TL;DR: ScholarshipOwl is a good service for finding and applying to scholarship opportunities. It is free to search and find scholarships, but you have to pay a subscription if you want to apply to opportunities through the platform.
For many college students in the US, money is the largest barrier to education. Many students take out predatory loans and end up extraordinarily in debt in today’s poor job market. As the cost of education rises every year, graduating with as little student loan debt as possible is a more difficult task than ever.
Many students apply for scholarships to offset these costs, but they can be hard to find. That is where ScholarshipOwl Comes in. ScholarshipOwl is a service that helps students find and apply for scholarships for school. ScholarshipOwl can match students with scholarship opportunities based on their personal information.
Scholarships can be hard to come by so ScholarshipOwl seems like a useful tool. But how useful? We will answer that question and many more in our ScholarshipOwl review.
ScholarshipOwl has hundreds of thousands of scholarship opportunities, ranging from $500 to tens of thousands.
Streamlines the application process so you don’t have to spend hours searching online and making profiles to apply.
The customer service team at ScholarshipOwl is professional, knowledgeable, and genuinely helpful. You can call if you have any issues with the site and they will help you out.
ScholarshipOwl is an online service that matches students to scholarship opportunities. Students can make a profile and the service will match them with scholarship opportunities that would be a good fit. ScholarshipOwl makes the search for scholarships much easier as you don’t have to spend hours searching on the internet looking for opportunities.
You can almost think of ScholarshipOwl as a dating service for scholarships. Students can fill out a profile with their personal information and preferences. The algorithms then find suitable matches for you. So if you need to describe ScholarshipOwl you can say it’s kind of like Tinder but for scholarships.
Searching for and applying to scholarships is time-consuming and ScholarshipOwl greatly streamlines the process. You can save time and even find opportunities you would not have found elsewhere. You can also apply to many of them directly through the platform, cutting down wait times and making it less likely you will miss out.
How Does ScholarshipOwl Work?
Here is how ScholarshipOwl works. When you sign up for the service, you will have to fill out a personal profile. This profile includes information about your level of education, date of birth, ethnic background, citizenship details, high school name, GPA, graduation date, major, career goal, military affiliation, and more.
Once you fill out your profile, ScholarshipOwl will use its algorithms to search and match you with potential scholarships. At the top of the page, it will list the total number of scholarships the search found and the total combined dollar value of all scholarships. For example, when I filled out my profile, it found 221 scholarships for a total of $237,599.
ScholarshipOwl also has a monthly “You Deserve It” scholarship that grants one member up to $1,000. When you create your profile, you will automatically be entered into this program. ScholarshipOwl will award this scholarship to 1 US resident age 16+ that is enrolled in a qualifying educational institution. It’s more of a sweepstake than a scholarship as your odds of winning depend on how many people sign up for it that month.
Once ScholarshipOwl pulls up potential opportunities, you can browse and see details by clicking on the items in the list. Most of the time, you can apply for these scholarships directly from the website. You will then get a notification if you have been accepted.
ScholarshipOwl will also keep track of all your correspondence with scholarship institutions. That way, you can follow up with organizations if you have any questions about your application or if you do not hear a response. Thousands of people probably apply to these scholarships every day so it helps to have a method to get into contact if you feel like your forms have fallen through the cracks.
How Much Do I Have to Pay to Use ScholarshipOwl?
ScholarshipOwl works on a freemium model. It is free to make an account and search for scholarship opportunities. But you will have to upgrade if you want the extra services.
Specifically, you have to pay if you want to be able to submit applications directly through the website. ScholarshipOwl has multiple tiers of service
- Monthly – $20 per month
- Quarterly – $15 per month (billed every 3 months)
- Half-yearly – $10 per month (billed every 6 months)
- Elite – $499 (one time purchase)
For the monthly, quarterly, and half-year plans, you can get a free 7-day trial before having to pay anything. Once the trial runs out you will start to get charged.
All three of the basic plans offer the same features. You can search through hundreds of thousands of scholarships, apply to scholarships, and automatically reapply to repeat scholarships every time they open up again. You can cancel your subscription at any time from your account page.
The Elite membership has some extra features. Through the Elite service, you can get professionals to review scholarship essays, a personal admission coach, training sessions, tutorials on how to successfully apply to scholarships, a special dedicated email account, and unlimited applications. You will also get access to ScholarshipOwl’s premium mobile app. ScholarshipOwl only accepts 100 elite members a month so there is a selection process and you might not get it. The Elite package is pretty expensive but it comes with some great extra features you can’t get in the other plans.
