College Scholarship Search Services -- Worth The $$?

Updated on January 20, 2009
S.B. asks from Cupertino, CA
5 answers

The great news is my middle daughter was accepted into a great college nursing program. This has been her lifelong dream, and we are so excited that she has been able to achieve it. But our resources were drained by unanticipated medical expenses and the untimely hit in the stock market that we won't be able to recover from in time when the tuition payments are due, and we hate to saddle her with $100K in tuition loans. She has a great GPA and lots of civic service work, so we are thinking that she might qualify for scholarships. Google doesn't seem to be useful, much of the data is out of date. All the search services want to charge a lot of money. Can anyone recommend a college scholarship service or consultant they have used before that has been worth the time, money, and effort?

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answers from San Francisco on


I used to work at Embark during the dot-com phase. I am not sure what there database is like now, but it is worth a try.

Let me know how it goes.




answers from San Francisco on

I worked in the Financial Aid of my school for 1.5 years and one thing we tell students is to NEVER pay for a scholarship service. Grants, work study, and a part time job are the best ways to go. Start by going to and filling that out (you will need your school's federal id number). Also contact your school's financial aid office and talk to them. Schools have their own internal list of scholarships that students can apply for. Good Luck!!



answers from San Francisco on

hi S.,
my name is J.. i came a across this article from the newspaper, because i myself is starting to do due diligence for my son who will be in college in 2011.
there is a free seminar on college planning.
call this no. for reservation. there is a seminar tonight.###-###-#### or go tot their



answers from San Francisco on

You should not ever have to pay for a scholarship search. She can fill out all the forms for financial aid--Grants (if she qualifies these will give the most money), scholarships, and the dreaded last resort, student loans--through the financial aid office at the school she will be attending. I did this plus work study and somehow managed to graduate only $6000 in debt. Mind you, I graduated in 1991. I'm actually quite happy that I did it on my own. Somehow, it makes eduacation all the more valuable.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi S.,

My family is in the same boat this academic year. I have three children, all attending private colleges on partial academic scholarships, and one of them is currently experiencing a major medical issue that has cost thousands. This along with the state of our nations economy (many students received less aid this year and I doubt this will improve for next), had me wondering how I was going to cover everyone's expenses.

If your daughter has not received and accepted her financial award package there may be extra funding from the campus that can help. Here's how to get it....send in the letter of intent but DO NOT accept the financial award package right away. Some students, since applying, have changed their mind and they too were sent financial packages. Since they won't be attending, that money will go back "into the pot". If you need to, redo the FAFSA (this too can make a difference if the family's financial situation has changed; she may qualify for more aid) and a week or so after intent letters are due call or make an appointment with the financial aid office; explain your situation and ask for more aid. IT WORKED FOR US!! We were initially expected to loan $41,000.

Check this web site out:

Here she can solicit assistance from family & friends, former teachers, organizations she's volunteered with, etc. to help her cover the cost of tuition. This is not a bank loan. Friends and family loan her the money, the company will then issue the check to the school. She does have to pay this money back which she does have to pay back but, the lender decides whether she must pay interest on the money they give. We received about $13,000 this year from this campaign all interest free.

You should also check with your family and friends to see what professional organizations they may belong to. Many public & private organizations offer scholarships to family. We have received scholarships from orgs like the Elks, Masons, Eastern Stars, Sheriff's Assoc. Firefighter's Assoc. California Teacher's Assoc., just to name a few.

Here's another site:

Here your daughter creates a profile that includes her intended major. This site will send her emails on major specific scholarships. Many of these scholarships require you write an essay and range from $300 - $25,000. My advice....apply for the lesser ones; there is less competition. MAKE HER DO IT!!! Hundreds add up to thousands!!! My kids have received a number of scholarships from FASTWEB simply because the were the only ones to apply.

Lastly, tour the college and her majoring department, on your own, and meet the professors in the area of nursing she's thinking of specializing in. They offer scholarships too! I found they are quite impressed with an incoming freshman that has some direction and is trying to get ahead of the game.

I hope you find this info helpful

Good Luck!!!

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