There are several college scholarship websites (and apps) out there, and browsing through these sites can be an exhausting experience for students, parents, or counselors. But at Going Merry, we aim to be the one-stop shop for scholarships, making it unnecessary to also sign up for other sites.
We evaluated Going Merry and four other sites (Fastweb, Scholarships.com, Unigo, and Scholly) based on 12 important criteria including price, features, scholarship quality, counselor tools and more. Here’s how we stacked up.
Of all the sites and apps we evaluated, only Scholly charges students. To use Scholly’s service, students pay a rate of $3/ per month. Every other service we looked at was free for students.
Every website we evaluated had some form of scholarship matching based on a student’s interests, background, and similar personal information. However, the accuracy and relevance of matched scholarships vary greatly per site.
Going Merry is the only scholarship site where students can apply for many scholarships directly on our website. All other sites will redirect students to third-party websites to complete the scholarship application scholarship. Some of these redirect links also take students to the scholarship provider’s homepage, forcing students to spend time searching for the exact location of the scholarship application. On Going Merry, we do include some links to externally hosted applications, but ensure that these go directly to the scholarship page/application.
For all direct-application scholarships, Going Merry helps save students time by auto-filling applications with information from the students’ profile (name, address, school, GPA, etc.). This means students never have to enter the same information more than once. Other scholarship websites are unable to auto-fill scholarship applications because students are always sent to external, third-party sites to complete the applications.
Going Merry has also found scholarship applications with the same (or similar enough) essay prompts–and bundled them together into a single application. Therefore, students fill out one application to apply to multiple scholarships at once. We call these Bundled Scholarships, and no other scholarship sites or apps have this feature.
Local scholarships are extremely important for students. A lot of scholarship money ends up coming from school-specific, local, or state scholarships. All the sites evaluated claim some level of local scholarship availability, but of those, only Unigo and Going Merry appear to offer any truly local scholarships. However, Unigo stops at the state level, while Going Merry provides high-school and district-specific scholarships. In fact, we work with high school counselors to digitize their local paper scholarships and bring them online. This helps save counselors (or community foundations) tons of time, while also making it way easier for students.
While ads can sometimes be a necessary evil, seeing a random advertisement while you’re trying to figure out how to pay for college isn’t the most reassuring experience for a student– particularly when that site is also asking for lots of personal information like household income. Only Scholly, which is a paid service, and Going Merry, were ad-free scholarship websites in our evaluation.
Students are especially cautious of scholarship scams. Google autocomplete will prove this as seen in the image above. (FYI – Fastweb is not alone, searching for Going Merry, Scholly, and the others will show the same questions). The only way to make students feel more confident in the scholarships they are matched with is by curating those scholarships – manually reviewing them to make sure they are legitimate opportunities. Through our evaluation, only Going Merry and Scholly seemed to curate the scholarships served up to students.
Counselors at the high school level are heavily involved in helping their students find scholarships. In many cases, they oversee what the students are (or aren’t) applying to and are constantly suggesting more scholarships for students to apply to. So to assist counselors, we built a counselor scholarship portal that allows counselors to invite students, share specific scholarship opportunities, and track student application progress.
Going Merry allows students to upload and store documents that are often required in scholarship applications. These documents include recommendation letters, transcripts, resumes, FAFSA, and more. Students can even request letters of recommendation, right from their account. Once uploaded, it’s one click to attach any document to a scholarship application.
Only Going Merry provides an estimated completion time – giving students an idea of how long the application will take to complete. This allows students to plan appropriately: perhaps they’ll knock out the quick ones now, and save the longer applications for later. (We have a “favorite” functionality that saves scholarships to a shortlist.) Perhaps unsurprisingly, scholarships that take less than 30 minutes are the most popular scholarships, according to our browsing data.
Going Merry is the only scholarship platform that includes a popularity measure, which is based on how many other applications (or views) a scholarship has gotten. This way, a student can gauge how competitive the scholarship is, when deciding whether or not to apply.
Ready to find out why Going Merry checks all the boxes and does it for free?