Scholarships are awesome resources if you’re checking out different ways to pay for college. It’s free money—what’s not to love?
As it turns out, most scholarship programs have application processes that aren’t exactly lovable. Students generally have to submit a lot of information about themselves: transcripts, GPAs, test scores, resumes, community service activities, and so on. There may even be a few essays and grade requirements thrown in as well. You don’t want to complain, because again, free money—but these applications sure are tedious when you’re working on college apps, high school courses, and financial aid applications all at the same time.
The following easy scholarships have application processes that are a bit more manageable. Some ask you to write short essays while others don’t require any essays at all! The awards may not be as large as some other scholarships, but when the application process is so easy, you really don’t have much to lose. I'll start off with some words of warning before getting into the good stuff: essay and no-essay scholarships that are so easy to apply for, you may end up applying to all of them!
Caveat: If a Scholarship Seems Too Good to Be True ...
It turns out there aren't too many legitimate "easy" scholarships out there. If a scholarship application seems too good to be true, then be cautious—you don't want to fall victim to a scholarship scam. Here are some things to look out for:
- If a scholarship application asks for personal information that doesn't seem relevant to the award, tread carefully. Many top scholarship programs ask for very personal information (transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, even financial information for need-based scholarships), but this info is all relevant to candidate evaluation. If you're ever uncomfortable providing personal information, dig deeper into the scholarship award—can you verify that it's legitimate? Does it have its own site, or can you only find information on it through a third party? Google "[award name] scam" to see if anything suspicious pops up.
- Avoid any scholarship that ask you to make payments to enter or win. Scholarship programs are in the business of giving money to students, not taking it. It's likely just a scam if the application asks for payment, especially if it asks you to enter credit card information.
Now that we got that out of the way, we can get to the good stuff: easy essay and non-essay scholarships and how to win them.
These essays won't take you long at all, but they're a good excuse to set up at your favorite cafe.
The scholarships in this section ask students to submit short essays with their applications. Even though you'll have to write up an essay, the rest of the application (and the essay itself) should be easy and manageable for all these awards. In fact, I expect most of these applications should take no longer than one to two hours to complete.
Bachus & Schanker LLC Scholarship
This scholarship program is a bit different than most of the other awards included in this post—it's funded by a private law firm in Colorado. Students compete for a $2,000 award by writing a short essay (800 words) about the 7th amendment and how it affects their lives.
- The award is open to high school students who have been accepted to a four-year university and university students with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
- There are two application deadlines per year: one November 30 to win a scholarship for the spring semester, and one July 30 to win a scholarship for the fall semester.
Courage to Grow Scholarship
This $500 award is given out to one lucky student every month. To compete for the award, applicants must explain in 250 words why they think they deserve the scholarship.
- The award is open to high school juniors, high school seniors, and college students. Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA.
- Application deadline: end of every month!
Odenza Marketing Group Scholarship
To compete for this $500 award, applicants must like the Odenza Facebook page and write two short essays (about 500 words each). One essay must be related to travel and your career, and the other must explain why you should receive the scholarship.
- The award is open to those aged 16-25 who are either current high school students or people who have at least one year of college remaining. Applicants must also have a minimum 2.5 GPA.
- The application deadline is September 30, 2017.
James "Rhio" O'Connor Scholarship Memorial Fund
This $1,000 award is given out to a new student every month. Students compete for the scholarship by writing a short essay (700-1,500 words) addressing a prompt related to cancer treatment.
- The award is open to all college students.
- Application deadline: new one every month!
Some of these applications won't take you longer than a few minutes.
When it comes to easy applications, you can't get much easier than the following scholarship programs. You'll still have to submit some information about yourself (and, in some instances, complete some brief activities or tasks), but you won't have to write any essays to qualify.
AFSA High School Scholarship
Here's one of those scholarships for which you have to complete a few unique activities to qualify. For the 2017 scholarship, students applied by reading about automatic fire sprinkler systems and then taking a 10-question quiz based on the information they read. Ten $2,000 awards are available each year.
- This scholarship is open to high school seniors for the 2017-18 school year.
- The application will open around September 2017 and close in April 2018.
Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway
Students can qualify to win $2,500, $20,000, or $100,000 in tuition money by writing a "story" about themselves in 350 characters or less—that's really short. Stories that get the most votes win prizes, so recruit your friends to vote for you!
- This award is open to all students aged 18-24.
- Awards are given out on a rolling basis.
Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku and Senryu Competition
This scholarship program gives out relatively small awards of $50, but the application process is particularly fun and easy. Students qualify by writing and submitting up to three original haikus.
- This scholarship is open to all students in grades 7-12.
- The deadline will be around March 2018.
"No Essay" College Scholarship
This $2,000 award is given out monthly. To apply, students just submit an application with basic identifying information, GPA, and SAT/ACT scores. Winners are determined by random selection, and you can submit a new application every month.
- This scholarship is open to high school students, adults heading back to school, current college students, and anyone else looking to attend college or graduate school within the next year.
- Application deadline: end of every month!
Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest
Do you have a creative side and an eye for fashion? Students compete for 10 $1,000-$10,000 awards by designing and wearing prom outfits made out of duct tape. Applicants can enter as individuals or as part of a couple. Check out the website for fun pictures of past winners!
- This competition is open to high school students in the US and Canada (excluding certain states and territories—refer to the official rules for details).
- The application period opens around April 2018 and closes in late May 2018.
US Bank Scholarship
Three $5,000 awards, one $10,000 award, and one $20,000 award are available through this scholarship program. To qualify, students submit a simple application and complete five brief online learning modules on financial literacy. If you're heading off to college, it's not a bad idea to get some basic info on personal finance anyway, making this scholarship app a win-win!
