Is Scholarship Owl legit? Yes, Scholarship Owl is legit but there is no guarantee that you will get what you are promised, including even finding a scholarship you will be approved for.
There are a lot of services available that help you find college scholarships, including unique scholarships and scholarships that middle schoolers can apply for. These services are a good starting point for your scholarship search, but they shouldn’t be the only place you look. You don’t need to pay for most of these services, and some might even make you question if they are legit at all, such as Scholarship Owl. While Scholarship Owl is legit, there is more to it.
They are considered one of the top services in this field. In truth, a great place to find scholarships that might be a good fit for you. However, the bigger question is whether it is worth it to pay for their extra add-on services or not.
Is Scholarship Owl Legit?
Yes, Scholarship Owl is legit and trustworthy. You will find scholarships that can give you money for college without having to pay it back. However, there are no guarantees that you will get the scholarship, even if you pay for the premium Scholarship Owl.
Meanwhile, just because it’s legit doesn’t mean you should pay for the extra features. Scholarship Owl is what’s called a “freemium” service. This means that they give you some services for free, but they also have more advanced features that you can pay for.
You might find that the free services are all you really need, and you don’t have to spend any money at all. In fact, many of what you get for the premium are things you can also get for free.
Free Scholarship Owl is All You Need
When you create a free account on Scholarship Owl, you will provide some personal information such as your demographics, intended major, and so on. Scholarship Owl then takes this information and compares it to the requirements of thousands of scholarships to find ones that you might qualify for.
You will see a list of potential scholarships, and you can click on “View T&C” (which stands for Terms & Conditions) to go to the scholarship provider’s website. From there, you can apply directly.
This is the most valuable part of Scholarship Owl’s service. However, the paid options they offer might not be worth it and could even hinder your scholarship search.
Paid Tiers of Scholarship Owl
Scholarship Owl offers two paid membership options, but should you upgrade? I don’t recommend upgrading.
|$20/month if you pay monthly.|
$15/month if you pay quarterly.
$10/month if you pay every 6 months
|$69/month billed monthly|
|Apply for multiple scholarships at once after uploading your demographic information and a general scholarship essay.||Apply for multiple scholarships at once after uploading your demographic information and a general scholarship essay.|
Access Scholarship Owl’s video library on financial aid and college admissions.
Get one 500-word essay proofread every month.
Have a personal account manager.
It is not very likely that a single scholarship essay will work for every scholarship application. While using the same essay might save you time, it could also mean you miss out on scholarship funds.
Most scholarships require an essay that specifically addresses the given prompt. Scholarship Owl, for example, will ask you to submit unique essays when needed, which is often the case. This is the same requirement you would have if you applied directly with the scholarship sponsor, so paying for this service might not be worth it.
If you use a generic scholarship essay, it will be obvious. It won’t match the specific prompt given by the scholarship organization, and that could hurt your chances of winning the scholarship. As for other services like proofreading and having a personal account manager, you can often find these for free elsewhere.
You Are Competing with Thousands of Applicants
Scholarship Owl is popular, which means the scholarships listed will have many applicants. You want to increase your chances of winning a scholarship, so look for ones that are not as well-known and have fewer applicants. Follow these steps to find your own scholarship.
Create your resume
This is a document that highlights what makes you unique. Include basic information like your age, gender, race, and ethnicity, but also add details about your group affiliations or hobbies.
For instance, you might be a teenager who is involved in 4H or participates in your school’s model UN. Maybe you’re part of a sorority or fraternity, or you belong to a religious organization. There are scholarships for a wide range of interests and affiliations, so make sure to list everything that makes you unique, no matter how small it may seem.
Search for scholarships
Once your resume is ready, use Google to start your scholarship search. Begin locally, in your town or county, where you might find scholarships with very few applicants.
You might even be the only applicant. After looking at local options, move on to state-level scholarships, and finally, national-level scholarships, which will have the most applicants.
How Do You Write Your Essay for a Scholarship?
You need an essay that centers around your character traits—not the saddest story. You don’t need a personal coach to craft an excellent scholarship essay. So, below are some basic guidelines that will help you.
Focus on your character traits.
It might be tempting to use a sad story to gain sympathy and increase your chances of winning the scholarship, but that’s not what the judges are looking for. Many people have faced challenges, and there’s always someone with a story sadder than yours.
What the scholarship judges are interested in are the character traits that will help you achieve your educational and professional objectives. Make sure to align these traits with the essay prompt.
