27 Apr

OneOpinion Review – Good Paid Survey Site Or A Scam?

oneopinion-logo

You want to find a survey site that is profitable and trustworthy, but you're tired of getting scammed. There are a lot of frauds out there, but luckily OneOpinion isn't one of them. Even though it's a lesser-known website, this underdog has a lot to offer.

About The Company

OneOpinion gives anyone 18 years or older the opportunity to take surveys and test products in exchange for rewards. Managed by CriticalMix, this GPT (get paid to) website is up to date and easy to navigate. CriticalMix is a larger company that specializes in survey programming and data visualization services for market research firms.

The actual site isn't accredited with the BBB (Better Business Bureau), although their operating company is. CriticalMix was given an outstanding A+ by the BBB.

Make sure to follow them social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes they post special announcements that are good to know.

Signing Up For OneOpinion

Unlike most survey sites, OneOpinion.com lets multiple members from the same household join. Signing up is easy, not to mention free. As long as you live in the US, UK, or Canada, you're eligible to make an account. It only takes a few minutes, and you can connect through your Facebook or just a regular browser.

An email confirmation is required before continuing onto their site. They will send you an email as soon as a survey is available.

After you confirm your email, you'll be given a short questionnaire. These questions determine the types of surveys that will be offered to you, but if you answer incorrectly to a question that had an obvious answer, your survey taking privileges will be suspended for a day.

It may seem like a lot, but these are the lengths this legit survey company goes to to make sure their users are taking the website seriously.

They vow to keep all your answers private, so you can rest assured knowing that your information won't get into the hands of any fraudulent third-party sites.

Surveys

Surveys are the site's main money-maker because they come in high volume. Most last no longer than 30 minutes, and pay varies from $1 to $5. Sometimes they offer special surveys that pay up to $15.

Before you take the actual survey, they will start you off with a small pre-survey. It may seem meticulous, but this is just another way they make sure their users are legitimate. OneOpinion is unique in the extent of work they put into preventing fraud. It may get annoying, but their efforts prove the legitimacy of not only its members, but the website itself.

Even though their surveys are easier to qualify for, there may be times that you get disqualified. Whether it's the demographics or that you just aren't the opinion they're looking for, you can't qualify for them all. Luckily you get 50 points for the first five you get disqualified from. This is a great offer that some survey sites don't have and it renews itself daily.

Product Testing

Product testing is an alternative way users can earn points with OneOpinion. A lot of times people tend to shy away from these type of offers because they seem like too much work when actually it's quite simple.

You get the products, try them out, and then give your feedback. After the product is sent back, you'll will be rewarded with points.

Yes there are websites that offer product testing as well, but OneOpinion is completely free. Most survey sites attach a small fee to their products.

Product testing is a great way to earn points because you get the fun experience of trying things for free and the company gets to hear your feedback and use it to better their products. It's a win-win for everybody.

Rewards

Like most survey sites, OneOpinion operates with a points system. These points can be turned into cash or gift cards once your account reaches a minimum of $25.

1,000 points equals $1 and after you take a survey your points are delivered directly into your account, there's no 72 hour confirmation period.

Their service guarantees a payment within 48 hours, excluding weekends, and your points are valid without time limitation.

Users can redeem points for gift cards, and recently they added the option to choose direct cash which is gifted to you through PayPal. This is nice option if you're not a fan of gift cards or checks. 

We also recommend looking into their “One Rewards Program.” Sometimes survey sites can be boring and repetitive. This program will let you go and trade your points for much-deserved rewards. It's a fun addition to the website that makes payout more interesting.

A great customer service team can also be very rewarding. This is something that OneOpinion has done well. Someone in customer service is always ready to help or answer questions 24/7.

Privacy

What's great about OneOpinion is that members can unsubscribe at any time. Although you may continue to receive some previously prepared survey invitations for a few days, after they are sent you will not receive any further survey invitations if you choose to unsubscribe.

OneOpinion collects information such as your name, age, address, email, and some demographic information, as well as information regarding your hobbies, interests and product ownership. 

If you're still have some reserves we suggest scrolling through their Privacy Policy to learn more. We found it to be very useful in helping us understand the site more.

So Is It Legit?

We're giving you the green light, there's no doubt that OneOpinion is legitimate survey site.

Yes it's only open to residents of the USA, UK, and Canada and there is a high payout threshold (2500 points), but these are minor setbacks compared to many other survey sites.

The good definitely outweighs the bad. Signing up is free, and there's a great team of customer support that is ready to back you up 24/7. They do pay their customers, and payments are expected to deliver in under 2 days, excluding weekends.

You wouldn't be wasting your time. Overall, we think they're a great way to earn cash. If you're looking for more sites that offer great surveys like OneOpinon, we recommend Swagbucks. They're easy to use and the payout is great. Click here to sign up now!

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.

27 Apr

Scholarship Owl Review (How it Works)

scholarship owl review

What is Scholarship Owl?

Scholarship Owl provides an advanced platform that speeds up your application process and gives students direct access to scholarships.  Kenny Sandoriffy, the website’s creator, recognized the need for scholarship search tools during his experience of applying to schools individually and then for scholarships one at a time.

Kenny, a native of Austria, became frustrated that the current system was a tedious process and wanted to create a network that simplified things to help give students and families access to all financial aid that they are eligible for.

Scholarship Owl is one of the many resources that you can use to get a scholarship for college.

How Does Scholarship Owl Work?

Rather than figuring out which scholarships you qualify for, then applying to each of them one by one, Scholarship Owl simplifies and combines the process.  College Scholarship experts agree that scholarship search engines are the best way for you to receive money.  The procedure takes less than 15 minutes and sends your application to hundreds of available scholarships.

The first step requires setting up your profile on the website.  They require information such as your name, age, location, and evidence about your school enrollment.  Scholarship uses your general information to match you with relevant scholarships that you are eligible for.  Make sure you do not omit any information, or you may not get matched with certain scholarships.

Next, you will find a bunch of different scholarships that might interest you based on your profile.  You can look over the details of each one and decide which ones you want to apply for.  Applying for all of them is another option and naturally, increases your chances at receiving more money.

Some of the scholarships will need more information than what is available on your standard Scholarship Owl profile.  When this happens, you will get notified and asked to fill in the required information.  Most of the time these extra tasks include an essay or writing sample that is specific to the particular scholarship or organization.  Once you complete the additional requirements, Scholarship Owl automatically updates and applies it to your application.

After everything is complete, all you need to do is wait for a response from the scholarships you applied for.  Scholarship Owl helps ensure that you do not miss any deadlines and will notify you whenever your scholarship applications get approved or accepted.

Is Scholarship Owl Legit or a Scam?

Scholarship Owl is a legitimate website and company.  There are plenty of valid success stories online of students that received scholarship money from using the Scholarship Owl platform.  Their system has hundreds of real scholarships available for students to apply for.

Creating a profile on Scholarship Owl help you save time and money while applying for tuition rewards.  Forbes business explained Scholarship Owl’s success story, which is another validation of their legitimacy.

Types of Scholarships Listed

Scholarship Owl has a large selection of scholarships, and the number continues to grow.  Each month new scholarships are available for students.  The scholarships are broken down by category; we will outline some of the most popular ones.

Need-Based Scholarships are intended for students with that need the most financial aid.  If you are a fresh high school graduate without money saved or help from your family, you may qualify for one of these scholarships.  Single mothers who want to further their education are another example of candidates for these awards.

Merit Scholarships are offered to students who went the extra mile in the classroom.  Students who have an impressive grade point average, leadership roles in the school or community, and showcased outstanding performances that stood our from their peer group are eligible for merit scholarships.

No Essay Scholarships are not as common and readily offered as other financial aid opportunities, but they are an option.  Most scholarships require an essay or writing-based assignment, but the No Essay Scholarships typically entail some form of drawing or artistic task to win the tuition money.  Although they are not easy to find, students with a creative background should consider applying for No Essay Scholarships when they are available.

Athletic Scholarships provide student athletes with the opportunity to further their education in the classroom and advance their careers on the playing field as well.  If you are a student that wants to pick a college based on their athletic programs rather than their educational credentials, you may qualify for an Athletic Scholarship if the school’s team has a need for you on their roster.

Artistic Scholarships offer students with creative minds and unconventional career aspirations with an opportunity to receive tuition money to pursue their dreams.  If you would rather paint a picture, carve a sculpture, or become a photographer, you should try to find available Artistic Scholarships to apply for.

Minority Scholarships support the need for diversity across American universities.  These scholarships target prospective students from a variety of backgrounds.  Sometimes minority scholarships target specific ethnicities, backgrounds, or genders depending on the diversification needs of the applicable schools.  If you have a unique family background or heritage, you could be the perfect candidate for a minority scholarship.

International Student Scholarships encourage foreign students to study in America.  The majority of financial aid programs require students to be American citizens to qualify.  These international scholarships help bring students from other countries to an American university.  Typically, these awards also cover supplies and living expenses in addition to classes.

Unusual Scholarships are designed for students with hidden talents or unique accomplishments.  If you are an expert in an uncommon field, then colleges will love to have you join their student community.   Let your distinctive endowments shine and apply for one of these unusual scholarships.

