The rising costs of higher education are pricing many students out of a college degree.
The 2019 Trends in College Pricing report showed that the average cost for a moderate 4-year course in state public colleges amounted to $26,590 for the 2019 to 2020 academic year. The amount is almost double for private schools at $53,980.
Despite the costs, some students are forced to take on loans in hopes of getting a degree that will then lead to better paying jobs.
According to Experian, the average American student had about $35,359 in student loan debt in 2019. These loans put a lot of students into considerable debt for a huge part of their working years.
But there’s hope yet. You can minimize your debt and expenses for college by applying for scholarships and financial grants.
Every year, thousands of schools and private institutions award financial aids worth millions of dollars to students. All you have to do is find them and apply.
Related read: What Is a Scholarship and How Do Scholarships Work?
To help you, I’ve compiled 18 of the best scholarship websites online.
18 Best Scholarship Websites to Bookmark and Explore for Your College Funding Needs
Scholarships.com has over 3.7 million scholarship opportunities and about $19 billion in financial aid available on their site. It’s one of the best scholarship websites in terms of available funding.
Users will need to create a profile and register to get matched with relevant scholarship opportunities based on their profile. You can also search for scholarships based on GPA, ethnicity, academic major, or sports interests.
Scholarships.com can also give you admission statistics, enrollment data, and other information you’ll need to apply with over 4,000 schools.
Fastweb doesn’t mean fast internet, the name stands for “Financial Aid Search through the Web.”
It was created back in 1995 by Larry Organ, an entrepreneur who believed that students should be able to find scholarships for free. It’s one of the longest running best scholarship websites out there.
Fastweb helped 270 students find scholarships on their first day of operations. Now, they have over $3.4 billion in scholarship funding available for students.
Like other sites, it matches students to scholarships based on their interests, skills, and background. Users can also filter the scholarships based on amount, deadline of application, and the type of scholarship. Best of all, Fastweb scholarships are updated every 24 hours and they will show you a link to the scholarship application page so you don’t have to Google it yourself.
They also have scholarship contests and links to part-time jobs for students.
3. Sallie Mae
Sallie Mae, formerly known as the Student Loan Marketing Association, was once a government organization providing federal loans but they’ve since moved to offering private student loans.
Their website now has a scholarship search function where users can register for an account and get notified of new scholarships relevant to their profile.
Registered users can also access Sallie Mae’s college planning calculator and letter analyzer, which helps users understand correspondence from schools they plan to attend.
Chegg is an education technology company that provides textbooks, online tutoring, flashcards, and other student services.
The site’s scholarship database has over 25,000 options that anyone can view without registering for an account. You need an account if you want to save the scholarships you’ve found though.
Many of the scholarships aren’t substantial, but they also don’t require applicants to pass an essay and a bunch of other requirements.
It’s one of the best scholarship websites because they also have funding opportunities for secondary graduate studies and vocational courses.
Unigo has over 3.6 million scholarships in their database worth over $14 billion.
Users can create a free account to get personalized scholarship opportunities and save the opportunities they like. Unigo also allows users to save essay answers and filter scholarship opportunities based on their academic preferences.
They also have a list of easy scholarships and monthly scholarships—many of which don’t require an essay.
Most notable of all the scholarships is their own $10k scholarship, which is awarded annually. This year, the essay prompt is “Imagine a historical figure is brought back to life. Who is it? What’s their favorite mobile app?”
For me, having a scholarship of your own is a mark that you’re one of the dedicated best scholarship websites. It means you’re not just curating opportunities from other sources, you’re giving to the students on your own.
They’re not just about scholarships though. Unigo also has a college advice section where users can get help on common questions like standardized tests, admissions, career choices, and other subjects.
Cappex or College Application Exchange has $11 billion scholarships from 4000 colleges and universities. It’s one of the best scholarship websites in terms of variety and funding.
Like the other websites, users will be required to create an account and enter their personal details, such as their gender, school level, ethnicity, financial needs, and citizenship. All this information will be used to match users with relevant scholarship offers.
Cappex also has a “What are my chances” tool, which shows a student’s odds of getting into their target school. It compares a user’s GPA and test scores to the previously accepted or waitlisted candidates of the said school.
Peterson’s isn’t actually a scholarship dedicated website but it’s still one of the best scholarship websites because of their extensive database. They provide practice tests for college admissions, career certification exams, and high school placement tests.
Their scholarship database has over $10 billion in scholarships and $1.9 million in grants and fellowships. It’s a great database with substantial scholarships worth over $100,000 each for undergraduates.
Registered users can filter scholarship options based on their chosen major, ethnicity, location, award type, and many other filters.
8. Going Merry
Ray Murthi and Charlie Maynard started Going Merry back in 2016 after they got frustrated with other scholarship sites that listed opportunities that are no longer available.
Unlike other websites, Going Merry has direct links to the scholarship sites. You don’t have to go through multiple links and dodgy sites to find the actual scholarship application page.
It’s new compared to the other best scholarship websites here but don’t knock it ‘till you try it.
