View 50 college and scholarship search engines listed in this post if in need of a bit of direction. Some of these offer easy scholarships just for registering so even if you know where you're going signing up won't hurt!
Finding the perfect college can be difficult with all the choices available. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are approximately 4,197 institutions of higher education in the United States which all have different qualities and strengths that seperate them from the rest. To help simnplify the process of choosing the right college, it’s a good idea to figure out what your interests are, what you’re passionate about and what kind of atmosphere you feel will better suit you. Once you’ve identified all your desires and goals, you’ll be able to narrow down the wide selection of colleges to those that meet your preference. And since not all college search engine sites are created equal, the list below provides sort of a buffet of different sites that offer basic college and scholarship searching tools for you to choose from.
Fastweb – One of the most popular scholarship matchmaker sites starting back in 1995. It’s free and contains a huge database of scholarships for students nationwide. The name Fastweb is an acronym which means Financial Aid Search Through the Web. They also offer easy scholarship sweepstakes and giveaways to registered members.
CollegeProwler – This scholarship matchmaker is a bit more generous offering a few easy scholarships like their $2,000 “No Essay” Scholarship for members each month and a $1,000 Survey Scholarship to incentivize students to participate in surveys about their colleges also awarded each month. The company started in 2002 for the purpose of allowing students to review their schools. As of 2012, they have over 400,000 reviews on 7,781 schools.
Zinch – A college matchmaker created back in March of 2007 that allowing students to create profiles so they can be viewed by colleges and universities from around the world. No matter where you live, prospective students should bookmark this website. They employ the use of popular social networking sites like Facebook where they promote easy scholarships like their $1,000 Three Sentence Essay Scholarship.
GoCollege – This site was created in 1997 in an effort to assist students with the college admissions process and financial aid. They were featured in the books How to Survive Getting Into College: By Hundreds of Students Who Did (Hundreds of Heads Survival Guides) and 1001 Ways to Pay for College: Practical Strategies to Make College Affordable the 2003 edition. They offer a ton of information on student loans, scholarships, grants, applications, interviews and anything else related to college.
WiseChoice – Wisdom is definitely important when it comes to picking the right college. This site attempts to connect students with colleges and universities by offering a ton of tools and services that streamline the college planning process. You can keep track of the colleges you’re interested in, find out how much the degree you’re pursuing will cost in four years and domesticate your essay with their Essay Tamer. They also have a career assessment that’ll identify which majors and careers students would most likely fit. If you’re a high school student interested in easy scholarships, you could win their $2,500 “Find the Right Scholarship” program just by signing up.
Cappex – Simplifying the college process is what Cappex is all about. They offer a What Are My Chances® Calculator that tells you how likely you are to getting in, and provides you with over 3,000 profiles and reviews for colleges nationwide. They have a companion site, MeritAid.com, that provides details on about $11 billion in merit scholarships.
CollegeBoard.org – A highly reputable site that administers the SAT and PSAT which many colleges look to when deciding who to enroll. They’ve revamped their college matchmaker service naming it BigFuture which is loaded with 3,952 institutions to choose from. Receive step-by-step guidance, read dozens of inspirational stories from people in your situation and learn the basics when it comes to finding the right college. And if you need funds, they provide tools and calculators to help you search for $6 billion worth of scholarships and grants and plan financially for school.
eCampusTours – If you want to further investigate which colleges you’re interested in but not sure you want to travel, this site provides virtual tours of different campuses across the nation. They have an easy to use advanced college search to help narrow your choices down. They also have a free scholarship search you can use after creating an account. And for those interested in easy scholarships, they offer a $1,000 scholarship to registered users.
CampusExplorer – With over 8,000 colleges available in their database, finding the perfect school shouldn’t be too difficult with this college matchmaker. You can search by types of institution, major or location. They feature a “Ratings & Reviews Scholarship Giveaway” where they ask you to write a review of your school. The scholarship is worth $1,000 and is awarded monthly.
Peterson’s College Search – Be able to locate scholarships and colleges with this site. Also provided are tons of helpful articles to help with those wanting to learn more about the process. This is a trustworthy college search engine for students.
National Center for Education Statistics – This site “is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations.” They have a College Navigator tool to help search for institutions. Help with careers, financial aid and preparing for college is offered as well. Additionally, find out how much it’ll cost you to attend a specific institution and which institutions have increased their net prices the highest.