“You Deserve It” – Scholarship Owl’s Exclusive Scholarship

You are eligible for a $1,000 scholarship just for signing up for an account on Scholarship Owl.  Each month, Scholarship Owl draws a lucky winner who created a profile on the website during that period.  You do not need to make any purchases or provide any payment information to have a chance of winning.  Creating an account is all it takes for you to get automatically applied for the tuition reward.

In addition to the scholarship prize, you will also receive one month of free access to all of the Scholarship Owl benefits.  Only residents of the 50 United States can win this prize, except for people living in Rhode Island.

You must also be at least 16 years of age and currently enrolled in a qualifying high school or university in the United States.  Also, you need to be registered for the Scholarship Sweepstakes or within three months of enrollment for that program to qualify.

Scholarship Owl estimates that your chances of winning are approximately one in 60,000, but the actual number depends on the total number of applicants that sign up.  The winner is responsible for any wire transfer fees or related charges that incur as a result of claiming the reward.

What Makes Scholarship Owl One of the Best?

Scholarship Owl is one of the best digital platforms for students to apply for scholarships because of their automation feature.  Instead of filling the same information on multiple scholarships applications, you just need to fill it out once, and Scholarship Owl takes care of the rest.

In addition to their automatic information-filling feature, they also have an automatic sending process.  Once your application is complete, they send it directly to the source, which makes sure you do not miss any deadlines.

Since Scholarship Owl sends out applications in bulk, and faster than you could one at a time, you increase your changes of getting more money to pay for college.  Their website is organized, easy to follow, and reduces your stress during a time that is notoriously known for high pressure.

Scholarship Owl also offers spam protection.  You will not have to worry about getting unwanted e-mails from because they shield your e-mail information and filter your results.  Their increased security features also ensure that all scholarships on the website are 100% authentic.

FAQ’s

We identified and answered some of the most frequently asked questions on Scholarship Owl.

How Many Scholarships Does Scholarship Owl Have?

Scholarship Owl has hundreds of scholarships available on their website.  They update their database every week, and new scholarships get added to the list.

Is Scholarship Owl Free?

Signing up for Scholarship Owl is 100% free.  They have optional features and add-ons, which gives you access to more features and an account manager for $20 per month.

Is Scholarship Owl Safe?

Scholarship Owl is safe.  Their website is secured, and they are a reputable company.  You do not need to worry about your personal information getting compromised when you set up an account through their platform.

If you want to remove your profile and the information that you provided, Scholarship Owl has the necessary steps in place to accommodate your request.  Review their Privacy Policy and follow the instructions.

Other Sites Like Scholarship Owl

Some other online platforms that help students apply for scholarships include Scholly, Scholarship America, ScholarshipPoints, Cappex, and Chegg.  These websites are alternative sources, each with slightly different features and benefits.  For more information and other resources about digital scholarship applications, check out our list of best scholarship sites.

27 Apr

Is Scholarship Points Legit?

is scholarship points legit

Is Scholarship Points legit? When using a scholarship search engine it is important to make sure that the site you are using is credible. Applying for scholarships can be time consuming, so you want to make sure that you aren't spending your time on a site that will turn out to be a scam.

What is Scholarship Points?

Scholarship Points is a membership program for students who want to earn an opportunity for tuition rewards.  Students create a membership account through the website where they can earn points which translate into the scholarship drawing entries.

The Scholarship Points program awards over $100,000 to current and future college students annually.

How Does Scholarship Points Work?

To join the Scholarship Points program, you must be a student over 13 years old who is a legal resident of the United States or Puerto Rico.  Students must be enrolled in a university or college within the United States, or plan to enroll in the future.

After creating an account, students can start earning points immediately.  Some of the ways students can earn points on their profile are:

  • Check out websites from some of Scholarship Points’ preferred partners.
  • Play different online games.
  • Open and read e-mails sent from Scholarship Points.
  • Enter and participate in their contests for scholarships.
  • Follow and interact with Scholarship Points on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
  • Read qualifying articles online with content about paying for college and how to plan accordingly.
  • Take surveys online after signing up for a survey panel.
  • Solve puzzles.
  • Refer other students and friends to the Scholarship Points Program.

Once a student completes activities on the website, they receive points to their membership account.  Use the points to enter different scholarship drawings.  Completing multiple qualifying activities will get you more points, therefore increasing your chances to win scholarship money.

According to the membership agreement contract, all points earned a member account will stay available until they are spent.  However, the website has the right to establish an expiration period for certain members.  So just make sure you understand your contract when signing up.  Points are not transferable to other accounts.

Each member is only allowed to have one account.  If a student signs up for multiple accounts using different e-mail addresses or phone numbers they will not be eligible for winning scholarship money.

How Many Scholarships Are Offered?

At a minimum, Scholarship Points has three drawings every month.  With the help of their partners, some months they have additional scholarship awards that members can apply for with their points.

Types of Scholarships Available

Scholarship Points awards at least three $1,000 scholarships each month.  Every three months they have a drawing for a $10,000 scholarship.  When a winner is selected, they get notified via telephone.  Winners have three days to claim their prize before another member is drawn.

The scholarships have usually had names related to the time of year.  For example, an April scholarship titled “You Can’t Fool Me,” which is an obvious pun on April Fools’ Day.  They also had a “Hop to it” scholarship as an Easter reference and “Green is the New Black” as an Earth Day themed reward.

Regardless of the scholarship name, all qualifying members can enter before the deadline to for a chance to receive their scholarship reward money.

Is Scholarship Points Legit or a Scam?

To prove their legitimacy, Scholarship Points has a winner's gallery page.  The page shows the scholarship name and amount, the winner’s name and a photograph of the student who won.  They also show the name of the school that student attends or plans to attend, if applicable.

The winners also have a short message that talks about their education path and goals.  Students express their gratitude towards Scholarship Points for the opportunity to help pay for higher knowledge to pursue their dream careers.

Their membership is 100% free, and they do not require any credit cards or sensitive payment information to sign up, enter a contest, or redeem your rewards.

If you run an Internet search about Scholarship Points, you may see a few negative points claiming the company to be a scam.  However, these articles do not necessarily have factual information that proves the business to be unrepeatable.  Instead, these articles explain that Scholarship Points uses data mining and partner referrals to generate profits, which is a common business model for most sites.

Scholarship Points has been in business since 2006.  Their owners, Edvisors Network Inc., are publicly listed and have a physical address and phone number in the United States.  If you run their website through scam advisor websites, all of the results come back with a high trust rating. So, to answer the question ‘Is scholarship points legit?' the answer is yes.

Other Resources on ScholarshipPoints.com

Besides offering tuition rewards and prize money, Scholarship Points also offers beneficial resources for current and prospective college students.  They have an active blog written by college students across the country.  Since the blog posts come directly from students, the first-hand advice is authentic and relatable to the audience.

The blogs offer content that is more than just academic advice.  For example, one of the most recent articles is outlined a girl’s experience of her boyfriend choosing her outfits every day for a week.

She included photos and witty commentary about that week and how they both felt about the experience.  Articles like this one showcase how the Scholarship Points website is more than just a tuition giveaway website; they are a community for young adults in college.

Other blog posts have some educational benefits.  Some of our favorites include a list and description of inspirational TED Talks, and questions that you should never answer during an interview.

In addition to the Scholarship Points blog, we also have our own guide to help you get scholarships quickly and easily.

How to Get Bonus Codes

If you join the Scholarship Points community on their social media accounts, you will be the first to know about their new scholarships, special offers, and secret bonus codes.  The special offers and bonus codes can give members extra points for simple activities and completed tasks.

Members that refer a friend to join the website will receive 200 points for each friend that creates an account using your referral code.  Members also get 25 points for each person who clicks a link shared via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter.

27 Apr

Chegg Review (Including Coupon Codes)

chegg review with books

What is Chegg?

Chegg is an online platform for students to buy, rent, and sell textbooks at discounted rates.  They also offer study and tutoring services, ACT and SAT preparation, internships, and scholarships through their website.  We’ll take an in-depth look at their services in this chegg review, and give you some insight on their reputation and reliability.

Services That Chegg Offers

Chegg Books

The Chegg Books service allows you to rent, sell, or buy Chegg textbooks and digital textbooks.  You can save up to 90% the original price of a textbook, and you receive free shipping on all orders over $85.

Chegg understands that students drop classes or switch to another course once the semester starts, so they offer a 21-day period for risk-free returns.  Now you can have all your textbooks available for the start of the semester, knowing that you can return them within three weeks if your schedule changes.

After the semester is over, use Chegg buyback to get those books out of your hands and some extra cash in your pockets.  If you sign up for Chegg Books, you get to experience a four-week trial of Chegg Study for free.

Chegg Study

Chegg Study includes step-by-step guides and solutions for over 22,000 international standard textbooks.  If you have trouble with homework assignments and need further explanation, the Chegg Study feature is an excellent resource.

Students can get help with courses that are related to business, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, math, and science.  You get your first 30 minutes of online tutoring for free.  After that, you still have live access to instantly connect with an online tutor 24/7.  You can also ask questions to experts within the study community.

Chegg updates their website with new coupons each month.  So check to see their best offer and coupons for Chegg Study before you sign up for an account.  You can apply coupons after you sign up as well.

Chegg Tutors

Chegg Tutors are available 24 hours per day, so you can get help at whatever time best fits your schedule.  The tutors are experts in their field and have either graduated from a college or university or are currently enrolled in a program.  Tutoring is available for students in high school and college levels.

