As the Balanced Man Scholarship has gained exposure and effectiveness for SigEp chapters across the country, we hear some common myths about the BMS. These are the five most common myths debunked:
We’re not going to get any applications without receiving a list from the office of admissions.
With the increase in privacy laws protecting student information, it’s no surprise that fewer schools are willing to hand over lists of student contact information. It does take a little more work to market the scholarship today. However, there are many other opportunities that you can take advantage of to market the scholarship. You can ask for referrals from sororities or professors, post flyers on the campus bulletin boards, or distribute information to high school guidance counselors. It is well worth the time investment to pursue our top marketing strategies to increase the number of applicants.
The BMS isn’t worth it because our scholarship winner joined another fraternity.
FACT: You shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you only focus on recruiting one person after the scholarship process is complete, you’re probably missing out on several other quality candidates who could be a good fit for our Fraternity. If your winner ended up joining another fraternity, it could be a blessing in disguise because he may not have been a good fit for SigEp anyway. Focus on building relationships with the rest of your finalists to get a greater return on your investment.
The Balanced Man Scholarship is only a recruitment tool.
FACT: In its purest form, the Balanced Man Scholarship is an opportunity for chapters to “practice what they preach” by offering a scholarship to incoming students who align with the Fraternity’s values. The scholarship attracts a high-caliber type of student who may not initially be interested in a typical fraternity experience. While qualifying for the scholarship does not require membership in the Fraternity, approximately 14 percent of all applicants became interested and joined SigEp last year. Make sure applicants know that joining SigEp is not a requirement and exclude any questions related to joining Greek life in your interview process. This is a scholarship opportunity, not a membership interview.
We don’t currently run the scholarship, but we think it’s too late to start running it at this point in the summer.
FACT: It’s not too late! You do have some work to do, though. The first step is to get your application online. You can use this template through Google Forms. The next step is to set a timeline for the scholarship process. When do you want the application deadline to be? When is the best time to have the scholarship banquet? Download the BMS Project Plan for a complete list of all the action items you’ll need to get started. You can work with SigEp’s growth team or your regional director for additional support. (For questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Our chapter budget is already tight, and the scholarship is not worth spending money on.
FACT: A small investment today can lead to greater future dividends. Think of the scholarship process as an investment. If you invest $1,000 in the scholarship now, and your dues are $500 a semester, you’ll get a full return on your investment in two semesters if you recruit only one person! If you recruit several people, you’ll find a much larger return on that small investment. You should set goals for the number of applicants you want to receive, interviews to conduct, bids to extend and number of new members you want to join through the scholarship process. Recruiting high-quality men from scholarship applications to join the Fraternity will likely lead to greater retention, too, which means those members will still be paying dues as seniors.