On Scholarships.com, you’ll find information on colleges and scholarships as well as topics like scholarship application strategies, information on financial aid, campus life, and study skills. The site requires you to register in order to use their focused scholarship search feature. However, at the bottom of the Home page in the second column is a set of scholarship links. These include Scholarships Trending Now, Scholarships by Grade Level, Scholarships by Major, Scholarships by State, Scholarships by Type, Scholarships for Women, Sports Scholarships, Minority Scholarships, and Unusual Scholarships. This option brings you directly to a list of scholarships without having to complete the registration process. However, you will be required to register in order to get the link to the actual scholarship application information. (A work-around solution here is to copy the name of the scholarship and Google it to get to the actual scholarship application site.)
Search for Scholarships:
- Click on the Scholarship Search tab or the START YOUR SEARCH button.
- Complete the information about your current student status, graduation year, ZIP code, birth date, email address, and choose a password. Click CONTINUE.
- Complete the Student Information page including your student standing, GPA, name, gender, marital status, citizenship, permanent home address, religion, disabilities, and ethnicity. Click the CONTINUE button.
- Complete College Choices page (most of the page is optional). Click CONTINUE.
- Complete “Academic Information” including your test scores and class rank, high school, and intended major.
- Complete “Artistic/Athletic Information” by selecting all that artistic and athletic abilities that apply. Click CONTINUE.
- Complete “Background Information” and click CONTINUE.
- Complete “Organization Information” and Click CONTINUE.
- After you review the information for accuracy, click CONTINUE on your Profile page.
The scholarship listing gives scholarship name, award amount, deadline, and rank (it’s unclear exactly what this last item refers to), with a feature to either mark a scholarship as a favorite or remove it from the list. We were presented with a list of 37 matching scholarships, the first five of which were “sponsored.” Each scholarship has a link that provides you with the scholarship details, contact information, deadline, award amount, website address, and eligibility requirements.
The quality of our returns was very disappointing. In addition to the five sponsored scholarships (which appear on almost every site we’ve been to), 13 more entries were actively billed as contests. We found only one scholarship that seemed targeted to our profile, and the application site no longer exists. Our list also contained seven ads.
In our research on this site, we were dismayed to discover that the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) recently filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Scholarships.com in which it states that student information is being transferred to Scholarships.com’s business affiliate, American Student Marketing, who then sells the data. (See links for this notice and for American Student Marketing below.)
Given the poor number and quality of scholarship returns, the site owner’s questionable marketing practices, and the fact that there is little valuable information available here that you can’t find elsewhere, we feel your time is better spent at other sites.
Knowing which sites to visit and which to avoid can save you countless hours of fruitless searching and substantially reduce spam. We give Scholarships.com 1 out of 5: