Are you a student or the parent of a student looking for and applying to colleges?  If so, I’m sure your stress levels are nearing an all-time high right now.  Deciding where you want to go to school might just be the most important choice of your life to date. is a great solution and resource for students that need help deciding where they want to attend school as well as students that need help paying for their education.

You might already be ahead of the curve and know exactly which college or university you want to attend.  Maybe there is a chance that you have already been accepted to your dream school; congratulations!  But now that you are reviewing the details of your admission, you are quickly realizing that tuition, books, supplies, room and board and other living expenses add up fast.  How are you going to pay for all that?

Utilizing the CollegeNET platform is a great option for anyone in the process of searching and applying to colleges.

What is

CollegeNET is a social networking platform that awards scholarships and prizes to their members.  The company offers technology and web-based solutions for colleges, universities, and non-profit organizations.  Originally founded as Universal Algorithms Inc., they changed their name to CollegeNET in 1999 as they began working with more postsecondary educational institutions.

They provide software as service applications to over 1,300 establishments including major colleges such as Stanford University, Princeton University, and the University of Washington to help improve their efficiency with administrative services, online admissions, applications, event planning, and other areas that ultimately save money for their clients.

Their long history and existing relationships with schools made it an easy transition to add student services to their website and business model.  Part of their function includes helping students receive scholarship money to pay for school.  They also help students across the world find schools and careers, which gives them a head start and advantage for their future. also helps facilitate surveys for current students in the classroom, which benefits professions, schools, and future students as well.  These assessment features show that the company doesn’t stop at helping students get into school and paying for it, but also assists them throughout their collegiate careers.

How to Use CollegeNET

The first step for students that want to take advantage of CollegeNET scholarships and services is to create an account on their website.  To set up an account, you will need to provide basic information such as your full name, address, e-mail address, and phone number.  You also get to create a user name and screen name to interact and identify with other users on the platform.

When you create an account, make sure you check off the box that makes you eligible for the CollegeNET scholarship election program.  To be eligible, you need to be a current college student or be planning to attend college within the next calendar year.  College graduates are also eligible if they have any unpaid balances on qualifying student loans.

Once your account is set up, create a forum and start an online discussion with other users on the website.  These forums can be about anything that’s on your mind.  It helps to start topics that you think other people will be interested in replying to, which keeps the discussion fresh, popular and increases your chances of winning scholarship money.  Some examples of forum topics include technology, arts, education, or entertainment.

Your discussion gives you the voice and platform to talk about anything you want.  You can choose to get political and talk about controversial current events or even religion.  If controversy isn’t your style, you can strike up a sports conversation or something fun like fashion, tattoos, or cooking.

Other users can vote for your forum if they like your writing and topic.  If you have a webcam, you can even record a video of yourself talking about different subjects if you prefer speaking instead of writing.  You also want to interact with other users forums by liking and commenting on them.  If you like and comment on other discussions, you increase the chances of people seeing your forums and gain more votes for yourself.

Scholarship amounts increase based on the level of activity on the website and each forum.  Promoting your forum not only gives you a better chance of winning, but it also gives you a chance to win more money.  Use your other social network platforms to get your friends, family, co-workers, and peers to join CollegeNET and participate in the discussions.

Scholarship Election

Before you start the CollegeNET scholarship election, make sure you review all of their official rules.  The rules are pretty in depth, so we outlined and summarized the major points of emphasis for eligibility and winnings.  Scholarship money gets awarded to users each week.  Every week the amount of the prize varies based on website traffic and user participation.

The basic concept of the scholarship election is based on the details that we discussed earlier.  If you want to win scholarship money, you can do so by creating forums on the website, participate in other people’s forums by commenting, liking posts, and inviting other people to join the website and community discussions.  The more you do these things not only increases your chances of winning but also increases the prize pool.

To be eligible, you need to be a United States resident that is currently enrolled in a two-year or four-year undergraduate or graduate program or plan to enroll in college within one year.  Former students who have unpaid Title IV student loans are also eligible for the CollegeNET scholarship election.

You get points based on your participation on the website and forum contributions.  Users with the highest point totals may qualify to win one of the awards during a cycle.  There are five types of scholarships on the website:

Open Awards

The amount of every open award scholarship is $300.  CollegeNET gives away a minimum of ten open awards in a given cycle.  The maximum amount of open award money given away in a cycle is $10,000 total.  These prizes vary based on the amount aggregate activity on the site during that period.

Rookie Awards

Rookie awards are given to new users on the website that have made less than 50 total posts on different forums.  If you’ve already won an open award, you are no longer eligible to receive a rookie award.  A rookie award winner gets announced immediately following an open reward cycle to the rookie with the most accumulated points.

