Teenagers who are in high school have a lot on their plates when it comes to deciding their future. It’s a young age to have to decide on a prospective career and figure out where to study. It’s hard enough to find the right school as it is. Even worse, many students find that they simply cannot afford most of the colleges they are interested in attending.
Thankfully there are services that address all the above issues and simplify the process for many of these students. Unigo is one of these services. In this article, we will outline what Unigo is, what they have to offer, and how they can alleviate many of the stressors that young students face while they attempt to follow their dreams.
What Is Unigo?
Unigo is an online database that connects students with colleges, potential scholarships, internships, and career advice. A Report by USA Today notes that Unigo has millions of students perusing through their website via its college search engine.
Even textbook and education publisher McGraw-Hill notes Unigo as one of the “most authoritative library of college reviews on the Internet.” Recently acquired in 2016 by Education Dynamics, Unigo has positioned itself as a valuable resource for prospective students as well as graduate students.
With a community of almost 6,000,000 members, Unigo is a network that caters to current and future college students who are a bit apprehensive as to which school they want to attend. Unigo utilizes cutting edge tools, informative content, and an educational hub to ensure that students and their families are informed throughout the application process.
Not only is it a favorite search engine that helps peruse through colleges, but it also empowers student with financial aid literacy and advice as to how they can best utilize their major and recreational activities for their best shot at getting a scholarship.
As of 2015, Unigo has 650,000 college reviews, almost 4,000,000 scholarships, and 90,000 internships for prospective students. It also offers a marketplace where students can connect with tutors and academic mentors.
In a 2008 interview with the Harvard Business Review, former Unigo CEO Jordan Goldman is quoted saying that Unigo was made to streamline the process of selecting a university. He notes that choosing a college is “stressful and incredibly expensive,” which is a sentiment echoed by students and family members all across America. Goldman first created a database of his own called “Students Guide to Colleges,” which were published in different editions of Penguin Books.
After realizing the limitation of printed guidebooks, he invested his time in creating an online database – and that's where the conception of Unigo occurred. Unigo has become a juggernaut of a business model, partnering with many mainstream media brands like ABCNews and the Huffingtonpost.
It even founded the “WSJ On Campus,” a segment of the Wall Street Journal to help high school students maneuver the process of college admissions. It has garnered the attention of Facebook, securing additional grants from the media giant.
Unigo notes that students are their “jam,” with the service dedicated to students and making sure that they make an informed decision as to what they want to major in and what college they want to attend.
Unigo is in the business of serving education, using a business-to-education approach, rather than a B2B scenario. This type of relationship with higher education helps to bridge the gap between the identity of the school and the student profile of curious students who want to read college reviews.
Unigo positions itself as a college review database, student loan finder, and a place where students can discover financing opportunities to bridge any academic gaps during their tenure in college. However, Unigo also has several of its own easy scholarships, with the service awarding almost $500,000 in grants.
Fifth Month Scholarship
The Fifth Month Scholarship is dedicated to the number five and its significance to a college student's life. The requirements and the merit of the scholarship may even be deemed humorous – but it equates to a serious award of $1500. The Fifth Month Scholarship can be serious help with school supplies and other expenses.
The do over scholarship is to encourage students to become introspective and answer a relatively straightforward but thoughtful question: “if you could get one do-over in your life, what would it be?”. It's a simple question but one that requires emotional maturity to answer thoroughly. The reward amount is $1500.
Flavor of the Month Scholarship
This scholarship equates to $1500. Applicants need to respond to the question: if you were an ice cream flavor, what flavor would you be? There are several unique ice cream flavors, and the Unigo wants to see the diversity of its applicant and registrants.
Make Me Laugh Scholarship
Applying to scholarships typically require a serious response to a serious question. But the requirements for this award are a bit different, as applicants are just required to write a 250-word response that will make the reader giggle.
Students can describe a funny event or incident in their lives, or perhaps an embarrassing experience. The award amount of this scholarship is $1500.
Shout It Out Scholarship
This is another quirky award by Unigo. Applicants need to pick one thing that they want to explain to the entire world in 250 words or less. The reward amount is $1500.
Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship
Many Americans who are entering college are fans of The Walking Dead. This scholarship with an award amount of $2000 celebrates these zombie aficionados. This award asks that applicants write up a survival plan to avoid the zombies and to stay alive.
Education Matters Scholarship
This award amount is for $5000, asking applicants to explain the importance and value of an education to someone who doesn't care about it. What would your response be if someone says that college is a waste of money and time?
Top 10 List Scholarship
The award amount of this scholarship is $1500. You need to create a top 10 list of the top reasons why you should receive the prize. You're given 250 words to explain.
I Have a Dream Scholarship
This scholarship inquires about the dreams of would-be college students. Whether it's a lovely dream or something bizarre, Unigo wants to know what you dream about. You will have the opportunity to win a $1500 scholarship.
