PLANNING FOR COLLEGE CHECKLISTS
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Which College Scholarship Search Sites are Worth Your Time?
With two sons in college and a daughter almost there, I have spent a lot of time looking at College Scholarship Search Sites. Knowing that other parents and students will also be looking at these sites, I spent several days researching 16 different scholarship search engine sites and the scholarships listed on these sites. I have listed these sites below and also created a printable which is available in the Subscriber's Library. You may subscribe below for access to the library.
I found the sites on my list by searching on Google and by reading many online articles about search sites. Many sites link to other sites, so investigating one site often led to investigating three more.
Looking for a spot to organize all of the scholarship applications, as well as college applications, letters of recommendation, and more:
Also check out: How to Win Scholarships and Pay for College
Which College Scholarship Search Sites are Worth Your Time?
The number one thing I noticed about all of the college scholarship search sites is that every one of the sites could use some improvement. Today's consumer is accustomed to significantly better information and better sorting, filtering, and saving capabilities than is offered on any site I visited. Considering that most of the sites force you to register to search for scholarships, they should all be ashamed of their user experience. 9 of the sites were so bad that I have placed them on my “Don't Waste Your Time” List. I gave 3 sites a score of B+. None received an A. I can't give an A to sites that do not have formatted printing or downloading of the lists. It's 2017. Time to modernize and step up their games.
I evaluated each site in several categories. Accuracy of the information provided was the most important consideration. It is a supreme waste of time to click through to sponsors' websites only to find that the information provided is inaccurate or there is no scholarship to be found or the scholarship is from a previous year.
The next most important consideration was the ability to filter, sort, and save the results. The ability to print a list is also helpful. Many searches included scholarships that were very narrow, meaning the applicant must belong to a particular club, live in a particular city, or have a specific major or interest, etc.. A good search engine should filter out these scholarships if the searcher is not eligible.
My College Scholarship Search Site ratings:
The best overall sites (receiving top honors of a B+ rating):
Unigo gave 81 matches to my initial search. The matches were easy to sort by award amount, deadline, etc. However, trying to print a usable list was impossible. The information printed on top of itself.
Fastweb provided scholarship information that was mostly accurate and the site was easy to use. A printed list was usable, but not great.
This site made my top three because it did the best job of matching to niched scholarships. It was easy to remove scholarships from consideration or to favorite the ones I wanted to save. There were also some very narrow scholarships listed (the “you need to be in a particular club, live here, have experience in the footwear industry, be an amateur radio operator….. yes, really). Annoying to have to take the time to read each one and eliminate the non-qualifying ones.
Sites worth your time, but not the best:
A printed list was easy to read and contained the pertinent information. I downgraded this site to a “B” instead of a “B+” because it has sent 4 e-mails in the last 3 days.
Chegg will allow you to do an initial search without registering, but you will have to register to save the results or to access some of the information about the scholarships. I was unhappy that many of the listings contained inaccurate information or were in the “too narrow” category.
No registration is required for this site. It was not particularly easy to use, but did allow me to filter by type of scholarship. I was able to find 2 scholarships that I had not seen on any other site.
A Possibly useful site:
The “search” option on this site takes you to a list of other search sites. I went through the list. I had already found most of the college scholarship search sites by searching Google or from links from other sites. Many of the links were broken. Many were for very narrow searches (a particular state, major, career interest, etc). Most of the sites that I had not already found were pretty lousy. I did find Scholarships360 on this list, so worth looking at, but it's not an actual search site.
Don't Waste Your Time:
All results were very narrow or out of date.
Big Future (College Board):
This website has lots of good uses, like registering for the SAT. There is also tons of valuable information, but it does not have a scholarship search engine that was helpful at all.
Most scholarships were very narrow or were sweepstakes easily found on other sites.
Their search engine is a small pop-up with over 3500 results. No way to sort or print.
Link was broken to create a profile or conduct a search. All scholarships viewable without the search were offered by schools and were not private scholarships.
This site is operated by the Department of Labor. The search yielded narrow scholarships and much of the information was out of date.
No scholarships listed for current high school students.
Every scholarship listed on the first page was out of date.
I hope this list will help you in your search for scholarship dollars, whether you are an aspiring college student or a parent. Subscribe below to gain access to the printable with this information for your use in your search.
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