To get started, you explain what you need help with.  Next, Chegg matches you with a qualified tutor.  You and your tutor have some time to get acquainted with a proper introduction, that way you can verify that you both want to work together.  If not, they will match you with another tutor.

You can also download the Chegg Tutors app to get help with your academic work from a smartphone or tablet while you are on the go.  The mobile application is a great resource for students that have busy schedules and can’t always find a desk and computer to study at.

Chegg Test Prep

Chegg Test Prep helps students prepare for the both the SAT and ACT tests.  The online course is tailored towards you individual wants and needs.  You set the date of your test and practice by taking multiple tests and quizzes for each academic section.

The initial practice test helps you and the software understand how much work you need to complete to reach your desired score.  After you take the practice test, it identifies your strengths and weaknesses to customize your study plan based on areas that you need the most practice.

All the tests and questions have detailed explanations to each solution so you can learn and improve from your mistakes while you study.  It also offers video lessons, which offer useful teaching points and tips for your upcoming test.  The Chegg Flashcards mobile app is another resource for studying and test preparations.

Chegg Internships

Chegg Internships is a platform that allows students to match with employers for work opportunities.  Instead of filling out long and tedious applications, you create a profile, upload a resume, and apply to jobs with just one click.

The internships offered through Chegg’s network give students real life work experience so they can consider future professions.  These are great for students who prefer hands-on learning experiences rather than taking notes in a lecture hall.

Chegg Scholarships

Chegg Scholarships gives students the ability to browse over 25,000 scholarships on their website.  You start by creating a profile with basic information such as your name, age, and level of education.

Next, you can browse scholarships that you qualify for and apply directly online through the platform, or save it to apply at a later date.  All of the scholarships show their name, deadline, and amount, so it is very easy and organized for students to find.

The Chegg Scholarships page is one of the many tools available online for students to find tuition money.  There are plenty of other resources to learn how to get a scholarship as well.

Is Chegg Reliable?

Chegg is a reliable company and service.  If you order textbooks and they arrive late, contact them, and they will issue a refund for your shipping costs.  The Chegg Satisfaction Guarantee gives you 21 days to return your books, absolutely free.  So if you are unsatisfied with your book, change a class, drop a class, or just determine you don’t need it for any reason, they will give you your money back.

If you sign up for the Chegg Study or Chegg Tutor services, you have access to online experts 24 hours per day.  These are great options for late night study sessions or any time you need help with homework or other assignments.

Is Chegg Worth It?

Using Chegg Books is one of the best ways to save money on textbooks.  There is no reason for you to pay full price for brand new textbooks from your school’s bookstore when you can find them on Chegg at a fraction of the price and in great condition.

The Chegg Test Prep, Chegg Study, and Chegg Tutor services are all proven to boost student test scores.  If you need help with the SAT’s, ACT’s, or help with your high school or college coursework, signing up for those memberships is worth the high scores and added knowledge benefits.

Other Chegg Reviews

For the most part, Chegg’s customers are happy with their service and would recommend Chegg to their friends.  However, like most businesses, not everyone is happy with their experience using the website.

Customers on Site Jabber complained that the service costs were too high and some others said their books took too long to arrive.  Other negative comments detailed stories about Chegg automatically signing them up for subscriptions, which they never ordered or authorized.  That particular customer claims the refund process was not positive, so just be careful when navigating the site and fully understand your agreements.

Consumer Affairs has several chegg reviews as well, most of which are not favorable.  It seems as though the majority of the customers had a negative experience with late arrivals or customer service issues.  There are also positive chegg reviews stating that books arrived before the promised date and great customer service evaluations.

Chegg Coupons

If you want to learn how to get Chegg for free, you can find a coupon code from Valpak offering free trials for different services.  Groupon also offers a coupon for Chegg that gives you a free four-week membership to Chegg Study.  RetailMeNot is another source for discount codes.

How to Get Started

If you are interested in Chegg, start by signing up for a free chegg account.  With your chegg login, you can get a free four-week trial with Chegg Books.  Chegg also gives you a free 30 minutes of tutoring with a Chegg Study subscription.

Your best option is to get started with Chegg Books, so you can try the other services for free.  Then you can decide which services you want to continue using.

FAQ

We have identified and answered some of the most common and frequently asked questions about Chegg.

How Do I Cancel My Chegg Study Account?

If you want to your Chegg Study account, you do not need to terminate your entire Chegg membership.  Instead, log in and visit the “My account” page.  You will see “Chegg Study” listed in the “Subscriptions” section of the page.  Click “Pause membership” and select how long you want to pause.

Another option is to completely cancel the Chegg Study subscription.  Click “Cancel membership” underneath “Chegg Study” on that same “Subscriptions” menu.  After the cancellation is complete, you will still be able to use your account for the duration of the current billing cycle.

If you bought your membership via iTunes or Google Play, you need to contact them to pause or cancel your membership.

How Do I Track My Books?

Visit the “View Orders” page from your account on the Chegg website.  From there, you can click “Show Shipment Details” to see where your books are.  If your tracking number is not valid on the UPS website, click the number and delete and % signs in the number.  Chegg is working to get that glitch fixed.

It takes up to two days for a tracking number to get issued after a new order.  So if you just placed an order, your tracking number will get sent over soon.  If you received your books later than they were promised, contact Chegg, and they will refund your shipping costs.

How Do I Delete My Chegg Account?

If you want to delete your account, the process is simple.  First, log in to your account.  Next, you have the option to chat online with a Chegg representative that can cancel your account, or you can call the customer service number instead.

If you have open transactions such as returns, refunds, or rented books, you need to complete the transaction before the membership is terminated.  If you want to cancel your Chegg Study subscription or Chegg Tutors subscription, you can do so without closing your entire account.

What is a Chegg?

The name Chegg is a combination of the words chicken and egg.  Chegg’s founders were in a paradox after graduating college.  They had trouble finding jobs without any work experience, but could not gain work experience without a job.  Their chicken and egg dilemma inspired the name for the company.

How Do You Return Books to Chegg?

Chegg has a simple return process.  From your online account, print your prepaid UPS return label.  Take the books that are due and put them into any box you have around the house.  Next, just seal the box, attach the return label, and drop it off at the closest UPS location before or on the due date.

If you ship your books back via UPS, it’s completely free, since Chegg provides the prepaid UPS return label.  You can ship your books back using another method or shipping company if you prefer, but you are responsible for those costs.

27 Apr

Scholly Review (Is It Worth $2.99 a Month?)

scholly review

Should you pay $2.99 per month to get access to Scholly's database of college scholarships? If this is a question you're debating hopefully our ‘Scholly Review' will help you make that decision.

If you want to make your search for college funding a lot easier, the answer is yes. Scholly features a database of legitimate, hand-picked scholarship offers. It matches you to various academic awards based on your major, grades, and other information. Scholly can be the difference between paying for school up front and taking out a lot of loans for your education.

 

What is Scholly?

Scholly is an app that connects students to scholarship opportunities. The mission of the app is to create “opportunity for all” by streamlining and simplifying the college scholarship search process.

Christopher Gray, the founder of the app, came up with the idea after spending seven months researching scholarships to pay for his college education.

Gray was ultimately able to win $1.3 million in scholarships to pay for his education at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Among those scholarships were awards from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

His experience and the fact that more than $100 million worth of scholarship money goes unclaimed each year led Gray to design and build the app. He partnered with two other Drexel students, Bryson Alef and Nick Pirello to create Scholly.

Scholly's big break came in 2015 when Gray appeared on the show “Shark Tank.”  In case you're not familiar with the show, it provides entrepreneurs with a chance to pitch their products to a panel of investors, or “sharks.” The investors can reject a pitch, accept it or negotiate with the entrepreneur.

During his appearance on the show, Gray convinced two investors to contribute $40,000 to the company, in exchange for a 15 percent ownership stake. Gray's episode would go down as the one that sparked the biggest on-air argument in the history of “Shark Tank.” One of the investors on the panel actually stormed out during the middle of filming.

After the episode, the app shot to the top of the charts at the App Store and remained in the number one spot for two weeks. Initially, the app got 80,000 requests for download after just a few hours.

Scholly got another big break recently when actor Jesse Williams signed on to be its chief brand ambassador. Williams is known for his work on the TV show “Grey's Anatomy,” He's also recognized for commitment to social justice issues, which makes him a good fit for the mission of Scholly, which is to create opportunity for all.

How Does Scholly Work?

If you know how to use a smartphone or the web, using Scholly is a snap. Both the website and app are easy to navigate and use.

During sign-up, you're asked to provide basic information about yourself, such as the gender you identify as, your race, your GPA and your current or expected major. You can also specify the type of scholarships you want, such as merit-based or need-based.

Scholly works on both iOS and Android devices and you're able to access your account from the website if you're using a laptop or other desktop device. The one drawback about the app is that it does cost $2.99 per month, whether you use it on an Apple device, Android or online.

How Many Scholarships Does It Have in Its Database?

Scholly has an actively maintained database with more than 20,000 hand-picked, legitimate scholarships. Since few things are more frustrating than finding a scholarship, only to realize it no longer it exists, the database is regularly updated. A team of staffers works to removed out-of-date scholarships and scholarships that no longer exist from the database.

Additionally, new scholarships are regularly added to the database. Plus, as older scholarships update their application deadline or requirements, those are also updated in the database.

