Free College Scholarship Search Engines
Commercial vs NonCommercial Scholarship Search Engines
If you're looking for free scholarship search engines, you should be aware that there are both commercial and noncommercial scholarship search engines. This just means that some are run by companies while others are run by government organizations or nonprofit groups.
Probably one of the free scholarship search engines that most people are familiar with is FastWeb which is run by Monster.
The reason I mention FastWeb first is because it's a good example of what I consider a "lead-generation" website. This means that one of the main purposes of Monster.com offering this free service is because they hope you'll fill out forms for other things such as specific colleges or other money services (when I filled out the form they presented dozens of offers a "thanks/no-thanks" checkbox).
But you can stop and close out the site any time. You don't have to keep paging through - as it seems that they have an endless supply of offers to present to you.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't use FastWeb - You probably should. It's highly recommended by major educational institutions. If you didn't know this or you don't believe me, do this search in Google and you'll likely find several educational institutions and government sites recommending them.
site:edu scholarship search engines
site:educollege scholarship search engines
In fact, you can do the following search to find an almost limitless number of free college scholarship search engines and college scholarships:
site:edu free college scholarship search engines
OK. That's exciting, but before you go nuts, please read the following section about the National Scholarship Providers Association & the Fake Logo Problem.
The National Scholarship Providers Association & the Fake Logo Problem
Sometimes when you are looking for free college scholarship search engines you will see a "NSPA" logo on the site which implies that the company is a membership of the National Scholarship Providers Association.
Often this can be a good sign because it shows that the company is practicing a code of conduct consistent with the NSPA's goals of working with organizations and/or individuals that effectively sever the best interest of their student constituents.
The problem comes when a site displays the NSPA logo when their company isn't really a member - i.e. the "fake logo" problem.
To verify that the company is truly a member of the NSPA you will need to take the following two steps:
1) Click on the logo the member site is displaying (if it's not clickable that's red-flag number 1)
2) You'll end up at the NSPA site where you can search the membership organizations (aka NSPA members) to confirm they are a bonafide member.
Now, the ultimate test is to search the NSPA members and keep the following in mind:
1) Sometimes a site won't make the logo clickable because they don't want to lose visitors from their site.
2) Sometimes the membership is under the parent company name and not the website name. For example, if you visit www.10KScholarship.com you'll see that the logo isn't clickable and the parent company name is actually Scholar Web Media which confusingly enough is listed at NSPA as Scholar Media Web. However, if you click on the link within the NSPA database you are taken to ScholarWebMedia where you'll see 10KScholarship listed as one of websites.
Free College Scholarship Search Engines from the Government
One of the best sources for free college scholarship search engines is the government. As mentioned at the beginning of this page, this is one of the noncommercial examples of a scholarship search engine.
One of the best free college scholarship search engines is run by the U.S. Department of Education.
When you're searching be sure to try different phrases and different word orders because sometimes you'll get different results.
I'll finish by giving you one more search trick based on some of the previous examples.
If you want to find more free college scholarship search engines run by the government try some of the following search syntax within Google:
site:gov free college scholarship search engines
(be sure to read the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) site if it comes up first like it did for me today!)
You can also try
site:us free college scholarship search engines
Keep in mind though that while sites with a top-level domain (TLD) of .gov are guaranteed to be a noncommercial site, there is no guarantee that a site with a top-level domain of .us is noncommercial.
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