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Money map or treasure chest?

"Free money for college can sound enticing, but students need to be wary of offers that are too good to be true".

Some warning signs, and where you can find legitimate help

WSJ, By Cheryl Winokur MunkJan. 2, 2020 3:25 pm ET


The Federal Trade Commission received 725 consumer complaints in 2018 related to scholarships and educational grants. This was down a little from 770 complaints in 2017 and 972 in 2016—a somewhat encouraging sign. A good portion of this drop-off could be attributed to various campaigns to raise public awareness about scholarship scams, as well as the College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act of 2000, which increased penalties for perpetrators.

Keep in mind, though, that these figures reflect only what consumers report to the regulator, so the actual number of fraudulent incidents could be higher. And even if scholarship scams aren’t as prevalent as they once were, they continue to ensnare some students, says Robert C. Ballard, president and chief executive of Scholarship America, a nonprofit scholarship provider.

“It only takes a few to make it worthwhile for the scammers. As long as there are people who are biting, it’s going to continue,” says Mr. Ballard, who also serves on the board of the National Scholarship Providers Association.


There are many ways students can look online for free money for college beyond opportunities made available through their local high school. Here is a sampling of several comprehensive and free search engines recommended by college counselors. Keep in mind that some of these resources may share students’ information with third parties, so those who are concerned should check the privacy policy of each site.

CareerOneStop: Sponsored by the Labor Department, this site allows students to search more than 8,000 scholarships, fellowships, grants and other financial-aid opportunities.

Cappex: College applicants can search for scholarships using criteria such as application deadline and minimum award amount. Cappex also has CollegeGreenlight, a resource for first-generation and underrepresented students, with access to $11 billion in merit aid scholarships by ethnicity, gender, college major and state.

Edvisors: Its Scholarship Matcher tool asks for students’ year in school, GPA, state, gender and ethnic background to match them with possible scholarship opportunities.

Fastweb: This database includes 1.5 million college scholarships totaling more than $3.4 billion. Users can get information on them by creating a free profile. The tool can also help students find relevant internships and part-time jobs.

Going Merry: This site matches students with scholarships and then helps them apply directly. Its database contains thousands of scholarships, both national and local, and financial aid from colleges, worth $20 billion in total. Students can also bulk-apply for multiple scholarships, which share similar essay prompts, using one application.

College Board: Students find scholarships, financial aid and internships from more than 2,200 programs, totaling nearly $6 billion. The College Board itself now offers $5 million in scholarships each year, beginning with the class of 2020. It is open to all students and it doesn’t require an essay, application or minimum GPA. Instead, it rewards students for completing key steps along the path to college with a chance to earn scholarships.

Scholarship America: Students can browse through offerings of scholarship programs according to availability and location.

Scholarships.com: Students can search more than 3.7 million college scholarships and grants totaling about $19 billion in financial aid. Students can register to be matched to opportunities they qualify for, or peruse thousands of the most popular awards within select categories.

Scholar Snapp: Students can create a profile to search for scholarship information and links to applications. Information, including contact details, teacher recommendations, video uploads, essays and more, can be used from one application to another. Students can get basic information on affiliated scholarship providers without signing in.

Unigo: Students can complete a scholarship profile to obtain personalized results or they can search through Unigo’s full scholarship directory to find basic information about scholarships in a variety of categories


Ms. Winokur Munk is a writer in West Orange, N.J. She can be reached at reports@wsj.com.

Mahalo nui,

Kōmike Ho’ona auao

Maluhia McLaughlin


June 9, 2019

(Kaka‘ako, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i) – Dr. Sheri-Ann Daniels, Executive Director of Papa Ola Lōkahi, has been appointed by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex M. Azar II to serve a four-year term, effective April 26, 2019, on the Office of Minority Health’s Advisory Committee on Minority Health.

Born and raised on Maui, Daniels is the first Native Hawaiian to serve on the Committee since its formation in 1998.

The Committee advises HHS on improving the health of racial and ethnic minority groups, and on the development of goals and program activities within the Office of Minority Health. Committee members must have expertise regarding issues of minority health, and are selected based on nominations received from across the U.S.

“It is an honor to represent the Native Hawaiian community on the Advisory Committee on Minority Health at the request of Secretary Azar,” said Dr. Daniels. “I look forward to serving with my new colleagues to address the unique needs of our diverse communities and ultimately improve population health outcomes.”

Dr. Daniels was named Executive Director of Papa Ola Lōkahi in April 2016. In this role, she leads efforts to improve the overall health and well-being of Native Hawaiians and their families, through strategic partnerships, programs and public policy.

In 2017 Dr. Daniels was appointed chairperson of Nā Limahana o Lonopūhā, the Native Hawaiian Health Consortium. An integrated network of leading senior executives and health care providers, consortium members propose progressive models of culture- and research-based methods in implementing prevention and treatment programs focused on systemic outcomes among various levels of Hawaiian health and wellness.

A graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama, Dr. Daniels received her bachelor’s in family resources from the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She carries a master’s in counseling psychology from Chaminade University of Honolulu, in addition to a doctorate from Argosy University, and currently holds several license certifications. Dr. Daniels is actively involved in various community organizations on Maui, where she lives, and O‘ahu, including Hawaiian language education.

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Papa Ola Lōkahi, the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems and the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program

Improving Hawaiian Health and Well-Being for 30 Years