One of the features that sets Scholly apart from other scholarship search services is that a team of people works on choosing the apps for the database. The database uses a sophisticated algorithm to find scholarships, but even that algorithm isn't sophisticated enough to filter out scams.

So Scholly has a team of grad students who work as its quality assurance people. They're called the Scholly Squad, and it's their job to keep scams, such as scholarships that require you to provide just a Social Security number or to pay a hefty fee upfront, out of the system.

About the Scholly App

So, what happens when you download the app and create an account? First, you create a profile with your details. Next, the app finds scholarships that match your needs and qualifications. You can tap on each scholarship to learn more about it, including the application process, deadline, and amount.

If you like a scholarship, you can add it to your list. Once you have a few scholarships in your list, you can begin to track your progress. Once you apply for a particular scholarship, you can tap the “applied!” button in the app. If you end up receiving the award, you can let the app know that as well.

Keep in mind that at the moment, you're not able to apply for scholarships through the app itself. Gray and the other founders of Scholly are working on finding a way to let students use the app the apply for particular awards.

Along with letting your find and track scholarships, Scholly also provides a variety of resources to help you make your application the best it can be. You can read over winning essays to see what scholarship judges are looking for. There's also advice on how you can put your best foot forward with each application.

Is Scholly a Scam or Legitimate?

When you're looking for scholarship money for college, your goal is to make money, not lose money. The cost of Scholly might cause you to wonder if it's a legitimate product or just a scam.

Although it's right to feel cautious when something asks you for money, you can rest assured that Scholly is likely worth the cost of admission. Since the app launched, it has helped students find more than $70 million in scholarship money.

Another way to tell that Scholly is the real deal and not a fly-by-night scholarship search scam is by looking at the people behind it. Its founder, Christopher Gray, used his experience and scholarship-finding success to put together the app.

When you go to school, you want to learn from the best. When you're looking for scholarship money, wouldn't you want to get help from a person who managed to find more than $1 million in scholarships himself?

Additionally, the app has been backed by many people, including the activist actor Jesse Williams and the two investors from Shark Tank. Several institutions and cities have decided to purchase Scholly to provide to students at no charge. For example, the City of Memphis bought the app for the 8,000 juniors and seniors attending high school in Shelby County.

How to Get Started

You can get started with Scholly in one of three ways. You can download the app to your iOS device through the app store. You can download the device through Google Play for an Android device. You can sign up for an account through Scholly's website, using your email address and password.

During sign up, you might be asked to provide a Scholly join code as well. If you prefer, you can create an account with Scholly that's linked to your Facebook account.

Once you've created an account, you'll want to put together your profile. The amount of detail you provide in your profile is what determines which scholarships the app matches you with, so be as detailed as possible.

The app will ask you for your gender, your major, your college or university, and your level of education. It also asks you for “miscellaneous” bits of information, such as your religious beliefs, whether you have certain types of heritage, or if anyone in your family has certain diseases. To find super specific scholarships, you can provide details such as whether you're left-handed or vegan.

After you've built your profile, the app asks you to pay the fee to get access to the scholarships. It's worth noting that you don't have to pay right away, at least if you're creating an account on the website. You're able to access Scholly's resources list, such as sample essays, for free.

If you do pay the fee, the app will present you with a list that can contain up to 200 scholarships. It's then up to you to sort through the list and choose which programs you want to apply to. You can then start the process of applying and keeping track of any awards you win.

Is It Worth $2.99 Per Month?

Now for the $3 question — is access to Scholly's database worth paying $2.99 per month for? The app offers several benefits that can make the answer to the question be “yes.”

First, it simplifies the scholarship search. Once you pay the fee and provide your details, you are connected to several different scholarships, all of which you are eligible to apply to. The app only shows you programs that are currently accepting applications, so you won't have to worry about finding a great award, only to see that the deadline has passed.

Plus, Scholly's search feature does the work for you and works in ways you might not expect. For example, if you have a grandparent or parent who is from Scotland, would you have thought to look for scholarships specifically for students with Scottish heritage? No? Scholly did.

Here's a sad fact of paying for college: there are a lot of scholarship scams out there. The Federal Trade Commission has an entire guide on avoiding getting scammed by unscrupulous “scholarship” programs. When you use Scholly's database, you have the assurance that any scholarships included are legitimate offers.

In part, that is because Christopher Gray and the rest of the team at Scholly go to the trouble of handpicking all the scholarships that the app lists. Since Gray was able to earn $1.3 million worth of scholarships for his education, you're safe in assuming that he knows how to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to finding legitimate awards.

It's also worth noting that you might not need to pay for Scholly yourself. Gray has been hard at work, connecting with businesses and local governments to find a way to make the app available to students for free. In some cases, companies are purchasing the app to distribute en masse to eligible students. In other cases, schools or towns are buying the app for use by a variety of students.

If you're interested in using Scholly but are put off by the $2.99 per month fee, it can be worth talking to a guidance counselor or financial aid officer at your school to see if it would be interested in investing in the app for the benefit of its students.

Keep in mind that you can do what Scholly does on your own. You can run Google search after Google search, looking for valid scholarships. After all, that's what Gray did, and he ended up with enough scholarships to fund several degrees.

But it also took him seven months to find and apply to all those programs. The benefit of giving Scholly $2.99 per month is that you'll spend considerably less time hunting for scholarships and more time applying for the ones that are a good fit.

Once you've gotten your list of scholarships, it's up to you to apply to the ones you want. Our guide on how to get a scholarship will walk you through the process, from helping you craft the perfect essay to helping you determine which offers are best for you.

27 Apr

Scholarship America Review (And How to Get Started)

scholarship america review

If you've heard about Scholarship America and are wondering what it is and how you can benefit from using their website, keep reading for our in-depth review.

What is Scholarship America?

Dr. Irving Fradkin from Fall River, Massachusetts, founded Scholarship America in 1958.   Dr. Fradkin had a simple mission to advance students in the American education system.  Their goal is to support and aid students to break through financial barriers and give them access to higher education.

As a nonprofit company, Scholarship America works with students, parents, universities, communities, and businesses to help students achieve their educational goals to pursue the careers of their dreams.

Helping students further their education creates a better country for all Americans.  A well-educated youth will use their degrees and knowledge to attain professions that can advance their communities.

The initial vision from nearly 60 years ago was that if every person in a given community donated one dollar to an educational fund, it would be enough to educate all students that particular community.  They called the idea “Dollars for Scholars,” which expanded into Scholarship America, the largest private sector nonprofit educational support system in the country.

Who is Eligible?

Students can use the Scholarship America website to browse and explore open scholarships managed by the organization.   Employees have the option to use Scholarship America to and the Scholarship Management Services to create scholarships for through their companies or further their personal educational careers.

High school seniors and graduates have access to the Scholarship America platform and resources if they qualify for financial help.  Scholarship America also offers assistance to students who are currently enrolled in college, ensuring that these candidates have the finances to complete the degree that they started.

Scholarship America students are not limited to students from the United States.  Their programs have helped and reached students in over 100 countries across the world.

How Does It Work?

Scholarship America works by providing students with resources to further their education at a secondary level without financial barriers.  Students have the ability to apply for various scholarships, programs, and initiatives from the Scholarship America platform after they create a free account.

The organization also teams up with communities, businesses, and individuals who want to help give students and families financial help.  Scholarship America also has options for people to donate, volunteer, partner, or work for the cause.

Scholarship America helps distribute roughly 17,000 scholarships annually with donation money that they received. They offer online application and management for all scholarships with trademarked protection and Collegiate Partners affiliation.

Scholarship America provides tax-exempt status for a charitable organization with IRS tax filing to encourage donations through Dollars for Scholars. According to the experts at Charity Navigator, Scholarship America has a high trust rating and overall score.

Programs

The Scholarship America Dream Award is offered to students throughout their years of post secondary education.  The purpose of this scholarship is to change the ongoing problem of scholarship funds exceeding their limits and drying up after a student’s freshman year.  By applying for this scholarship, students can afford to complete the degree that they started.

To be eligible for the Scholarship Dream Award, the student must plan to complete a full year of collegiate education in the current academic calendar year.  These students must also plan to enroll as a full-time student at qualifying two or four-year universities, colleges, or technical schools in the United States for the entire academic year.

Dollars for Scholars is another program available for students in need of financial support.  To qualify for this program, you must have a local Dollars for Scholars affiliate available in your area.   To get started, create an account that will help you apply for multiple scholarships through their program.

The Scholarship Management Services through Scholarship America works with private foundations, communities, trusts, unions, individuals, and businesses of all sizes to offer legitimate scholarships.  55% of United States employers have educational assistance resources for undergraduates.

To set up one of these programs, Scholarship America helps you create a unique logo and design to brand your company and identity.   They guide you through the application process as well as the selection and award notification.  Management Services also offers yearly renewals and monitors the success, cost, and timelines for your scholarships.

Initiatives

Inquire about specialty scholarship programs that you or your family may be eligible for. For example, students who tragically lost a family member on 9/11, Scholarship America has a Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund.  The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund has donated nearly $116 million to over 2,800 students whose lives were affected by the 9/11 attacks.

The Dreamkeepers Emergency Financial Assistance program primarily focuses on grants for two-year colleges, because these schools only have about 60% full-time scholars, a lower retention rate than other institutions that offer degrees. 95% of students enrolled in the Dreamkeeper Emergency program complete their terms.

