Blackbaud Award Management (formerly AcademicWorks) Reviews

11 Ratings
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Score 7.8 out of 100

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Reviews (1-7 of 7)

Ashley Milton | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 18, 2020

In a large public state university, we use this system to award over $600,000 annually - and we're only 1 college on campus!

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
At my institution, we are using Blackbaud Award Management across all 16 colleges and independent departments to manage our scholarship awards process. After being audited about 2 years ago, we were informed that we were not doing a good job allocating the scholarships we had at the university. The Foundation set out to find a product that would allow us the ability to award every scholarship in our portfolio with ease. My college awards the highest dollar amount out of this system and the largest number of awards, so we were particularly interested in how it worked and made our lives easier when awarding nearly $600,000 to 220+ students.
  • This platform integrates our current university image, so students are not confused when they open the page. It was completely customizable so it had the same look and feel as our own university websites, which helps when switching to a new platform.
  • This system automatically matches students to scholarship opportunities based on their existing data in the university system! This saved us a TON of time from having to individually look at student records and manually match them to scholarships across our colleges and units.
  • We have had a few cases where we awarded a student a scholarship out of a single fund, and then later decided to increase that scholarship. Unfortunately, once a student has been assigned to a fund, we can't re-assign them or increase their amount - so we've had to clone opportunities in order to increase funds. This has been a headache when it comes to post-acceptance, because it prompts the student to complete the post-acceptance again as if it were a new award.
  • With cloning opportunities, we are unable to rename the opportunity so it stands out. For instance, if I want to clone an opportunity so I can award the same student an additional amount, I have to "guess" on the drop down menu because the name of the opportunity is exactly the same as the original. It would be great if the dropdown menu gave some additional context into whether it was a cloned opportunity, which aid year it correlates to, etc.
This system has all the intentions of being fantastic. It is a great system if you have scholarships that are blindly rated or scored, or if you have multiple users with a few scholarships each. However, as a college with hundreds of scholarships that have 200-300 qualified students for each one, it is difficult to have a blind process. Plus, if the university gave our college the ability to edit some things, they would have to give those permissions to every person with a login. Needless to say, the system is not quite equipped for multiple users within one university who all have different editing privileges. However, as cumbersome as it has been to learn and manipulate for our purposes, it has allowed us to award more funds than any year prior due to the ease of having all of the student data in one place.
Read Ashley Milton's full review
Rhonda Seyfried | TrustRadius Reviewer
July 17, 2018

AcademicWorks software is great to effectively manage all aspects of the scholarship application, review and awarding process!

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use AcademicWorks to award all scholarships offered to students by the Tarrant County College Foundation. With an enrollment of 52,956, Tarrant County College is the sixth-largest college or university in Texas in 2017. AcademicWorks provides the software to effectively manage the process of applying, reviewing and offering a large number of scholarships for students in an ever-growing number of programs, to our student body.
  • All colleges and universities have differences in the way scholarships are awarded at their schools. AcademicWorks listens to the individual needs of each college/university/scholarship provider and will either add system enhancements or help users to find ways to best utilize the system to meet their needs/requirements.
  • The AcademicWorks help desk is very good about support. They are timely in contact and work to resolve issues quickly and effectively.
  • AcademicWorks has worked closely with our IT Department to ensure that the imports and the system will work efficiently despite changes and updates.
  • Students need to only complete one application to be automatically matched to hundreds of scholarship opportunities. This is a very efficient use of the applicant's time and efforts to apply for scholarships.
  • Our school is unique in that we require a minimum of two references to be completed per applicant and they must be the right references. One must be a teacher/instructor if the applicant has been a student in the last 5 years and the others must be professional level references. To date there is no way for the system to identify and qualify students based on their references, so this process falls to us.
This is an excellent system for any college/university or scholarship provider that offers a large volume of scholarships to a high number of applicants. The price point might be a little high for a smaller school/provider and may not be worthwhile if their numbers are lower.
Read Rhonda Seyfried's full review
Rosisella Blakney | TrustRadius Reviewer
July 17, 2018

AcademicWorks has changed the game!

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use AcademicWorks to manage the applications, renewal applications and payments for over 250 scholarships. We handle the review process as well for our donors to evaluate applications that are submitted. As a community foundation, we have several different departments but scholarships is the only department using AcademicWorks. This has streamlined our application process as well as it keeps track of all transcripts and payments.
  • Reporting - pulling reports in AcademicWorks is so simple and quick. Whether I am putting together a report of applicants for a donor, or the pulling the applicants from a specific school or major, I can do it by the click of a button.
  • Support - if I ever have questions or need help problem solving, the support desk is readily available.
  • Flexibility - we can customize pretty much every aspect of how the user experiences AcademicWorks
  • Ability to personalize applications - we serve many companies, and we get requests all the time to use their logo, but we can't do that in AcademicWorks.
  • Selective reviews - some review committees don't want to review specific parts of applications, but we can't pick and choose which questions are reviewable for specific opportunities.
We manage over 200 applications online, and could definitely take on more. If you only manage a low number - this would still be great software, but you may not need this. Also, if you have very specific applications, this might not be the best fit. However, if most of your applications are the same and just vary with some specific questions - this is perfect!
Read Rosisella Blakney's full review
Yma-Richel Nabong, MBA | TrustRadius Reviewer
January 11, 2018

AcademicWorks works for us!

