How to use Going Merry to find scholarships and apply for them, all on one platform
Applying for college is exhausting enough. You don’t need to add “sifting through countless scholarship forms to apply for scholarships” to your long to-do-list. We’re here to show you just how easy it is to use Going Merry to get scholarships for college.
- What is Going Merry?
- How to use the Going Merry Scholarship Portal
- The FAFSA® Made Easier
- College affordability insights
- Student loan information
- But wait… this sounds awesome. How can it all be free?
- Ready for a better scholarship process?
What is Going Merry?
Going Merry is your one-stop shop for scholarships and financial aid. You can find and apply for scholarships and grants, right from our website.
The company began as a research project at Stanford University, when our founders were applying for scholarships and realized just how broken the whole scholarship app process is.
So, we fixed it. You’re welcome.
Now let’s break down how it all works.
How to use the Going Merry Scholarship Portal
1) Sign up with your (personal) email.
It’s a 2 step process, that takes about 30 seconds. The sign up page will look like this. Remember to use your personal (not school) email, so that your account works even after you graduate.
After you enter your name and email, you’ll see the right part of the screen change–to tell you to verify your email by clicking a link we’ve sent you.
Hot tip: If you click the “Sign up with Google” button, you won’t need to remember an extra password. You also won’t have to verify your email by clicking a link we send you. (See? We’re trying to save you time–right from the beginning.)
2) Answer questions, to fill out your profile.
We’ll ask you a series of quick questions, such as your education level (high school, community college, college, graduate), your graduation year, your GPA, and your intended major. The answers to these all get saved to your profile, which we’ll use to match you to eligible scholarships.
We recommend filling out these sections as completely as possible, to get the most precise, personalized list.
Get matched to scholarships
See how much money you qualify for. Personalized matches.
Click below to get started.
3) Get your matches & recommendations!
Right after completing your profile, you’ll get matched to scholarships you are eligible for.
You’ll then land on your Dashboard page. This is also where you’ll end up each time you sign in. In addition to your upcoming deadlines, this page will highlight your top opportunities for getting money for college. This is usually through actions like:
- submitting your FAFSA®
- appealing for more aid from your college (after you get your award letter)
- applying for scholarships
- getting the right student loan (shop around!)
- choosing an affordable college to begin with
This is because, for most people, external scholarships are one way to pay for college, but they’re not always the most effective way, because they aren’t guaranteed.
You should always aim to maximize your government financial aid first, and make sure you compare your offers to choose an affordable college. Even choosing a student loan with a lower interest rate can save you thousands of dollars, potentially more than you’d win in scholarships. Luckily, Going Merry will help you do all of these things!
Let’s go through each of them.
Click on the menu button (top left), and then navigate to “Find scholarships.” This will take you to the main Matched Scholarships page. By default, we show you scholarships that you are definitely eligible for (you’ll see the “Eligible” toggle is switched to ON).
The list is also automatically sorted by our recommended algorithm (which we call “magic ✨”), to first show you scholarships that are due soon, high quality, and most relevant.
Browsing your scholarships list
Get a shortlist: Favorite & Hide
Once you get to your scholarships page, we recommend you Favorite scholarships you like (heart symbol) and/or Hide scholarships you don’t like (crossed out eye symbol). This way, you’ll get a better sense of what you plan to apply for.
Filter to get specific
Expand any of the filter categories so that you can filter by things like:
- Award size
- Number of recipients
- Estimated completion time (to finish the application)
Prefer to browse scholarships by category? You can do this by selecting a category (or multiple) under “My interests.”
Get more deets
To check out more information about a scholarship, just click on the card. You’ll then see a preview of it pop up with a (partial) description and the application requirements/questions.
If you like what you see, you can favorite the scholarship and then go back to your list to keep browsing, or hit the “Start Application” button to begin.
Want to see more scholarships?
By default, we only show you scholarships you are definitely eligible for. To see all scholarships, including ones you might not match with, you can toggle the “Eligible” switch at the top of the Filters bar.
- Look out for the tan “? Match” sticker – which means the scholarship requires something you haven’t yet answered, so we’re not sure if you’re eligible or not.
