FinAid.org was founded in 1994 as a public service by FastWeb’s creator, Mark Kantrowitz. The site provides a lot of information: how to obtain loans, calculate the cost of attending college using their Loan Calculator, a Parent’s Guide to Financial Aid, a Student’s Guide to Financial Aid, military aid for veterans, FAFSA instructions, as well as information on navigating the application process and obtaining scholarships while avoiding common scholarship scams. This site is not to be confused with the www.finaid.[name of college].edu pages that a lot of colleges have.
Click on the Scholarships link in the left-hand sidebar and you will be taken to a page detailing how to search for scholarships. The first section of this page is taken up with a discussion of why you should use the FastWeb search engine—no big surprise. You can access this search engine through the Scholarships page on FinAid, or you can go to it directly through FastWeb. (See our FastWeb blog post for information on using this search engine.) But this page also has a number of embedded links that do list some scholarship categories (along with a good deal of data) that you may want to check out. These categories include unusual scholarships, prestigious scholarships and fellowships, full-tuition academic scholarships, scholarships for average students, community service scholarships, scholarships for Hispanic and Latino students (the link takes you to the FastWeb page for this category), and, if you’re starting your scholarship search really early, college scholarships for students under age 13 and in grades K-8. Clicking on any of these links will take you to that scholarship category’s page, which has general information and a list of scholarships with eligibility criteria, award amount, application deadline, and a link to the sponsoring organization’s webpage. Some of these links appear not to have been updated in a while, so you may have to surf around the site or Google the scholarship to find the latest information.
This site is well worth spending time exploring, although we think that its value as a web portal for college and scholarship information far outweighs its usefulness as a search engine.
We give FinAid 4 out of 5: