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    How To Use A Scholarship Search Engine

    Signing up for scholarship search engines can help you find free money for college based on your individual needs, hobbies, interests, academic background, and more.
    By Diane Melville - Updated: June 11, 2015

    What You'll Learn

    • How to use scholarship search engines.
    • Why you may want to create a scholarship email account.
    • How to find scholarships you're eligible for.
    A woman leaned against a couch working on a laptop

    People have a lot of questions about scholarships. However, the one I hear the most is, "Where can I find some?" I'm not surprised.

    Scholarships are like student loans for college—except you don't have to repay them. Unfortunately, many students aren't sure where or how to find scholarships. Fortunately, I'm happy to guide your search! And while there are tons of places to find scholarships, you should start with scholarship search engines.

    Step 1. Start Your Engines

    Scholarship information is scattered across the Internet. The best way to sort through it all is scholarship search engines. Tons of these exist, and you may have luck with many of them. But to start, check out the following:

    Salt Scholarship Search

    Scholarships.com

    Cappex

    The College Board

    Combined, these feature more than $20 billion in scholarship awards. That's a lot of free money!

    Step 2. Create An Email Account

    Most scholarship search engines require you to register with an email account. Consider creating an email address just for these sites. Not only will this make it easy for you to track your opportunities, but it will also keep spam out of your primary inbox.

    The non-Salt® search engines above are all free. So, in exchange for their services, these companies may email you promotional messages—from them and their partners. If you don't want these, opt-out during the registration process or look for this option under your account preferences.

    Step 3. Complete Your Profile

    These sites will have you answer some questions to determine scholarships you're eligible for. However, these search engines are not perfect and may categorize scholarships incorrectly.

    To help with this, be liberal when completing your profile. For example, select all the majors that relate to your major. If you are pre-med, that means choose biology, chemistry, microbiology, pre-med, medicine, etc.

    Step 4. Review Your Results

    After completing your profile, you will likely receive a list with a zillion matches. This is not exactly helpful, because you won't actually be eligible for a zillion scholarships.

    You can quickly root through all of these by:

    1. Opening the first five scholarships in new tabs.
    2. Browsing each to see if you are actually eligible.
    3. Closing each scholarship that you are not eligible for.
    4. Rinsing and repeating until you are sick and tired of scholarships.

    At the end of this exercise, you should have a bunch of tabs with scholarships you are eligible for.

    Step 5. Keep Searching!

    Set up email alerts on these websites for new scholarships, or visit them at least once a month to see if any awards have been added to your list. These should be categorized with a "new" icon or something similar.

    Por Diane Melville - Actualizado: 11 junio 2015
    A woman leaned against a couch working on a laptop
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