27 Apr

Best Scholarship Websites Reviewed (Our Top 14 Picks)

best scholarship websites reviewed

College is expensive, and it’s not getting any cheaper.  Whether you are applying for schools or already in college, it is never too late or too early to start applying for scholarships.  Don’t let the price tag associated with a college education prevent you from following your dreams of higher education. We reviewed 14 of the best scholarship websites, explained them in detail, and listed the pros and cons for each site.

Top 14 Scholarship Websites

#1 – Scholarship Owl

The advanced Scholarship Owl platform is designed to speed up the application process by giving students direct access to scholarships in a centralized location.  The way people apply for most scholarships is by figuring out what they qualify for, and then apply to each one individually.  Scholarship Owl combines the search and application process into one step.

First, you spend less than 15 minutes filling out a profile with your general information.  The information includes questions about your school, gender, age, name, and location.  Once your profile is complete, Scholarship Owl automatically matches you with eligible scholarships.  You can apply to these directly from the Scholarship Owl website.

Some scholarships require more than just your basic information to accept your application.  In this case, you can complete the extra task, essay, or writing assignment through Scholarship Owl and they will automatically update and apply it to the scholarship you want.  Read our full review of Scholarship Owl here.

Pros:

  • Scholarship Owl has scholarships organized by category, such as merit, no required essay, unusual, athletic, minority, international, artistic, and need-based.
  • You are automatically entered into a $1,000 monthly “You Deserve It” scholarship when you create an account from Scholarship Owl.
  • Scholarship Owl is 100% free to sign up.
  • The Scholarship Owl website is secured, and they are a reputable company.

Cons:

  • There are some paid add-on benefits of Scholarship Owl such as an account manager and access to other features that cost $20 per month.
  • Your basic profile is not enough to automatically apply for most scholarships; you will need to provide supplements and writing samples before you can apply.

Visit ScholarshipOwl.com

#2 – Chegg

Chegg offers over 25,000 scholarships on their website.  Students can create a profile and enter their basic information such as their name, age, school, and education level.  After the information gets entered into the system, Chegg automatically displays scholarships that you qualify for or may be interested in.

When you find scholarships that you like, you can apply directly online, or save the scholarship to complete at a later date.  Their online platform displays the scholarship list by name, deadline to apply, and an amount of money offered.

In addition to scholarships, Chegg's website is a great resource center for high school and college students.  You can buy, rent, or sell textbooks with Chegg at a discounted rate.  Chegg also has Test Prep options for the SAT and ACT.  They provide tutoring services, studying memberships, and internships as well. Check out our full review here.

Pros:

  • Chegg offers one of the largest and most extensive platforms to search for scholarships in one location.
  • The scholarships are well organized, so it’s easy for students to navigate the site, apply right away, or save it to their profile and apply later.
  • Entering your basic information into your Chegg profile saves time filtering applications.
  • Chegg offers other academic resources for students in addition to the scholarship feature. (Chegg Books, Chegg Tutors, Chegg Test Prep, Chegg Study, and more)

Cons:

  • Chegg has some negative reviews posted online relating to their customer service department.
  • The other Chegg features, such as Chegg Books, sometimes have issues with books not arriving by the scheduled date.

Visit Chegg.com

#3 – ScholarshipPoints

Scholarship Points has a unique membership program for students to apply for scholarships.  The way it works is a student creates an account where they can earn points, which translate to entries for scholarship drawings.

Students earn points by playing games, taking online surveys, reading articles about planning and paying for college, participating in contests, visiting websites from preferred partners of Scholarship Points, solve puzzles, refer friends and other students, and interact with Scholarship Points on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Once you earn points, you can “spend” them on entries for different scholarships.  You can enter to different drawings as much as you want, with your point balance being your only limit.  For more details, check out our full review of Scholarship Points.

Pros:

  • Scholarship Points gives students over $100,000 per year in scholarship money.
  • They offer a minimum of three $1,000 scholarships each month and a $10,000 drawing every three months.
  • Scholarship Points has a blog with other educational benefits such as TED talk recommendations and help with job interviews.
  • You can get easy bonus code points simply by sharing links on your social media accounts and referring friends to the website.

