Tips & Tricks

Tired of receiving unqualified applications? Use an eligibility quiz

Ross May

A problem that many organizations come to face when collecting applications for grants, scholarships, fellowships, or any other application program, is being flooded by unqualified applications.

For example, a foundation collecting applications for a grant that requires applicants to have an annual operating budget under $1,000,000 often sees numerous applications come in from applicants that don’t meet this very basic requirement.

This places a large burden on administrators who have to manually filter out applications, and results in frustrated applicants who’ve wasted time filling out entire applications.

Some organizations fear that if they move their application process online, the increased accessibility of their application will only exacerbate this problem. But, the opposite effect is more likely!

Why? Because of the ability to implement an online eligibility quiz. An interactive qualifying round called an eligibility quiz allows applicants to answer a few basic questions to determine whether they’re eligible to continue filling out the complete application.

With an eligibility quiz, you can effectively pre-screen incoming applications and reduce the burdens placed on both applicants and administrators. Applicants won’t waste time filling out lengthy applications if they don’t meet basic requirements, and administrators won’t have to manually filter out unqualified applications.

SurveyMonkey Apply makes it easy to implement an eligibility quiz into any process, but here are some key tips to make sure you get the most of the concept and feature:

1. Understand where an eligible quiz fits in your process

There are different ways an eligible quiz can be used. It’s important to first identify how it will fit in your process to save you the most time while creating the best experience for applicants.
Here are some examples of how eligibility quizzes are used among SurveyMonkey Apply clients:

• The most common use of an eligibility quiz is as the first step in the application process to a particular program. Once completed, the applicant can either see the full application or is disqualified.

• Larger organizations with hundreds of programs use the quiz to dynamically filter the list of programs applicants see. That way, applicants can only apply to programs for which they’re eligible.

• The quiz can also be used to customize the application process to applicants. For example, you could show applicants different tasks or forms, skip stages, or assign them to certain reviewers based on their answers in the eligibility quiz.

2. List the key questions that will determine eligibility

What questions can you ask applicants that will help qualify them? Is it if they are a registered charity, what state they’re from, their GPA? Or do you want to quiz them on their values or area of expertise? Keep the question list short and focused. It also helps to have specific answers in mind that will move an applicant to the next round or not. Essay style questions that need to be reviewed won’t save you or the applicant time. In an eligibility quiz, keep questions quantitative and not subjective.

3. Set up automations to move applicants to the next step

This is where having a clear response that determines eligibility comes in handy. Application management solutions like SurveyMonkey Apply can automate which applicants move forward or not based on their response. For example, automated scoring can tally quiz questions and send anyone with at least 80% to an application round, put the 60-70% in a wait list, and disqualify the rest.

4. Communicate at key stages

The quiz will do little to save administrator time and build faith in your process if there’s no transparency. Instead of the burden of filtering through unqualified applicants, you’ll be burdened with emails asking for status updates. Make sure you automate email notifications to applicants who have been disqualified and moved forward. That way, applicants will always know where they stand.

With an eligibility quiz, you’ll help remove the burden of determining eligibility from applicants, while creating a more efficient application process. Administrators and reviewers won’t have to worry about unqualified applications, and can spend time focusing on more important aspects of their program.

To learn how you can implement an eligibility quiz into your process, get in touch by filling out the form below!

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