Best Scholarship Search Websites

 

Grants. Loans. Merit-based aid. Need-based aid. Scholarships. The world of financial aid can be overwhelming in and of itself. Most students look to grants and scholarships first, because that’s aid you don’t have to pay back.

 

Institutional scholarships can be handy, but colleges only have so much money devoted to scholarships. In addition to applying for aid at your college, you might also consider financing your studies with private scholarships. (Private scholarships are simply scholarships funded by private companies or entities.) 

 

If you choose that route, you might run into a different problem. There are so many private scholarships for high school students out there that it can be tough to find ones that are relevant to your personal situation.

 

Luckily, there are quite a few scholarship search engine websites to help you search for additional aid. Private scholarship websites run the gamut, and we’ve rounded up a list of the best of the best for you.

 

 

Reviews and List of Scholarship Websites

Figuring out where to find scholarships shouldn’t be the thing that holds your student back, so here is a list of college scholarship websites to find money for college.

 

Fastweb

Fastweb is perhaps one of the most famous scholarship search engines, and with good reason. After you create a simple profile, Fastweb offers a curated list of scholarship matches, as well as the ability to sort scholarships into Interested, Applied, I’ve Won!, and Not Interested categories.

 

The site also boasts a list of “Quick Links” to scholarships for certain identities, like veterans or high school students.

 

Ease of Use: Easy

 

Requirements: None, although a profile yields curated matches

 

Popularity: Very popular

 

Success: 3.2 stars out of 5 (Facebook)

 

 

Scholarships.com

Scholarships.com is a little less flashy than Fastweb, but is still known for being one of the greats. In order to access the scholarship search tool, you must make an account. Scholarships.com also includes a scholarship directory available to casual browsers, although that involves more manual work for the scholarship hunter.

 

The site offers the name of the scholarship, the deadline to apply, and the number of awards given. Like Fastweb, it offers a list of quick links for special identities. Overall, the site isn’t as appealing or inviting as Fastweb, and often ads are wrapped around the scholarship info, making it hard to get the information you want at a glance.

 

Ease of Use: Medium

 

Requirements: None, although a profile yields curated matches

 

Popularity: Very popular

 

 

JLV College Counseling

This simple, hidden gem of a site is a fan favorite. While it doesn’t offer a searchable database, it does offer a myriad of scholarship lists based on identities like military status, athlete, gender, and more.

 

You can also take a bird’s eye view of all the scholarships listed on the site sorted by deadline. The site is neatly and intuitively organized, but the lack of a robust database might make filtering through all of the options a slog for the potential scholarship hunter.

 

Ease of Use: Medium

 

Requirements: None

 

Popularity: Hidden gem

 

 

Cappex

Cappex is another major league player in the scholarship search field. In addition to offering scholarship matches, it also helps students find the right college for them. While Cappex offers a little teaser of potential scholarships without an account, you absolutely need one in order to view scholarship details and to start applying.

 

Once you create an account, your scholarship matches are neatly laid out in a table that tells you the scholarship name, amount, how much effort the scholarship will take, and how much competition you’re up against.

 

Under the Next Steps header, you can keep your search organized by choosing your status with that scholarship from a drop-down menu.

 

Ease of Use: Easy

 

Requirements: Profile

 

Popularity: Very popular

 

 

Unigo

Unigo is a scholarship engine that doubles as a college search tool. It’s similar to Scholarships.com in that it offers both curated scholarship matches if you create an account and a scholarship directory if you decide not to.

 

Creating a profile involves handing over a lot of personal information before you’re presented with your matches.

 

The scholarship search page offers big buttons that say things like “I will apply for” and “I will not apply for,” but it’s not obvious what clicking these buttons does. On this same page, you can filter scholarships by name, deadline, and award amount.

 

Ease of Use: Hard

 

Requirements: None, although a profile yields curated matches

 

Popularity: Popular

 

 

Big Future

Big Future is one of the official websites of the College Board. As such, it offers a lot of different resources, including classroom resources, career guidance, and college search info. With a little digging, you can find the Scholarships and Grants page.

 

The College Board scholarship website prompts you to enter as much information as possible, but none of the fields are required. It doesn’t offer any filters once you get your results, although each individual scholarship page includes details like eligibility requirements, application requirements, and sponsor contact information.

 

Ease of Use: Medium

 

Requirements: None

 

Popularity: Popular

 

 

Going Merry

Going Merry is a well-kept scholarship secret. You need a profile to access their curated matches, but it’s quick and easy to sign up for one.

 

The scholarship dashboard sorts your scholarships by matches, favorite, ignored, and local scholarships. It’s worth nothing that local scholarships are often tough to find on your own, but usually have little competition. There’s also a sidebar that lists scholarships with upcoming deadlines at a glance.

 

Once you choose a scholarship category, you can filter results by deadline, completion time (in minutes), award amount, number of winners, and number of applicants. The interface is a little cluttered, but Going Merry is specific where other engines stay vague.

 

Ease of Use: Medium

 

Requirements: Profile, one essay for multiple scholarships

 

Popularity: Up and coming

 

[Need Help In Finding Scholarships For High School Students]

 

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ScholarMe

ScholarMe is yet another hidden gem. Like most other sites on our list, you have to create a quick profile to get access to your matches.

 

After you complete your profile, the website offers a video tutorial to help you get started. ScholarMe has created the Universal Scholarship Application, with which the student can automatically apply for hundreds of scholarships by answering five essay questions. The scholarship dashboard lists the scholarship name, amount, application deadline, and the type of essay required.

 

The concept is a little different from other scholarship databases, but could potentially make applying for multiple scholarships a breeze.

 

Ease of Use: Medium

 

Requirements: Profile, one essay for multiple scholarships

 

Popularity: Hidden gem

 

 

ScholarshipOwl

Like Going Merry and ScholarMe, ScholarshipOwl’s claim to fame is that it applies to scholarships for you. You have to create a profile to access their services, and you’re required to fill out most of the fields.

 

Your scholarship dashboard is super streamlined, and shows only the name, award amount, and deadline, as well as a link to the scholarship’s terms and conditions.

 

Unlike other scholarship search engines, you need a subscription to access the service that allows you to apply to more than one scholarship at a time.

 

Ease of Use: Medium

 

Requirements: Profile, one application for multiple scholarships

 

Popularity: Up and coming

 

While these sites all offer myriad types of private scholarships, there are certain strategies to use when doing your searching, finding, and applying for them. These strategies have a lot to do with why some students are more successful in receiving aid than others. The more your student can learn about these strategies, the better.

 

 

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By Arlena McClenton, a senior at Barnard College studying comparative literature and web development. In her free time, she can be found drinking tea, scoping out the best campus study spaces, and exploring the city. 

  1. Personally, I find Cappex to be a waste of time. After researching scholarships and creating a specific profile it did nothing to match scholarships to the time consuming profile created. Even after “deleting” scholarships that were obviously not matches, it emailed deadlines on those scholarships. It does not seem to actually match you with scholarships but sends everything out there indiscriminately. I get nothing but junk from them. so much clicking through with no field so far. Unigo is full of junk scholarships, the ones with no essay required. As far as I can tell FastWeb is in the same vein as these. I have found JVL College consulting to be the best so far for finding niche scholarships that everyone under the sun is not likely to apply for. Good old google searching and a big scholarship book I bought at the book store have worked best for us so far!

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