Our 5-Star Rating Criteria

  • Our experts continuously research scholarship search sites in order to find the best of the best, making your search a great deal easier with The Scholarship & Grant Guide™!

  • Sites are divided into three categories: Profile sites, Directory sites, and Specialized Sites.

  • We are constantly updating The Guide, bringing you the latest information on a regular basis.

How We Did It

With a myriad of college related Internet sites, where does one begin? We continuously research web sites, providing only the best scholarship and grant information sites possible. Our experts identify and compile a comprehensive list of the foremost sites with the largest array of award information.

Click Here to see our Research Overview

In order to make your search as effortless and time efficient as possible, the sites are divided into three categories: Profile, Directory, and an additional directory of Specialized Site links. Once we identify a site, our analyst compiles a comprehensive review, determining the sites which rank as exceptional to all others!

The Scholarship & Grant Guide™ is reviewed constantly to provide you with current current, accurate information. As new profile resource sites are identified, our team evaluates them, placing the sites in the proper category to make viable user searches. You see, in the Internet world, web sites come and go as new resources emerge. They are evaluated to meet our stringent standards to assist your specific research needs.

How The Sites Are Rated

Our rating system is designed to be a quick reference regarding the contents of each site.

The ratings scale is as follows:
5 Stars Exceptional
4 Stars Superior
3 Stars Good
2 Stars Fair
1 Star Poor

"That's great", you must be saying to yourself -- but the real question you must be asking right now is how do we determine how many stars are awarded to each site?

  • Our analysts write "Critical Reviews" of each site evaluated using a detailed analysis form and, in turn, apply a star value to each site based on the number of points awarded.

  • In order to main a wide diversity of results for analysis, we use a list of twenty-five diverse student profiles when testing each site.

The Student Profiles

As we stated earlier, we utilize a list of twenty-five diverse student profiles, ranging in age, ethnic background, academics, family income & background, as well as geographic location and schools they plan on attending.

In the end, we are able to not only rate a site for basic scholarships & grants, but also those for minorities, returning adults, international students, those studying abroad, merit--based scholarships, graduate students and more!

Click Here to see our list of Student Profiles

NOTE: The list of student profiles is compled in PDF format. In order to view this file, you will need to have the latest version of the Adobe Reader. To download the reader, click here.

The Evaluation Form

Our analysts fill out a detailed evaluation form when rating each site. For each set of criteria met, the site is awarded a certain number of points. There are a total of six different sections where points can be awarded to a site, and a space for a website report at the very end to summarize the overall evaluation.

Section 1: User Friendliness: Directions, ease of navigation and general information

Section 2: Information required for the user and user profile.

Section 3: Number and relevancy of Scholarship Matches (based on 20 diverse student profiles).

Section 4: Privacy/Disclaimer

Section 5: Commercialization

Section 6: Editor's Choice

Section 7: Website Report

Click Here to see the Evaluation Form

NOTE: The list of student profiles is compled in PDF format. In order to view this file, you will need to have the latest version of the Adobe Reader. To download the reader, click here.

The Rating Criteria

Once the evaluation form is completed, our analysts apply a 1 to 5-star rating based on the criteria within this section. For example, to achieve a 5-star rating, a site must achieve a minimum score of 95 to 100 points. This section is found at the end of the evaluation form.

The Critical Review

Once a site has been evaluated, summarized in the website report, and assigned a star rating based on our rating critera, our analysts write a critical review of the site. The critical review focuses on the positive as well as the negative aspects of each scholarship database, and offers an in-depth, unbiased view of the oveall experience one should expect when searching.

You can read the critical reviews for each site in the next section, entitled "Ratings and Reviews", to decide which scholarship databases will best suit your individual situation when making your search for scholarships from our list of Top-Rated scholarship databases.

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