- The red “Not eligible” sticker means you’ve answered something on your profile that means you’re definitely not eligible for that particular scholarship.
Alternatively, just go straight to your profile and make sure it’s fully filled out!
Applying for scholarships
The (auto-filled) application form
Click on any scholarship card, and then hit the “Start application” button. If it’s an external scholarship, this will lead you to another website, where the application form is located. But the scholarship is hosted on Going Merry, you’ll go straight to an application form, which we will auto-fill with information from your profile.
Just double-check everything is right, answer any additional questions or essay prompts, upload any required documents (like transcripts), and hit Submit!
Hot tip: Need help with your essays? Check out these winning scholarship essay examples and this winning scholarship video.
In addition to your ordinary application, we have special “Bundled” apps at Going Merry. These are scholarships with similar essay prompts, that we have bundled together into one application. So write one essay, fill out one application, and apply for multiple scholarships simultaneously. Super-efficiency, unlocked.
Tracking your submissions
Under Scholarships > Submissions, you’ll be able to see all the scholarships you’ve applied for. Usually scholarship providers/committees only begin looking at their applications once the deadline has passed, and they usually choose their winner(s) within 3 months of that. So if it’s been over 3 months since the deadline passed, you probably haven’t won — and we’ll show that on your tracking dashboard.
The FAFSA® Made Easier
The FAFSA® is key to getting $15,000 (on average) in financial aid. But with over 100 questions and many pages of fine print, it can feel enormously complicated.
That’s why we redesigned it. Our (100% free) “FAFSA® Made Easier” features simplified questions, integrated help text, and expert support– so that you finish the FAFSA® quickly and correctly. No errors, no anxiety, no payment.
College affordability insights
We’ve designed college affordability tools to help you at all three stages of your college application process:
1. Not yet applied, Figuring out college list
Add colleges to our College Cost Insights tool, to compare their likely total costs, given your household income. (This takes into account the average financial aid package given to someone in your income bracket!) To access this tool, go to Menu > “Compare Aid Packages.”
2. Already applied & Admitted, Comparing acceptances/options
We have long held that college financial. aid letters are awful. They’re all set up differently, and sometimes hide important information.
With College Cost Insights, we help you make sense of them. We’ll walk you through how to add key information from your financial aid award letters, and then we’ll do all the math to compare the likely debt and long-term financial impact of each college. We’ll look at things like your estimated loan payments, future salary, and current price tag, to help you make the right financial decision.
To access this tool, go to Menu > “Compare Aid Packages.”
3. Decided on 1 college
If you just want to figure out how to make your college experience affordable, Insights and our College Budgeting Tool will both show you how to think about the different costs and budget your way to a college degree (and limited/affordable debt).
For Insights, go to Menu > “Compare Aid Packages”; for Budgeting, go to Menu > “Calculate My Gap.”
Student loan information
We also have loads of helpful information about how to student loans, including short videos and worksheets.
But wait… this sounds awesome. How can it all be free?
Don’t worry, there’s nothing strange going on. Our awesome scholarship providers fund our platform, which allows us to offer the scholarship app for free to students and high school counselors.
We do not fund Going Merry by selling any data on to third parties. We are committed to your data privacy. We ONLY ever pass on your data in the two instances when you’re giving us express permission to do so:
- When you are applying to scholarships, we pass on the application to the scholarship provider/funder,
- When you indicate interest in learning more about a specific college’s financial aid packages, we pass on your profile information to that specific college.
We know this is a LOT of information to process. So if you’re confused or got any additional questions, no worries. Pop over your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team will be more than happy to help you in your journey through our Going Merry scholarship app portal!
Ready for a better scholarship process?
Now that you’ve passed a Going Merry crash course, you’re ready to begin applying for scholarships. We believe in you!
- Scholarships for Students in Pennsylvania for 2021 - November 11, 2020
- Counselor Starter Guide: How to Use Going Merry’s Scholarship Platform - September 9, 2020
- How to write a financial need statement for your scholarship application (with examples!) - August 13, 2020