The short answer: Yes! SmarterSelect offers a feature called Common Application. This feature allows you, the provider, to create one program that will house all of the common information for your funds, grants, and scholarships. This common information is typically the applicants’ basic contact, demographic, academic, and financial information. By creating a common application to be used by all or some of your programs you can save your applicants time, because once the common portion of an application is completed, the information will then be shared across all of the programs tied to the common application.
Once you have created your common application, you can create new programs (we call these “unique programs”) that you can link to the common application. These unique programs can contain questions specific to the fund or scholarship. If one of your scholarships requires the applicant to write an essay on a specific topic, that question would be part of the unique program and would only be answered/seen by those applying to that unique program.
Local Community Foundation has 15 funds and scholarships available to their local students. One of those funds, Jane Doe Memorial Girl Scout Scholarship, requires that applicants be a former or active Girl Scout and that applicants provide an essay about their time in Girl Scouts.
The common application will house all of the high-level, common information, such as their graduating high school, GPA, FAFSA, and transcript. Local Community Foundation will create a new program specifically for the Jane Doe Memorial Girl Scout Scholarship and link it to the common application. When the application is created, they will add a few additional questions. The first question asks for the applicants’ Girl Scout troop number, the second question asks if the applicants held any leadership positions within the Girl Scouts, and the final question asks for the applicant to provide an essay on the effect their participation in the Girl Scouts has had on their future.