SchoolSoup is owned and operated by the Amplified Media Group. It’s unclear from this company’s website exactly what they do, but some digging around suggests that their main product is search engine optimization. SchoolSoup is listed on their website as one of their case studies.
The site offers a great deal of information on a variety of topics of potential interest to students preparing for college: a list of college sweepstakes; a college search feature (powered by CampusExplorer.com—it’s unclear if the two sites are affiliated); career information and aptitude test (although included are careers such as billing clerks and carpet installers which don’t strike us as college-required careers); a financial aid and loan source search (powered by SimpleTuition—ditto above re affiliation); and a “directory” of scholarships (i.e., by category), which has a drop-down menu with scholarship categories such as scholarships by state, city, college, disability, sports, special circumstances, military, year of study, corporate, race/minority, ethnicity, academic major, women, activities, clubs, and religion. (You can also find this menu at the bottom of each page.) This seems like a quick way to cut right to scholarships you’re interested in without having to register, but you will only have access to the “preview mode,” which means there are no links to the actual scholarship or the sponsoring organization’s website. There is also a scholarship search engine.
Search for Scholarships
- On the Home page, fill out the scholarship matches form by entering your email address, setting up a password, and providing your name, address, and phone number (all required). Click GET MATCHED.
- Enter Your Interests including gender; birth date; career interests (the array of career aspirations presented for the college bound to choose from is truly bizarre, including auto mechanic, manicurist, and plumber, but not much in the way of academics); GPA; year of graduation; and any colleges or universities you may be planning to attend. Click CONTINUE TO STEP 3.
- Enter Your Details—multiple choice information about your circumstances. Click CONTINUE TO STEP 4.
- Enter Your Affiliations—religion, organizations, activities, etc.
Click the VIEW MATCHED SCHOLARSHIPS button.
The scholarships list provides the scholarship name, award amount, deadline, and college to which it applies. Clicking on the scholarship link will take you to a Scholarship Details page to see eligibility requirements, documentation, contact information, and a link to the funding organization’s website where you will find the actual application. You can “Save this Scholarship” by clicking on the link in the upper-right corner, or you can print out this page and save it for later.
When you’re looking at “My Matching Scholarships,” check out the “My SchoolSoup” box in the upper-right corner. These are quick links enabling you to view your scholarships, go to your Account Settings to manage your email and password, and Edit My Profile to change any answers you previously supplied or update your test scores, GPA, etc. This is helpful if you want to go back, tweak your Student Profile, and re-run your matching process. There’s also a link to “Delete My Account.”
Based on our profile, SchoolSoup returned 516 matching scholarships. We were pleasantly surprised by the number of scholarships that actually matched our profile. We were also impressed by the fact that we had never seen most of the listed scholarships anywhere else (except for the ubiquitous “sponsored” five at the top). A lot of potentially valuable and unique information was returned on our search, which is exceptional as far as scholarship search engines go.
Scholarship search sites can have all sorts of auxiliary information about preparing for college. SchoolSoup is no different, and has some odd stuff to boot. The Careers section is just plain weird for a college/scholarship site, and the Degrees section has only one listing that takes you to another website. (We haven’t taken an in-depth look at the college search information or the college application advice to comment.) Of course, we’re not suggesting that other information isn’t valuable or necessary, but in your search for scholarships, it’s likely secondary. The crux of the matter is to help you get money to fund your college education, and SchoolSoup seems to come through where it counts. Although the rest of the site leaves a bit to be desired, the scholarship search engine/database is one of the best we’ve seen.
We give SchoolSoup 4.5 out of 5: