The Balanced Man Scholarship (BMS) allows SigEp to find men who embody the Fraternity’s values and ideals. It is the single best recruitment tool in the fraternity world. When used effectively, the BMS can be your chapter’s most valuable asset in recruiting great students, strong leaders and well-rounded new brothers. For a full suite of resources dedicated to planning and running an effective Balanced Man Scholarship, please contact your regional director.
The Balanced Man Scholarship originated in 1990 at the Cincinnati Chapter, as a way to attract men of Sound Mind and Sound Body, while rewarding them for espousing the ideals of the Fraternity. Today, over 200 chapters use the BMS to identify balanced men to join SigEp.
Why the BMS?
The benefits of running the Balanced Man Scholarship effectively are numerous. The application allows for unparalleled access to incoming or current students. Your chapter will not only have information on each candidate, but will also have the opportunity to interview those candidates in their home over the summer or on campus in the fall.
The BMS attracts the best and brightest, and brothers can immediately add applicants to the chapter’s potential new member list. An awards banquet is a tremendous opportunity to include parents, alumni-volunteers and university administration in the recruitment process, while recognizing applicants and current brothers for academic achievements.
The Balanced Man Scholarship can be carried out through a simple five-step process:
1. Create a timeline.
2. Develop and drive applications.
3. Conduct interviews.
4. Plan and execute an awards banquet.
5. Recruit all qualified candidates.
Balanced Man Scholarships can range from one $500 award to multiple scholarships of over $1,000, depending on a chapter’s resources.
Planning for the BMS is a year-round process. Once a Balanced Man Scholarship banquet is complete, and candidates are recruited, preparation and scheduling for next year’s scholarship should begin. Here is a sample timeline for a Balanced Man Scholarship in the fall:
November – Select a Balanced Man Scholarship chairman. Evaluate the most recent BMS and identify areas for improvement.
January – Finalize a BMS budget and specific timeline for the next year.
February – Finalize all hard copy or electronic application and solicitation materials.
April – Email the application to incoming students. Send it from a customized email address such as MySchoolSigEpBMS@gmail.com. The application should be available online and must be very easy to complete. Asking for difficult or time-consuming items like essays and transcripts is the biggest obstacle to having many candidates to interview. Set a preferred deadline for 30 days after the application is sent, but also have a final deadline that allows you to send multiple email reminders.
May – Reserve a banquet location. Send invitation letters to special guests and speakers.
June – Select and notify first round semi-finalists.
August – Conduct an interview with every applicant that reaches your minimum GPA requirement. Meeting as many applicants as possible is a critical way to use the scholarship for recruitment purposes. Host the meetings in the first two weeks of the school year, before freshmen start getting busy. Some chapters conduct interviews in the students’ homes over the summer, which can be effective but difficult to organize.
Mid August - Another crucial, often-missed step is the process of becoming friends with applicants. This step can’t be skipped as you push BMS applicants through the Six Steps of Recruitment. Host a BBQ to welcome all applicants to campus, or invite them to chapter Sound Mind and Sound Body events. Get to know them as friends, and introduce them to SigEp before the awards banquet.
Late August – Host the banquet and award scholarships before the university’s formal recruitment occurs. Invite the finalists’ parents to attend, so they see how great SigEp is and encourage their son to join.
Fall semester– Follow up with candidates and recruit them to join SigEp.
Fundraising and support
The Balanced Man Scholarship is an investment in the chapter’s future. The investment delivers returns if even one additional new member joins the chapter. If enough new members join, the scholarship can literally pay for itself. And, of course, recruiting the best and brightest men on campus pays dividends far greater than just the financial aspect.
There are several options to explore in funding the BMS. Each SigEp chapter has a Chapter Scholarship Fund through the SigEp Educational Foundation that can be used to award the Balanced Man Scholarship. Alumni and Volunteer Corporations can also fund the BMS through their own fundraising efforts. Also, many chapters will build the BMS into the chapter budget until other fundraising efforts can be organized.