College is expensive. Nowadays, it’s hard to find students that don’t come away from the experience already in debt. It is possible though and how it’s done is through scholarships and financial aid. In fact, the first thing financial aid counselors do is to try and hook you up with a scholarship search engine. The most popular one used is FastWeb. But what is FastWeb and does it actually work? Here is our FastWeb scholarships review, to help you decide whether this option is good for you.
FastWeb Scholarships Overview
Before we start digging into our Fastweb scholarships review, we want to explain a bit about what Fastweb is. Started in 1995 by Internet pioneer, Larry Organ, FastWeb was the first college scholarship search engine created to help students find financial aid. In 2001, Monster Worldwide announced it bought the site to reach into higher education-based sites.
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FastWeb is like any other scholarship search engine. As explained, it was actually the first to break the mold for scholarship search engines. You enter information such as GPA if you’re an undergraduate or graduate, what you’re majoring in, interests, hobbies, etc. Then taking what you put in, FastWeb finds scholarships that best match you. The questionnaire is pretty in-depth as they want to try and get as many scholarships that will best fit you.
FastWeb isn’t just college scholarships. They have a college search for those who haven’t chosen a college. If you are a junior or senior, FastWeb can help find you internships in your field of study. Finally, FastWeb has articles and resources for students who need help understanding financial aid or need career advice to land a good job or spruce up a resume.
Best of all, it’s free. There is no charge for signing up. All you have to do is log in and take some time to fill out your profile.
We Like FastWeb Because…
To really start off this FastWeb scholarships review, let’s get into what we liked about FastWeb.
First and foremost, is the number of scholarships FastWeb has access too. Since they were first on the scene in scholarship search engines, they have access to more than 1.5 million scholarships. According to their homepage, that’s $3.4 billion in financial aid funding. Coupled with how precise their questionnaire is, they provide targeted scholarships to students based on their profile.
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Second, they don’t limit to just scholarships. They can help match you with a college and find an internship in the study field you want to go into. They also offer resources to better help understand the process, articles to spruce up your profile and write a better scholarship essay. You can also get career advice to nail your job interviews and have a solid resume.
Most of all though, they are a legit search engine. While there are several good ones available, FastWeb created the playing field for other search engines. Their research team is dedicated to finding legit scholarships for everyone. Every single one in their database is scam free. They want to help you find money for your education.
To summarize, here are the good points of FastWeb:
- Database of more 1.5 million scholarships, colleges, and internships targeted to your profile;
- Financial aid advice and videos explaining it;
- Career advise to nail a job interview and build your resume;
- Is a legit search engine dedicated to finding you school money;
Not So Sure About…
Despite all the good stuff that FastWeb offers to users, there were a few things that we didn’t like in our FastWeb scholarships review.
For one thing, while the app helps users search for scholarships when they are waiting in line, it’s pretty buggy and doesn’t work well on either platform. It also hasn’t been updated to improve on the bugs in close to a year.
Even though they are dedicated to your privacy and they won’t sell your information, they do leave what you put in your profile open to colleges and third-party networks. So while it makes finding scholarships easier in some ways, do prepare for some junk mail. Also, when you apply for scholarships, it was found you got sent to third-party sites instead. However, you can opt out of getting junk mail from third-party sponsors.
The last drawback we found with FastWeb is they draw primarily from national scholarships. While there are a lot of them out there, it’s also really hard to actually win national scholarships. In fact, a few years ago Money magazine did a survey where teenagers used scholarship search engines like FastWeb and they never got any relevant hits. You may have a better chance of getting a private scholarship than getting a couple national ones, simply because of how many other people are applying for them.
- App is buggy and hasn’t been updated recently;
- Leaves third-party sponsors to send you junk mail;
- Uses national scholarships that is hard to win;
Online Reviews Say That
In our research, we found Fastweb scholarships reviews to be…mixed. Most blog articles who did a review stated they got a fairly general list of scholarships. For example, an article from CollegeScholarships.org did a comprehensive review of several databases and when they completed a fictional profile, they got about 110 hits. Whether they were relevant scholarships or not, it wasn’t determined.
One Fastweb scholarships review we found advised against using the database completely. They also completed a fictional profile for a teenager entering their high school senior year. When they received their scholarship results, most the of the results were not relevant to the user.
This seemed to be the case for a lot of people who used the site as well. In reading through forum boards and other articles, FastWeb can generate results, but results generated are national scholarships that have a large entry pool. Some people do win scholarships using Fastweb, but it’s really hard to do for the time it takes.
While Fastweb is a safe scholarship database to use and can find you hundreds of scholarship, college, and internship opportunities, the research we found came up vastly short of our expectations. For the record, we want to say that is not a scam site. Fastweb has been around for twenty years and has helped a lot of students find money for college. However, because they use scholarships that a large pool of people can use, it is really hard to win anything. In most cases, we found that people who used the site never actually ended up winning anything.
So for our Fastweb scholarships review, while we found that Fastweb is helpful in finding scholarships and resources, your time might be better used on another database or looking for private scholarships that have smaller entry pools.