Financial Aid & Paying for College

Scholarship Search

As students approach college age, mailboxes tend to fill up with scholarship search offers. Typically, these are fee-based searches that often claim that "Billions of scholarships are going unclaimed" or "You don''t pay if you aren't awarded a scholarship." College Confidential takes a dim view of most of these offerings, which tend to be computer-based searches that differ little from what any student or parent can do for free on the Web.

There may be a grain of truth in the statement that some scholarships go unclaimed, although usually it is because the requirements of a particular scholarship are so unusual that nobody qualifies. And the "money-back guarantee" usually requires the student to have applied to every scholarship opportunity identified by the service, even those that any reasonable person would conclude are either inappropriate for the student or extremely unlikely to result in an award. The thought of obtaining and filling out dozens of lengthy scholarship applications solely to recapture a $50 or even $200 fee convinces most people to forego the guarantee.

However, there are definitely ways to search for a scholarship that don't cost money. Perhaps the best site is FastWeb; for more general help, visit FinAid.

Have a question about financial aid? Check out Ask The Dean!

Other Scholarship Search Resources: