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Best Scholarship Websites in 2023
When it comes to finding scholarships, there are many options out there. We know your time is valuable, and that’s why you only want to use the best scholarship websites when it comes time to find opportunities to fund your education. That’s why we’ve put together a guide of our picks for the best scholarship websites.
In this list, we’ll explain the advantages and disadvantages of each option. We’ll let you know what each website is best used for, and what their shortcomings are. Finally, we’ll include reviews of some other popular sites that didn’t make the cut.
Top 7 scholarships websites for students in 2022
Here are our top picks, in no particular order!
Jump ahead to…
- Scholarship America
- Your college’s website
- Community organizations
How does it work?
Bold.org is like the Common Application for scholarships. Students create their own profiles and apply for scholarships sponsored by Bold.org, as well as other funders. Every scholarship listed on the site is a Bold.org exclusive, meaning that you will not find them on any other sites. The user interface is sleek and efficient, and they do not sell your information, so you won’t have to worry about spam.
Some Bold.org scholarships require nominations, and the more nominations you receive, the higher your chance of winning is. So, students who have friends on the platform will have a better chance of winning, and can boost their friends’ chances in turn.
Many Bold.org scholarships are provided by individual donors. People will create Bold.org scholarships for causes that they find to be important. These opportunities can turn out to be a great fit for some students, but also tend to be more modest than other scholarships, sometimes offering prizes as low as $300.
Bold.org is a great specialized scholarship resource. Each opportunity on the site is legitimate, up-to-date, and since you apply using a single application, you’ll save time re-entering your credentials. However, don’t think of Bold.org as a one-stop-shop for scholarships. Since all of their opportunities are exclusive, there is a limited selection. Make sure to use Bold.org to supplement your search but don’t rely on it too heavily.
Related: Our full review of Bold.org
How does it work?
We’ll try not to be too biased here! Scholarships360 helps students pay for college and graduate school through personalized scholarships and expert advice. We offer a wide range of resources to help you through every step of the way – that includes scholarship lists by state, major, demographics, and more. We also offer a free scholarship search tool, which allows you to enter your demographics, academic interests, and other information, to receive custom-matched and automatically updated scholarship opportunities.
In addition to scholarship resources, we offer advice on navigating every step of the admissions process, as well as financial advice for college students to save money find housing, take out loans, and create a budget. Long story short – we’ve got resources to help you through every step of navigating your way through college!
We strive to make Scholarships360 an invaluable resource for students, parents, counselors, and anyone paying off their student debt. We vet all of our scholarship lists extensively, and do our best to make sure everything is always up to date. What’s more, all of our resources are integrated into long-form advice articles, so you’ll know how to integrate scholarships into all the other steps of your college process. Our team of student writers partner with our expert reviewers to produce articles that are relevant to current students with the added benefit of professional expertise.
How does it work?
Raise.me allows students to receive “micro-scholarships” for top colleges and universities that are Raise.me partners. These micro-scholarships are awarded to students who receive an A, join a new club, or accomplish something special in high school. The idea is that these micro-scholarships add up and can prove to be quite valuable.
Every opportunity on Raise.me is exclusive to their website, so you won’t find any external opportunities.
Like Bold.org, Raise.me posts only its own opportunities. All of these opportunities are legitimate, so you won’t have to spend any time rooting through expired or illegitimate scholarships. However, they only have a limited number of opportunities, so Raise.me should only be one part of your scholarship search — it is not a one-stop shop. You should also keep in mind that most of the opportunities have a very low prize, so it’ll be an incremental process to fund your education.
Keep in mind also that only some schools accept Raise.me scholarships, so you might need to be flexible with your college options to take advantage of it. The “locations” page on their website includes a list of Raise.me partners.
Scholarship America is a non-profit that administers scholarships for companies, foundations, and non-profit organizations. They administer each of the scholarships on their website, so each opportunity is up-to-date, legit, and vetted. Opportunities range across the country and span a wide field of interests and demographics.
Scholarships America is a trustworthy scholarship provider which shows all of its opportunities all in one place. However, they offer a fairly limited number of scholarships; typically, the site hosts about 100 opportunities at any given time. They also do not have a comprehensive set of filters to help browse the site, so it’s hard to find the right opportunity unless you know what you’re looking for.
All that being said, you Scholarships America is a great opportunity to consider scholarships that you can be 100% confident are legitimate.
