As the school calednar changes to another semester, once again millions of students are facing paying tuition bills. That’s never a fun task.
If you are a college student, you probably are looking for whatever grants and scholarships you can to help lighten the financial load. Scholarship Owl claims to help make this process easier by putting relevant scholarships in front of you and helping you apply.
Is this true?
In this Scholarship Owl review, you’ll learn the pros and cons of the search engine to match students with scholarship funds.
Overview of Scholarship Owl
The main goal of Scholarship Owl is to simplify the scholarship application process. Users enter information about their age, grade level, and the field of study they’re interested in. The site searches all available scholarships for community college, undergraduate, and graduate school.
When you use Scholarship Owl, you can apply for many different scholarships at once, without having to input the same information over and over. Once you apply to one scholarship, the site searches for more in the relevant field, similar to the “You May Also Like” feature of online stores.
After applying for multiple scholarships, you can access your account to stay updated about which scholarships you applied for, deadlines for extra materials, and notifications about acceptances.
- Streamlines the scholarship application process to prevent re-entering duplicate information
- Searches for relevant scholarships for you
- Automatically enrolled to win the “You Deserve It” scholarship
- Search results with a free account are extremely limited
- Not free to submit applications—must pay for a subscription
Things to Consider Before Using a Scholarship Search Engine
High school students are under a lot of stress as they try to decide what career they want, what to major in, where to go to school, and, perhaps most importantly, how they’re going to pay for it.
Many high schools and colleges will spotlight scholarships they offer, but it’s important to get your hands on as much money as you can. Even winning scholarships for a few thousand dollars can make a huge difference in terms of student loans.
Using scholarship search engines ensures you find every dollar you could potentially earn. You’ll get results for scholarships based on your grades, your field of study, and more. Once you fill out one application, the search engine will find similar results so you can apply to those as well.
Before you sign up for Scholarship Owl, think of things like:
- the field of study you’re interested in studying
- what colleges you’d like to apply to
- how much money you’d need to be able to attend college
- how many scholarships you’re willing to apply for
Features and Benefits
Scholarship Owl offers many great features that benefit you in your search for and application to various scholarships. You can register to make an account on the site with no hassle, but check out this information before you commit to a subscription.
Free vs. Paid Accounts
Scholarship Owl runs on what is known as a freemium service. That means you have access to certain features for free, then pay for premium access.
The free account has some great features. You can use the search engine to find scholarships according to your field of interest and other information from your profile. That way, you can see what scholarships are out there waiting for you. You can follow the links to each individual scholarship and apply on your own.
And the best part is the price – it’s free.
If you want to apply to scholarships directly through Scholarship Owl, however, you have to upgrade your account. Yes, this means you’re paying to apply to scholarships, which is normally a free process. Before you balk and think this service isn’t for you, consider how much easier it is to use.
When you’re applying to colleges, you already have a lot on your mind, and those thoughts are certainly stressing you out. In terms of money, you don’t want to have to worry about where you’re going to find enough to pay for four or more years of education.
Most high school students don’t have a ton of extra time. Heck, my kids are too overscheduled as it is – with school, activities and work. Scholarship Owl will allow them to save time in applying for scholarships.
Instead of feeling like you need to save every penny rather than paying for a subscription, let your money work for you. Start with a 7-day free trial to see what you’re able to access on the site. If you like what you get, you can upgrade your account.
Types of Accounts
A free account gives you access to their search engine. You can get a list of scholarships you’re eligible for, as well as links to each scholarship’s homepage. You then follow the link, read the application instructions, and fill out the paperwork on your own.
After making a free account, it’s worth taking advantage of the 7-day free trial to see which plan you want to pay for. There are two levels of plans: paid and elite.
The site breaks down its paid plans according to billing frequency. Choose between monthly, quarterly, and half-yearly. Obviously Scholarship Owl would like you to sign up for as long as possible so they price the service accordingly.
The half-year plan is the most affordable if you’re going to use this service for a long time, charging just $10 a month.
The quarterly plan is $15 a month. For students wanting to apply for scholarships all at once before enrolling in school, this is the most popular account.
The monthly account is more expensive at $20 a month. It gives you the flexibility to opt-in only when you need access to the search engine.
The elite package only accepts 100 students per month. In addition to all of the search engine and application access of the previously-mentioned paid packages, you also get more coaching and information. This package includes:
- one professional review of your application essay
- access to a person admissions coach
- ability to use the premium mobile app
- dedicated Scholarship Owl email account
- access to online training sessions and tutorials
Types of Scholarships
Scholarship Owl searches all available scholarships and compiles them for its users. When you run a search, the site filters out the scholarships that apply to your needs and interests.
Need-based scholarships are for students who don’t have the financial ability to attend college without the help of scholarships. Your grades and extracurriculars don’t matter; it’s all about financial need.
Merit-based scholarships are those where your grades, talents, and extracurriculars come into play. There is money for academics, athletes, and artists. You can apply for any merit-based scholarship that falls in your interests and talents, unlike the limits on need-based scholarships.
Minority scholarships can be their own thing, or they can be a subset within need-based or merit-based scholarships. They’re eligible only for particular minorities, so you have to prove your background or family history to apply.
Many companies offer employee family scholarships. They give money for college students related to employees. The search engine will find what businesses offer them.
No Essay scholarships can have any of the stipulations listed above. They’re easier to apply for since there is no essay required. However, this can backfire because you don’t get to explain why you need the money. It’s worth applying to them just to get your information out there and it doesn’t require much work, but you should also apply to scholarships that require an essay.
How Many Scholarships Can You Earn?
When you enroll in college, there’s no limit to how many scholarships you can earn. The same rule applies to Scholarship Owl. You can apply to as many scholarships as you’re eligible for, and if you’re awarded them all, then there are no restrictions on behalf of Scholarship Owl.
“You Deserve It” Scholarship
As soon as you make an account on Scholarship Owl—free or paid—you’re entered to win a $1,000-dollar scholarship. This is the “You Deserve It” scholarship that the site gives away every month. It’s free to enter, and you’re eligible to win the month you create your account.
It’s hard to know how likely you are to win this scholarship. You don’t know how many people are creating a Scholarship Owl account any given month. But it’s a nice perk, and since you’re automatically entered to win, it’s worth making an account.
If you upgrade to a paid account, you’re entered to win this scholarship every month. That greatly increases your chances of winning. In addition to your subscription fees paying for unlimited access to what the site offers, you also have recurring chances of winning $1,000 for your education.
Searching for and applying to scholarships isn’t all you can do with Scholarship Owl. They have other services you can take advantage of with paid accounts, including:
- essay writing help
- consultations with a financial institution
- webinars with scholarship tips
- news and updates about scholarships
- future planning
One of the best things about having a premium Scholarship Owl account is that the site automatically resubmits your paperwork for awards granted annually. This means you won’t have to remember deadlines for financial aid paperwork if you have a recurring scholarship. You’re freed up to focus on your studies!
Reviews from Scholarship Owl users show this site is worth using. Even with a free account, you’re eligible to win a $1,000 scholarship. Other reviews share gratitude for the site finding so many scholarships they never could have found on their own. Using this search engine will expand your horizons. Do keep in mind the biggest complaint is the limited scope of the free plan – you likely will need to subscribe at some level to get the most out of the service.
If you’re looking for help finding scholarships, this site isn’t your only option. There are several alternatives, such as Scholly, Scholarships360, and Chegg Scholarships.
Scholly is the most similar to Scholarship Owl. Students complete basic profiles so the site can pull data and search for applicable scholarships. The plans are cheaper, with one month for $4.99, six months for $24.99, and a year for $34.99.
Check out these quick facts:
- Free trial: Scholly only offers 3 days
- Paid membership: Scholly is cheaper
- Scholly offers more for free
- Scholly’s site is harder to use
To save money, Scholly is the best bet for college students.
Scholarships360 is completely free, and you don’t have to create an account or profile to search for scholarships. However, it’s only a search engine; there’s no option to apply directly on the site. When you get a list of scholarship results, you have to visit each link and apply from those sites.
Perks to using Scholarships360 include:
- Completely free, with no account needed
- Only a search engine, no way to streamline the application process
- No way to really judge how man opportunities are not in the Scholarships360 engine
Chegg Scholarships is like Scholarships360. It’s a search engine that finds any scholarship that fits your search terms and filters. You can find both undergraduate and graduate scholarships here.
Perks to using Chegg Scholarships include:
- Free search engine with no streamlined application process
- More filters for searches than Scholarships360
It might seem counter-intuitive to pay for scholarship applications since the process is normally free. After filling out the FAFSA for Federal aid, you might find that a scholarship service is worth the price for a chance at graduating debt free.
Instead of spending all of your free time searching for scholarships, writing the same information over and over to apply, and tracking the steps after submission, this site does the work for you. Scholarship Owl makes finding money for your education a breeze.