College feels like it costs an arm and a leg. According to the college board, it can range from 25K-35K—and that’s a massive amount of money for someone just entering adulthood. College is expensive.
What’s a student to do? You can try and save up for college, but that can be challenging. You can work long, odd hours at a minimum-wage job trying to finish assignments on your break, or you can saddle yourself with thousands of dollars of loans that you must pay off for the next decade. There has to be a better way!
Fortunately, multiple scholarships exist — but unfortunately, they can be hard to find. Even if you made straight A’s in every high school class (including that hard science one), it might not be enough to get scholarships directly from your school. Looking for others has you scrolling through sketchy-looking sites on the internet. You end up wondering — is this a real scholarship, or are they just trying to steal my information?
That’s where scholarship boards like ScholarshipOwl step in. ScholarshipOwl is meant to “connect students to companies providing private scholarships and make the scholarship application process as transparent and as easy as possible for students.” But is this site legit? Is it worth the money? Can it find YOU a scholarship? Let’s jump into our review of ScholarshipOwl below and see!
What Is ScholarshipOwl?
ScholarshipOwl works much like a job board for scholarships—but one that does 90% of scholarship applications for you. They believe that “those who earn scholarships aren’t just lucky, they use tools and strategies that give them the edge.” ScholarshipOwl has scholarships from many companies, and once you’ve input your information, it applies to scholarships for you.
How Does ScholarshipOwl Work?
ScholarshipOwl does work as a “freemium” service. You can input all your information and see estimates of how many scholarships you are eligible for, but you must input your payment information to apply.
When you begin, the site will ask for your birthday, gender, education level, the field of study (course), and the university you want to attend — all things required when applying for scholarships. You’ll also have to fill out your address, phone number, citizenship, graduation date, career goal, military affiliation, online study interest, and college plans. Once you do so, you’re shown an estimate of all the different scholarships you can apply for and prompted to sign up for your free trial period of ScholarshipOwl.
Once you do so, you can access your dashboard and scholarship matches. You will see a personalized list of scholarships for different colleges. ScholarshipOwl automatically fills out the same information you’ve given them — so you won’t have to type out your email on a hundred forms. However, you need to upload essays manually, so it’s not fully automated.
One of the best features of ScholarshipOwl is its protection against spam. Each scholarship entry has a “credibility score,” so you know which are well-attested. In addition, because you apply directly from the ScholarshipOwl website, it also shields your email address from spam!
The application site dashboard also allows you to track the status of applications. For example, you can see what you still need to fill out to finish an application, whether your application has been received, and when the winners of new scholarships will be announced.
Is ScholarshipOwl Legit?
There’s nothing worse than being scammed by a site claiming to protect you from scams. Fortunately, ScholarshipOwl is a legit site. Many students have used this scholarship search engine and reported back favorably. These reviews show that ScholarshipOwl wants to help its users the best it can. It is secure and has a verification check for all the scholarships on its site.
Can ScholarshipOwl Help Me Find Scholarships?
ScholarshipOwl is a giant search engine for scholarships that are customized to you. For example, if you are taking a program like engineering, it will show you scholarships explicitly tailored to engineering students.
You’ll be able to apply for more extensive, general scholarships as well — but because so many people apply for these, your chances of winning are lower. The platform also caters to graduate students.
You have the best chances of winning more specialized scholarships. Do you have a particular ethnic background? Apply for contests focusing on that. Did you or your parents serve in the military? There are specialized applications for that.
Research company scholarships as well; there are often ones for clients of banks, phone companies, and power companies. Even your county may have specialized scholarships. Whatever you can find that makes the pool of entrees smaller increases your odds of winning.
Is ScholarshipOwl Worth the Money?
ScholarshipOwl cost depends on how long you’re signing up for. Here’s a breakdown of the payment plans: if you pay only for a month, it’s $20/month, if you sign up for a whole quarter, it is $15/month, and if you sign up for the half-yearly plan (6 months), it costs $10/month.
You can also register for the VIP option (elite package), costing $69/month, which offers you a review on one 500-word professional essay every month and 6 hours of financial aid and college admissions video content.
Frankly, this is an extremely high price — especially since the college you’re accepted into may have a free platform like this, sometimes called Scholarship Universe. You can access ScholarshipOwl for the free 7-day trial — but after that period ends, the fees are non-refundable.
The site is helpful if you don’t know how to apply for a scholarship. Note that even though you automatically applied for the reoccurring scholarships, so are the 6 million other users. So your chances aren’t very high.
Furthermore, many scholarships require you to apply by email, so you’re not using the ScholarshipOwl platform. Finally, if you already know how to search for scholarships and write an essay, ScholarshipOwl isn’t the best use of your time or money.
Conclusion: Will ScholarshipOwl Help Me Find the Right Scholarship?
There are oceans of information to wade through when it comes to finding scholarships, and most odoesn’tesn’t apply to you. However, because ScholarshipOwl is personalized and does most of the application work for you, it can make the process easier.
Therefore, it may be worth the price if you don’t have much experience or time to look for scholarships. But start with the free trial to find out. Finally, if you know how to search or your school offers a scholarship platform, you can probably do better on your own than with ScholarshipOwl.
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