Cons:

  • The chance of winning a scholarship is based solely on a number entry points you gain from completing tasks through the website, not on educational ability.
  • There is no guarantee that you will win a scholarship, regardless of how much effort you put into gaining points or applying.
  • Scholarship Owl uses your information for data mining and partner referrals to generate profits for their company.

Visit ScholarshipPoints.com

#4 – Cappex

Cappex provides a database of thousands of scholarships that you can apply for.  One of the benefits is that they have unique Cappex Scholarships, which can only be found on their website.  The most popular ones include their $1,000 Cappex Easy College Money Scholarship, My College Review, and Cappex #1 Fan.

Students can also find scholarships from private organizations, nonprofits, employers, religious groups, and corporations.  Some of the most popular private and foundation scholarships are from well-recognized companies such as Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Discover, Nordstrom, and Xerox.

Cappex has Merit Aid scholarships available from major college and universities.  Cappex also tells you how hard different scholarships are to apply for and what your competition looks like for that scholarship, so you can gauge how likely your chances are to receive money.

Pros:

  • Cappex is 100% free to search for scholarships.
  • The scholarship lists are organized in categories such as region, school, and academic programs.
  • Cappex offers detailed explanations for scholarship terminology and frequently asked questions so you can fully understand your options.
  • Cappex has other website features such as college search resources, reviews, majors, and articles.

Cons:

  • Cappex only shows you the scholarship and how to apply, rather than giving you the ability to apply directly to your account on their platform.
  • Since Cappex has so many other features on their website, all their efforts are not designated to their scholarship section.

Visit Cappex.com

#5 – Scholly

Scholly is a smartphone and tablet app that provides students with opportunities to receive scholarships.  The founder of Scholly, Christopher Gray, came up with the concept after spending months of tedious time and research to find scholarships for his education.  Gray’s big break came when he introduced the business idea to a panel of investors on cable television.

Once you download the app to your phone, you create a Scholly profile.  Your profile includes your personal information, so Scholly matches you with potential scholarships that you qualify for.  You can click interesting scholarships to find out more information about how to apply, the amount of the scholarship, and deadlines for the application.

The app also tracks your progress with a list of scholarships that you applied to.  Scholly has a team in place designated to handle quality assurance and filter scams and minimizes your chances of sending your personal information to an authorized source.  Check out our complete Scholly review.

Pros:

  • Scholly works on both Android and iOS platforms, so it works for students who have different phone services.
  • Their frequently updated database has over 20,000 scholarships available for students to apply for.
  • You can see the basic app features without paying for a full subscription.

 

Cons:

  • Scholly costs $2.99 per month to access their database of college scholarships, which is inexpensive, but there are free platforms on other websites.
  • You cannot apply for scholarships directly through the app; you can only view and learn the necessary information to apply on your own.
  • The Scholly platform is only available as an app, so if you would rather do research on your computer; this is not the best option for you.

Visit Scholly.com

#6 – Scholarship America

Scholarship America helps students and families pay secondary level education.  As a nonprofit organization, Scholarship America’s mission is to support and assists students to break through financial barriers and give them access to higher education.  Their initial vision started nearly 60 years ago with their founder, Dr. Irving Fradkin.

Dr. Fradkin’s vision was that if everyone in his community donated just one dollar to an education fund, it would be enough money to pay for all the students in that community to go to college.  He called the idea “Dollars for Scholars,” which became the largest private sector nonprofit educational support system in the United States.

Students can create an account on Scholarship America and gain access to the thousands of available scholarships.  Communities, businesses, individuals, and organizations donate money and provide scholarships through the trustworthy Scholarship America name and platform.  Here is our full review of Scholarship America.

Pros:

  • Scholarship America is a reputable company that has been helping to educate students for over 50 years.
  • They have a special initiative called the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, which is available to families who lost a loved one during the 9/11 attacks and rescue efforts.
  • Their Dreamkeepers Emergency Financial Assistance program has a 95% retention rate for students to complete their enrolled term, which is 45% higher than the national average.
  • Scholarship America distributes roughly 17,000 scholarships annually to students in need.
  • They have a Collegiate Partners association that has over 325 institutions that agree to honor and treat the Scholarship Awards programs fairly, without reducing a student’s financial package.

Cons:

  • Money from the scholarships is reliant on the generosity of people, businesses, and communities.
  • Some of the scholarships offered are niche categories and not applicable for the mass student population.

Visit ScholarshipAmerica.com

#7 – Scholarship Monkey

After you create a profile on Scholarship Monkey, they send you e-mail updates matching you with scholarships that suit your unique conditions.  Creating a profile is quick and typically takes less than one minute.

You can search for scholarships by using keywords with the Scholarship Monkey search engine.  Some of the most popular groupings of scholarships are categorized by college major, religion, scholarships based on gender, minority scholarships, and scholarships for nurses.

Pros:

  • Their page includes testimonials from former users that used the Scholarship Monkey platform to discover and apply for scholarships.
  • Scholarship Monkey notifies you whenever a new scholarship gets added that you might qualify for.
  • They offer grants in their database in addition to scholarships.
  • Scholarship Monkey runs contests to give away tuition money.

Cons:

  • The website does not offer as much detail and information about their history and doesn’t provide an in-depth description about how to navigate.
  • Customers experience some trouble with certain pages not loading properly on the Scholarship Monkey website.

Visit ScholarshipMonkey.com

#8 – Fastweb

Fastweb is one of the leading Internet-based sources for students to find college scholarships that pay for their education.  Create a profile through the Fastweb platform, and you will instantly get matched with qualifying scholarships.  Their database has over 1.5 million scholarships to choose from.  If you apply for scholarships early, you increase your chances of being selected.

They also have articles that give students tips on how to improve their chances to receive scholarships and get noticed by colleges.  Their scholarships are available for students of all grade levels such as high school, undergrads, and graduate students.

Their scholarship features are in-depth, with pages that show featured scholarships, scholarship matches, deadlines, previous winners, and video resources.  In addition to the scholarship benefits, Fastweb has financial aids, student loans, and career planning options for students as well.

Pros:

  • Students can find deals and promotional offers from Fastweb’s partners such as Dell, Amtrak, T-Mobile, Macy’s and much more.
  • You can still apply for scholarships on Fastweb even after your freshman year of college and during graduate school as well.
  • They offer financial aid guides, student loans, and career planning advice instead of just scholarships.
  • Fastweb has one of the most extensive scholarship databases available on the Internet.
  • Fastweb is 100% free and never requires payment to access their information.

Cons:

  • Families need to create multiple accounts if they have more than one child in college or applying to college.
  • Sometimes information from your profile gets removed, or parts of the website do not appear on your computer, but this is usually due to an error in your Internet browser or software.

Visit Fastweb.com

#9 – Scholarships.com

The name Scholarships.com says it all.  Their website is designed for everything and anything related to scholarships.  The site’s directory has the largest search category available.

You can apply for scholarships based on age, test scores, athletic ability, gender, financial needs, employers, ethnicity, religion, race, state, attendance record, school year, student organization, special attributes, military affiliation, disabilities, and much more.

Pros:

  • They list previous winners who have won tens of thousands of dollars from multiple scholarships to validate their authenticity.
  • The directory is free and has millions of search results between grants and scholarship opportunities.

Cons:

  • The lists are so comprehensive; it can be overwhelming at first to determine which category is best for your needs.
  • You cannot apply for scholarships on the website; instead, it gives you the information and instructions to apply on your own.

Visit Scholarships.com

#10 – Unigo

Unigo has a massive online scholarship directory that is organized by category.  The most popular categories include athletic scholarships, tuition for specific colleges, grants, company-sponsored scholarships, merit-based, minority, contests and sweepstakes, scholarships by major, state, graduate students, undergrads, high school, and even weird scholarships.  Needless to say, if you are applying for tuition money, Unigo has a category for you.

In addition to the Unigo search engine feature and lists by category, they also offer their own scholarships.  Their highest paying scholarship is $10,000! To qualify, you must be at least 13 years of age and a legal resident of the United States planning to enroll for post-secondary education before the fall of 2023.

To win the $10,000 you just need to submit your answer to a simple question online in less than 140 characters.  Unigo displays their scholarships showing the name, award amount, application date, and previous winners.

