Like most students, your college career can be costly. Without funding, some individuals may not be financially equipped to take on debt. And who wants student loans? Thankfully, billions of dollars in scholarship money are awarded annually. Also, you do not have to be graduating high school as a valedictorian or star athlete to acquire funds. While merit-based scholarships exist, many programs award students based on financial need, sexual orientation, or race. Some of the best scholarship websites offer unique programs to identify all types of students. We researched a large pool of scholarship websites to find some of the best resources.
Below is a list of scholarship websites designed to help you get started on your search to acquire funding for college. These online scholarship websites offer thousands of programs that can be filtered to generate a list that is uniquely fit for you.
#1 – FastWeb
FastWeb, one of the best scholarship websites on our list is owned by the parent company, Monster.com. FastWeb offers a robust database that tracks a reported 1.5 million scholarships. The site works like most online scholarship websites in that scholarships are found and emailed to the address you provide. Emails may come in the form of newsletters, scholarship deadline reminders, and best-fit programs based on the information you entered into the search function.
FastWeb offers a huge database with boastful success rates. But with login requirements comes access to your email. According to users of FastWeb, you can expect an abundance of emails as you begin your searches. Some users suggest setting up an email address exclusively for scholarship searches. By doing so, you will keep your email inbox under control. But if you’re okay with the receipt of multiple emails each day, then FastWeb will work for you to find quality scholarship opportunities.
#2 – Scholarships.com
Scholarships.com offers one of the best scholarship websites thanks to its robust tracking capabilities. Among our list of scholarship websites, Scholarships.com is the most robust and established search website. The site reportedly offers $19 billion in scholarships. The sheer size of this database makes Scholarships.com one of the most well-known scholarship websites in the world. Also, the site is extremely user-friendly with customizing options that will lead to better searches.
In order to access search capabilities, a profile with pertinent information is required. Once you’ve completed a profile, you can tailor your criteria to filter relevant scholarships. According to the website, your answers cultivate matches. This allows scholarships to be matched to students based on fit. Rather than searching through thousands of scholarship programs that you’re not qualified for, Scholarships.com has created one of the most customizable online scholarship websites.
#3 – Chegg
While known as a textbook and tutoring website, Chegg.com operates a scholarship search function with more than 25,000 of the best scholarship websites available today. Since Chegg offers tutoring services, help with writing scholarship essays is just a click away. This is likely Chegg’s most standout feature since they offer many of the same scholarship programs that other online scholarship websites offer. But when you combine online tutors and assistance in drafting your scholarship essays, you get something that most scholarship websites don’t offer.
According to Chegg’s website, they pride themselves on staying on top of new scholarships. Also, their search function can be tailored to address the specific needs and criteria of the user.
#4 – Cappex
Cappex lands a spot on our best scholarship websites due to the size of its database and user-generated data capabilities. Cappex offers searches for both colleges and scholarships. The sizable database offers more than $11 billion in scholarship monies, making it one of the top online scholarship websites. Also, what makes Cappex unique is the proprietary calculator that allows students to predict their chances of getting into a particular school. But if you’re looking exclusively for scholarship opportunities, Cappex offers them in abundance.
The site does not offer a breakdown of student chances for winning scholarships, but by providing a reality check for admission, students get a better feel for what colleges they are more likely to fit. Most colleges and universities award admitted-student scholarships, so by understanding what schools are more likely to admit you, you may see which schools will award you the best financial aid package. Applying for scholarships does not have to be complicated. Sites like Cappex demystify the process and make applying for money easy and effective.
#5 – The College Board
The College Board is one of the best scholarship websites on our list due to both its searching capabilities and $6 billion in scholarships and financial aid. The comprehensive Big Future College Board site helps students field scholarships that they are best fit to win. Students enter information into the search engine and curate a list of programs that fit their needs and criteria. You don’t need to have scored a 36 on your ACT, though merit-based scholarships are available. However, the search fields allow you to highlight areas of interest and talent. Artists, writers, and research-oriented students that have spent time in the lab or conducting fieldwork with a teacher will find scholarship opportunities. Also, diversity fields allow marginalized students to tailor their searches.
In addition to offering access to scholarship opportunities, College Board provides standardized test preparation and college planning tools.
#6 – Niche
Niche is one of the online scholarship websites that discuss the “personality” and uniqueness of colleges. Students get to read through reviews written by actual students who share insight on a specific college or university. In addition to student reviews on colleges, Niche offers a comprehensive search function for scholarship opportunities. Based on a student’s information, the program pairs students with scholarships. Based on fit, such as student qualifications, Niche finds scholarship programs that ideally match your needs. Also, students may search for specific criteria, such as no-essay, to find scholarship programs.