CollegeView – Search by location, greek life, school size and even party scene for your college. They also boast about having over $13 billion dollars worth of scholarships in their database. All you need to do to get started is complete a profile then you’ll be ready to find free money for school.
College Confidential – With this site you can rank various characteristics of your college search like graduation rate, sports activity, campus setting and price to find the ideal college for you. They also have a popular forum where you can gain insight from other members who have walked the same path as you.
YouUniversityTV.com – Interested in getting a visual tour of a particular college? YouUniversityTV offers a nice selection of video tours of different colleges and allows students to upload videos of their own. Simply register (free) and start grabbing pop corn while you search colleges. Indeed a very unique college search engine for students.
Unigo – Receive advice for college admissions, financial aid and college selection at this aptly named site (short for University Go). Browse reviews from students already attending colleges and use their advanced search to locate the perfect institution for you!
CollegeData – There’s tons of data out there, and it can be time-consuming having to navigate it without an “online college advisor” as this site proclaims itself as being. Find colleges by price, size, location and a bunch of other categories that best fit your criteria.
Connect! – Be able to garner the attention of various post-secondary institutions with all of your academic history (GPA, courses, awards and accomplishments) in one easy to locate website. Colleges will come to you if they like what they see and you’ll be able to see which scholarships.
CollegePortraits – Take a snapshot of your college searching process with this CollegeProtraits.org. You can search by state, compare institutions and go in depth with their advanced search.
U-CAN – simple college searching site with all the features you’d expect. Search colleges by various criteria and have access to valuable information for those planning to go to college.
myUsearch.com – This college matchmaker sets aside 10% of its profits for scholarships. Though right now they have no scholarships open, they encourage students to subscribe to their blog for possible scholarships in the future. Also find student reviews of various colleges that include report cards grading categories like nightlife, academics and off-campus dining.
AnyCollege – A simple site that offers the basic college search tool. They offer a super easy $1,500 scholarship sweepstakes to those who fill out the survey. They also have a video library of different colleges that help give you an inside look at what these institutions are all about.
CollegeSearchEngine – Search school by career interest and enter your zip code to browse the list of schools near your area that match your preference. They also have a listing of online institutions if interested in distance learning. Alternatively, you can search schools by state if you’re willing to travel a bit.
CollegeSearchDatabase – Offering over 7,000 institutions – online and brick and mortar – to choose from, this college matchmaker is easy to use and pretty straightforward. Search by level of award, type of institution and how much tuition you’ll be willing to pay.
eLearners – An emphasis is on online colleges with this site, but they also allow you to search among their 5,913 listing of on-campus programs. Still though, this is more for those that are already working adults and simply don’t have the means to go to a traditional college.
CollegeAnswer – Another scholarship matchmaking website that offers tons of information on financing, planning and choosing a college. If you’re really a stickler for finances, a monthly budget calculator can help you determine how much you’ll actually be spending.
Career One Stop – A scholarship search that allows you to locate funds by award type (fellowship, grants, internships, awards), study level, or by residence. This site has over 5,000 financial aid opportunitites in their database.
College.com – They tout themselves as having one of the “most comprehensive college databases” around. Find both online and brick and mortar colleges and wade your way through the college search process with their informative articles.
The Collge Search Engine – A basic college search engine that only lists colleges and universities. You can type the term “ice cream” and get a bunch of college websites that have mentioned ice cream in some way or another.
ACT College Search – So you’ve taken the test, now it’s time to find a school. The ACT college search engine lets you to search colleges by six criteria. Browse schools by location, size, admissions, cost , major and type. You can also find out the academic preference each college has for their admissions process. They list acceptable scores from the ACT, SAT and high school GPA that will generally allow a student to be admitted into each institution.
The Princeton Review – This company (not affiliated with Princeton University other than the founder, John Katzman, graduated from the university) lets you to search colleges by greek life, sports, campus size, activities and even special lists that include top green colleges, the best 376 colleges and the best colleges by region. A great college search engine for those who are environmentally conscious.
Careers and Colleges – Easy scholarships are all the rage nowadays. Simply by registering to this college matchmaker site, you could be randomly selected to receive the $10,000 scholarship they offer every year. You just have to be attending one of their member schools to be eligible. Search for colleges, scholarships and student loans and also receive guidance on choosing a major.
