Scholarships Vs Grants: Whats The Difference
While scholarships and grants are both forms of gift aid, theyre very different.
Grants are awarded based on financial need. Theyre typically given to low-income students based on the information about a familys financial situation as submitted in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid . Grants are issued by the federal government, states, schools and nonprofit organizations.
Three Ways To Partner
Scholly provides end-to-end scholarship campaign management services to top brands, celebrities, and philanthropist that seek to make a positive impact in the lives of our 3+ million student community.
Empower students to crush their student debt with Scholly PayOff, a quick and easy tool that helps students lower their monthly federal student loan payments by matching them with life-changing repayment plans.
Give the gift of Scholly Search to students in need. Scholly Search reduces the scholarship search process from months to minutes by matching students with opportunities made for them.
What The Best Scholarship Websites Offer
The best scholarship search engines will list a wide range of scholarships, including niche awards, sweepstakes and large national prizes. Most sites also let you create a profile where you can save scholarship applications for later or receive notifications when a scholarship matching your skillset is posted.
Scholarship sites should also let you filter awards by specific categories and characteristics, such as your location, grade point average or ethnicity. Narrowing down scholarships is crucial to your success because youâre more likely to win awards that pertain to your unique talents and interests.
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Pocket Points: Student Rewards
While not exactly a scholarship app in itself, Pocket Points: Student Rewards is nonetheless a fantastic and easy-to-use option that allows students to earn financial perks in one of two ways. If you can manage to dedicate all of your class time to being completely phone-free, this app will reward you. Also, for being completely phone-free while driving, you are rewarded. Reward points can then be exchanged for a wide variety of offers, discounts, credits, coupons, and other financial perks that can all help out in those finance-tight college days.
Your Local Community Organizations Websites
Local organizations are an often-overlooked scholarship resource. Students can consult the website of local community organizations, or of their high school, to peruse niche scholarships that they have a much better chance of winning. High school guidance counselors also typically have a wealth of scholarship resources at their disposal.
Depending on your hometown, you might find that your neighborhood, ward, town, or local philanthropic groups all offer different scholarships for local students. These are an invaluable resource, because only people in your area can apply for them. Typically, youll end up with a fraction of the competition of a national scholarship.
Make sure to investigate local scholarships they are typically not advertised as well as national ones, but dont let that deter you. Once you find a good opportunity, youll have a much higher chance of success than when applying to national scholarships.
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Apps For College Scholarships
While information about university awards is available at the university youre enrolled at, private and institutional scholarships are hard to find. Its a time-consuming process, and you can spend weeks or months looking up various options. Thats where apps for scholarships come in.
The idea behind the apps is to scrape the internet for financial aid opportunities and put them in one place so that students dont have to visit hundreds of websites. While the idea sounds great, there are cons to many of these apps, as shown in the table below:
Im A Student Do You Really Think I Can Afford To Pay To Find Scholarships
Im really confused by this app…I was so excited to come across a platform that helps match students with scholarship opportunities! However, as a student struggling to finance an education…I cannot afford to pay a monthly fee for a service that *might* or might not help Doesnt this seem counterintuitive, when the money spent on the monthly/annual fees could actually go toward financing ones education itself??? Sort of funny to target a demographic clearly in need of funds but also make them pay out of pocket when the whole premise is that they likely cant…not everyone has parents whose pockets they can reach into. Im disappointed. I get that the developers have to make money to keep this running if you charged a one-time, up front purchase fee rather than tricking people into downloading a free app that requires a paid subscription to access, you would honestly get enough active downloads/users to keep your app afloat You may think its not that deep, but this is a form of elitism, just reinforcing the idea that success on this front still has to be bought. You cant imagine how disheartening that is.
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College Scholarship Websites To Help Your Child Find Free Money
Since there are so many college scholarship websites out there that can help your student find scholarships, it can be hard to figure out where to begin.
With that in mind, hereâs a handy list of options to get you started :
As we all know, College Board is a major player in the college arena, providing valuable information about the SATs, AP classes, colleges and universities, and more. Itâs no surprise that they offer a list of scholarships for students and have comprehensive search options to make the process easier.
