Web Smarts

What: These websites allow students to create online profiles to find the scholarships that fit them best. Also offered are grants, loans, internships, and tips on how to find the right scholarships.

Best points: Scholarships.com offers a free service to its visitors and has an easily navigable home page of links containing information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), general and specific scholarships, and how to distinguish a scholarship scam from the real thing. In addition, it gives a comprehensive Financial Aid and College Timeline to help high-schoolers prepare for applying for college aid. Scholarshipexperts.com allows users to create and store an online profile to help surf through its extensive database of more than 2 million scholarships. Although this service does charge an annual fee of $29.95, visitors can see how many scholarships match their profile before giving out credit- card information.

What you should know: There are many scholarship scams on the World Wide Web, but warnings from the Federal Trade Commission will steer you in the right direction. Also, many scholarships require written essays, and have deadlines early in the school year.

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