There are many different tactical marketing objectives as well as strategic corporate objectives that could be achieved through the creative use of scholarships. Here are some examples:

Our company’s core values are to help people achieve their full potential.

You may choose to offer a scholarship to students from disadvantaged backgrounds for whom it might otherwise be difficult to attend university. You could specify that scholars need to be the first in their family to go to university and be able to demonstrate how they have overcome difficulties to achieve high academic standards.

The scholarship could also include mentoring throughout their university course and work experience during the summer holidays.

We need to have a steady stream of top-flight graduates to recruit.

Offer a scholarship for a specific subject area that is relevant to your business.  For example an Accountancy practice offering a scholarship for high academic achievers to study Accounting and Finance at selected universities, will build relationships with those departments, raise the company’s profile and establish it among prospective students and future graduates as a forward thinking company that invests in its people and their development.

We would like to gain some PR coverage and awareness of our product.

Create a scholarship which encourages students to participate in an activity involving your product. This could be in the format of a competition to win the scholarship money. For example, the brand Duck Tape in America have used this method to offer a scholarship for the best Prom outfit created from Duck Tape. Students send in photographs of their outfits and the ones judged to be the best win the money.

We would like to get brand penetration in to schools and reach parents.

Offer a scholarship for secondary schools students who aspire to go to university. This could be an essay competition or a subject based activity. For example a poetry competition or a historical video making competition that could tie in to activities in the national curriculum, meaning that teachers could use them in the classroom. If there is a chance to win a scholarship for university this will also mean schools may be more receptive to encouraging participation.

We would like to build our presence on Social Media

There is no reason why a scholarship should not be offered in the format of a simple prize draw, as long as students entering are over 18 years of age. A simple mechanism could be devised to encourage viral participation and as students are heavy users of social media this could grow significantly. Like us on Facebook to enter the draw and share with your friends, or tell us/show us why you deserve to win the scholarship and the entry that gets the most likes could win.