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
UC Hastings currently uses AcademicWorks to house our continuing students scholarship application and use it for the reviewing process. The Financial Aid department is the primary department that uses AcademicWorks. However, in the last year, Career Services has used it for the Public Interest Career Assistance Program grants they award by utilizing the application and review features.
  • Ease of set-up of the scholarship applications every year.
  • The report functionality allows us to be able to sort through the applicants easily.
  • The review functionality is user-friendly that anyone new to the system can easily learn it.
  • There could be improvement when attaching documents. Students sometimes get errors on uploading documents due to file names with certain characters.
  • Room for improvement could be mobile functionality.
AcademicWorks is well suited for large university campuses that have various scholarships across different departments. AcademicWorks can streamline the application, reviewing and awarding processes for these large universities. It is less appropriate for smaller colleges that have fewer scholarships and who choose award recipients manually.
Read Yma-Richel Nabong, MBA's full review
Shelley Cotten | TrustRadius Reviewer
January 08, 2018

AcademicWorks User Review

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
AcademicWorks (AW) is being used to manage our scholarship process. It is primarily used by me here at the foundation but other departments and scholarship committee members have limited access. It has helped tremendously in streamlining our scholarship program and saves time and effort.
  • Customer Service - Although sometimes frustrating that reps are not immediately available by chat or phone, they usually do respond and resolve within two business days.
  • Implementation - Training and working with IT and primary users to get the most out of the system.
  • Listening - When users have suggestions to improve the program, AW actually listens and has an enhancement request list. If several users ask for the same thing, we are likely to see that addressed in an upcoming enhancement.
  • Customer Service - Has slipped in the last year, since merging with Blackbaud. Not as responsive or knowledgeable overall.
[It's] Well suited for scholarship programs of any size. AW works one-on-one with the customer and helps address needs and workarounds to get the information needed.
Read Shelley Cotten's full review
Tamika Davis | TrustRadius Reviewer
January 08, 2018

AcademicWorks Review - Tamika Davis

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
When I worked for the Arizona Community Foundation, I used AW daily. It was incredibly user-friendly and streamlined the organization's application process for over 80 scholarship opportunities. As a team, we were able to communicate through the software by using the notes features, efficiently qualify student submissions, and award scholarships to deserving applicants easily. Client service reps were responsive and knowledgeable, and the annual Client Conference was always a place to grow our proficiency with the product. I'd strongly recommend AcademicWorks to those interested in making scholarship administration a bit easier.
  • Customer service
  • Sorting of student applications per scholarship opportunity
  • The cycle review in order to set up the next application cycle was always great!
  • Some users may like a bit more customization
  • If it's not currently a thing, an "if, then" algorithm for the general application would be helpful
  • Easier searching in their client resource portal
Colleges and community foundations are particularly appropriate users of the product. I'd say small family foundations with scholarship offerings would be least appropriate for its use.
Read Tamika Davis's full review
Melonie Tyson Bryan | TrustRadius Reviewer
January 08, 2018

AcademicWorks WORKS for ECU.

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Our university uses AcademicWorks as our central scholarship portal - from application to review to award to collection of post-acceptance items like thank you notes across our undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools/departments. We have over 900 individual scholarship opportunities on the portal and make close to 2000 awards annually. We have been on the product since 2014.
  • Easy to use reviewer portal for decentralized application review.
  • Easy to design general scholarship application.
  • Easy to use for data analysis/report generation.
  • EXCELLENT customer service from the vendor when questions arise.
  • At this time, there is little we have encountered that we would change.
We have had a challenge with our "arts" programs and the upload of portfolio type files - may be video, animation, etc.
Read Melonie Tyson Bryan's full review

Blackbaud Award Management (formerly AcademicWorks) Scorecard Summary

About Blackbaud Award Management (formerly AcademicWorks)

Blackbaud Award Management (formerly AcademicWorks) is a scholarship management platform used by four-year public institutions, four-year private institutions, two-year community colleges, and community foundations. It enables institutions to streamline scholarship applications and renewals, manage donor reporting, and maintain compliance. It was acquired by Blackbaud in 2017.
Categories:  Higher Education

Blackbaud Award Management (formerly AcademicWorks) Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No