About Myrriah Lavin

When I was putting myself through art school while working full time, I wish I'd realized that I could have been signing up for scholarships; it would have made college a lot easier. These days I live and garden in South Carolina, read constantly, study my family's history, and herd cats.

Right Choice for Scholarship Hunters?

Right ChoiceRight Choice


Right Choice is a web portal operated by the Student Loan Finance Corporation, an iHELP student loan-servicing company working with the Independent Community Bankers of America, holders of the loans. The site includes college planning tools (starting in the 8th grade), a college search and comparison feature, career path help, and a scholarship search function. You can save your search results by registering for an account. (The account consists of various social tools such as messaging, adding photos and videos and sharing them with your friends, and has a Favorites page where you can save your search information. No profile information is required.) Registration is easy and just asks for your name and email address.

The search function allows you to search for scholarships by keyword or by using the drop-down menus to create search parameters such as enrollment level, gender, race, state, and major. You can also search by rank: type of award and sort categories. Each scholarship listing includes eligibility requirements, award amount, application deadline, sponsor contact information, and website address. On the initial search list, the “Show All…” link beside the scholarship sponsor’s name will return all the scholarships offered by that organization (pretty handy, right?).

When we used our school enrollment year and gender from the drop-down menus, we received 27 results—not terrific. Limiting the search to “Women Only” and “Scholarships” (under Search Rank) gave us 238 results—better. The keyword search will give you even more opportunity to focus your search. Clicking on the Scholarship Directory button will allow you to search by sponsor affiliation, general focus, and applicant circumstances. The Matching Sponsors button will give you their list of scholarship sponsors with a “Show All…” link.

The overall feel of the site is a little on the hokey side, and some of the search features are cumbersome and hard to interpret. Even more unfortunate, there seems to be no way to save any of the scholarship search information to the Favorites page, and one has to wonder about this oversight. Despite these drawbacks, we liked this site. The sheer number of ways to search for scholarships and the ready access to the sponsoring organization’s site will give you ample material to search for your scholarship gems.

Note: This is one of a number of sites that uses the Wintergreen Orchard House database. You may see some crossover in the results of your scholarship search between these sites.

We give Right Choice 3.5 out of 5:

Right Choice Rating

Looking for an Internship?

Internship FinderInternshipFinder


This subject is a little off the beaten trail, but we thought we’d include it for all of you who are looking for summer jobs or internships to help pay for college or to develop the skills you need for your career. InternshipFinder, created in 2009, is owned by M&L Research, an employment specialist offering employment research in the airline, cruise, oil, Alaskan fishing, and sports industries under JobFinderSites.com. To all appearances, M&L Research is refreshingly upfront about publishing who they are and what other sites they own.

InternshipFinder has lots of information on looking for and landing an internship, with many links to internships in a variety of fields: business, media and publishing, computers and IT, engineering, nonprofit, social media, sports, entertainment, and international. The site also contains information on resumes, cover letters, interviews, and creating a proposal.

True to its name, InternshipFinder has an Internship Finder. This feature allows you to use keywords to narrow your search to your field and/or location. The job listing we got when we used our keyword and location gave us a good return but certainly wasn’t exclusive to short-term internships, and actually, our search didn’t have any internship listings that we could find. Most of the jobs on our list were for permanent, full-time employment. Try using the word “intern” in the keyword, and you should find more internship listings.

You’ll notice that InternshipFinder’s search engine is run by Simply Hired’s Job-a-matic software, and it’s probably the money maker for this site. That said, it all seems to be transparent and above board, and we really didn’t see a downside to this for internship seekers.

The information on this site seems very helpful, and the links to specific industry internships also appears to be valuable. The search engine? Not so much. It’s not that it’s bad in any way—it’s just not targeted specifically to internships, having mostly job listings for full-time, permanent positions, which most college students aren’t in the market for yet. There certainly are internships listed, but why should a dedicated internship search engine require you to use “intern” as a keyword to get the results it promises? This search engine could be a good start, but look around for better-targeted results elsewhere.