While Niche doesn’t get the press or traffic that some of the big scholarship websites do, it has become a strong online presence for scholarship searches.
#7 – Scholarship Monkey
Scholarship Monkey offers one of the best scholarship websites. In fact, Scholarship Monkey has become a household name in high-traffic scholarship search sites. Here you will find a free online search database that allows you to find the best opportunities for you. The site requires a few minutes of your time completing registration in order to become a member. But once you’re registered, you gain access to millions of dollars’ worth of scholarship money.
While registration information is private, you must manually opt-out of Scholarship Money sharing your personal data with third parties. If you don’t, plan one receiving loads of new emails daily. But the registration only takes minutes and provides access to viable resources.
#8 – Sallie Mae
Recognized as a loan organization and website, Sallie Mae has branched its services. Sallie Mae is now recognized as one of the best scholarship websites. Through the exclusive Scholarship Search function, Sallie Mae offers more than $18 billion in scholarships at any given time, making it one of the leading online scholarship websites out there. Students register with Sallie Mae to establish their account and profile. Once verified through the email address you provided, you can log in to the site and begin searching for specific scholarships that meet your criteria.
When joining Sallie Mae, you also gain access to a college-planning calculator, which is designed to help students analyze their fit with selected institutions. Additionally, Sallie Mae offers monthly drawings for users of their scholarship searches. In recent months, students have been entered to win up to $1,000 in scholarship money.
#9 – Unigo
Unigo, one of the best scholarship websites on our list, sets itself apart from its competitors thanks to its robust platform that offers scholarships, internships, college rankings and profile information, job advice and assistance, and more. This all-inclusive college website ranks high on our list of scholarship websites. Unigo provides access to nearly 4 million scholarships totaling over #14 billion in award money. Searches can be personalized so that results are specific to the needs of each student. The search capabilities allow you find the best opportunities in scholarship money.
Also, Unigo prides itself in offering out-of-the-box programs. Not all scholarships ask for a CV and essay about your biggest challenge. One of the most popular scholarships found on Unigo is the $2,000 Zombie Apocalypse scholarship that asks applicants to detail a plan to avoid zombies in the event of an apocalypse, where you would hide, and the top things you would bring with you to stay alive. These types of scholarship opportunities allow students to have fun with the process and not get bogged down by semantics.
#10 – Peterson’s
Peterson’s is a top choice among best scholarship websites thanks to its ability to help current students and prospective students search through five thousand scholarship providers. According to Peterson’s website, they offer over $10 billion in scholarships, fellowships, grants, prizes, and forgivable loans. To gain access to the wealth of scholarship programs, a short survey must be completed. The survey gathers information relating to the student’s background, life experience, and more. Thanks to the site’s filtering capabilities, students are able to tailor their searches. You can actually narrow searches down based on location, ethnicity, military background, and more. In fact, the more niche you are with your searches, the better results you will yield.
While most of the programs available are geared to undergraduate students, there are ample graduate level scholarships. In fact, over eighty scholarships alone offer at least $25,000 each. For undergraduate students, several opportunities for scholarship monies over $100,000 are available. According to Peterson’s, the highest scholarship offered is the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellowship prized at $200,000 per winner.
#11 – Broke Scholar
Broke Scholar is one of the best scholarship websites on our list. It offers a comprehensive search database that provides scholarship opportunities and advice. Broke Scholar takes information you provide and finds third-party scholarships and available grant money. To start, students register and complete fields such as education level, study area, gender, and ethnicity. What makes Broke Scholar unique is that no personal information is required and the site is free to all. While searches cannot be drilled down to certain niches, the site offers a more general approach to curating scholarships.
In addition to the database and pool of scholarships available, Broke Scholar offers various blogs on subjects relating to college admissions. Essay-writing advice and tricks of the trade when applying for a scholarship are just some of the hot articles on this site. Also, since Broke Scholar requires no personal information, it is often a good place to start for those hesitant on offering their email address to scholarship websites.
#12 – Student Scholarships
Landing a spot on our list of best scholarship websites, Student Scholarships offers one of the largest collections of scholarships on the Internet. Since 2003, Student Scholarships have provided opportunities to students and services for scholarship management companies, making it one of the leaders and one of the best scholarship websites. For students, a large scholarship database offers a comprehensive search system that is 100 percent online and free of charge. The database allows students to enter search criteria and find scholarships that best fit with their needs and college aspirations. Scholarships change on a regular basis, but the search capabilities allow students to bookmark the scholarships they are interested in applying to.
