Five Apps to Help Pay for College

While the cost of funding college continues to rise with each passing year, there are plenty of resources that parents and students can tap into to help offset these spiraling costs.

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Five Apps to Help Pay for College

Five Apps to Help Pay for College

A four-year college degree does not come cheaply. In fact, during the period of 1989 to 2016, college costs increased nearly eight times faster than wages did.1 The failure of household income to keep up with college inflation has made higher education out-of-reach for an increasing number of Americans. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources that parents and students can tap into to help offset these spiraling costs, like college funding strategies. In this article, we’ll focus on five apps that can locate grants and scholarships to ease the financial burden.

  1. Scolly—This app, made famous by the founder’s appearance on “Shark Tank,” claims over $100 million in scholarships won by its users. Students build a profile to receive personalized scholarship searches. The app even offers AI-powered proofreading of submitted essays. The app costs $2.99 per month.
  2. College Board’s Scholarship Search—Offering access to scholarships, other financial aid and internships from more than 2,200 programs, totaling nearly $6 billion, this free service is sponsored by one of the oldest non-profit organizations helping students connect to colleges.
  3. com—This is a free service that touts a database of over 3.7 million college scholarships and grants, amounting to some $19 billion in financial aid.
  4. FastWeb—Upon completing a profile, students gain access to more than 1.5 million scholarships and $3.4 billion in funding. The service is free.
  5. Cappex—A free scholarship search engine that connects students to over $11 billion in funding opportunities.

Though some overlap may exist among these apps, students and parents may want to work with more than one to increase their odds of finding a scholarship or grant for which their child may qualify and stand a good chance of winning.

The Motivation App

Parents who have already gone through the college process have learned that their aspiring college student is not always motivated to do the hard work of searching for scholarships and writing the required essays. So, no matter the app, the real challenge is finding a way to motivate a high school senior to do the boring work of plowing through databases and submitting applications.

While every child is different, one motivational tool may be to promise a 10 percent “finder’s fee” for each scholarship or grant a child is awarded for him or her to pocket and spend as he or she sees fit.

It’s also important that, after the funding begins, parents and children learn how to transition to college.



See referenced disclosure (2) (3) (5) and (6) at 

About The Author

Kimberly A. Branch, CFP®


Vice President of Marketing Strategy 


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