Going to college comes with a huge price tag. Luckily, there are thousands of scholarships out there to ease the financial burden.
Even a small scholarship can help reduce the amount you take out in student loans. You can find scholarships that award students for anything from studying computer science to being a great bowler.
But how do you find these scholarships? To help you in your quest, here are useful scholarship search tools.
Scholly has helped students win more than $70 million in college scholarship money. It’s both an online search engine and mobile app. Just create an account, enter information about your location and activities, and Scholly will match you with local and national scholarships.
Scholly is the brainchild of Christopher Gray. After growing up poor in Alabama, Gray managed to win an incredible $1.3 million in scholarship money. Now, he’s on a mission to help others gain funding for college, too.
Unlike other scholarship search tools, however, Scholly isn’t free to use. At last check, it offered three subscription types, costing between $7.99 for a month to $44.99 for a year.
College Board’s Scholarship Search engine has long been an industry leader for locating scholarship and grant money. It partners with over 2,200 programs and has a number of filters to help you narrow down your options.
You can enter personal and academic information to find scholarships for which you’d qualify or you can search for scholarships by type. Some scholarships honor academic achievement, while others prioritize students involved in certain activities.
The search engine is just one of the reasons to be using CollegeBoard.org.
For even more scholarships and grants, head to Fastweb. After going through a quick sign-up process, you can sift through over 1.5 million scholarships worth over $3.4 billion. The site has a user-friendly design and is easy to navigate.
Plus, you can organize your finds into different lists. One list could be for academic achievement scholarships, another for California residents and a third for field hockey players. Fastweb is a useful tool for staying organized that can help you find lots of scholarship money.
Scholarships.com offers a robust database of grants across the country. In fact, the site has collected over 3.7 million scholarships adding up to $19 billion. Create a profile with Scholarships.com, then narrow down your options with personalized filters.
Each scholarship will have its own application requirements, but some may overlap enough so you can use the same materials to apply.
Cappex is another huge directory of scholarships totaling over $11 billion in scholarship money. It offers a frequently updated database, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
Cappex doesn’t just offer a scholarship database. It also gives advice on the college application process, offers college reviews and provides overviews of different majors.
The Chegg scholarship finder is another great tool that will help you find scholarships for school. If you sign up, you’ll get additional filters to customize your search. But if you prefer, you can get started without one and search by location, GPA and application type.
If you’re burnt out with application essays, narrow the list down to scholarships that don’t require an essay. Filtering will help you avoid scrolling through the site’s 25,000-plus opportunities.
Head to the Niche scholarship search engine for a user-friendly directory with no required sign-up process. One of its best categories is the “Easy to Apply” filter. Here, you can do a scholarship search for ones that don’t require an essay, GPA or recommendation.
With such an easy application process, it will be even easier to give these scholarships your best shot.
Peterson’s college scholarship database boasts $10 billion worth of opportunities for aid. You can search by scholarship, grant, fellowship and even by forgivable loan whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student.
Like Cappex and other resources, Peterson’s could be your one-stop shop. It assists with test preparation and building a college list.
Like the private companies listed above, the federal government also provides a searchable list of scholarships.
The Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop website is known to help undergraduates and graduates alike with choosing a career field. But CareerOneStop also features more than 8,000 scholarships. Save time scanning by highlighting results according to your degree level and the location of your home and school.
Finally, don’t forget to search locally for scholarship opportunities. Your school counselors are an excellent resource, as they work with students year after year to find college funding. You can even ask around at a community center or Rotary Club about college funding.
Many local scholarships only award $1,000 or less, but the pool of applicants is smaller than for many national awards. Even small scholarships will help pay your living costs and reduce the amount you take out in student loans.
When choosing a college, the cost of tuition is an important consideration. Before ruling out an expensive school, search for scholarships that could help lower the cost and perhaps eliminate the need for federal and private student loans.
Scholarships are a form of gift aid that you typically won’t have to repay, and there are thousands of them out there. You don’t have to stop the scholarship search once you get to college, either. Even if you’re already a year or two into your education, you can qualify for gift aid for your remaining years at school.
The most coveted scholarships could cover the full cost of college tuition. Check out this guide for full-ride scholarships that could cover tuition and more.
Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2020!
|1.09% – 11.98%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|1.25% – 11.10%*,2||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|1.24% – 11.99%3||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|1.24% – 11.44%4||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|1.78% – 11.89%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|2.69% – 12.98%6||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.52% – 9.50%7||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers. |
1 Important Disclosures for College Ave.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Information advertised valid as of 11/2/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Lowest advertised rates require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.
2 Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
3 Important Disclosures for Discover.
Lowest APRs shown for Discover Student Loans are available for the most creditworthy applicants for undergraduate loans, and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments.
4 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
UNDERGRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.23% to 11.26% annual percentage rate (“APR”) (with autopay), variable rates from 1.88% to 11.66% APR (with autopay). GRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.13% to 11.37% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.78% to 11.73% APR (with autopay). MBA AND LAW SCHOOL LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.30% to 11.52% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.95% to 11.89% APR (with autopay). PARENT LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.60% to 10.76% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.88% to 11.16% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, the variable interest rate is derived from the one-month LIBOR rate plus a margin and your APR may increase after origination if the LIBOR increases. Changes in the one-month LIBOR rate may cause your monthly payment to increase or decrease. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 13.95%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law. Lowest rates are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the repayment option you select, the term and amount of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Information current as of 11/04/2020. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. SoFi Lending Corp., licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org).
6 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicant’s ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
7 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.17% effective Sep 1, 2020 and may increase after consummation.