For instance, if the prompt asks, “Why should we award you this scholarship to help you reach your professional goals?”, focus on your professional aspirations and the qualities you have to achieve them.
Let’s say you choose tenacity, ethical behavior, and innovation as your key traits. Think of an experience that highlights these qualities. Use this story as a foundation to demonstrate your capabilities and how you will continue to apply these traits in your future professional life. Also, don’t forget to mention that you need financial assistance to realize your goals.
Have a Professional Edit Your Essay for Free
You don’t need to spend money to get your essay reviewed. Instead of paying for a service like Scholarship Owl, which offers to review one 500-word essay per month, you can ask someone you know to help you out for free.
Your English teacher, guidance counselor, or a professor in your field of study are all great options. They’ll likely be more than willing to review and edit your essay, and you might be asking them for letters of reference in the future anyway.
Is Scholarship Owl Worth Paying for?
Scholarship Owl has a fantastic search engine to help you look for scholarships. However, it shouldn’t be the only place you look.
You can get a lot of the same help from your parents and teachers, and you won’t have to spend any money like you would with a paid Scholarship Owl membership.
So, I’m sure if you’re like me and you’re frugal and you see the price of a ScholarshipOwl membership, you’re probably like, “Oh, maybe not. Probably not for me. But thanks.” But realistically, if you look past the price tag, there are a lot of benefits to actually having the ScholarshipOwl membership.
Benefits of Paid Scholarship Owl
Just because I said that the premium plans are not necessary does not mean they are terrible—not at all. I do recommend that you at least try the 7-day free trial. That way you can really get a feel for the platform, and you can really test out the features because it’s a free trial.
1. You’ll Get Hundreds of Scholarships to Apply for
When you make that application and you put your information in, ScholarshipOwl will literally bring you hundreds of scholarships you can apply to. Also, instead of having to find scholarships on your own to put your name in every application, they have everything auto-generated for you.
So, it’ll automatically put your name in, it’ll put your school in, it’ll put all these awesome little pieces of information, saving you hours.
2. ScholarshipOwl Vets All of Their Scholarships
So, when you see the credibility score, that’s actually telling you how much ScholarshipOwl trusts that this is a valid scholarship. If it doesn’t have a score, but it says verified, sometimes that even means the scholarship provider gives ScholarshipOwl the money to give to the winner of the scholarship.
3. You Can Categorize and Filter Scholarships
ScholarshipOwl lets you filter the scholarships by their topic, deadline, etc. So, if you’re like, “I want to work on a scholarship now. I want one that’s due in a week to really motivate me.” You can totally just look them up by the deadline, and then they’re all right there for you.
4. Type Essays Directly on ScholarshipOwl
There is a Google Docs portion of the platform where you can go into ScholarshipOwl itself and type out your essays. So, you don’t have to go through a Word document and then import it.
The Biggest Factor is that ScholarshipOwl Saves Time
ScholarshipOwl can be pricey, especially if you’re completely on your own. It’s just another kind of big expense.
But it’s really not that bad, especially once you start earning scholarships. So, within your first 6 months of ScholarshipOwl membership, I have seen people with $6,000 in scholarship tuition. But there are no guarantees that you will be so lucky or unfortunate.
The platform is extraordinarily time-saving. You don’t have to search for scholarships as they are brought to you. Also, you don’t have to just put in the same information over and over and over. Copy-paste, copy-paste, copy-paste. So, it is 100% worth in terms of the time-saving factor.
ScholarshipOwl is 100% legit, but it’s not executed well and can be misleading. You may not even have to pay for it as you can use the free trial to test the waters. In the end, it’s just another scholarship listing site, similar to Fastweb, Scholarships.com, Cappex, and Scholly. If you have some extra money to save time, you can try it. However, if you know how to navigate the scholarship process on your own, keep your money.
The “we’ll apply for you” feature requires you to enter your personal information and upload your essays and documents. Most scholarships listed on their site still require you to apply by email, so it’s not very convenient. It’s better to do it yourself, especially if you want to personalize your emails with a cover letter.
One positive aspect is that you will find some scholarships you have never seen before, mostly from somewhat sketchy online companies and law offices. However, if you’re good at searching and can write your own essays, ScholarshipOwl may not be worth it.
You can always explore opportunities out there, such as national awards, college-specific scholarships, local awards, and those related to your major.