Our Top 10 Favorite Scholarship Search Sites

Top 10 ListOver the last several years, we’ve checked out nearly 100 scholarship search sites and apps.

Along the way was born our mortarboard rating system as a quick summation of the site’s overall value in your scholarship search. Taken into consideration in our rating system was information such as transparency of ownership and what the owner seemed to hope to achieve, the quality of the scholarship information shared—whether scholarship “fillers” and contests or solid leads for scholarship seekers, additional valuable information to help students through the scholarship hunting and application process, and use of tactics such as bait and switch or lures to get your information to sell.

Our Top 10 Sites for Scholarship Hunters Are:

LGBT Student Scholarship Database—There isn’t anything fancy here, just lists of quality scholarships aimed at students participating in the LGBTQ community. You can check them out here or read our review here.

CollegeNET/Mach 25—We were impressed with the fact that there is no requirement to share personal information, the ease of use of the Mach 25 search engine, the multiple ways to search for scholarships, the keyword search’s gender-specific returns, and the sheer number of scholarship returns to choose from. Their search engine is here or you can read our review here.

SchoolSoup—This site seems to come through where it counts: helping you find high-quality scholarships. 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. You can find it here or read our blog post review.

CollegeScholarships.org—This site is definitely worth your time to explore. It’s attractive and easy to navigate. There are no distracting ads and no requirement to give any personal data (unless you apply for CollegeScholarship.org’s scholarships). There’s lots of valuable information here as well as scholarship links that you won’t see elsewhere. You can read our full review here.

Career One Stop/Career InfoNet—The site has a high trustworthiness quotient, and it has other interesting stuff on it. And most importantly, the scholarship results themselves look really good—no contests, no challenges, no “scholarship” giveaways. If the only problem with a search engine is that you get too many meaty results, then we say bring it on! Visit them here or check out our full review.

College Board/Big Future—This site also gives you lots of information. That and the variety of ways to search, the choice of whether or not to share information, and the ease of use make this a great site to spend some time on. And while you’re there, you can sign up for your SAT! Check our College Board and Big Future or read our full review here.

CollegeData—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 or check out our full review.

FinAid—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. Visit FinAid or read our review.

Peterson’s—Peterson’s gives you a huge return of scholarships for the relatively painless sign-up process, has some helpful information for the application process, and includes other worthwhile features. We think that overall, the site has enough benefits to make it visit worthy. You can visit them here or check out our complete site review.

Scholarship Mentor—We liked this site. It has its limitations, certainly, and parts of it aren’t current. But most of the links still work or at least take you to the site where you can explore further. Do be sure to check the deadline dates on the sponsor site for the most current information. You won’t get made-to-order results from this site, but the information looks genuine and meaty, and we think Scholarship Mentor is worth the visit. Read our full review here.

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What are YOUR favorite scholarship search sites?

SchoolSoup: A Valuable Source of Scholarships

SchoolSoupSchoolSoup Scholarship Site Review

http://www.SchoolSoup.com

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.

Related Links:

Sources of Money 6: SchoolSoup

Amplified Media Group

We give SchoolSoup 4.5 out of 5:

4 1/2 Mortar Board Rating