Pros:

  • Unigo has a checklist feature for your profile, which tracks and reminds you of tasks to complete such as reviewing a college, applying for scholarships, or complete the scholarship match.
  • Their scholarship match feature gives you personalized results to narrow down the reward opportunities in their large list of various categories.
  • They show previous winners scholarships so you know their site is legitimate and the money is real.
  • Unigo also helps students find loans, jobs, and internships, rather than just scholarships.

Cons:

  • Unigo lets you see most certain aspects of their website and scholarships, but to gain full access you need to create an account.
  • Their database is so extensive, so it can be overwhelming until you narrow down your search results.

Visit Unigo.com

#11 – College Board

The College Board website is designed to help high school students prepare for college.  They offer PSAT and SAT preparation and registration.  As a not-for-profit organization, their goal is to help millions of students during the transitional period into the college world.  They also prepare students with advanced placement programs and credits.

College Board runs promotional giveaways where they give away money.  The current contest is for high school seniors that share their college decision on Instagram.  College Board is selecting ten winners, and the grand prize is $5,000.

If you want to find lists of scholarships, apply online, and use scholarship search engine, the College Board website is probably not the best option for you.

Pros:

  • The company started in 1900 and currently has a membership association of over 6,000 educational institutions across the world.
  • The grand prize for their giveaway is $5,000.

Cons:

  • Outside of their promotional giveaways, College Board does not really offer scholarships or have a search engine for scholarships.
  • Their website is geared towards standardized test registration and for business organizations that want join the College Board membership community.

Visit CollegeBoard.com

#12 – Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae has scholarship opportunities for college students, high school students, minorities, and scholarships for single mothers.  Their unique categories help students with distinct circumstances find qualifying scholarships to apply for.  The Sallie Mae website includes tips and advice for writing scholarship essays, understanding college grants, and they will walk you through how to apply and fill out FAFSA forms.

Sallie Mae also has a $1,000 sweepstakes giveaway that students can apply for without making any purchases on the website.  Other tools on their website explain how to get a student loan, get you ready to borrow, and how to manage your student loans.  You can also see free content on how to save money for college and budget accordingly.

Pros:

  • In addition to a scholarship search engine, Sallie Mae offers financial aid and student loan services.
  • Their site and the brand name are reputable and secure, so you can feel comfortable providing them with your personal information.
  • Their platform is easy to read, navigate, and understand.

Cons:

  • Some of the unique scholarship categories offered through Sallie Mae are not intended for most people to apply to.
  • You need to create an account to take advantage of the full membership benefits.

Visit SallieMae.com

#13 – CollegeNET

There are two ways to search for scholarships through CollegeNET.  The first method is through a keyword search.  Keyword searching is perfect for students that already have an idea about which kind of scholarships they want to apply for, whether it is a partial name, word, or description.

The profile search automatically matches you with scholarships that you qualify for based on the information provided in your personal profile.  Students have the option to bookmark scholarship descriptions and finish working on them at a later time.

There are tuitions rewards for students of all ages.  You can qualify for a scholarship on CollegeNET if you are a college freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior, doctorate level, any year in high school, master’s level study, not currently enrolled, and other postgraduate levels.

Pros:

  • Your personal information is kept private, even with the profile search tool for matching with scholarships.
  • You can start work and finish it up later.
  • The website is simple, well organized, and easy to understand and navigate.
  • They have an admissions system to help you search and apply to colleges as well.

Cons:

  • The profile search sometimes is overwhelming, but you can narrow down the list by adding additional information about yourself.
  • To keep your information private, your profile is temporary, so you need to re-input your information whenever you exit your Internet browser.

Visit CollegeNET.com

#14 – FinAid

FinAid offers scholarships, loans, savings, and military aid on their website.  Their list of scholarship categories includes full tuition and academic scholarships, community service awards, athletic scholarships, cancer scholarships, Hispanic and Latino student scholarships, unusual scholarships, and prestigious awards or fellowships.

FinAid contacts you via e-mail whenever a new scholarship gets added to their database that you may qualify for.  It is important to completely fill out your profile without omitting any information, that way you can find the most accurate matches of scholarships to apply for.

You can instantly get matched by providing your intended or current major, state, grade point average, and grade level.  For students that do not receive full scholarships or still need help paying for their education, they can apply for loans and financial aid through the FinAid platform.  They offer detailed information on all the terminology explaining the different options break through financial hurdles and pay for your education.

