No matter how old I get, I’ll never forget the stress of trying to figure out how to pay for college. And because I was the only one in our family who was willing to consider the option of me not going to college (the better to save funds, of course), that pressure never let up until a funding solution was finally achieved. Today, of course, we have the Internet. The Internet connects students to resources that might otherwise remain forever undiscovered. Even better, today we have a selection of specialized apps that can make searching for education scholarships, grants and other funding easier than ever. If you or a loved one is in the process of figuring out how to fund higher education, I hope these five apps will make the process that much easier!

1. Scholly

Scholly was developed by Drexel University student Christopher Gray to help make finding education funds easier for future generations of college students. Gray's goal—in his own words—was to make the app "extremely simple" to use. The app has its own website, MyScholly.com, which explains the eight search parameters: race, state, GPA, major, stats, gender, grade, need/merit based, miscellaneous. Search results are instantaneous and cover both new undergraduate students and existing college students. The app also includes extra helps, including a selection of winning college entrance exam scholarships.

2. Scholarships

Scholarships is the app that syncs with the online Scholarships.com search resource. You can search for scholarships, grants and loans. The app states that more than 2.7 million funding sources are listed—at a total value of nearly $2 billion dollars. Plus, you can research the database of 7,000 higher education institutions to select the right school for your career aspirations.

3. i-FinAid

i-FinAid was developed by a college finance professor to help students and parents navigate the complex and often confusing world of financing higher education. The goal of using i-FinAid is to predict with accuracy your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) so you can determine if/how much federal aid money (e.g., Pell Grants, etc.) you may receive as well as other side-by-side comparison options for financing an education at various institutions. Billed as a "pocket needs analysis" app, the app also has its own complementary website, www.ifinaid.com.

4. Scholarship Advisor

  • Get it for iPhone (free)
  • As of June 2013, an Android app is in development

Scholarship Advisor is an app launched under the umbrella of StudentAdvisor.com, a company jointly owned by Kaplan and Graham Holdings (formerly The Washington Post). The app specializes in seeking out hard-to-find, unique scholarships in diverse categories. The app also includes other helps for high school students, college students and later-in-life college returnees.

5. SAIL – Simple Scholarship Search

SAIL is the brainchild of two college graduates who wanted to create a tool to help other college students find funds. It uses three different formulas to help you locate, apply for, and win scholarships. The app was just released in January 2014, so it’s a relatively recent (and much needed) entrant to this far-from-crowded app resource field!

 

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