Tool Review is a new feature. In the past 18 months, we’ve noticed a mini explosion in the number of new apps, websites, and resources that have been developed to help students, parents, and counselors through the college planning process. Unfortunately, the people who can make best use of these tools don’t always know they are available. So from time to time, we’ll be bringing you a new tool and letting you know if it’s worth adding it to your tool box.
Our caps (graduation caps) go off to Scholar Box and their founding team. Started in 2012, Scholar Box’s original mission was to develop a tool for school counselors who were manually dealing with communicating local scholarships to students. Today, counselors and students benefit from Scholar Box’s tools.
Scholarship Tool Makes Counselors More Efficient
As anyone in the college scholarship field will tell you, finding local scholarships can be very rewarding. Local businesses and organizations want to help students succeed and there’s usually a smaller pool of applicants for these scholarships compared to national ones. The high school guidance departments are a good source for finding out about local scholarships, but they may not be the best at handling the paperwork and communicating to students everything that’s available. Scholar Box solves this problem by creating an online list of all scholarships a school knows about, so it’s easy to keep track of the information and there’s one source for students to look at. Counselors just add the url of the scholarship and Scholar Box collects the scholarship name, due date, award amount and eligibility requirements and keeps the information updated.
Students Reap The Benefits
Students create their own accounts, answer a few questions, and get a list of their school’s scholarships they qualify for. Student information is protected, not sold to third parties and the service is ad free. Scholar Box helps students keep track of scholarships they have viewed, applied for, and ones they’ve chosen to ignore. Scholarships are rated by competitiveness and amount of time needed to complete based on the information required. Students can go directly to the scholarship’s website to apply.
Here’s Why We Like It
It’s win-win for counselors and students. Both counselors and students save time and are more organized. Best of all, students have a reliable, online source to review their school’s scholarships and keep track of progress.
It’s free for students and schools. There is no charge for schools to work with Scholar Box and there is no fee for students to have an account that accesses their school’s scholarships. Scholar Box finds local company sponsorships to cover their costs of working with schools. For students, the account is free except if they choose to upgrade, which would allow them to qualify for scholarships from other schools. The cost to upgrade is $99, but we were told Scholar Box will refund that fee if students do not receive any scholarships.
It’s local and genuine. Scholar Box wants to deal with local scholarships, rather than use their platform to promote the same scholarships that can be found on major scholarship search engines.
There’s One Catch…..
Unfortunately up till now, Scholar Box has only worked with schools in Utah. They are starting to expand to other states, but won’t be of value to you until they come to your area. You can help – if you are a counselor and are interested in using Scholar Box’s service contact James Smyth at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a parent let your school know about Scholar Box. After all it’s free and will help students more easily find money from local sources.