The CollegeData site is owned by First Financial Bank USA, whose primary audience is college students and graduates vis-a-vis banking services and college funding. There isn’t much else on the site about the owners and their connection to education except a statement that 1FBUSA aims to help students learn to use credit wisely—along with two links to apply for a student credit card.
The site includes a scholarship search engine as well as some features not seen elsewhere. There’s a college match tool, several cost calculators, a College Chances calculator (you’ll have to register and log in to use this one), an Admissions Tracker, and general information about college.
To search for scholarships, click on the Pay Your Way tab at the top of the page, choose Scholarship Finder Search from the drop-down menu, and input your information to create a set of search parameters. In a basic search using GPA and gender, we received 208 scholarship returns. Unlike most scholarship searches using gender as a parameter, this search actually returned gender-specific results. Each scholarship title is a hyperlink, taking you to a detailed page with the scholarship requirements, application deadline, and contact information. You can go back and revise your personal information, adding new keywords or hobbies, and re-run the search to get more targeted scholarship results. We went back and filled in more parameters for our search and got 105 results. These were well-targeted results and seemed to be organized by how well they matched our search parameters, so you will likely find your best matches early on in your list.
This site does allow you to save your search information to a Data Locker. To do this, you’ll need to create an account and login by entering your email address, name, date of birth, and ZIP code. Street address and telephone number fields are on the form but aren’t required.
The CollegeData site is worth your time and effort. The fact that you don’t need to create a profile unless you want to save your search results, the large number of scholarship returns, and the well-targeted search results are all big pluses. There’s a good chance you’ll find something worthwhile here.
Note: This site uses the Peterson’s Private Financial Aid database. You may see some crossover in the results of your scholarship search between this site and Peterson’s.
We gave CollegeData 4 out of 5: