey using Google Forms. Text the link to your students to complete.
  • Consider an annual survey at the end of each school year; include the survey link with information about the renewal process.
  • At the least, survey your students upon graduation to gain valuable insight and suggestions.
  • Sample questions for a graduation survey may include:
    • How has Kids’ Chance helped you achieve your educational goals?
    • What is your intended career path?
    • On a scale of 1 – 10 (with 10 being the highest) please tell us how you would rate your experience with Kids’ Chance.

Scholarship Resources

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Thank you to members of the CSO and to everyone who participated in the development of the KCOA Scholarship Guide. Special thanks to the CSO Scholarship Sub-committee for their dedication in advocating for best practices, and to the more recent CSO focus group for reviewing updates to this guide.

Copyright notice: Excerpts from Scholarships 101: The Real-World Guide to Getting Cash for College, published by Kim Stezala, and from original content developed by Ms. Stezala for the National Scholarship Providers Association Toolkit, are granted to KCOA for one-time personal use and may not be published in whole or in part in any current or future method or media without prior written permission.