How to Get Started

Scholarship America understands that college is expensive for students and families to pay for.  That being said, they do not want the price to be a deterrent for students to receive their college degrees.  Scholarship America families obtain the necessary funds to put their scholars through school.

The first step is to create an account and research the available open scholarships available that are managed through Scholarship America.  Students and families can create a free profile, which gives them access to a “Dollars for Scholars” program in their local community.

Browse the website’s Collegiate Partners.  These partners consist of over 325 institutions that agree to honor and treat the Scholarship Awards programs fairly.  The Partners apply student’s scholarships without reducing a student’s financial aid package.  Some of these Collegiate Partners even match the scholarship money dollar for dollar, up to a pre-determined figure.

Students can also download the Scholarship Coach e-book, which is a free resource courtesy of Scholarship America.  For inspiration and guidance, you can also meet some of the students who participated in the scholarship program and hear the success stories that changed their lives.

With your Scholarship America account, you have access to all of their resources.  You can also check out our guide on How to Get a Scholarship.

27 Apr

How to Write a Scholarship Essay

how to write a scholarship essay

The scholarship essay might be the most important part of a scholarship application. It's important to know how to write a scholarship essay so that you can make your case and convince the judges that you are the best person for the award. Don't skimp on the essay or try to rush through it. Spend lots of time planning, writing, and then rewriting to increase the chance that your application will win.

How to Write a Scholarship Essay: The Start

The first sentence of your scholarship essay is the most important sentence you'll ever write. Why? It's the sentence that determines whether you've grabbed the attention of the reader or not. Remember that the person reading your essay is going to have a say in whether you get a scholarship. If you bore him or her, it's likely someone else will get the money.

Aside from grabbing the reader's attention, the introduction to your essay provides a general guideline of what the rest of the paper will be about. Often, it contains the thesis, or purpose of the essay, in the last sentence.

What are a few good ways to get someone's attention and make him or her want to read? Here are a few options:

  • Tell a story. Start your essay off with a bang by sharing a story from your life.
  • Provide an example. A picture is worth 1,000 words. Show the reader what you're getting at, rather than telling him or her.
  • Ask a question. Although not everyone likes rhetorical questions, when writing an essay, they can be an excellent way to bring the reader into your argument.

Often, it helps to write the start of your essay last. That way, you can look back over the body and conclusion that you've written and use them as a guide to craft an introduction that fits with the rest of the essay, and that's as attention-grabbing as can be.

Use Proper Formatting

It's not just what's in your scholarship essay that counts. It's how the essay looks. The people who award scholarships are going to look for students who can follow directions, which means sending in an essay that is formatted based on the instructions provided.

Since there's not one universal scholarship essay format that everyone uses, check to see if the scholarship you're applying for has specific formatting requirements. If the scholarship application doesn't specify how to format your essay, it's best to err on the side of caution and use a conservative font and margins.

Times New Roman, Arial, and Calibri are a few examples of acceptable fonts, if the essay's instructions don't specifically tell you which one to use. These three fonts are easy-to-read and look professional. Whatever you do, stay away from a goofy font like Comic Sans or a font that looks like cursive or script.

Size matters. Size 12 is the ideal font size to use. It's neither too big nor too small to read.

The spacing and margins you use determine how easy the essay is to read. Unless the instructions say otherwise, use double spacing and 1-inch margins.

Margins that are bigger than 1-inch will make it look as if you're trying to pad the essay. Smaller margins will put too much text on the page.

Tips to Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out

For every fantastic essay award judges receive, they have to read dozens of cookie-cutter ones. You want to make your essay the one that stands out and makes the judges take notice. As US News and World Report puts it, an excellent essay can mean the difference between a thanks but no thanks email and some actual money.

Follow these tips, and you'll never submit a dull, lifeless essay to a scholarship committee.

Make It Personal

The judges who read scholarship applications want to get to know you. They want you to convince them that you are the perfect person to give the scholarship to. It's your job to win that money to pay for college.

Here's how to write a scholarship essay that stands out: writing about something you care about. Whether it's the work you do tutoring ESL students, the time you spend coaching elementary soccer students or the hours you've put in in the dance studio, a great essay will be on a subject you know about, care about and that reflects who you are.

Think of the why, more than the what when writing your essay. Show the judges why you love tutoring, dancing or whatever it is that you do. Describe mentors or others who have influenced you along the way and explain how those people have been a good influence on you.

Include lots of detail in the essay to back up your points and reflect on who you are. If you're writing about overcoming a challenge in your life, describe the problem, how you felt at the time and what you did to move past it. The more detail you provide, and the more detailed your examples, the more likely you'll be to win the scholarship.

Make It Relevant

You need to shape your essay to meet the specific requirements and expectations of the scholarship to which you're applying. Although it would make your life a lot easier if you could just use the same essay over and over, you need to follow directions.

That said, if the application asks you to describe your goals for the future, don't send in an essay that talks about a time you faced a challenge in your life. If the application is looking for a student with excellent grades, don't talk about how you failed your last math test.

If you can, find out who past winners of the award were and see if you can look at their essays. You don't want to copy their work, but seeing what a winning essay looks like can help inspire you when writing your own.

Make It Right

You've written a fantastic essay that you're sure will knock the socks off the scholarship judges. The only problem? It's riddled with typos and grammatical errors.

Read over your essay before sending to make sure it flows well and to correct any misspellings or other errors. Better yet, since it's been scientifically proven that it's difficult for a person to catch all his or her mistakes, have a friend or teacher read the essay and offer guidance or point out any errors.

Make It Accurate

Attention to detail is one thing judges look for in a scholarship application. The instructions provided in the scholarship application aren't just suggestions. They are what the committee expects to see in your essay and other application materials. Judges are likely to assume that if you don't know how to write a scholarship essay accurately that you might not have what it takes to be successful at their university.

Make sure you follow all the instructions given when you write your essay. Ask the teacher or friend who is reading your essay to keep an eye out for any instances where you might have veered away from the instructions. Most teachers know how to write a scholarship essay and depending on their willingness to help might be willing to offer a couple pointers.

Although you might be advised to “think outside the box” and “challenge expectations” when creating your essay, rest assured that those directives don't include ignoring the instructions.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don’ts

When writing your winning scholarship essay, keep the following do's and don'ts in mind. You don't want to miss out on money for college because you've made an easy-to-fix mistake.

  • Do: Follow the directions.
  • Do: Make an outline or plan before you begin writing.
  • Do: Ask someone to proofread and edit your essay before you submit.
  • Do: Write a new essay for every scholarship application.
  • Do: Research the scholarship thoroughly before applying.
  • Don't: Wait until the last minute to plan and write your essay.
  • Don't: Use cliches.
  • Don't: Be vague.
  • Don't: Use a lot of filler or empty words to increase your word count.
  • Don't: Pick a boring, uninspired topic.

Scholarship Essay Examples

While you want the essay you submit to be your own work, it can help to look at examples of essays submitted by others. Reading other people's essays can help you see how to format your own and what judges are looking for in a successful essay. Learning from others' successes is an important part of learning how to write a scholarship essay.

Personal Essay Examples

A personal essay should be exactly that, personal. It should reflect on something you're passionate about and describe to the reader exactly why you're so passionate about it.

The University of Chicago Law School provides a few samples of personal essays submitted by students who were accepted to and graduated from the program. Look at their essays and note how their writing reflects their love for a particular subject.

Michigan State University's study abroad program also provides a few examples of personal essays that helped people get scholarships to participate in the program. Read the essays and note how each student tied their experience into their current desire to study abroad.

Sample Essays for Financial Need

Sometimes, a scholarship is meant to help students who have demonstrated financial need. Your essay will need to reflect your need to convince the judges that you're the best student for the award.

Your financial need doesn't have to be the sole focus of the essay. In this sample, for a scholarship at the University of Minnesota, a student includes a paragraph at the end explaining why she would benefit financially from the award.

Other sample scholarship essays make the financial need the underlying theme of the essay. In this sample essay from San Diego State University, a father of two who can't work due to injury fully describes his situation and the way going to college would improve not just his life, but his family's life as well.

Leadership Essay Examples

Many scholarship committees want to award students who have demonstrated leadership skills and abilities. If you're drawing a blank when it comes to how to describe your leadership experience to a reader, take a look at the first paragraph of this sample essay from a fictional student. It highlights the student's leadership role as a pastor before segueing into other topics.

In this collection of essays, the second essay specifically tackles the subject of leadership. The writer spends the essay describing what he or she thinks makes for a great leader. It's an interesting take on the subject, as it asks the student to go beyond just describing an experience.

Community Impact Essay Examples

Many scholarships look at community service or volunteer experience when choosing a winner. Some scholarships are based solely on a person's dedication to his or her community. If you are applying for that type of scholarship, reading a few good scholarship essays that focus on community is ideal.

Here's a sample from Cook Honors College. What makes this essay interesting is that the writer admits to not being into community service at first, then goes on to show how her time volunteering helped to shape her.

This sample provides examples of poor, fair and good community service essays. Read each one to see how they are different. When writing your own essay, be sure to take pointers from the “good” one, not the fair or poor ones!

Career Goals Essay

Many scholarships are career specific. If your goal is to be a doctor, you won't receive a scholarship designed for pre-law students or liberal arts students. For that reason, many scholarship applications ask students to reflect on their goals in their essays.

