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Where's the Money? Paying for School: Online Scholarship Aggregating Sites

How to Find Scholarships Online

Beware of scholarship websites that charge for searching.  

Scholarshipowl.com (https://scholarshipowl.com/) is an example of a “we’ll find you a scholarship for a price" website. You have to provide your contact information, school name, and other information before you find out that prices range between $10/mo and $499/year depending on the amount of service you want.

It might be worth it to subscribe to Scholarship Owl if you want someone to do all of your work for you (except writing the essays, of course), but give it a strong think before you sign up, because you may end up paying more for their search than you receive in scholarships.

 

Image of 5 Steps to a Successful College Scholarship Search

Scholarship Search Websites

Cappex https://www.cappex.com/ "The nation's largest, multi-billion dollar scholarship database. You must create a free account to see personalized scholarship matches." Even before you apply, Cappex can calculate your odds of being accepted by a college of your choice. You must create a user profile.

Privacy: You can opt-out of being contacted by Cappex on their "Manage you Account" page. You have to contact third parties directly to stop their communications. "Information you may provide on a linked site once you leave the Cappex Site is not controlled by Cappex and is not controlled by this Privacy Policy. " https://www.cappex.com/privacy-policy

Career One Stop  CareerOneStop Tool The U.S. Labor Department’s Free Search Tool . You can search more than 8000 scholarships, grants and other types of aid here. Searches may be done by order of deadline or keyword. In my quick search I only found 2 scholarship opportunities for students in California two-year colleges.

Privacy: You do not need to sign in or create a user profile. "We will collect no personal information about you when you visit any of our websites unless you choose to provide that information to us, nor will we share that information with any other party." https://www.careeronestop.org/Site/site-privacy.aspx 

 

Chegg https://www.chegg.com/scholarships. They link to over 25 thousand scholarships. For best results you should create a personal profile. Check out "top scholarship picks of the week" as well for opportunities you may have missed.

Privacy: You have to ask for your data to be shared with third parties other than educational institutions. https://www.chegg.com/privacypolicy#sharing

College Board Scholarship Search: Big Future https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/scholarship-search?excmpid=VT-00045 "Big Future hosts scholarships and other financial aid totaling nearly $6 billion. To get the most accurate search results, create a detailed profile." Creating an account is not necessary, but recommended.

Privacy: "We use an outside company to send email communications to our users. This company does retain and store personally identifiable information for the sole purpose of processing the email communications. They do not share, sell, or rent this information for any other purpose."

"We may include third-party links on our site. These linked sites have separate and independent privacy policies." https://www.collegeboard.org/privacy-policy/privacy-statement?navId=gf-pp#policy-04 

Scholarship Search Websites

FastWeb  https://www.fastweb.com/ links to more than 1.5 million scholarships that provide more than $3.4 billion.

You create a personal profile to find the most accurate scholarship matches. Fastweb will email you frequently with new scholarship suggestions. After you've created your profile, Fastweb's search engine will find the most accurate matches. 

Privacy: During the registration process, and at certain points thereafter in connection with specific offers, Fastweb asks you whether information about you may be sent to third parties who have products, services, and opportunities that may be useful to you. Fastweb understands how important your information is to you. Therefore Fastweb does not share any information that can be tied to you without your permission. https://www.fastweb.com/privacy 

Moolahspot http://moolahspot.com/ Moolahspot requests date of birth, citizenship, ethnicity, religion, disabilities, enrollment status, future career, interests, sports, special circumstances (such as 1st gen, adopted, Canadian, rental info, homeless, etc) major, SAT scores, ACT composite score, GPA, class rank, location, military status, organizations, associations, unions, AND optional email, first/last signup. You have to sign up to save searches. You can  also search without identifying your name and/or email address.

Privacy: "You may also visit our site anonymously. We will never sell your Personal Information to any third party not affiliated with the Service without your consent, except in connection with the sale or merger of the Service or the division responsible for such services." Check their privacy policy by clicking on the privacy link at the bottom of their webpage.

Niche Niche.com was formerly known as College Prowler. Niche is organized into categories that make it pretty easy to find what you’re looking for — allowing users to search by interest, career, major and other areas. 

Privacy: "Under California’s “Shine the Light” law, California residents who provide personal information in obtaining products or services for personal, family or household use are entitled to request and obtain from us once a calendar year information about the customer information we shared, if any, with other businesses for their own direct marketing uses."    https://about.niche.com/privacy/

Niche links to independent scholarship websites with their own privacy policies. For example, scholarshippoints.com may share your personal information with marketing partners and with 3rd party market research (MR) companies.  They will not share your name, email address & phone number with 3rd party MR companies https://www.scholarshippoints.com/terms-privacy-disclaimer/#how-we-share-your-information. Read the fine print to learn how your personal information is shared and/or what your opt-out options are.