Student Scholarships requires an email address and login credentials. Once you’ve established a profile, you will gain access to a wide range of opportunities. Also included on the website are career and salary information, career questions and answers, and a series of videos and virtual tours to assist in your scholarship navigation process. Popular videos include career information on how to become a dentist or on how much civil engineers make.
#13 – JLV College Counseling
JLV College Counseling is one of the best scholarship websites on our list primarily because it is a much more intimate and personal process. Jessica Velasco, a former college admissions officer, posts scholarship opportunities on her Facebook page every Saturday. Posts include upcoming application deadlines and additional information about the scholarship program. She also runs a blog where she offers tips on completing scholarships and working through the college application process. Velasco’s blog is ripe with advice for all stages of application and funding.
According to JLV College Counseling’s website, Velasco offers ten years of experience in higher education where she served as an admission officer and director. She puts her inside knowledge into practice when assisting students with scholarship and admission opportunities.
#14 – Tuition Funding Sources
Tuition Funding Sources, or TFS, lands a spot on our list of scholarship websites. TFS offers a comprehensive online resource with free access to more than seven million individual scholarships and up to $41 billion in aid. TFS has been around the block since the site’s creation in 1987. Since then, TFS has become one of the most trusted online scholarship websites available. Also, the site never gets stagnant. In fact, five thousand new scholarships are added each month to help keep the opportunities fresh.
In addition to scholarship search capabilities, TFS offers resources outside funding for college. Information on career planning, as well as budgeting for your education before and after enrollment are offered. For those interested in financial aid or federal and private loan programs, TFS has you covered with multiple resources.
#15 – Moolah Spot
Making its way onto our list of best scholarship websites, Moolah Spot is still in its beta stage. The website informs students that, just like its name, its search capabilities match money with your scholarship needs. Through a login and password-protected search process, the site provides a large array of scholarship programs that are available online. There may be a few bugs to iron out, as the site is in BETA, but if you do find some hiccups during your searches, contact the site and they will assist you. Moolah Spot is working hard to refine and improve their website and offer stellar customer service.
Search criteria at Moolah Spot can be curated. This means searches by career, major, interest, military, sport, ethnicity, religion, and state can all be completed so that you obtain the scholarships that fit you. General searches are also possible, but better results yield when criteria are completed.
Other Scholarship Websites to Check Out
These 15 scholarship databases are great to find free college money fast online. However, they’re certainly not the only places to search. Every college student should visit the U.S. Department of Education website. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) here. The online form determines your eligibility for need-based government scholarships and grants. For example, the Federal Pell Grant will award up to $6,345 for the 2020-21 academic year based on household income. For 2020, the Federal TEACH Grant is providing $3,764 maximum to education bachelor’s and master’s majors who will teach in high-need disciplines. The FAFSA form is also needed for the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.
State education departments run scholarship websites for local residents. Google your state’s name with the phrase “financial aid.” State scholarships and grants could be based on merit or unmet need. For instance, the Kansas Nursing Service Scholarship gives $4,500 per year to future RNs attending in-state nursing colleges. The Roberta B. Willis Scholarship offers $5,250 yearly to Connecticut high school graduates with a minimum 1200 SAT and 25 ACT scores. The Florida Farmworker Student Scholarship covers up to 100 percent of tuition for eligible workers with 30+ service hours and GPAs above 3.50. From Washington’s Opportunity Scholarship to Maine’s Hope Milliken McNally Scholarship, there are state funds available nationwide.
Research professional organizations connected to your declared major. Many associations have scholarship websites to reward student members with free cash. For example, the National Society of Professional Engineers offers the $5,000 Steinman Scholarship to juniors pursuing ABET-accredited engineering degrees. The Government Finance Officers Association presents the $10,000 Frank L. Greathouse Scholarship to full-time accounting students. The Future Farmers of America awards a $2,000 John Deere Scholarship to five outstanding agriculture majors. Don’t forget about Greek organizations and honor societies you belong to. Most sororities and fraternities, such as Sigma Kappa, have awarded more than $1 million to pledges.
It is important not to overlook the obvious when searching for scholarships online. Sometimes opportunities are in places you least expect, yet the most obvious. Some places that did not make our list of scholarship websites, but maintain scholarship opportunities for aspiring and current college students, include the websites of the college where you are applying. Also, your high school websites offer ideas for scholarships. And community foundation websites in your town, city, or region help provide information about scholarship opportunities. Scholarships can also be found at your local bank or credit union or by an employer. Often, your parents’ employers will offer scholarships you might be qualified for. Remember, many viable local scholarship monies go unclaimed because of limited or no applicants. You don’t have to search for scholarships on your own; your teachers and school counselors are valuable resources and may have a list of scholarship opportunities.
This concludes our list of the best scholarship websites.