In this sample essay from a graduate student, the writer describes how he or she has spent the past decade working on reaching his or her career plans. This sample essay, from an aspiring doctor, is helpful because it shows how to write a compelling essay even after your original plan has veered off course.

Future Plans Essay

A future plans essay is similar to a career goals essay but focuses more on the big picture. Here's a sample essay from a first-generation college student. She describes her career goals but also focuses on what going to college means for her and how it will help her achieve some other life goals.

The winner of the 2012 Mary Cone Barrie Scholarship wrote this essay, which details not only her goals to be a teacher, but how she plans on using her teaching skills to help provide educational opportunities for those in her community.

Scholarship Letter Template

In some instances, a scholarship application might not require an essay, but an accompanying letter. Approach the scholarship letter like you would an essay, and clearly make your point, using descriptive language and specific examples. Here's a basic template to help you map out the letter:

  • Salutation: You can use “to whom it may concern,” but finding out the name of the person who will read your letter will make your application stand out.
  • Introduction: Introduce yourself and state what you're applying for or why you are writing.
  • The body of the Letter: Why are you the best person for the scholarship? Make your case in the body of the letter, but keep it short. Use no more than three paragraphs.
  • Conclusion: Thank the reader for his or her time, add in one final point about why you're a great candidate for the scholarship, then sign off.
  • Sincerely. Use a professional closing, such as “Sincerely,” then sign and type your name at the bottom.

Where to Get More Help

Looking for more tips and advice on writing your scholarship essay? There are a lot of resources available to you, both online and off. For starters, you can check out our guide on how to get a scholarship to figure the types of scholarships available to you.

Online, there are resources such as EssayEdge, which matches you with a professional editor, for a fee. If you're not sure where to start looking for scholarships, ScholarshipOwl can help point you in the right direction. Keep in mind that you do have to pay for the service, but if you win any scholarships, the fee can be worth it.

In real life, you can meet up with a few friends and offer each other advice and proofreading help, especially friends that already know how to write a scholarship essay properly. Your teachers can also be useful resources for essay help. They've seen lots of essays in their days, so they know what stands out and what doesn't.

If your school has a writing center, take advantage of it. The tutors who work in writing centers are trained in the ins and outs of grammar and can help you craft an essay that stands out from the pack.

Most importantly, give yourself plenty of time to write, proofread, and rewrite your essay. A rushed job will be obvious to the judges and can end up costing you a lot.

And remember, taking the time now to learn how to write a scholarship essay could pay dividends because it could help you score more scholarships.

27 Apr

How to Get a Scholarship – The Essential Guide

how to get a scholarship essential guide

If you want help paying for college and don't want to take on massive debt, a scholarship is the way to go. Before you start applying, you should know how to get a scholarship. Many organizations, businesses, and schools offer scholarship programs, and most require an application. How well you complete the application and how great your essay is can mean the difference between getting some free money for college and taking on lots of debt.

What Is A Scholarship And How Does It Work?

A scholarship is money given to a student to help him or her pay for school. What separates scholarships from other types of financial aid, such as student loans, is that you do not have to pay back the amount you receive once you finish or leave school.

How a scholarship works depends in large part on the type of scholarship you receive. Many are merit-based, which means that organizations give them out to students based on grades or some other type of achievement.

For example, if you are in the top 10 percent of your high school graduating class, you might be eligible for a scholarship for students with the highest grades. If you've spent the bulk of your extracurricular time studying dance, you can qualify for a scholarship for talented dancers. Athletes usually also receive awards in recognition of their talent on the field or court.

In some cases, you might be eligible for an award not because of what you do, but because of who you are. Larger companies often have scholarship programs for the children of employees, for example. Some scholarships are designed to increase opportunities for traditionally under-represented groups, such as women and minorities.

While some scholarships are based solely on your achievements or who you are, others take your financial status into consideration. Need-based scholarships use the information on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine if you are a good candidate for the award. You might meet the other requirements for the scholarship, but if you don't have financial need, you won't receive it.

Usually, there are two ways to get a scholarship. Often, schools have their own scholarship programs and will automatically offer awards to accepted students. The school looks at your current and past grades, activities and in some cases, your FAFSA to determine if you are eligible for an award.

If you want to receive a scholarship from an institution or organization that isn't your school, you'll need to fill out a separate application. Many scholarship applications require you to write an essay that reflects on your life, shares a goal or lets the scholarship judges get to know you in some other way.

Tips for Winning Scholarships

Is there a magic formula when it comes to winning scholarship money? The answer is yes and no. While you can't expect scholarship committees just to give you money, there are a few things you can do to increase your odds of getting the award.

Personalize Your Essay

The judges who review scholarship applications have to read hundreds, if not thousands of personal essays. Reading all those essays can get boring after a while, especially if every student says the same thing over and over.

Make your essay stand out from the crowd by getting personal with and diving deep into your topic. Choose to write about something you love, rather than something you think will impress the judges. Look for the “why” behind what you do, instead of only telling the judges what you do.

After reading your essay, a judge should think, “I got to know that student.” That all said, don't make the piece too personal. Many contests are judged blindly, meaning that you shouldn't put your name in the essay.

Look Professional

Are scholarship judges going to do a Google search on you? They might and they might not.

It's better to assume that they will and take the time to polish up your online and social media presence. Take down any photos that don't show you in the best light (pictures of you with a drink in hand, pictures of you smoking) and make sure you remove any posts that contain offensive language or comments.

Spend Plenty of Time

Students might award bragging rights to others who manage to write up an entire 15-page paper in a single evening or to those who stay up until 3 or 4 am cramming for a big exam.

But when it comes to finding money for college, you don't want to put things off until the last minute. Give yourself plenty of time to brainstorm what you'll write about, to actually write it and to proofread and edit it at the end.

So that you don't miss deadlines or feel that you must rush through your applications, make a calendar that is specifically for all the scholarships you are applying for. Write out the deadline for each scholarship on the calendar, then count backward to figure out when you should have the first draft of your essay completed, when you should finish editing and revising and when you want to submit the application.

Polish & Perfect Submission

Giving yourself plenty of time to work on your scholarship applications will give you plenty of time to polish them and make them perfect. Remember that it's not only what's in your essay that matters.

It is how the essay is formatted and appears on the paper. You want to send in an essay and application packet that tells the judges you're a professional, serious student. You also want to send in something that the judges can read with ease.

Choose a font that's not difficult to read. There's a reason why your teachers ask you to use Times New Roman or Arial when you hand in papers. The text of those fonts is legible.

There's also a reason why teachers ask that you use 12-point font. It's not too small to read, and it's not so large that you can barely fit a few hundred words on a page.

Although you want your essay and application to reflect who you are, avoid using goofy or “fun” fonts like Comic Sans or anything in cursive. Additionally, follow the recommendations give for spacing and margins. One inch margins and double spacing are usually the norms, but check to make sure a particular scholarship doesn't have other requirements.

Along with focusing on the appearance of your essay and application, take the time to polish it up. Read it over several times to make sure there are no misspellings or grammar issues. Reading the essay out loud can help you hear if it is flows or not.

Ask someone else to read the essay for you and give you feedback. A teacher or close friend can be the ideal person to ask, as long as that person knows you and has an understanding of grammar rules. A second set of eyes on your application can help you catch things that might have slipped your attention or give you a different perspective on your essay.

Pay attention to the word count on your essay. If the application asks for a 500-word personal statement, you don't want to send in a 1,500-word manifesto. You also don't want to err on the side of too short and send in a 250-word micro-essay. Don't go over the word count, but don't be too concise either.

Apply to Scholarships That Interest You

If you're not really into the subject matter of a scholarship or if you sort of meet the qualifications, the judges will be able to tell. They'll read it in your uninspired essay.

While you do want to keep an open mind when it comes to applying for scholarships, you don't want to spread yourself too thin. If you feel like you need for apply to every scholarship that comes your way, the quality of your applications will diminish, and you may end up missing out on the scholarship you really wanted.

Before you start your scholarship search, make a list of what interests you. Be honest here, as it will influence the awards you go after. If you love tennis, find scholarships for tennis players. If you like to dance, but have only taken one dance in your life, don't try to go after a dance scholarship.

There are as many scholarships out there as there are interests, skills, and qualifications. Even if you only have one or two hobbies, it's likely that you'll find several organizations who want to give students with those hobbies money for school.

Don’t Ignore Optional Questions

A scholarship application might have a series of optional questions, or you might find some optional questions on a scholarship search page. Although these questions are not officially required, answering them is usually in your best interest.

In the case of a scholarship search service, answering the additional questions will allow the service to find more scholarships for you. In the case of an application, taking the time to answer the optional questions shows the scholarship committee that you care about the award. It also gives the committee a better idea of who you are.

Think of it this way. A scholarship decision might come down to two people. Who do you think the judges will choose, the applicant who didn't answer the optional questions or the one who took the time to answer them?

Community Involvement

Being involved with your community in some way can pay off when you are applying for scholarships. For one thing, several scholarships are dedicated to active student volunteers. For another, performing community service or volunteer work often gives you something to share or write about in your scholarship essay.

That said, don't sign up to be a volunteer or to perform community service just to have something to add to your application. Find a program that resonates with you and that you'll want to spend your time working with.

If you love sports, look for ways to get involved in local youth sports organizations. If you want to be a teacher, find programs that let you tutor younger students or after school programs that include lessons in your subject area, such as an after-school science club or writing program.