Peterson's  https://www.petersons.com/scholarship-search.aspx 

Peterson’s hosts $10 billion in scholarship opportunities and also provides information to help you in your search. Once you fill out a short survey, you can filter your search results so they’re tailored to your specific needs.

You can search for scholarships by keyword without creating a profile or sharing you personal information.Search filters include award amount, school type, ethnicity, gender, study type, state of residence, state where studying, and area of study. 

Privacy: You can opt out of sharing your personal information with third parties. "If you would like to opt-out of having your personally identifiable information disclosed or distributed with or to third-parties, contact us at privacy@petersons.com." 

"Please note that in some instances we utilize framing techniques, which make it appear that you are on our Website when you are actually on a third party website. The privacy policies that governs the collection and use of the information will be present on these pages so you always know whose privacy practices govern the collection and use of the information that you submit." https://www.petersons.com/privacy-policy.aspx 

Scholarship Search Websites

SallieMae https://www.salliemae.com/college-planning/tools/scholarship-search/

SallieMae's Scholarship Search is the free way to get access to more than 5 million college scholarships worth up to $24 billion. you must create a profile. If you register in November you'll automatically be entered to win in a $5,000 sweepstakes for college. Scholarships are updated frequently--you'll receive emails when scholarships matching your profile become available.

Privacy: SallieMae does not sell your information to outside parties. https://www.salliemae.com/legal/privacy/

Scholarships.com https://www.scholarships.com You can search without creating a profile, but it will simplify your life to sign up.  Scholarships.com has been matching students to scholarships for nearly 18 years. Scholarship directory & search, student resources including how to successfully search for scholarships, how to write a great scholarship essay, scholarship and college application checklists.

 

Privacy: "We ask for permission when sharing information with marketing partners, which are reputable companies and organizations that provide products and services of interest to students and parents. Users may choose whether to opt-in or opt-out of sharing information with our marketing partners." https://www.scholarships.com/about-us/privacy-policy/ 

Unigo https://www.unigo.com/scholarships

Unigo links to over 36 million scholarships worth over 14 billion dollars. They allow you to search by scholarship type, including: athletic, college-specific, company-based, minority, major-specific, state-specific, and more without creating a profile by using their Scholarship Directory, but you will receive more personalized results if you create a profile and use their Scholarship Match. Unigo also offers scholarship contests and sweepstakes. Check out their Easy Scholarships  too (https://www.unigo.com/scholarships/our-scholarships).

Privacy: Unigo shares your personal information with both affiliates and non-affiliated business partners. You can opt-out of Unigo emails and phone calls by emailing privacy@unigo.com. You can also opt-out of sharing your personal information shared with non-affiates for promotional purposes by emailing Unigo. https://www.unigo.com/aboutus/privacy

Is My Personal Information Sold?

Do All of them Sell Data?

Scholarship search websites request your personal information to generate appropriate scholarship lists. You may or may not need to create an account, in addition to creating a profile.

Scholarship search websites may make money selling your personal information. Look for a checkbox at the end of the sign-up process asking for consent to share personal information. Checking the box may opt you in or out of sharing, depending on the wording. Read carefully and think about the consequences. https://www.road2college.com/applying-for-scholarships-do-you-know-what-happens-to-your-information/. Each website posts its privacy policies. You can learn more about how they use and/or share your personal information and how they use cookies by reading through the policies. 

One click might take you to an independent scholarship website with its own privacy policies. Check the web address to see if you have been redirected to another site.  

Not all sharing of personal information is bad. Colleges may use it to learn more about students who apply or who would be good candidates for admission.

Career One Stop (https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/training/find-scholarships.aspx), sponsored by the US Department of Labor, promises not to share your information 

The College Board Scholarship Search, Big Future  (https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/scholarship-search?excmpid=VT-00045) only shares your information with an outside company that handles their emailing. 

"The California Shine the Light law applies to all for-profit businesses that conduct business with any resident of California and have 'shared customer personal information with other companies for their direct marketing use within the immediately preceding calendar year,' with the exception(s) of businesses with fewer than 20 employees, federal financial institutions, and non-profit organizations... Businesses that maintain a free and public privacy policy that allows users to opt into or opt out of information sharing are also exempt. The law defines 'customer' as 'an individual who is a resident of California who provides personal information to a business during the creation of, or throughout the duration of, an established business relationship if the business relationship is primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.' A business does not need to be located in California, it simply needs to have a single customer who resides in the state.

"Businesses must provide to the consumer a complete list of all personal information disclosed to third parties and the nature of that information within 30 to 150 days of the request." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Shine_the_Light_law 

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