Schools in the USA – Feeling a bit patriotic with your college search? Well, use this college search engine to browse through all the colleges in the USA. Has all the basic searching mechanism and also allows you to contact institutions directly through the website.
Campus Tours – View high-quality video tours of colleges, navigate your way through photo-realistic maps of campuses and watch interviews from students who attend each school with this college matchmaker. They go all out with the production quality of their campus tours which I think are worth checking out. You can find a list of them here.
Student Review – Get unbiased reviews from students who aren’t afraid to share their thoughts. Some reviews are scathing while others are more positive. Slice through all the fluff by getting insight on the general personalities traits of students and faculty as a whole with categories like “closed minded”, “broken spirit”, “approachable”, “condescending” or “violent”.
BrainTrack – Browse through thousands of schools on this site that include world universities, schools in the US and distance learning colleges with their college matchmaker tool. They have a few scholarship programs that cover business/management, computer science, teaching and nursing.
YourTuition.com – Whether you need information on student loans, grants, scholarships or anything that can assist you in paying your tuition this site provides help.
YourDegree.com – Along the same lines as YourTuition, YourDegree.com is ready and willing to help you find an accredited post-secondary institution. This site is mainly for those looking for online colleges, but they also have information on a few brick and mortar schools.
CollegeToCareers – Use a map to find colleges in your state, read articles on the various types of scholarships and sign up for their scholarship newsletter. They also have an easy $250 annual scholarship for those who sign-up for their newsletter.
DegreePath – A college matchmaker that’ll help locate the schools that offer a preferred degree. Whether interested in finding an online education program or a physical campus, DegreePath.com offers an easy way to simplify your college search.
Embark – Whether you’re an undergrad or graduate student, creating a profiling to this college matchmaker site and signing up for their newsletter will allow you to receive updates on colleges that best match your profile. They also offer college planning tools that will help streamline the process.
CollegeConnecting – Find a college that matches your preference and read helpful articles to help aid you through the college searching process. They even have a textbook comparison tool that allows you to find the lowest prices on books by comparing values from dozens of textbook retailers like Amazon, eCampus, Bookstores.com and Bookbyte.
e-ReferenceDesk – A college search engine that lets you to find institutions by location, 2 year/4 year or by degree. Fairly straightforward and easy to use if interested in higher education. When you find a college or university you like, simply click the “Request more Information” link to delve a bit deeper.
HowToGetIn.com – This site exclaims to have over 6,000 colleges and universities listed in their database. You can find institutions based on state, major and rank using their college search engine. They also offer a $10,000 scholarship sweepstakes to those who sign-up.
U.S. College Search – Use the map to locate schools in your state or select a program and enter your zip to find colleges using that criteria. You can also find online institutions with this college search engine.
CollegeSurfing – Feel like hitting the waves? Find the perfect college match by answering a few questions like which degree level you’re interested in, career track you’re on and whether or not you want an online school or a physical campus.
CollegeCountdown – Receive expert help on the college searching process from the people who’ve brought you Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013, Gruber’s Complete SAT Guide 2012 and The Naked Roommate. Sourcebooks dedicates this site to helping students navigate their way through the college admissions process.
College Matching Wizard – A basic college matchmaker from the Federal Student Aid website that offers a College Finder tool and a College Matching Wizard. You can also do a simple search by name with this site.
College Insight – For those who want to go a little deeper with their college search, this site has a ton of college data that includes the amount of undergrads enrolled, the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants, the cost of attendance and average debt of graduates. 48
HotCoursesUSA – A college matchmaking site that allows students to read and write reviews of different programs, not just the school in general, as well as browse the over 257,533 programs from colleges and universities across the nation. If you’re interested in pursuing a law degree from a certain institution, there may be a review you can read to give you a inside look at whether the program is worth your time and money. You can also find student college rankings to help you pick the best school.
SchoolGuides – Learn updates on college news, find out which college fair to attend and gain insight on scholarships, preparation and selecting a major when it’s time to enroll. Use this college search engine to find the institution that meets your criteria. And although you might not’ve heard of this site before until now, the company itself has been around since 1886 getting its start as newspaper in New York City.