Online Scholarship Application Guide

Session-based vs. Forms

Creating a convenient, easy-to-use scholarship application is important to get time-crunched students to submit an application. As application forms move online, choosing the right format is important. Yes, you can use a Google form, but collecting documents is problematic, and asking students to complete the form in one sitting is a challenge. This guide outlines the advantages of a session-based online scholarship application.

What is a Session-Based Online Scholarship Application Form?

Session-based means that students can start their application, usually with a few questions, such as first and last name, and email address, and then log out and come back later. From the student’s perspective, this option is preferred. A recent survey showed nearly 80% of students appreciate being able to save and return to their in-progress applications.

Giving students the opportunity to log in and out makes it easier for them to answer essay questions and upload required documents. And in some cases, such as with our ScholarshipsCanada online application service, students will have access to a portal where they can manage their application and through which you can communicate with them.

Configuring Your Application

Using a session-based application offers you the opportunity to easily configure your application. For instance, using the ScholarshipsCanada service, you have access to flexible options for building custom application forms including: number of pages, number of fields, and field types (checkboxes, dropdowns, text, radio button, etc). Once the form is built, it can be copied and reused for other scholarship applications or for next year.

And, if you use the ScholarshipsCanada service, we will build a custom landing page laying out the scholarship parameters and requirements. Depending on your needs and desires, we can include design elements like images and video, or embed iframes — whatever’s required.

Managing Documents

A session-based application offers you the opportunity to log students into a portal where they can upload their documents. This gives them the option to review their uploaded documents (and replace them if needed) before they submit them with their application.

The ScholarshipsCanada service allows for a wide variety of documents, including: essays, portfolios, CVs, references, transcripts, etc.

Managing Applicant Communication

With a session-based application, it is possible to collect the applicant’s contact details (email and/or mobile number) upfront before they have completed the application. This means you can communicate with applicants who have started but not finished their application great for the applicant, and great for you, as your completed applications will increase.

Using the ScholarshipsCanada service, this communication is configurable and automated. In addition to that, we set up missing document reminders, deadline reminders, and marketing drip email communication (highlighting past scholarship winners for instance).

Managing Applicant Support

If you use the ScholarshipsCanada session-based service, we’ll also provide applicant support, which includes answering any questions, checking submitted applications for any issues, and whatever other aid an interested applicant might require in terms of accessibility.

We maintain a consistent stream of contact from application to announcement of the recipient(s).

Managing Application Scoring and Adjudication

Session-based applications such as the ScholarshipsCanada service allow you to manage application scoring and adjudication in the online admin portal. This portal offers tools, including a configured scoring matrix and the option to give your adjudicators access to score applications. Alternatively, we offer the option to have our adjudicators score the applications. Typically we will score the first or second round, and provide you with a short list, from which you can select a winner(s).


Session-based applications offer the opportunity to track and therefore report on your scholarship program.

If you use the ScholarshipsCanada service, you’ll get detailed reports on application starts, and each stage of the process, as well as applicant demographic and profile reporting. You get details on communication, including applicant email open and click throughs, and overall performance. And because communication is tracked, you can see details on each applicant’s activity history.


We hope this helps, and whether you’re interested in using our ScholarshipsCanada online scholarship application service or another — session-based is the way to go!


  • Session-based applications make it easier to create, edit, and manage your online application.
  • They are easier for students to use.
  • They make it possible to nurture applicants from start to completed application.
  • They make it easier to support applicants.
  • They make it easier to score and adjudicate applications (all online – no paper).
  • The make it easier to manage the adjudicators through the admin portal.
  • You get detailed reporting.

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