You do not have to buy a subscription plan to be entered into the You Deserve It Scholarship. You are automatically entered each month after you make a profile.
What Kind of Scholarships Are There?
ScholarshipOwl has hundreds of thousands of scholarships of many different types. Here are just a few kinds that we found.
- Merit-based – These scholarships look at a student’s talents and performance, ranging from academics to athletics. Merit-based scholarships are the most common kind and any student can apply as applications are not restricted based on need.
- Needs-based – Needs-based scholarships are awarded based on monetary needs. Most of the time, eligibility is restricted to students who can demonstrate a financial need. These scholarships take into consideration your income and assets. School performance is generally not considered.
- No-essay – These kinds of scholarships do not require you to write an essay to apply. As such, they usually offer less money as there is less chance to differentiate between students.
- Employee family scholarships – These kinds of scholarships are granted by companies to employee children. These kinds can be either merit-based, needs-based, or some other kind.
- Minority-based – These kinds of offers are for people from minority communities and other marginalized populations.
There are several other kinds of scholarships out there and ScholarshipOwl has entries for all of them.
Also, ScholarshipOwl has listings for both undergraduate and graduate school scholarships. So even if you have already gotten a 4-year degree, you can use ScholarshipOwl to find extra money to cover graduate school tuition.
Is ScholarshipOwl Legit? Is It a Scam?
It’s a relevant question to ask, but ScholarshipOwl is not a scam. It is 100% legit and you can actually get quite a few scholarships out of it. You do not have to pay to use it, so you do not have to enter any payment information. You can just use the service to find scholarships and apply to them manually. Also, you do not have to pay to be entered into the You Deserve It scholarship so you can win it for free.
Further, ScholarshipOwl seems to be created by a network of education experts, so the team knows what they are doing when they help you look for scholarships.
How Much Can I Earn from ScholarshipOwl?
The answer to this question depends mostly on how many opportunities you apply to. That being said, it seems the average scholarship amount is around $1,000-$5,000. There are a handful of big-ticket scholarships worth $100,000k plus, but these are the vast minority.
So, you likely won’t be able to cover your entire education using ScholarshipOwl. But it can be a useful way to marshal up some extra dough for your tuition bills. Combined with any other scholarships awarded by your educational institution, ScholarshipOwl can help you reduce the total amount of debt that you will have to take on to get an education.
What Are People Saying About ScholarshipOwl?
If you look online at consumer reviews sites, ScholarshipOwl has very positive reviews. For example, in Trustpilot, ScholarshipOwl has a 4.5 out of 5 ratings from over 500 reviewers. The vast majority of reviews praise the platform for taking the stress out of finding and applying for scholarships. Most importantly, most reviewers claim that ScholarshipOwl actually helped them find extra money for college.
A lot of people also comment that the customer service team is highly knowledgeable and friendly. Those that purchased the Elite package claim that the counseling and tutorial materials are very useful, especially the webinars.
The only real complaints we could find had to do with the interface. Some people complain that applying through the website did not always work, although they were able to get their issue fixed by calling customer service. Any database that has thousands of listings is bound to run into technical problems such as these at some point or another, so we do not judge ScholarshipOwl too harshly on this point.
ScholarshipOwl Pros & Cons
- Huge database. ScholarshipOwl has hundreds of thousands of scholarship opportunities, ranging from $500 to tens of thousands. They also have a wide variety of merit-based, needs-based, and other kinds of scholarships.
- Streamlines the process. ScholarshipOwl also streamlines the application process so you don’t have to spend hours searching online and making profiles to apply. For non-essay scholarships, you can automatically apply. You do have to pay to apply directly from the site though.
- Good customer service. The customer service team at ScholarshipOwl is professional, knowledgeable, and genuinely helpful. You can call if you have any issues with the site and they will help you out.
- Not free to use. Searching for scholarships is free-to-use, but you have to pay a subscription if you want to apply to opportunities through the platform. Fortunately, subscription costs are fairly cheap.
- Relatively small amounts. You won’t be able to finance your entire college education through ScholarshipOwl. but at the very least you could be able to knock off a couple thousand dollars from your tuition bills.
So, is ScholarshipOwl worth it? We say yes. The platform greatly simplifies searching and applying for scholarships and has some other useful services if you buy a premium subscription. You can actually find everything that ScholarshipOwl gives you for free on the internet, but the platform wraps everything up into a single package that you can operate from your account dashboard. So, if you are a college student or your kids are about to apply to college, then ScholarshipOwl can be a good way to manage tuition costs.