California Lutheran University


  • Thousand Oaks, California
  • Founded in 1959
  • Number of Funds: 300
  • Enrollment: 4,200
  • AcademicWorks Customer Since 2013


Problem: Multiple Award Systems

California Lutheran University completes two scholarship cycles each year: one in Fall and one in Spring. Each cycle utilized a completely different process than the other.

During the fall, the University was using a reporting tool on campus to match all students to scholarships. Once this large report was done, students were notified of their award. Afterward, the advancement office began a completely separate process to collect donor acknowledgements, which often took months to finish.

In the spring, another scholarship management process was used to collect applications from both new and returning students who wished to apply for criteria-based, endowed scholarships. However, the system suffered from instability and browser limitations, which led to many challenges for both scholarship administrators and student applicants.

AcademicWorks Provides a Single Solution

California Lutheran University chose AcademicWorks to provide a single solution to manage both the fall and spring scholarship cycles.

Now, in the fall cycle, data for all students is imported into AcademicWorks from their Student Information System. Matching eligible students to endowed funds is simple. Once all of the awards have been made, students receive an email from the advancement office telling them about the awarded funds as well requesting any additional required information. The AcademicWorks solution also allows students to submit their donor acknowledgement directly online.

During the spring scholarship cycle, students can apply for scholarships online using the same system. Once applications have been completed, the Financial Aid Staff easily matches students to endowed scholarships and again communicates awards to students directly through AcademicWorks.

Better Management, Improved Student and Donor Experience
With the assistance of AcademicWorks, California Lutheran University’s scholarship process is now streamlined and more efficient. Keeping all scholarship activities on campus in a single system has been a significant cost savings in time spent managing scholarships alone. “With AcademicWorks, we are even able to manage departmental scholarships as well as those that are given out at completely different times throughout the year,” said Carol Lingrosso, Financial Aid Counselor at the University.

Donor stewardship has improved as well, by speeding up donor acknowledgments. The AcademicWorks solutions prompts award recipients to write acknowledgments which are then transmitted electronically to the Financial Aid Office for dispersal.

“When we first moved this process online, we received over 100 donor acknowledgements in the first few days,” notes Lingrosso.

Simplify Scholarship Management

AcademicWorks simultaneously unified two separate scholarship management systems and increased donor stewardship efforts for California Lutheran University. Please contact us to see how we can help your scholarship management efforts.