The 9 best scholarship search engines

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One of the best ways to find scholarships is through scholarship search engines. These websites offer access to millions of scholarships to help you pay for your education. Here are some of the best scholarship websites to to start with.

What are scholarship search engines?

Scholarship search engines, sometimes called scholarship finders, are databases that college students can use to find scholarships and grants. This helps students afford tuition without needing to rely on student loans.

Depending on your situation, you may be able to find scholarships based on your financial need, merits, community service, heritage, gender, orientation and other aspects of your life experience. Some also benefit students who engage in unique hobbies, like duck calling.

You can typically search for scholarships and grants by category, or even enter information about yourself and your activities, and the scholarship finder will match you with ones you might be able to get.

9 best scholarship search engines

College students can get access to millions of scholarships at their fingertips. Here are some of the best scholarship websites to assist you in your search:

1. Scholarships.com

With Scholarships.com, you’ll get a comprehensive database of 3.7 million scholarships worth roughly $19 billion in financial aid. You can search the website’s directory without a profile, but you’ll need to create one to find out if you qualify.

To create a profile, you’ll need to share your current year in school, birthdate, ZIP code and email address. Once you’re in, you can search for and get matched with scholarships based on your eligibility and interest.

Scholarships.com also provides information about student loans and other resources and can even search for colleges if you’re not sure yet where you want to attend.

2. Fastweb

The Fastweb database includes 1.5 million scholarships worth more than $3.4 billion. Once you create an account, you can log in and discover matches based on the information you’ve shared. The scholarship finder even allows parents to create separate accounts.

If you can’t get enough funds to pay all of your educational expenses, Fastweb can also connect you with one of nearly 10,000 part-time jobs, as well as internships. You can also search for deals and promotions that top retailers offer to college students.

The website also provides a college search function and lists resources about other forms of financial aid and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for college students and their parents.

3. Cappex

Cappex claims to have the nation’s largest scholarship database, with more than $11 billion worth of options available. Before you sign up, you can search the directory based on deadline, ZIP code, gender, ethnicity, school year and other traits. You can even weed out lower-paying scholarships by setting a minimum dollar amount for your search.

In order to apply for a scholarship, you’ll need to create an account, which requires some information about yourself.

Cappex also provides resources to help you find your major, learn about transferring to a different school, get financial aid and more.

4. Niche

The Niche scholarship finder is unique in that it rewards you simply for opening an account. As soon as you complete the process, you’ll be entered to win a $2,000 scholarship that doesn’t require an essay. Just provide your name, birthdate, email address and year in school.

Scholarship categories are broken down into new or popular scholarships, aid based on your state or major, scholarships for minorities and more.

Students and parents can also search for colleges, including graduate school, based on specialties, test scores, college type, student body size, acceptance rate and religious affiliation.

5. Chegg

Chegg primarily offers textbooks, flashcards and other study resources for college students, but it also has a scholarship finder that lists over 25,000 options. On a basic level, you can look for matches based on your school year, your age and your GPA.

If you want to narrow down the selection of matches even more, you can create an account and complete your profile.

The website also allows you to explore colleges and search for internships out of a database of more than 75,000 opportunities.

6. Peterson’s

Peterson’s is another scholarship website that boasts a huge selection, housing over $10 billion in private financial aid. It also offers a scholarship of its own called the World’s Easiest Scholarship, which is worth $2,500.

In addition to scholarships, you can also search for grants, fellowships, forgivable loans and other prizes. However, if you want to get the details of the options you’re looking for, you’ll need to create an account, which requires many of the same details as some of the other best scholarship websites.

Peterson’s can also help you find a graduate school and get assistance with test prep — both to get into college or a graduate program and to enter various career paths. It also has resources for military members, adult learners, transfer students and international students.

7. Unigo

In addition to a database of more than 3.6 million scholarships and grants, Unigo offers 14 of its own scholarships to help college students pay for school.

You can get information about the various scholarships that are available and even save your answers to essay questions so you can get through applications more quickly and avoid having to rewrite the same essays over and over again.

Unigo also offers resources to help you find a college, learn about student loans, get ready for your college years and more.

8. Scholly

Scholly charges a subscription fee at different tiers:

  • $7.99 for one month.
  • $29.99 for six months.
  • $44.99 for a full year.

Scholly uses artificial intelligence to provide scholarship matches and prioritizes them based on which ones you’re best qualified for. The platform also gives users access to exclusive scholarships that aren’t available anywhere else, so there’s less competition.

9. ScholarshipOwl

Another paid scholarship finder, ScholarshipOwl, offers a seven-day free trial, then charges $20 per month or $120 per year. The website makes up for the cost by streamlining the application process, making it easier and faster to apply for scholarships. The more applications you can submit, the better your chances of getting the aid you need.

ScholarshipOwl provides several other services, including a long list of exclusive student discounts for its users, essay-writing assistance, webinars and automatic reapplications for recurring scholarships.

Tips for applying for a scholarship

As you begin your search for scholarships to help you pay for school, here are some key tips that can make it possible for you to maximize your chances of success:

  • Use multiple scholarship search engines.
  • Start long before the upcoming school year.
  • Don’t ignore the small awards — many small scholarships add up fast.
  • Make sure you meet deadlines.
  • Ask a parent or school counselor to review your essays and give feedback before you submit them.
  • Don’t be afraid to be honest about your accomplishments.
  • Check to see if universities in your area offer scholarship workshops where you can learn more tips.
  • Apply for as many scholarships as you can to improve your odds of winning.

If you’re applying for many scholarships, keep a spreadsheet where you can track the scholarship names, deadlines and application statuses. Remember, the more scholarships you apply for, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to significantly lower the cost of college tuition.

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Written by
Ben Luthi
Contributing writer
Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer who loves helping people learn how to live life more fully. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Yahoo! Finance and more.
Edited by
Student loans editor