GoingMerry is a scholarship search platform which shares a lot in common with Scholarships360. They have partnered with high schools across the country and custom-match you with scholarships based on your demographics, age, interests, and more. You’ll be able to apply for many of their opportunities directly on their site, and they have a thorough process for vetting the opportunities they post. They also don’t sell your data or send spam to their users.
GoingMerry is a great option to peruse a large set of scholarship opportunities across the country. They can fast-track the process by custom-matching you to scholarships and even allow you to apply to many of them through their site. They use a more thorough vetting process than many of their competitors, have a clean site design, and protect your data.
Your college’s website
While private scholarships are great, the majority of scholarships and financial aid students receive generally comes directly from the college they attend. Make sure to research any specific merit scholarships at your school and apply to as many as possible in order to ensure that you leave no stone unturned. Kenyon College’s financial aid page serves as a good example of institutional scholarship opportunities.
Financial aid officers might even be able to steer you in the direction of local organizations that give external scholarships, so do not hesitate to reach out to them if you are having trouble making your financial situation work. If they admitted you to their school, they want you to attend, so they will be willing to work with you to find a financial solution. You can also try appealing your need-based aid if you feel the school didn’t award you enough.
Your college’s website is a great resource to ensure that you are getting the most financial aid possible directly from your school. It’s a good idea to reach out directly to the financial aid office as well, because they might be able to point you in the direction of local scholarships, which typically have less entries, and therefore a higher success rate.
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, you’ll 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 don’t let that deter you. Once you find a good opportunity, you’ll have a much higher chance of success than when applying to national scholarships.
Other scholarship websites
You may have noticed by now that we omitted some of the most popular scholarship sites from our list. Let’s get into why some of the biggest names didn’t make the cut. We’re including reviews for Fastweb and Scholarships.com below. We’ll explain what we liked about them, what we didn’t like, and how they can be useful to students.
Scholarships.com is one of the oldest and most popular scholarship search sites. They formed in 1998, and although they have maintained a reputation as one of the top scholarship sites, we are not so sure they deserve the title. Their website is cluttered with advertisements and difficult to navigate, and they do not have a comprehensive custom-matching tool like Scholarships360 or GoingMerry.
Although they boast a massive number of listed scholarships, many of these opportunities are expired, inaccurate, or fraudulent. So, students will have to spend time rooting through the bad links in order to get to the good ones. We know that students are busy – between schoolwork, extracurriculars, and college applications, they’ve got a lot on their plate. That’s why Scholarships.com may not be the right fit for many users.
For the most part, Scholarships.com has one thing going for it – extensive variety. They have very long lists for almost every topic, and you’re sure to find something on the site that interests you. However, you’ll also have to navigate a poorly designed site and will end up with a lot of false leads, as many opportunities are illegitimate or expired.
If you have exhausted the resources on our favorite scholarship sites, it’s not a bad idea to check out Scholarships.com. But make sure to use a discerning eye when applying, because many of the posted scholarships will not be current.
Fastweb is one of the oldest scholarship websites out there. They started off in 1995 and the name is actually an acronym for “Financial Aid Search Through the Web.” Fastweb offers students a scholarship database, a matching tool, and also resources for applying to college and finding jobs.
However, they run into some of the same problems as Scholarships.com: according to our experience and some reviews from TrustPilot, students may be matched to older, expired scholarships that no longer exist. Additionally, all of the scholarship content on Fastweb is gated, so students must create an account. This makes for a clunky user experience.
Fastweb also utilizes a lot of advertisements which can be distract and deter students from continuing their scholarship search.
Fastweb offers extensive variety, but like Scholarships.com, contains a lot of unvetted scholarships and offers a clunky user experience. Services like Scholarships360 and GoingMerry offer a better experience in terms of the content and the format. However, Fastweb can be a good resource for students who have exhausted the opportunities on other sites.
Summing it up
So, when it comes to scholarship websites, the big names are not always the best options. We’ve found that many of the older scholarship websites do not offer a smooth user experience and their vetting processes are not extensive enough. Scholarships360 and GoingMerry offer great resources for searching for external scholarships, and Raise.me, Bold.org, and Scholarship America are all great options for finding reliable scholarships offered by one organization.
Remember, your scholarship search should involve more than one website – we are proud of our work over here at Scholarships360, but we also encourage you to check out all of the websites on our list. We’ve done our best to present you with options that offer a smooth user experience, keep your data safe, and vet their scholarships thoroughly. Happy searching, and be sure to check back with us for more resources to help you through the college application and financing process!