NerdScholar Scholarship Site Review

NerdScholarNerdScholar: How Well Does It Help You Find Scholarships?

http://www.nerdwallet.com/nerdscholar/

NerdScholar is owned by NerdWallet, a San Francisco-based company whose website is “designed for everyone who has money, spends money, and wants to make more money.” NerdScholar is the education arm of the NerdWallet site and includes topics like paying for college, choosing a career, managing your money, and a section on what to expect with student loans. There’s also a scholarship search engine.

Search for Scholarships:

  • Click on Search Now under Find Scholarships under Compare and Pay for College.
  • Enter the requested search parameters: year in school, ethnicity, state, gender, and GPA. Click on START YOUR SEARCH.

For our profile, we got 0 results. We added the keyword “women,” again with 0 results. Where the results might have been was the message “Or check out these scholarships you may like.” We clicked on this link, and no scholarships were listed.

When we unchecked “Only scholarships that are open,” we got 2,816 results, including scholarships that are presently open for application. (Why they didn’t show up on the initial search is a mystery.) Each scholarship listing provides the deadline, award amount, a snippet of the scholarship description, the effort required for applying, your eligibility match to the scholarship, and the particular school sponsoring the scholarship, if applicable. And mostly that last item is applicable. Many of the scholarships listed are sponsored by individual schools, and you must attend that school to receive the scholarship. A note on the deadline dates: we suspect that it’s up to the scholarship sponsor to update their scholarship deadlines on this site. Check the scholarship sponsor’s URL to see if there’s an undated deadline on their site.

Clicking on the name of the scholarship will take you to the scholarship details, which include the aforementioned information on the scholarship listings plus the entire description of the scholarship, eligibility requirements, award details, application details (including a link to the application site), and contact information.

You can save your searches and the scholarships you’re interested in. “Where?” you might wonder since there’s no sign-up process or profile to fill out here. It looks to us as though the site installs a cookie in your browser. If you come back to the site and look for the information you saved (by clicking on the “saved searches” or “saved scholarships” buttons), you’ll see your search parameters. Clicking on that will bring you to the information you saved. Note: if you use a different browser on your next visit, you won’t have access to your saved information.

The individual scholarship page also includes a left-hand sidebar of “Scholarships You Might Like,” a list of 15 categories of scholarships. Clicking on these links will bring you to a page of results and another sidebar with 76 categories of scholarships (including the original 15). We clicked on a number of the original 15 and a bunch of the secondary 76, and got no results at all from any of them. This feature seems to be broken.

It looks like there’s a decent amount of information about getting into and paying for college on NerdScholar. No personal information such as name, address, and birth date is required to search for scholarships, and the search feature is easy, if quirky, to use. Your results may be helpfulthere sure are a lot of thembut they are mostly school-specific. If you know what school you plan to attend, you can type the name of the school into the keyword search box at the bottom of the search feature and weed out all the non-relevant schools or you can go to your school’s website and search. If you’re not sure where you will attend, then there’s a lot here to sort through, and you may have better success with a more targeted search to begin with.

We give NerdScholar 2 1/2 out of 5:

2 1/2 Mortar Board Rating

 

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