Tournament Awards

Only people that have already won an open award or rookie award can qualify to receive a tournament award.  Before a tournament begins, will announce how many winners will get a scholarship and the amount of each scholarship.  These factors vary based on website traffic and user activity during that period.  If two people have the same amount of points earned and tie, the award will get split in half between each student.

Sponsored Awards

Sponsored awards are based solely on the kindness of a company, organization, or individual.  There may not be sponsored awards available during every open cycle.  Anyone interested in helping students by sponsoring an award can follow the instructions here to get started.

College Awards

Sometimes colleges offer a college award either alone or partnered with a sponsor on the CollegeNET platform.  The eligibility, qualifications and amount of money offered vary based on the requirements based on the college offering the scholarship.  Often, the award money can only get used towards that particular institution.

You can’t vote for yourself to win, but you can vote for other users on the website.  Casting a vote will also increase your chances of winning awards because it adds points to your profile.  You can only cast two votes per day during a voting cycle, so use your power wisely!


The USAcademy feature from is a designated learning tool for international students that are interested in studying in America.  It costs $300 to use this service for three months, or you can get a discounted price of $1,000 if you enroll for an entire year of USAcademy.

Studying in an unfamiliar country can result in culture shock for most people.  With this CollegeNET service, students can learn about American customs and culture throughout college campuses.  You have the ability to ask questions in writing via the online portal and receive a video response answer.  If you prefer, you can also record a video of yourself asking the question, and still receive a video answer as a response.

CollegeNET also provides a glossary with thousands of sayings, abbreviations, expressions, and idioms that Americans commonly use.  These terms are organized by myths, sports, preparation, and other themes to make it easy for foreigners to navigate what they are looking for.

USAcademy also has a tutorial on school subjects, manners, customs, and etiquette.  It also provides insight on daily practical matters such as emergency help, health insurance, time zones, and banking procedures.  They offer everything an international college student needs to make their transition to the American postsecondary educational system a smooth and seamless process.

College Search

The CollegeNet College Search function allows students to find colleges based on their personal preferences.  You can search colleges by names or keywords.  If you don’t know exactly what you want, then you can search by certain criteria and will give you applicable results.

Search by selecting a segment in each category to narrow your results:

Institution Type

  • Below an Associate’s Degree – less than two years
  • Associate’s Degree – between two and four years
  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher – four years or more


  • Public school
  • Private nonprofit
  • Private school for profit

Undergraduate Student Enrollment

  • 0 – 500
  • 500 – 1,000
  • 1,000 – 2,000
  • 2,000 – 4,000
  • 4,000 – 6,000
  • 6,000 – 8,000
  • 10,000 – 12,000
  • 12,000 – 14,000
  • 14,000 – 16,000
  • 16,000 – 20,000
  • 20,000 – 30,000
  • Over 40,000

You can also narrow your search by states you want to live in, sports offered, in-state tuition costs, and out of state tuition costs.  CollegeNet’s unique search engine will help students find the college of their dreams.

Scholarship Search

Your profile will automatically match you with scholarships you may qualify for.  In addition to that, you can also use the keyword search option to find other scholarships to help lower your cost of tuition.

Students can use these scholarship search tools in addition to the CollegeNet scholarship election system to increase their chances of getting award money towards their college educations.

You can also take advantage of the CollegeNet letters of recommendation system, which allows students initiate and send recommendations directly from the writer to institutions for their admissions applications and for scholarship awards.

How Much Does It Cost?

The CollegeNET services are 100% free for students.  There are other websites that charge a subscription and offer fewer services than, so it makes more sense to use CollegeNET than another website.

Their premiere service for international students is the only feature with a fee.  The USAcademy service has two purchase options.  International students have the option to subscribe for an entire year a $1,000 rate or choose three months for $300.

Is CollegeNET Legit?

CollegeNET is a legitimate company that offers scholarships, college search and scholarship search options for both American and international students.  They have been in business for over 30 years and offer other services in addition to the student features portion of their website.

Online reviews from the Better Business Bureau give CollegeNET an A+ scorecard.

Our Thoughts

Based on the wide range of services offered and scholarship money awarded to future and current college students, we recommend giving a try.  Their site is easy to use and navigate while offering serious tuition rewards on a weekly basis to students.

Instead of using one website for college searches, another for scholarship searches, and a third to connect and discuss world events with your peers, use CollegeNET for all of the above.  It’s free, secure, legit, and worth a try.

Check out more reviews on similar sites here.