How to create your own personalized scholarship search tool

The RSS feed we have installed on SOS College may be nice, but what if you want to get notifications about scholarships from multiple sites? What if you only want to know about scholarships tailored to your specific interests and needs?

Scholarship alerts

Rest assured, there is a free and easy-to-use tool that can help you. It’s called Google Alerts, and it’s about to become your next best friend. Head over to and try to think of specific search terms you would enter into Google if you wanted information about particular types of scholarships. Start entering them into the interface, adding an alert for each search, as shown in the box above.

What you’ll get in your email inbox every day is a list of Web pages, news items, and other digital notes from around the Web that Google has found which match your search terms. If Google can’t find anything, it won’t send you an email that day.

Again, one cautionary recommendation – use your most specific, narrow searches with this service, the ones that will return only a few results. If your search is too broad, you’ll end up with gigantic emails every day that will take forever to read.

Read All About It

Email isn’t the only way to get scholarship information delivered to you every day. Imagine for a moment that there was a scholarships column in every newspaper in America. It would take you forever to clip out that column from each paper and put them all in a scrapbook, not to mention the tremendous expense of buying all those papers each day. That’s kind of what it’s like to try keeping up with all the news and blogs about scholarships all over the Web.

Happily, services like Google Reader do all the clipping and scrapbooking for you, delivering them in one easy to read window, like your own personal newspaper delivered daily, for free. Here’s how to start “digitally scrapbooking” scholarship information.

Go to Google News ( and enter one of your scholarship searches there. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you’ll find a series of links, including one for Google Reader. Click on it.

You’ll be asked in Google Reader if you want to subscribe to that news feed. Click the subscribe button.

Once subscribed, every time there’s a news story about that scholarship term, you’ll get articles about it that you can read, review, and determine if it’s relevant to your scholarship search or not.

Search for all your other major scholarship searches and add them to Google Reader as well, and you will have your very own scholarships newspaper, delivered to your digital doorstep whenever you want to read it.

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