While SmarterSelect and its features are quite flexible and almost any decision or function is dependent upon your preferences, there are some best practices when dealing with the Common & Unique Programs feature.
- It's OK to ask redundant questions, especially if they have to do with a program's requirements/qualifying criteria.
- You can use the Pre-Qualify feature with each of your unique programs, as long as you aren't also using Program Matching.
- Plan out your common program questions first. If using Program Matching, also look at unique requirements and find which questions to include in your common program so they can also be used in the matching search.
- Make sure your common program's deadline is set at least as far out as the latest unique program deadline so the common program will remain open for those applicants.
- Place online recommendation and information requests in the common program, if possible. Secondary or optional letters of recommendations specific to the unique scholarship/award/grant opportunities can be placed within the unique programs.
- Assign evaluators to the unique programs, even if there aren't specific or unique questions in them. The evaluators will see the name of the unique programs assigned to them as well as their descriptions and requirements.