Several philanthropic and charitable organizations as well as private parties give financial aid to students who show the right commitment and drive. The reason why they do this is simple: Education is a powerful tool to positively influence the lives of people and thus effect social change. Money spent on education is money well spent. This fact prompts them to set aside large parts of their welfare funds for promoting education. To ensure the proper utilization of such funds, they set suitable eligibility criteria. Some even monitor the progress of the beneficiary students through the program and insist that they score a certain minimum grade in examinations.

As a diligent student willing to put in enough effort at studies, this should not be a concern for you. The challenge however is sifting through all of the various opportunities so available and zeroing in on the legitimate ones.

The site gives comprehensive information on the various aids available to students local, national and college specific. The website states that they have access to 1.3 million scholarships worth over $3 billion.

How does one use to know which scholarships and grants one is specifically eligible for? The site requires that you initially set up a password-protected account for yourself. Apart from the usual information such as name, address, email etc. the site collects information specific to the candidate such as income, nationality, religion, age, likes and dislikes etc. These seemingly superfluous and random questions are asked for a purpose. They are designed to match your profile with the eligibility criteria of specific organizations and give appropriate advice on this basis. Thus, the site allows you to apply only to just the scholarships/grants you are likely to get approved for and avoid the others. This is a useful feature in a situation where there is a multitude of aid agencies with their own eligibility criteria and conditions.

It is important here to not that questions that may not appear important or necessary, are sometimes very relevant in the context of obtaining certain scholarships. For instance, stating ones nationality may stand one in good stead to get a scholarship or grant aimed at certain specific ethnic groups or nationalities.

Once you complete the survey, the site will give you information on how to apply for the various grants and scholarships you personally are eligible for. In some instances, you may be required to write an essay explaining why you should receive the scholarship. Some may simply ask you to furnish proof of income or provide some additional information. In any case, after you complete the initial survey you will find that from then on, you will receive, for many years, e-mails on new scholarships available to you matching the information you filled out about yourself. The option is entirely yours to decide whether to apply for those scholarships based on your requirement and interest.

As you learn the ropes of the system, you will invariably find that you should apply for as many grants and scholarships as you can. This is facilitated by the fact that there is no limit to how many you can apply and potentially qualify for. As there is no guarantee that you will qualify for individual scholarships, the more organizations you apply to, the better are your chances of getting one.