For many, attending a traditional college or university is still a part of the American dream. With thousands of schools to choose from across the United States, the options for locations, majors, and campus amenities are virtually endless.

Still, with so many options, one thing every prospective student must face is the daunting costs of earning a degree. While the cost-benefit of attending college makes sense for those who desire that path, it doesn’t take away the reality of financing one of the most expensive experiences a person will embark upon.

With mass criticism around student loan debt, students often seek scholarship opportunities to fund their education. Scholarships not only alleviate the cost burden of students but can usually lead to programmatic moments that can advance a person’s future.

If funding your collegiate career is on your to-do list or you are helping a student navigate the financial aid process, tap into these resources to help ease the pain of the search.

College And University Financial Aid Office

Every school has a financial aid office. Outside of its ability to process FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid), they also offer university-specific scholarship dollars based on merit or need. Whether the opportunity is centered on academic interest, a part of an alum gift, or sports-related, your college of choice will have several opportunities to access dollars specified for its students. Check the campus website to see which scholarships you are interested in or qualify for, and schedule time to discuss requirements and timelines.

Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF)

TMCF is a repository of scholarship opportunities for students attending public HBCUs (Historical Black Colleges and Universities). The database offers an array of scholarships, internships, and professional development opportunities. Many of the opportunities also include funds from corporate partnerships and foundations.

United Negro College Fund (UNCF)

UNCF is likely among the most popular and extensive networks for HBCU students. Its scholarship database is open to students who attend public or private institutions. Opportunities range from diverse scholarship sources and grants, varying across fields of study. UNCF also offers career services and financial aid advice to support students in need.

HBCU Connect

Want to stay up to date with information regarding HBCUs? HBCU Connect is one of the sites where students can learn what is happening in the ecosystem and tap into its scholarship list, which is available exclusively to HBCU students. The site also has a community platform where students and alumni can connect, increasing the opportunity to learn about prospective scholarship dollars and programs.


A tried-and-true website, Fastweb is open to all students regardless of their choice of school or field of study. The website has one of the largest online databases and can help match students with potential scholarships based on the profiles they build. Fastweb also has a mobile version that allows students to access potential scholarships on the go.


If you’re focusing on merit-based scholarships and college matching, Appily is an optimal resource. The website offers national and local opportunities. It also has a review section from other students who can provide insight into the scholarships listed in the database.

Chegg Scholarships

Chegg is not only a space for book rental; it also has a database for scholarship searches. Users are able to filter out opportunities based on the criteria of their choice, like deadlines, eligibility, and amount. Chegg’s interface offers a tracking option to keep up with deadlines and statuses.


Operated by the College Board, which administers the SAT and AP exams, the BigFuture platform provides students with scholarship opportunities based on their profile information. It also has robust college planning resources that assist with test prep and general financial aid information.