A college scholarship websites that proclaims itself as âyour source for career exploration, training and jobs,â CareerOneStop has a lot of valuable information, including thousands of scholarships. Your student can easily filter the list based on their level of study, award types, where they live, and more.
Weâve always been a fan of Chegg, renting books from them for years! We also love their contributions to the environment, planting over 6 million trees to date. Their list of scholarships is highly searchable, including the ability to find scholarships that have online application processes.
Student Scholarships uses a variety of categories to organize their information, and a search bar also gives your child to search by their criteria. Handy career-oriented Q& Aâs are also available, letting your child learn more about a range of professions .
The College Boards Bigfuture
The College Boards Big Future is a not-for-profit organization that represents more than 6,000 colleges, schools, and educational organizations. Founded in 1899 as the College Entrance Examination Board, the College Board oversees standardized tests from K-12 and college institutions . The College Board website also serves as a college planning resource to find scholarships and colleges.
Scholarships available: Unknown
Pros of College Board BigFuture:
- All-in-one account Access test scores as well as scholarship applications
- College planning section Search and compare colleges in this section, and explore majors and careers, too
- Student Search Service® Let schools search for you through this service, which enables colleges and scholarship programs to match with students who are a good fit for their program
Cons of College Board BigFuture:
- External applications Links lead students to apply outside of the website, adding an extra step in the process, and potentially opening up users to scams
- No mobile app Without a mobile app, all College Board BigFutures users will have to access all the sites resources on desktop or the sites basic mobile version
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What Do You Need For A Scholarship Application
Though all scholarship applications are different, most ask for some of the same things, including:
- Up to three letters of recommendation
- Official copies of your test score
Even if you only need one letter of recommendation, make sure that you choose the right person to write it. Picking a teacher from your freshman year who you barely see how is risky because the teacher may write about what you were like years ago rather than today. Some students also make the mistake of choosing people with a hidden bias and those who arent familiar with them. Most scholarship programs want a letter that demonstrates who you are and why you deserve the money.
The essay is an important part of the application too and one that you shouldnt overlook. Dont think that you can whip up a good essay in a few hours or right before the deadline either. You want to spend at least a few days and even a few weeks to create an essay that speaks to the scholarship committee and makes them want to pick you. Some programs may ask for an official transcript from your high school as well as an ACT/SAT score too.
Top 5 Mobile Apps To Help Students Find The Best Scholarships
Top 5 Mobile Apps to Help Students Find the Best Scholarships
There is no questioning that college can be expensive. For the 2015-2016 school year, out-of-state tuition averaged $23,893 for public universities. That number gets even higher for private institutions. That price tag is well worth the education, as college graduates often make up to 4 times as much money over the course of their lifetime than their non-college educated peers. But the promise of a higher salary later might not seem that appealing when you have to pay for college now.
A great way to make college more affordable is to apply for scholarships. Scholarships are awarded by colleges for excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts. Often external companies, foundations, or community organizations will also offer scholarships for membership, legacy, or service. Think about what you are good at more than likely, there is a scholarship out there for that.
But finding the right scholarship can be hard. That is why we have put together a list of the best mobile friendly apps and websites to help you find the financial assistance you need.
5. Scholarship Advisor
4. College Raptor
1. Scholarship Owl
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Why You Can Trust Bankrate
Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a long track record of helping people make smart financial choices. Weve maintained this reputation for over four decades by demystifying the financial decision-making process and giving people confidence in which actions to take next.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that were putting your interests first. All of our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts, who ensure everything we publish is objective, accurate and trustworthy.
Our loans reporters and editors focus on the points consumers care about most the different types of lending options, the best rates, the best lenders, how to pay off debt and more so you can feel confident when investing your money.
Before Your Student Gets Started
There are a few steps you and your child should take before searching for scholarships.
First, itâs smart to set up a separate email address. Why? Because signing up for scholarship websites can lead to a TON of junk email, so this helps ensure that their normal inbox isnât flooded.
Next, your child should set up a mechanism for tracking deadlines that allows them to set reminders. This can be as simple as setting up a separate digital calendar, a spreadsheet, or using the free app and Chrome extension available through The Scholarship System.