We give Internship Finder 3 out of 5:

3 Mortar Board Rating



Related Links:

M&L Research

Immediate Scholarships Search Site Review

Immediate ScholarshipsImmediate Scholarships


There’s no indication on Immediate Scholarships of who owns and operates the site. What’s clear is that whoever wrote the copy for the individual pages speaks English as a second language. Those pages are “Scholarships,” “Register Now,” “Financial Aid,” and “Online Degrees.” When we clicked on any of the links on this site, we got either a “Sorry” message or a Connection Reset message. In essence, there is nothing on this site but a few text pages that give you no real information. We suspect this site is defunct. At this writing, there’s no reason to go there.

We give Immediate Scholarships 1 out of 5:

1 Mortar Board Rating

Study Abroad with Scholarships from IES

IES AbroadIES Abroad Programs

https://www.iesabroad.org or http://www.iesabroad.org/study-abroad/scholarships

IES Abroad Programs is operated by the IES Consortium, an organization of over 200 colleges and universities dedicated to providing study-abroad programs for US students. In order to participate in the IES Study Abroad Programs, you must attend one of the IES Abroad Consortium member or associate institutions. However, their membership is impressive in quality and number of schools. Check to see if your school qualifies at http://www.iesabroad.org/study-abroad/advisors-faculty/consortium/member-schools.

Click on the “Scholarships” tab at the top of the page. This page lists scholarship options based on your needs and eligibility. These scholarships are specifically for students who wish to study abroad at some point in their academic career. A variety of scholarships is available, based on merit, financial need, and diversity, as well as various grants based on your major or the geographic area where you wish to travel. They also offer disability grants and public university grants. There are numerous links available to explore as well as a search window in the upper-right corner of the page header.

If you register with the site, you’ll be able to request more information and order catalogs about IES’s programs and apply for them online. (It should be noted that you may apply for multiple scholarships, but only one scholarship is awarded per student.) You’ll also receive email updates about new programs, application deadlines, and special offers. In addition, you’ll have access to the IES blog and IES News.

If you intend to study abroad and if your school is a member of the IES Study Abroad Consortium, this site, with its many program and scholarship resources, is one you’ll want to take a look at. Those are a couple of big if’s, however, and the scholarships here are only applicable to IES’s programs. This is a specialized site, so make sure that those if’s apply to you and that you’re interested in the relevant programs before you spend a lot of time here.

Related Links:

IES Abroad YouTube Channel

Rate My Study Abroad: IES Abroad

Study Abroad 101 Reviews IES Abroad

We give IES Abroad 3.5 out of 5:

3 1/2 Mortar Board Rating

FASTAid: Scholarships or a Chance to Win…

FASTAidFASTAid Scholarship Search Engine Site Review


FASTAid is owned and operated by the Cassidy Endowment for Education, which was started in 1993 by Daniel J. Cassidy to provide centralized access to private-sector financial aid, including scholarships and grants.

It’s clear that we are meant to be reassured by the statement on the sign-up page that says “we are the good guys,” but you’ll still need to give up your personal information including name, email address, home address, and phone number before you have access to the search engine. The rest of the site is accessible by going to the site map (a tiny link at the bottom of the Home page).

To sign up:

  • Enter academic information and click CONTINUE.
  • Enter organizations and affiliations: unions, organizations, and religious affiliations. Click CONTINUE.
  • Enter personal information: family heritage, ethnicity, gender, marital status, and interests. Click CONTINUE.
  • Enter residential information: city, county, state, country, and citizenship. Click CONTINUE.
  • Enter intended field(s) of study and click CONTINUE, then BEGIN SEARCH.

FASTAid Scholarship SearchWe got ten results, five of which were writing contests and one was an interest-free loan. One of contest award statements offered a monetary prize and an electric typewriter! None of these returns were targeted to the five pages of information that were required. There’s a “Saved” link on the toolbar at the top of the page, but we couldn’t find any way to save anything. One has to wonder when this site was last updated (the most recent date mentioned that we could find was 2007), and if the site is essentially defunct, why are the owners still collecting students’ personal data?

There’s really nothing on FASTAid to recommend it. The scholarship results were abysmal and outdated (a typewriter? really?), and the site as a whole is frustrating to navigate. Until the owners give FASTAid a little TLC and a lot more meaningful content, it isn’t worth your time.

We rate FASTAid 1 out of 5:

1 Mortar Board Rating




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