.EDU Link Building with Scholarships Guide

By Ajay Paghdal

There are a lot of link building strategies in the world of search engine optimization. And out of all of them, .EDU link building seems to be shrouded in somewhat of a mystery. Alright, maybe “mystery” is a bit too dramatic of a word, but there certainly are some misconceptions surrounding this technique.

Today, we will be covering scholarship link building, clearing all of those misconceptions out, and give you some advice on how to get the most out of your .EDU link building campaign.

But, first of all, we have to answer a simple question.

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The biggest determining factor in this question is how much money are you willing to give out on scholarships. You could offer $5000, or you could offer $500 per scholarship, and end up getting pretty much the same result.

You can expect to land at least 15-30 responses from 200 outreach emails, basically landing you 15-30 backlinks for one scholarship. If you’re offering $500, that sounds more than a fair deal, especially considering that the average price for a backlink built by an agency is about $250.

As you can see, none of the external scholarships on the Colby Community College website exceed $1,500. So, it doesn’t really need to be any more than that.

But the scholarship itself is not the only expense you have to be ready for. What you also should be keeping in mind is:

  • The price of creating a Scholarship page.
  • The price for running an outreach campaign (unless you’re doing it yourself).
  • The price of reviewing all of your scholarship applications (unless you’re doing it yourself again, but be prepared for hundreds upon hundreds of them).

So, in total, you won’t be looking at more than $2000, if you decide to go for the $500 scholarship.

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Well, if you consider getting a couple of dozen backlinks for about $2000, then yes, it will. Any successful link building campaign will pay off.

Especially if bigger universities accept your offer, the one-time price of a scholarship is more than worth the benefits you will be getting in the long run. In addition to boosting your SEO, it is also beneficial for your brand image, and your relationship with your local community.

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Search Operators for University Emails on Google

A lot of the schools who accept external scholarships actually have a separate email for receiving offers. You should definitely target that one because if you just send your message to one of their regular addresses, you probably won’t get a response.

If you struggle with finding your prospects’ emails, be sure to check out our guide on how to find email addresses more easily.

Here are some search operators for finding university email addresses much more easily. You’re going to need two things to use those: your target university’s name, and their website URL.

  • “University name” + finaid@[url of website] {ex: finaid@ju.edu}
  • “University name” + scholarships@[url of website]
  • “University name” + financialaid@[url of website]
  • “University name” + sfs@[url of website]
  • “University name” + student.awards@[url of website]
  • “University name” + studentfinancialservices@[url of website]
  • “University name” + sfa-scholarships@[url of website]
  • “University name” + pfascholarships@[url of website]
  • or
  • “University name” + scholarship program

General scholarship pages usually avoid listing scholarships from other businesses. For that, they usually have separate external scholarship pages. Here are some search operators for finding those.

  • Inurl:.edu + “outside scholarships”
  • Inurl:.edu + “external scholarships”
  • Inurl:.edu + “scholarships” (use this last because it will give you mainly general scholarship pages)

If you know the name of the person whose email you’re looking for, you can also try using a tool like Hunter.io.

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Outreach Email Templates

I promised some outreach email templates to speed up your outreach campaign a bit, and here they are. Feel free to grab them for your own use, but make sure to personalize them for each school!

All of these templates are from our own collection of 80+ cold email outreach templates for different link building strategies.

Do you have a template that you would like to submit?

Just click the button below.

Email Outreach Templates

5 total templates

Last 30 days: 0 templates added, 0 templates pending approval
Subject:
Broken links on {{Topic}} resources

Hello {{prospect.first_name}}, I’ve been digging through data on {{topic}} and your resources listed on your academic pages on {{topic}} came in extremely handy for my current project. {{URL of their academic resource page}} I would even say I couldn’t have finished my {{article}} without your help. I came across a few broken links though, so I was wondering if you are still updating that page. I could send you all of the broken links and also suggest additional resources if you’re interested. Thank you, {{prospect.first_name}} {{inbox.name}}

Subject:
Question about your library

Hi Ms./Mr. {{prospect.first_name}} My name is {{inbox.name}} from {{your company’s name}}. I was doing research on {{topic}} for my new project when I came across your {{.edu resource page}} and I must say, it was of tremendous help. I’m gathering a list of resources on {{topic}} for {{describe your project}}. I was wondering if you were still updating your page? I might have a few suggestions that would make a good addition to it if you’re willing to take a look. {{describe your suggested content with URLs and brief summaries}} I think those would fit right in to make an even more informative resource page. Let me know what you think, {{inbox.name}}

https://www.movingtrafficmedia.com/28-awesome-email-outreach-templates/
Subject:
Scholarship offer

Hello {{Name or title of person}}, {{Your company name}} is very excited to tell you that we are offering a scholarship to students of {{targeted school}}. We would love to make an application for this scholarship available to your students. Eligibility Requirements In order to participate in the scholarship contest, applicants must meet the following criteria: – Must be currently attending or planning to attend a college or university during the {{semester / year}} academic year. – Must be in good academic standing with your current educational institution. – For applicants under 18, must have permission from a parent or legal guardian. – Must apply to the contest by email and provide your name, address, and the name of the institution you are attending or plan to attend. – Must provide your written essay by the deadline of {{date}}. A winner will be chosen on {{date you plan on choosing}} All essay submissions should be sent to: {{contact email}} We would be honored if you could let your students know of this opportunity and possibly include us on your scholarship resource page here: {{insert resource page URL}} To learn more about the scholarship, you can visit our website at the link below as well as review the attached flyer. If you have any questions please let us know. {{Insert scholarship page URL}} Sincerely, {{inbox.signature}}

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Subject:
Undergraduate Scholarship for {{University}} students

Hi {{prospect.first_name}}, I noticed that you provide a list of private scholarships for students. I’m just sending you a message to let you know that our organization is offering {{number of student + amount}} scholarships to {{University/College Name}} students that major in {{Industry/Department}} courses. You can see more information about the scholarship here: {{insert URL to your scholarship page}} Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. Kind regards, {{inbox.name}}

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Want to learn how to write outreach email pitches that get approved more? We’ve got a guide for that as well.

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Some Original Scholarship Ideas

I already mentioned essay competitions as one of the most common ways of going about scholarship link building. But it’s far from the only way it can be done.

For example, you could receive submissions in video form. Maybe a little self-presentation and why your scholarship would be important to them? Or who could make the best-looking, most informative, industry-specific video about a niche topic?

But scholarships don’t need to be all formal and serious. If you dig around, you will find tons of scholarships given out for something ridiculous. For example, Duck Brand offers a $10,000 award to whoever can design the best prom costume out of duct tape!

With Halloween coming up, I’m sure you can think of something similar…

Since we’re in the world of IT, maybe a good idea would be to have students design some of their first websites. This would both give them the experience they will desperately need in the future, and give them a chance to win some much-needed cash along the way.

When you’re coming up with scholarship ideas, you have to think of something related to your business. If you run a restaurant, a recipe competition for culinary students would be the perfect idea, for example.

Remember: you make the rules, so if you’re going to go through hundreds of applications, might as well have some fun with it while you’re at it. Don’t limit yourself and the students to obligatory essays that are boring to write and review.

Here are also 10 ideas for getting .EDU links that don’t necessarily involve scholarships.

Conclusion

So, scholarship link building is not dead after all. And if this was your initial thought before you read this article, I hope I managed to change your mind!

As with everything, .EDU link building is only beneficial in moderation. To keep a healthy backlink profile, you need to acquire all types of links, and focusing on only one would do you more harm than good.