Today’s blog is a guest post from Emily Sztaab. Emily is a writer at renowned website Reviews.com, a website dedicated to conducting data-driven and unbiased research about topics that can help make an impact in people’s lives.
This article about Scholarship Search platforms is a free in-depth guide that analyzes the many scholarship databases available online to help students and their families find all the scholarship opportunities available to them. I encourage you to take a look, share with your friends and colleagues and tag in those in need of this advice on social media.
Scholarships are one of the best ways to reduce these growing costs and scholarship search platforms exist to help students find the most relevant ones. These platforms compile large databases of available scholarships and provide filters to allow students to maximize their searches.
We created this guide to review the best scholarship search platforms and instruct students on how to use them effectively to find as many opportunities as possible.
To determine the best scholarship search platforms, we spent over 200 hours researching 17 of the most popular sites across five core metrics including search functionality, scholarship availability, ease of use, application tools, and additional helpful resources.
The best scholarship search platform was Fastweb. They scored the highest out of all 17 platforms because they were the easiest to use, had the most tools, and had among the most available scholarships with the highest dollar amounts. This search engine is best for most students including high school, undergraduate, and graduate.
We also recommend Cappex. This platform scored consistently high in the most important categories of scholarship availability, ease of use, and tools. It is the best and best for students who want to be able to apply for and track the status of a large number of scholarships.
Fastweb is the top overall scholarship search platform in our review. They scored consistently high marks across every metric. They were the easiest to use as they required no registration to browse scholarship listings, had both a searchable database and personalized matches, and were mobile-friendly.
Fastweb also had the most tools of any platform. That fact, combined with a high score for scholarship availability, means Fastweb is the best platform for finding scholarships, managing deadlines, and tracking applications.
The only thing that could be considered a drawback would be a smaller number of search results than some competitors, but their overall third-place finish in that metric means they still outshine most. They also scored third-place in search functionality, so while the number of results you get may be smaller, they’re most likely more relevant to you than sites with high results but few filters.
Cappex ranked second place in our review mostly thanks to their large database. Only two other platforms returned more average search results, and even then, the margin wasn’t very wide. That database, combined with every desirable tool, pushed Cappex ahead of the competition.
Cappex was also among the easiest platforms to use. They have both a searchable database and personalized matches. When a site has only personalized matches, there’s no way for you to manually check the rest of the database for any opportunities that the matching filters might have missed. We saw nothing to suggest that Cappex gave bad matches, but it’s always a bonus to be able to search scholarships by category as well.
The main drawback of the Cappex platform is the fact that they offered no filters for military affiliation. Veteran scholarships may appear somewhere in their database, but there was no filter that would allow you to be matched specifically to them.
Strong scores in the most important metrics elevated Unigo to a third-place finish by a wide margin. The nearest competitors would have to make significant improvements to their platforms to overtake Unigo’s spot. Meanwhile, Unigo would only have to make a few minor additions to its site to claim our first-place position.
Unigo ranked first in our most heavily-weighted metric, Search Functionality. They have the most filters and scholarship categories of any other platform at nearly 2,000. No other site allows you to get more specific in your search. They also tied our top ranked platform in Ease of Use, which means you should have no problems find the exact scholarship you need with minimal effort.
The only areas in which Unigo falls short are tools and additional resources. There are no deadline reminders or new match notifications, so you’ll have to be more diligent in your searches and managing deadlines than some sites.