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Member FAQ: Electronic Scholarship Payments


Do you have any advice or resources to share as we plan to make the transition to electronic scholarship payments?

NSPA Resources:

Member Answers:

Private lenders have something called Elm Resources that handles disbursements to colleges. You might try contacting them to see if they have a similar service for scholarship providers.

Mark Kantrowitz

Most of our institutions have completed our Electronic Funds Transfer or ACH form to enable us to transfer funds from our bank to their institution's bank. When we order scholarship funds, we log in to our bank's website and enter the amount to transfer to the institution. We notify our contacts at the institutions by email that funds have been ordered and how to access a list of the students and the amount to post for each student. We used to send a "roster" of students and their scholarship amount, but since 2003, we have had a scholarship portal so we direct our contacts to the portal where they can filter for the funds order date and view a list of each student and the amount to post to their account.

Tricia Tate, The Ford Family Foundation

We're also moving to an ACH process for our award payments this fall. We're using a very similar password-protected, fillable PDF form in Adobe Acrobat Pro, which allows us to distribute the form directly from Adobe and then gathers responses in a spreadsheet for our accounting team to use. Our bank charges a monthly fee as well as a per-payment fee, but our accounting team thought the fees were low enough that it would still be more cost-effective and efficient than the process of cutting and mailing paper checks. The rest of our payment process will include sharing information about the list of students and award amounts with colleges via a secure portal.

Natasha Garfield, Denver Scholarship Foundation

You can find more information on this topic in a previous Member Q&A at this link.

National Scholarship Providers Association

National Scholarship Providers Association

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