Don’t Miss Deadlines

Deadlines aren't just suggestions. They are the be all, end all of your scholarship application. Don't think that scholarship committees will be willing to look the other way if your application is “just a day late.”

The programs have set those deadlines for a reason. They need the time to read over applications and choose the best students from the bunch. Deadlines are also a bit of a test. If you submit before the deadline, you demonstrate to the judges that you can follow directions. If you don't, you're showing the judges that not only can you not follow instructions, you also don't have much respect for their time.

Because things can (and do) go wrong, it's best to aim to get your applications in well before the deadline. You don't want a computer problem or a faulty email service to be the thing that stands in the way of you and some free money for school.

Apply to As Many As Possible

Although you do want to apply for the scholarships that interest you, it's best to spread your scholarship net far and wide. Apply for as many scholarships are you're eligible for and have time for.

Try to prioritize your scholarship application process. Go after the big ones first, as they usually have the earliest deadlines and often the most requirements. Leave time to pursue the smaller ones or, the more local scholarships next. Finally, apply for the scholarships that interest you the least last. You can also use scholarship search engines like ScholarshipOwl, Scholly, and Scholarship America to help with this process.

Don't Ignore Small Awards

Don't turn your nose up at $500 or $1,000 scholarships. While $500 might be barely enough to cover your books and $1,000 might pay for a single course credit, winning multiple small scholarships adds up.

You can try going after the smaller prizes after you've applied for the bigger awards, but keep on thing in mind. Since plenty of students are snubbing those smaller prizes, the applicant pool might be considerably smaller, improving your odds of winning. Everyone wants the $10,000 or $20,000 scholarship, so much so that they might pass on a few $1,000 awards.

Types of Scholarships

Scholarships fall into some different categories. The kind of scholarship you apply for determines the size of the applicant pool and often the size of the award.

National

National scholarships are available to students in all 50 states. These scholarships are often the most competitive since they have the largest applicant pool. Still, if you meet the requirements, it is worth applying for them.

A few examples of national scholarships include the National Merit Scholarship. Students qualify for the scholarship by taking the Pre-SAT and earning a high score on the exam. To become a finalist for the scholarship, a student needs to demonstrate academic achievement and needs to complete a separate application.

Local

Local scholarships come in a wide range of sources. A scholarship offered by a student's church or religious organization is an example of a local scholarship since only students who attend the organization are usually eligible.

Clubs such as the Rotary Club or Lions Club often have scholarship programs for students who are members or who have parents who are members. Other local scholarship opportunities can include programs offered by your employer or your parent's employer, programs provided by local nonprofits, and programs offered by the Boy or Girl Scouts.

State

If you are considering attending school in your state of residence, it's worth exploring the scholarship options available to students who remain in-state. For example, the College of New Jersey automatically considers in-state freshman year students for some merit scholarships.

Students in Tennessee who live in the state for at least a year and attend one of the state's universities can apply for the Hope Scholarship. New York state has some scholarship programs for students who attend either SUNY or CUNY schools.

Even if you aren't planning on attending a state school, it can be worth checking out your state's scholarship options. The awards available might be enough to change your mind and convince you to attend a public university.

Internal vs. External

Scholarships vary by source as well. Internal scholarships come directly from the school you are attending. They often come from endowments or student scholarship funds. Some schools will award you a scholarship automatically, based on your grades and admissions essays.

Some schools have separate programs or programs for individual departments, but not others. Often, you'll need to complete a separate application and send in supporting materials to qualify for those scholarships.

External scholarships are awards that come from any source that isn't your college or university. These include scholarships from big companies like Microsoft or Coca-Cola, scholarships from your local credit union or bank, and scholarships from a nonprofit organization.

Occasionally, an external scholarship program might only be available to students who attend a certain school. It can be worth checking out your college's financial aid page or dropping by the financial aid office to learn about scholarship opportunities from outside sources that might not be advertised anywhere else.

Online

The web can be a great place not only to find scholarships but also to get scholarships. Some scholarship programs are based online, which can simplify the application process.

But be warned. Some online scholarship programs are little more than scams. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are a few red flags you can look out for to figure out if an online scholarship program is a scam. One major red flag is if the scholarship program asks for your social security number or credit card information.

Places to Find Scholarship Opportunities

Where do you look for scholarship opportunities? The good news is that life in the 21st century means numerous places list scholarships and various ways to get the information you need to apply.

Online

Online sources and apps take some of the stress out of searching for scholarships. These services look at your qualifications and interests and provide you with a list of relevant awards.

  • Scholly. Created by a student who had won $1.3 million worth of scholarships, Scholly features a database that contains thousands of scholarship opportunities at a time. You fill out a profile, and it matches you to scholarships, which you can choose to apply to or not. The app does cost $2.99 a month, but for many students, the upfront cost is worth the rewards. Check out our full review of Scholly to learn more.
  • Scholarship Owl. Scholarship Owl is similar to Scholly but goes a step further. It also lets you apply to scholarships you match with, using the same application form for each. Check out our in-depth review to learn more about Scholarship Owl.
  • Scholarship America. Scholarship America not only helps students find money for college. It also works with organizations to help them put together scholarship programs. Get the full story on the website from our review.
  • ScholarshipPoints. As its name suggests, Scholarship Points gives you the option to earn points by completing surveys and other online tasks.You can then use your points to enter drawings for the chance to win scholarships. Is it worth it? Check out our review.
  • Chegg. Chegg is an online textbook rental service that also has a scholarship search feature. You can browse for scholarships without creating an account. Having an account lets you save results and get matches that are relevant to you. We reviewed Chegg in depth to see if it is worth the effort.

 

If you're nervous about handing over your personal information or want to use the scholarship resource that will give you best options, check out our comprehensive review of the best scholarship websites to see which one really is worth your time.

Schools

Your school can be a great resource when it comes to learning about available scholarships. If you are still in high school, your guidance counselor should be able to tell you more about programs that are available to you. In fact, a great guidance counselor is going to be pro-active about providing you with that information.

If your's isn't, go ahead and make an appointment to see him or her. When you schedule your appointment, let the counselor know that you want to discuss scholarship options. That will give him or her time to find awards that are relevant to you.

You can still apply for scholarships after you've started college. In fact, some awards are only available to upperclassmen. Your school's financial aid office is a good place to start your search. It also helps to check in with your academic department. Depending on their size, many academic programs offers scholarships exclusively to students in their departments.

Library

Whether it's your school library or a public library, odds are it has a reference section that is full of information about scholarships. The drawback of using your local library is that some of the information printed in books might be a little out of date.

Scholarship Guide Books

Every year, new guidebooks are published that contain information on available scholarships, including how to apply and deadlines. It might be worth investing in a book so that you have the most up-to-date version available and so that you have the information you need at your fingertips.

Organizations

Call around to local nonprofits and other organizations in your area to find out if they offer scholarships. If so, find out if you qualify or what the application procedure is. You can also look online at an organization's web page to learn more about available award programs.

Your Employer

Your employer or your parent's employer might offer a program to workers or their families. If you aren't aware of any programs, pay a visit to HR and ask.

If you're looking for a job and considering going to school or returning to school at any point, it can be worth it to find an employer who specifically offers scholarship programs.

When to Start Looking for Scholarships

If you're in high school, it's never too early to start looking for scholarships. When you’re a freshman or sophomore, look at the options available. If you find a scholarship that interests you, you can choose your activities and classes during the next few years of your high school career to make yourself an ideal candidate for that award.

When you're getting ready to apply for scholarships, start at the beginning of your junior year. Some programs have a deadline in the early summer before you've even applied to most schools.

Of course, some scholarships are available later or have rolling deadlines. Begin your search early and keep on looking throughout your academic career.

How to Get A Full Ride Scholarship

It's the ultimate goal: get a scholarship that pays for your entire college education, including room and board, books, and fees. Think it can't be done? Think again.

Tips for Winning A Full Ride Scholarship

Rule number one of winning a full ride scholarship: be amazing. Rule two: find people who can convince others that you are amazing. During your high school career, latch onto one or two teachers and get them to be your mentors.

Building deeper relationships with your teachers allows them to really get to know you. Getting to know you means they can write great recommendation letters for you, which allows you to stand above the rest.

Part of being amazing is having a killer grade point average. Don't think that taking super easy, slacker classes is the way to a great GPA. Scholarship programs are going to look at the classes you take, along with the grades you earned.

If you're struggling in a subject, get a tutor to help you out. Many tutors offer a money-back guarantee if you don't see an improvement in your grades. Your teachers are also there to help if you are struggling in class. Don't be shy about staying after school for extra help or about asking for extra credit in classes where you're really having trouble.

Scholarships aren't just about grades. You also need to demonstrate that you're well-rounded. You can do that by committing to few community programs or volunteer programs. Find one or two extracurricular activities that you love and give those your all.

It's better to be selective about your activities than to try everything. Scholarship committees would rather see you devoted to a few programs instead of displaying passing interest in dozens.

Keep in mind that some schools are more likely to offer full ride scholarships than others. Find the schools that like to pay in full for student and apply to at least one or two of them. Make sure you follow all the instructions and include all required and optional materials with your application. You want to ensure you really shine.

It's also possible to get a full ride by getting multiple scholarships. A $25,000 scholarship here, combined with a $10,000 there, combined with a handful of $2,000 awards is likely going to be more than enough to cover your college costs.

