Gates Millennium Scholars Program
About the Client
The UNCF Gates Millennium Scholarship Program was established in 1999 via a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, to promote academic excellence and provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students to reach their highest potential. GMSP is more than just a scholarship. It offers ACademic Empowerment (ACE) services to encourage academic excellence; mentoring services for academic and personal development; and an online resource center that provides internship, fellowship and scholarship information. GMSP is administered by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).
Although they award only 1,000 scholarships annually, GMSP manages a pool of over 50,000 highly-qualified applicants every year. The software system they had been using to support those applicants was aging (it had been over six years since the last major rewrite). Changes in data protection laws, technological innovations, a desire to improve the applicant experience year-over-year, and a business desire to expand program capabilities necessitated significant improvements to the GMSP scholarship application software and process.
Working closely with GMSP, Segue Technologies® completed the development and deployment of a completely redesigned scholarship application and administration system. The Enterprise Scholarship Application (ESA) provides GMSP with the ability to create and administer scholarship programs from inception through candidate selection. A highly configurable web-based system, coupled with a mobile application, provide a high level of applicant support. System users navigate ESA through a series of role-based landing pages, providing a comprehensive information and navigation point for all users.
Using ESA, prospective applicants can search through the extensive array of scholarships administered by UNCF and GMSP, and can customize their searches based upon personal profile information. The system provides a rich notification feature, keeping applicants and references up to date on all available programs and relevant information. Applying for a scholarship or supplying a candidate reference is a simple entry and click-through operation. ESA gives the GMSP staff full visibility into the scholarship content and process and the ability to customize as needed. ESA provides full life-cycle support to the application process, from on-line submission, to a fully automated review and scoring activity, to the selection of the final candidate pool. Segue also developed an Android Mobile application as part of this project, which provides status information to candidates on their submitted applications.
While ESA was developed specifically for the Gates Millennium Scholarship for the scholarship application process, the software as been adapted to support multiple scholarship programs administered by UNCF. The application was designed for this growth of scope and is capable of extensive customization (content, business rules, and appearance), making it suitable to support virtually any scholarship program.