Not only does our app and Chrome extension allow your child to track deadlines and send reminders, but they also let them save information about the scholarships they find. Itâs completely free. We created it because we found a lot of our students in our course would find tons of scholarships but miss deadlines because theyâd forget about them. Not anymore! Essentially, itâs a one-stop shop that can make tracking easier as they find scholarships. Parents can save scholarships to their childâs profile as well, making the team effort that much easier.
Get more information here:
Finally, itâs important to know that there are a lot of scholarships that are only available to students with specific majors. To cast a wide net, your child needs to perform searches based on ALL of the majors they are considering. That way they wonât have to worry about missing an opportunity.
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Start That Scholarship Search
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 wont have to repay, and there are thousands of them out there. You dont have to stop the scholarship search once you get to college, either. Even if youre 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.
Applying For College Scholarships
When it comes to scholarships, each award will have its own eligibility requirements and application process. However, you can improve your chances of qualifying for a scholarship by following these tips:
After using all available gift aid, you may need to borrow money to pay for the remainder of your education costs in the form of federal or private student loans. If thats the case for you, check out the best private student loan lenders.
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Merit And Need Scholarships
One of the only scholarship searches with an option for need-based programs is the College Board. When you create a free profile, you can share information from the FAFSA to let the site know whether you come from a low-income family. It can find schools that offer scholarships to those students to give you an idea of where you should apply. You also have the option of entering ethnicity details and the names of any organizations that you belong to, which lets the site find scholarships from similar organizations.
Though the College Board is a basic search platform, its easy to use on tablets and mobile devices.
What Makes A Scholarship Platform Great
For many prospective college students, applying for scholarships is an integral part of the college application process.
With tuition, textbooks, and room and board becoming increasingly expensive, scholarships provide much-needed funding opportunities for students who might otherwise not be able to afford higher education, or would have to rely on even larger student loans that could take decades to repay.
But when it comes time to search for relevant scholarship opportunities, online scholarship platforms sometimes create more confusion and frustration than they solve.
Many platforms are outdated and filled with defunct or expired scholarships, while others simply list the exact same scholarships as their competitors, which makes it difficult for students to find unique opportunities. For students who are trying to make important decisions about their college career, many scholarship platforms are simply not particularly helpful.
Many platforms are outdated and filled with defunct or expired scholarships, while others simply list the exact same scholarships as their competitors.
Being bombarded by ads and unintentionally signing up for frequent and unwanted spam emails are all-too-common occurrences when perusing scholarship platforms.
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How To Find College Scholarships
Here are four ways to find scholarship opportunities:
- Look at your hobbies in a new way.You may not think of your hobbies and interests as a way to help pay for school, but you should. There are college scholarships out there for everyone: crafters, gamers, vegans, green thumbs, Trekkiesyou name it. Scholarships arent just for straight-A students or all-star athletes.
- Register for Scholarship Search.Our free Scholarship Search tool gives you access to 6 million scholarships worth up to $30 billion. It helps you find and apply for scholarships that match your skills, activities, and interests. You can even set up customized alerts to notify you when a new scholarship that matches your profile becomes available.
- Meet with your school counselor and others.Discuss your plan to pay for college with your school counselor and ask about scholarship opportunities that might be right for you. Also, keep your eyes and ears open in your community. You might hear of college scholarship opportunities through your church, your job, or your parents jobs.
- Apply for scholarships for minority students.If youre a minority student, there are available that can help you pay for school.
Where To Look For College Scholarships
Scholarships can come from a range of sources, so its a good idea to search online for opportunities that may be a fit for you. The following websites are excellent resources to help you find potential scholarships:
- CareerOneStop.org. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerOneStop.org is a database of over 8,000 scholarship, grant and fellowship opportunities. You can narrow your search by keyword, location and level of study.
- FastWeb. FastWeb is one of the best-known sites for scholarships. You can search for available scholarships, but you can also create a student profile. The site will send you scholarships that match your information.
- Scholarships.com.Scholarships.com is a database of over 3.7 million scholarships and grants. You can create a profile and get matched to potential opportunities from colleges, private companies, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.
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