Sweet and Simple Scholarship
This scholarship asks you to think back at a time when you received a gift. Explain to Unigo how much it meant to you at the time. The award amount is $1500.
Everyone has a superhero – and now you can explain to Unigo who that superhero is and how it relates to your life story. Alternatively, you can also choose a villain. Tell Unigo your favorite superhero and explain to them why you want to trade spaces with them for a day. The scholarship amount is $2500.
All About Education Scholarship
This scholarship is another straightforward one from Unigo. You can win an award of $2000 if you explain to them how you will utilize the money and how much of a difference it'll make in your education.
Unigo $10K Scholarship
Unigo has a popular scholarship where the winner can win a $10,000 reward. It's one of the website's more popular featured awards, with applicants required to answer a simple question: what would your first tweet be if you were to become president suddenly?
How to Use Unigo.com
Unigo first started as a database for college reviews. It still does that functionality amazingly well, within the database consisting of more than 650,000 college reviews – all curated by current and former students. If you need additional information about a particular college, then you can request information right on the Unigo website.
Positioning itself as a one-stop resource for students, Unigo also informs readers of the latest news about financial aid and the selection criteria of major colleges.
More and more students are forced to use loans to pay for their educations, as certain forms of funding are being severed by the government or simply because the rate of tuition hikes are double the inflation rates at one point. This makes school particularly expensive – so much so that some students use student loans from public and private lenders to bridge that financial gap.
Thankfully, Unigo has a student loan finder to match a potential loan with your academic and financial profile. The student loan finder considers your current level of study, the college that you plan to attend, the projected date of graduation, and your location. Unigo would then parse through its database and use your information to match to your eligibility and the payment preferences.
This is all done without inserting sensitive information like your credit card or personal information. It simply matches you to a potential loan, linking you to the lender's website to continue the application process.
You can create a student profile on Unigo, enabling the service to match you with potential universities. If you are just perusing through potential schools, then you can search by state or by major.
The scholarship database can be scanned with the help of a questionnaire that will consider your academic status, high school graduation year, areas of study, and location. This information will then allow Unigo to present to you a directory of relevant scholarships. This increases your chances of securing an award.
How Much Does It Cost?
Thankfully, the plethora of information presented by Unigo is free for students, their families, educators, and counselors. By generating a profile on the website, you will be able to come face-to-face with hyper-focused opportunities to help you save money on tuition.
However, there are peripheral services that come at a premium. “Premium school profiles” gives schools the opportunity to provide input. Students and their families leave many of the reviews on the schools. Premium school profiles can interject and be part of the conversation, where they'll be able to not only get in contact with specific members of the Unigo community, but tap into analytics to expose potential pupils.
You can also make your school's profile more dynamic by inserting a video, projecting the school's brand with a modified description, custom slideshows and images, and an updated map of the campus. These are all resources that will be noticed by the Unigo community and will inform them that the school cares about their opinions and perspectives.
Other than that, most of the tools and services offered by Unigo are free. You'll be able to peruse through the college reviews, connect with potential scholarship opportunities, and secure information about public and private student loans. Unigo also has a plethora of online articles that puts a spotlight on almost every major – and minor – aspect of enrollment, admissions, studying, and paying back student debt.
Is Unigo Legit?
Unigo has been the go-to resource for students for many years, with several organizations recognizing and awarding Unigo's dedication to simplify the financial aid and the college admissions process. Unigo has been regarded by USA Today to be one of the ten best sites to search for scholarships, with the founder even recognized by Inc. as one of the top 30 young entrepreneurs in America.
Unigo has been a finalist for best education website by the Association of Educational Publishers, best social networking website by the Webby Awards, and being dignified as a model of excellence by Infocommerce.
Not only have large organizations recognized Unigo's influence, but also do the thousands of students that revisit the website at any given moment to read up on unbiased reviews of America's colleges and universities.
Unfortunately, many incredulous organizations and individuals have taken advantage of desperate college students who are looking for a viable way to fund their educational career, with stories of scams coming to light on a regular basis.
One of the best measures to ensure that you are connecting with a reliable source of funding is by using services like Unigo, where they do the vetting for you and ensure that there is a need-based scholarship opportunity relevant to your recreational activities and academic endeavors.
Unigo is a transparent, reliable service that is looking out for prospective students. It has relayed a couple of tips on the Huffingtonpost as to how students can avoid scams. Some of these suggestions include making sure that you aren't required to pay a sum to secure a scholarship or pay to gain access to a directory of potential opportunities.
Unigo has clout, and it can rightfully ask for a premium subscription for all the services that it provides. However, not only are they free, but they're willing to work with media partners and allies to guarantee that students are exposed to the latest information.
There are many great scholarship websites. To check out more websites like Unigo, head over to our complete review of the top scholarship search engines.