Pros:

  • FinAid provides more than just scholarships; they have savings options, loans, and educational resources as well.
  • Their military student aid program is designed to take care of the men and women who enlist and sacrifice their lives for the United States.
  • They have customized financial calculators to help figure out how much school will cost and give you different payment plans and options to make it work for you.
  • You can learn quick tips and secrets to help win a scholarship.
  • The frequently asked questions page is detailed and explains everything students may have questions about.

Cons:

  • FinAid advises users to beware of potential scams while browsing through scholarships on their website.
  • Not everyone is eligible for financial aid programs; they are generally reserved for students who meet certain qualifications and live in certain areas of the country.

Visit Finaid.com

Bonus – SurveysSay Marketing Scholarship

Once per year, we give out a $1,000 scholarship to one university student. If you are majoring in a business-related field, you might qualify! Get the full details here on our scholarship page.

Apply For SurveysSay Scholarship

How to Determine Which Scholarship Site is Best For You

Now that you have reviewed our top 14 choices, you may be a little bit overwhelmed with which one works best for your specific situation.  The first step is to assess your current academic situation and classification.  Are you a high school senior? Have you already started college? Are you going to grad school? These questions can help narrow down and eliminate some websites from your consideration.

If you are in the process of applying to colleges, you may want to find a website that offers help with applications in addition to scholarships.  Some websites provide blogs, study tools, and other useful resources for incoming college freshmen.  You should decide if you want to use multiple websites for scholarship hunting, or try to find one that has everything you need.

Are you willing to pay for a membership for a chance to receive college tuition money?  If the answer is no, then you can remove some of the choices from this list.  Even if you do not want to pay, there are still plenty of free options for you to choose from.

What Makes a Scholarship Website the Best?

Personal preference will ultimately determine which website is the best for you, but here are some things that you want to look out for when making your decision.

One of the most important aspects of a scholarship website is their reputation, privacy, and security features.  You do not want your personal information to get sent out to some scam artist on the Internet.  Fortunately, the websites listed above all have great reputations and security measures to protect your information, but always be careful during your search.

Some other characteristics of a great scholarship website are the ease of use and time saved.  Rather than filling out scholarship applications one at a time, find a website that uses your general account profile to match you with qualifying applications.  That way you can apply for different awards with just a simple click, rather than tedious forms that waste time.

Why Use Online Scholarship Search Engines?

Online scholarship search engines show hundreds and sometimes thousands of scholarship opportunities all in one place.  If you search for scholarships using general Internet search engines, you will only find about ten results per page and over half of those will be advertisements or click bait.

Another reason to use scholarship search engines as opposed to conventional or old school methods like flipping through papers in the guidance counselor’s office is that it will save you time.  In seconds you’ll be able to not only find the scholarships you need but also apply for them in minutes.

Some of these search engines save your profile and account settings so they can contact you via e-mail when new scholarships are available and added to their database.  You can rest assured that you will not miss out on the chance to apply for all awards that you are eligible for.

Tips for Using Online Search Tools

The experts at US News agree that online search tools are on of the best ways to find scholarships.  These search tools can be overwhelming if your results come up with too much information.  Sure, a website may have 5,000 scholarships available, but are you actually going to apply to 5,000?  Simply put, the answer is no; and you shouldn’t apply to that many.

Look for best-fit scholarships.  Narrow your search results and make your profile specific to show only the best and most realistic chances for tuition rewards.  If you are an American born male living in New York City, your search results should not show scholarships for made for international women.

Organize your time and efficiently stick to your plan.  Before you start, give yourself a number in your head of how many scholarships you want to apply for.  The number could be 10, 20, or even 50, but make sure it’s a realistic number and budget your time and efforts accordingly, so you do not stress yourself out.

One of the downsides of the online scholarship application process is a number of e-mails you will receive.  Create a new e-mail address and only use it for your scholarship account profiles and applications.  That way you can check it only when you are working on scholarships, and ignore it once school starts and avoid spam mail on your personal e-mail accounts.

Finding a website to help you search for scholarships is only half the battle.  Once you find a website that works best for your needs, you’ll need to learn how to get a scholarship.