Is fastweb and similar sites worth it???

<p>My dad says we will be applying to 100 or so outside scholarships. (Ha, probably 10)</p>

<p>I was just wondering, if these kind of scholarships are worth it? They are small amounts and not not necessarily for all four years, and while I know they can really add up, it's not practical to think you'd win enough of them to make a big impact though.</p>

<p>I would think they are just for fees, such as books and such, and not something to really rely on to pay for school.</p>

<p>Am I correct?</p>

<p>There are a few big scholarships on Fastweb, but many of them are small. Even if you won enough to cover your books for a year, you are ahead of the game. I have known kids to have won bigger ones - a $10K a year scholarship (guaranteed merit scholarship from the college - but listed on fastweb), as well as one for $2000 - one time only.</p>

<p>You can use fastweb as a high school and undergrad student - there are many scholarships for both age groups.</p>

<p>Online sites are definitely worthwhile, but be warned that you'll have to do a LOT of digging. I've been on Fastweb for over four years, and I've only found a small handful of scholarships I've been qualified for. Despite my updating the profile every year, it always gives me things I'm nowhere near being qualified for. (It recommends scholarships for male Christians in high school... I'm none of those.)</p>

<p>Atomic, </p>

<p>I have noticed that too. The emails sent each week aren't always the best scholarships to match the profile. My kids usually scrolled through the lists on the page and marked favorites. Sometimes the ones that matched them "best" never got emailed to them.</p>

<p>IMO, unless your family income is low, or you're an under-represented minority, or an absolutely amazing student, the chances of getting a significant scholarship through Fastweb is very, very, very low. The chances of getting several $1-2K scholarships isn't a lot higher. </p>

<p>If cost is an issue for your family -- and it is for many families -- I'd suggest you start exploring the merit scholarship threads to see where you might qualify for significant merit aid. If you have stellar stats, some of the most well endowed schools also have very generous financial aid, but that falls far short once you get past ten or twelve schools.</p>

<p>Agreed - googling "guaranteed merit scholarships" will help out tremendously in one's search before applying to colleges. Many schools are quite specific in the rules for guaranteed free money.</p>

<p>OP - </p>

<p>You dad's plan has some holes in it. Is he aware that most of the scholarships he's talking about are one-year-scholarships only? And that you'd have to go through this whole process again each year? And that there is even LESS money available for returning students than for freshmen through these private scholarships? Is he aware that if you applied for 100 scholarships, you'd have time to do nothing else, and that your schoolwork would inevitably suffer? Is he aware that if you do happen to win $500, it would more than likely be deducted from your aid package, meaning that all that work wouldn't even have the desired result of reducing your out-of-pocket costs? Bad plan.</p>

<p>Your time would be much better spent researching schools where you'd be likely to get merit money, and then putting together the best app they've ever seen so that you can snare some of it. Tell your dad that more than 95% of the total scholarship dollars are awarded by the schools themselves. Go where the money is, and it ain't in those nickel-and-dime scholarships on fastweb.</p>

<p>S has won two scholarships we learned about on FastWeb. The first is very significant and renewable. The second included undergraduates and not just high school seniors. 100 scholarship applications may be a bit ambitious, but if Dad is willing to help with organizing and data entry - keep a notebook of paperwork and online file of essays that can be easily adjusted to fit prompts - 20-30 might be more reasonable.</p>

<p>Fastweb is a good online source. However, most kids who end up with outside awards look locally. If you work at Target part time, for instance, you would have a pretty good chance at their scholarships that are allocated locally if you have good qualifications. If Dad works for a college that gives out scholarships for employees' children, that is again a smaller pool. The local Rotary, Elks, your church, a club your mother attends, a local memorial fund are all good sources for scholarships, and the competition for them may not be as keen. My son got a scholarship that was so narrow in scope that I think that he may have been the only applicant for it. In fact, they closed down the scholarship that year and gave him all of the money in the pot because the Memorial Fund did not want to continue with the fundraising activities the following year. This happens to a lot of smaller foundations. It's not easy raising that money year in and year out. The first year after the person dies, the donations roll in, but thereafter, it is much harder to keep it going. </p>

<p>I've found that our local Catholic schools are a good source of scholarship info, locally and nationally. I look at their newsletters and the list of awards that prior students have gotten. The prep school that two of my boys attended wasn't worth a penny in finding any such thing.</p>

<p>I helped my daughter apply for a total of 19 scholarships. Her 4.0+ weighted average, focused community service, etc. etc. and "average" test scores (unfortunately) and somewhat of a need....resulted in several "sorry but we did not award you our scholarship" letters. Many were big national scholarships (Cumberland Farms, Ronald McDonald House, MetroPCS, etc.) so lots of competition. But...my daughter did get one local Women's Foundation scholarship - non renewable, but nice all the same. There are one or two still pending (local). It was a lot of work to submit all those, but at least something came out of it. .... Its become very competitive out there with the economy etc.</p>

<p>If your dad is thinking that outside scholarships are going to make a dent in 4 years of college costs, he's naive. </p>

<p>Most private scholarships are small, hard to get, and only for incoming freshmen and for ONE year. So, picking a school and then relying on outside, private merit to help pay is a BAD strategy.</p>

<p>Another problem is this....If you manage to cobble together some small scholarships to make the first year affordable and then can't do the same for the second year, you will have missed your opportunities for big merit from actual schools.</p>