“Full ride” doesn't have to mean one enormous scholarship. It just means enough money to pay for all of your expenses without having to take out loans or pay out of pocket.

How to Write the Best Essay

Your scholarship essay is what really sets you apart from other applicants and can be what makes or breaks your application. There are a few things to keep in mind when writing to make sure your essay is the best it can be.

  • Know Your Audience. Don't write the same essay for every application. Customize your statement for the people who are going to read. It helps to look at samples of winning essays from the past to get an idea of what judges are looking for.
  • Follow Directions Carefully. Instructions provided with the essay and application aren't recommendations. They are directives. If you don't want your essay tossed aside on a technicality, such as using the wrong font or not double-spacing, read over and follow all the directions.
  • Proofread AND Have Someone Else Proofread. Again, you don't want to miss out on a scholarship because you misspelled “weird” or had a series of grammatical mistakes in your essay. Read it over carefully and have at least one other person take a close look at it.
  • Personalize Your Essay. It's called a personal statement for a reason — it should give the judges a clear idea of who you are and what you are passionate about. Avoid cookie-cutter cliches and vagueness. Find something important to you and let the judges know why it's important.

Get Help

You don't have to work on your scholarship essay alone. You have some resources available, both paid and free, to help you craft the best essay possible. For example, EssayEdge and ScholarshipOwl offer professional editors and direct assistance with writing your essay, for a fee.

You can also work with a teacher or with a classmate who's a gifted writer. If your school has a writing center, use it. Many writing centers have tutors on hand to read over and offer commentary on your essays.

For more information on how to put together the best scholarship essay possible, check out our comprehensive guide to writing an essay.

How to Avoid Scams

These days, you can't conduct a simple online search without coming across a college scholarship scam or two. Luckily for you, most scams are easy to spot, once you know what to look for. Here's how to find and avoid the most common scams.

Don’t Pay to Enter

One of the most common scams out there is a “scholarship” that requires you to pay a large fee upfront. It's simple — you need money for school, you shouldn't have to pay to get that money. Avoid any programs that ask you for an application fee or other upfront fee or that want access to your credit card number.

Too-good-to-be-true Offers

You know it — an offer that seems too good to be true usually is. If a program guarantees that you'll win something or if you're suddenly presented with an award you didn't apply for, run the opposite direction.

Sweepstakes

While not all scholarship sweepstakes are scams, the bulk of them isn't worth your time. If you're going to enter a sweepstakes contest, such as the ones offered by Scholarship Owl, make sure it's a legitimate program. Do some research to see who's won and how much. Again, steer clear of any programs that want you to pay a lot upfront.

Free Seminar/Interview

If you're invited to a seminar about a scholarship, be on guard. As the FTC notes, many seminars are actually high-pressure sales pitches designed to make you feel desperate and make you part with your money.

You can attend a seminar, but just be aware that there's likely no money at the end of it. In fact, most seminars are designed to take money from you.

Excessive “Hype” In Post

If a scholarship is so great, will its organizers really have to use superlatives in its description? Or, if a scholarship is so amazing, why are its organizers so desperate to find people for it?

Scam artists tend to use a lot of “hype” and expressive language to get you excited about the scholarship. In the long run, it's usually the case that there's no money to be had.

Requests for Personal Information

How much does a scholarship committee need to know about you? Your name and contact information should be enough, at least until you've won an actual award. A scholarship that wants the fine details, such as your social security number, right away, usually isn't a scholarship at all.

Spelling Errors

You're expected to submit an application that's perfect, but the scholarship committee can't even spell “Universty?” That's a big red flag.

Watch Out for Time Pressure

It's a common tactic for scam artists everywhere to tell you that an offer is going to expire or that you need to decide right away. You don't and you shouldn't. Those tactics are often used to get you to give up private information or to hand over a large amount of cash.

“We’ll Do the Work for You”

Legitimate scholarship services will help streamline the search process. But it should ultimately be your responsibility to fill out the applications and write the essays. Be wary of any company that promises to handle all the nitty-gritty details.

Read Reviews First

If you're not sure about a site or if a scholarship program seems too good to be true, do a search for reviews. People who have been scammed by a program are likely to be very vocal about their dissatisfaction. Learning from the mistakes of others can help you avoid making the same mistake yourself.

Don’t Give Up

You now know how to get a scholarship, now it's time to go get them. There are thousands of legitimate scholarship programs out there. You can't expect to win every award you try to get. The key thing to remember is not to give up. You might get turned down for a scholarship today, only to apply for three more next week and win them all.

You can't win any scholarships if you don't try. And the more you try, the more likely you are to win. Ready to start applying? Try our #1 recommended scholarship search engine: ScholarshipOwl.

SurveysSay Annual Marketing Scholarship

Every year we award one college student $1,000 to be used for college expenses (tuition, books, fees, etc). Most students with a business-related major qualify, and applying is easy and relatively fast. To get all the details, visit our scholarship page.

FAQs

Want to know more about scholarships, how you can use them and what they mean for your aid package? Read on for a few frequently asked questions.

  • How does a scholarship affect my other student aid? Your scholarships can reduce the aid you receive from your school if the scholarships come from an outside source. Ideally, your school will reduce the amount of loans you receive (which need to be paid back) and the not the amount of grant money you receive (which you don't pay back).
  • How do I get my scholarship money? The answer varies from scholarship to scholarship. Some pay your school directly; others will pay you, then you pay your school.
  • Can you use scholarships to pay for room and board? Again, the answer to this depends on the scholarship. Some can only cover the cost of tuition. Others can help cover any costs associated with college, including books and fees. Check to see what you can use the scholarship for when you apply.
21 Apr

Quest Mindshare – Legit Paid Survey Site Or A Total Scam?

quest mindshare-logo

Founded back in 2003, Quest Mindshare has been around for what seems like ages. They claim to be the fastest growing and most rewarding survey site out there. With such a statement one can't help but wonder whether it's true or just a fabrication. In this Quest Mindshare review we check the facts and give you our input on this older survey site.

What Is Quest Mindshare?

Most GPT (get paid to) survey sites offer users the option to complete various tasks in exchange for points. What's special about Quest Mindshare is that there is no points system, just straight cash and gift cards.

There wasn't much to be found about the company, although after careful research we discovered that they're owned by a larger company called Quest Global Research Group. Quest Global Research Group is  based in Canada, but luckily their sites are available to many countries. Some of these countries include the US, New Zealand and Australia. Most European countries are also allowed access.

The website is far from out-dated. Its bright orange page gives off a fun vibe while the clean aesthetics keep things looking professional.

Quest Mindshare is not accredited by the BBB (Better Business Bureau), but you can find them on Twitter and Facebook.

Signing Up

Signing up for Quest Mindshare is completely free and available to a wide array of countries. The actual sign up process is short, but we guarantee that you'll be pestered for demographic details afterwards.

If you do not provide all of the listed demographic information or validate your email, they will not let you take their surveys. The process is very time-consuming. Time is money and it's risky to be wasting valuable time.

Rewards And Opportunities

What makes Quest Mindshare so special is that you'll only be rewarded with straight cash and gift cards, no points.

To withdraw cash you need a minimum of $12.50 in USA or Canada, $17 in Australia, $15 in New Zealand, and € 10 in European countries. After payout the cash will be delivered directly into your PayPal account. You can also request an Amazon card as long as you have at least $10 (or £10 in the UK) in your account. 

Payment by cash benefits users because it's a straightforward and dependable source of payment. You know what your getting, and you don't have wonder whether the points will add up correctly or not.

Surveys

We were surprised when we found out that surveys were the only way to earn money with Quest Mindshare. Luckily their surveys make up for the lack of variety, they are a great source of income.

You can earn an average of $2 to $5 for a 10 minute survey. The site advertises surveys as 10 minutes long, but some go for more. Topics range from opinions on products to world issues. Some of their music rating surveys go for up to $90.

By taking part in their survey offers on a daily basis,  we can promise you that your cash will pile up fast.

Privacy

Quest Mindshare uses cookies, but you can choose whether to accept cookies or not by changing the settings on your browser. If you choose to disable this function, some features may not be available anymore or the website could stop working completely.

They keep their Privacy Policy pretty vague, although they do promise to keep users' information safe.

Quest Mindshare ensures that none of your personal information will be shared with third-party sites. It's nice to know that the company your're partnering with cares about your privacy just as much as you do.

Complaints

Most users are happy with their experience on Quest Mindshare, but no one's perfect. The reviews held a few complaints that we think are important to share.

Many say that they've gone downhill and that the site isn't what it used to be. Those high-paying music surveys are being taken away from seasoned members, and some complained of money being deducted out of their earnings for no specific.

These scenarios were the case for less than half of the people, but it's always good to take these complaints into consideration.

Legit Or A Scam?

Their no-points policy and the fact that they only offer surveys makes Quest Mindshare very unique. They aren't the best survey site in the industry, but they aren't the worst either. They pass the test for privacy and users earn good money which is a must.

Based on their Privacy Policy, they look like a dependable site. Even though it's short and sweet, they promise to keep your information safe and out of the hands of third-party websites.

Quest Mindshare can be very beneficial as long as you have the patience. If you take their surveys on a daily basis, the cash is guaranteed to follow.

Another great survey site that's commonly compared to Quest Mindshare is Mintvine. It's easy to use and it's a great source of income. Click here to signup now!