The time-saving features alone make it worth trying. They have auto-filled forms for easy application and a one-click attachment function to attach saved documents like SAT scores, transcripts, and essays. Some scholarships are also bundled together because of similar requirements or application prompts, to save users more time.
Going Merry also allows counselors to upload local scholarships they find on the platform.
9. The College Board
The College Board is a not-for-profit organization that connects more than 6000 schools and educational organizations. They manage standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, and K-12 tests. It’s not just one of the best scholarship websites, it’s also one of the most reliable sources of information when it comes to college test applications.
Their scholarship database has over 2200 scholarship programs worth about $6 billion. You’ll need to register for an account if you want to search their database, but they will let you filter options based on the award type, academic interests, and personal affiliations.
Niche was built in 2002 originally as a publisher of college guidebooks.
Like Chegg, you don’t need to create an account to see the scholarships listed on Niche. You can still create an account though, if you want to get personalized results based on your academic interests and personal criteria.
Niche also has their own scholarship worth $2000. It’s easy to apply and there’s no essay required.
Scholly’s CEO Christopher Gray won $1.3 million in scholarships, despite being poor and having no access to the internet at home. Now, he wants to help other students attend the college of their dreams.
What’s cool about this scholarship website is they have brand-sponsored opportunities like the “Grown-ish student loan pay-off”. They’re one of the few best scholarship websites that partner with brands to create exclusive opportunities like this.
The site’s AI writing assistant feature can also suggest revisions for your admissions essay, so you can improve its grammar, punctuation, and structure. But you can use it for your homework, too.
And if you have often have trouble with your math homework, Scholly Math can give you step-by-step instructions to solve those problems.
With all these cool and unique features, there must be a catch, right? Scholly costs $2.99 per month or $44.99 per year. If you will regularly use the writing assistant and math solver feature, that can make up for the costs.
12. JLV College Counseling
JLV College Counseling was created by Jessica Velasco, a former admissions officer, to curate scholarship opportunities and offer tips for college admission.
Velasco also posts scholarship opportunities on her Facebook page, complete with the scholarship requirements and application deadlines.
Since she only curates the opportunities and posts them on her site, users don’t need to create an account to access and apply for the scholarships.
Scholarships are organized by application deadline, major, age or school level, gender, ethnicity, and other criteria.
Since Velasco is an admissions officer, the college admissions advice on her website is often from experience, not just from hearsay or online research.
13. Broke Scholar
Broke Scholar is one of the best scholarship websites when it comes to third-party scholarships, grants, and fellowships. They have over 2000 scholarships worth $3 million and you don’t need an account to access them. Users can filter opportunities based on their school-level, major, gender, or ethnicity.
They also compile student discounts and coupon codes for electronics, beauty, clothes, and other products.
Moolahspot has over 3.2 million scholarships and grants for students of all levels. They have scholarships for college students, adult learners, graduate school students, and even high schoolers, which makes them one of the underrated best scholarship websites out there.
Scholarships can be filtered by chosen career or major, family background, location, ethnicity, and religion. You need to fill out a registration form to access the database but they will filter the results so you’ll only see the options relevant to you.
CareerOneStop is an online resource for information on career exploration, training options, and jobs. It’s sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
As of this writing, their database has over 8000 scholarships and financial awards that can be filtered based on the award type, study level, location, or affiliation required.
You don’t need to register for an account because the website will redirect you to the scholarship application page or the source of the grant.
16. Scholarship America
Scholarship America has been around for over 60 years. They’ve distributed over $4.3 billion in scholarships to 2.6 million students and counting. Right now, their goal is to help 750,000 students complete their education with a manageable debt.
You don’t need to sign-up to see the available scholarships. But it’s free to create an account and it’s the best way to get matched with relevant funding opportunities.
Unlike other best scholarship websites, Scholarship America is a donation-based organization. They’ve already branched-off into similar programs like Dollars for Scholars and Scholarship Management services.
17. Your High School Website
Your local bank, bakery, and cable provider sometimes sponsor scholarships for students. Who do they send it to?
Your high-school counselor, of course.
You can find information about these scholarships from your school’s website or your counselor’s office.
The money may not be that big but it’s easier to get local scholarships like these because the competition pool isn’t that wide.
Last but not least, Goodwall. We have $1.5 million in scholarship opportunities and 5 million jobs and internship opportunities perfect for college students and young professionals.
You can access these opportunities by downloading the app on Google Play or the App Store. From there, just fill out your profile and you can search for scholarship opportunities relevant for your location and academic interests.
Apply, Apply, Apply
A college degree might be expensive but now you have the chance to win a scholarship from any of these 18 best scholarship websites.
Sure, creating a profile and uploading your documents to each site will take time. Think of that time as an investment in your college fund though. The more you invest in your profile and scholarship applications, the more chances you’ll have of winning.
Don’t be discouraged to apply just because the application pool is too large or you’re not confident that your grades are enough. Don’t discount yourself.
Most of all, be wary of programs that guarantee a scholarship in exchange for a payment. These are scams. Scholarships applications are free and the best scholarship websites listed here won’t charge you to submit an application.
Not sure how to proceed? Read this guide: How to Get a Scholarship