- This award is open to current undergraduates.
- The deadline is October 27, 2017.
CaptainU $2,000 Student-Athlete Scholarship
As the name suggests, this quarterly award is meant for student athletes who plan to attend a four-year college or university. Applicants must submit some basic info about their sport and GPA to qualify.
- This scholarship is open to high school and junior college student athletes.
- Application deadline: new one every quarter (i.e., every three months).
3 Tips for Winning Easy Scholarships
Easy scholarships to apply for aren't necessarily the same as easy scholarships to win. Because these scholarship applications are so simple to complete, you'll probably have a lot of competition. Here are some strategies to help you submit your best applications possible:
- If you have to write an essay, you’re likely to be more successful if your views align with those of the entity that’s awarding the scholarship. To prepare, do some research about the company or charity's mission statement.
- Make sure your application is polished. You won’t have the opportunity to make more than a first impression (remember, these apps are short and sweet!), so double-check for any grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors.
- Last but not least, make sure your application is complete and on time!
These scholarships are awesome options if you want to churn out as many applications as possible. As you might have noticed, though, the award amounts can be a bit underwhelming (although keep in mind that several smaller awards can be just as helpful as one big award).
You'll have to spend more time on your applications if you're gunning for a top scholarship, but the payoff can be more than worth it. To learn more about some of the best scholarships out there, check out our guides to the top scholarships for high school juniors and seniors.
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Grants, Scholarships, and MORE
Scholarships with No Essays and No Essay Contests
We have heard the requests for a list of scholarships without essays. We know that scholarships with no essay requirement would be great. However, the scholarship with no essay is a hard-to-find scholarship. There are plenty of scholarship essay contests. It can be SO VERY FRUSTRATING to write scholarship essay after essay and then be denied ANY scholarship. We would like to see more scholarships that would somehow award the money based on some other requirement than an essay. However, it seems that a majority of college grants and scholarships require some type of essay. It is understandable how the sponsors of college scholarships for students would want to know more about the applicant through the use of an essay. After all, the sponsors want to know if the applicant has the ability to take that money and succeed.
YouTube Video: How to Find College Grants and Scholarships is a short six-minute video that gives you an overall look at where to find college grants and scholarships. If you have no idea on where to start to find financial aid, then this video will give you a good idea on how to go about finding free money in the form of financial aid, grants, and scholarships for college or trade schools for a variety of groups of people such as nursing students, single moms, women, traditional students, non-traditional students, and just about any U.S. Citizen seeking scholarships with the least amount of eligibility requirements.
We continue to research college grants and scholarships. When we find a no essay scholarship, we will add it to the list. We know that there are plenty of scholarship essay contests, but hardly any "no essay contests." However, for now, here is a short list of college scholarships where no essay is required.
NextStepU Win Free Tuition Scholarship (NO ESSAY)
NextStepU offers two different main scholarships. One requires an essay, but this one does not.
“All students who register on NextStepU.com during an eligible drawing period and opt in to Win Free Tuition will qualify.”
Scholarship award for this NO ESSAY scholarship: One $2,500 scholarship will be awarded.
HeadSetPlus.com Scholarship Annual College Scholarship
Eligibility: High school senior entering college, current college students, or graduate. School. Student must have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicant must be at least 16 years of age. Applicants must be legal residents or citizen of the United States. “Create a short YouTube video about yourself, your past achievements and how you can help shape the world around you, why college education is important, and tell us what motivates you? Give us examples what you have achieved in school and outside of school.”
GotChosen $5,000 Social Network Scholarship (NO ESSAY)
Eligibility: "The applicant with the most upvotes among all their posts will win the $5,000 scholarship award. No GPA, essay or financial need requirements. Open to all fields of study, this scholarship award must be used for educational expenses. US and international students can apply."
This is a MONTHLY contest. You need to::
- Apply for the scholarship
- Add a photo to your profile
- Post on any channel
- Get upvotes for your posts
Money: $5,000 MONTHLY Contest.
Ratingle Scholarship (VIDEO Contest)
Eligibility: "The student must be currently enrolled in, or enrolled to begin higher education studies in the fall semester 2017. Applicants must be permanent residents of the United States."
"The Ratingle Scholarship subject is product reviews. Students should choose a unique gadget that made their last year different. The gadget could be of any field (studies/electronics/fun etc.)
The video should introduce the product and answer the most important questions others may have before purchasing this product."
MORE information is provided at their website. This is a VIDEO contest and topic is listed at their website.
FormSwift $1,000 Summer Scholarship Contest
1. You must be a graduating senior in high school or enrolled in college. Community college, professional college, and graduate students are all eligible, in addition to undergraduates at four-year universities.
2. You may not be related to any of FormSwift’s staff or our extended family.
3. International students, including students from a college or graduating from a high school outside the United States, are also eligible to apply.
4. We reserve the right to verify date of high school graduation and/or college enrollment.
Write a One to Two Page Business Plan or make a Business Plan Infographic about one of the following business industries for a chance to win the FormSwift Summer Scholarship:
- A Bakery
- A Restaurant
- A Salon (Hair, Nails, etc.)
- A Trucking Company
- A Personal Training Company
Contact for MORE information:http://formswift.com/startup-scholarship
Sponsor: Student Insights
Eligibility Requirements:“This contest is open to high school seniors residing in all 50 US states and planning to attend college or career school after completing high school."
“To enter the contest, entrants must complete and submit the application survey found at www.student-view.com. No scholarship essay or purchase is necessary.
Student Insights will award the following prizes:
- One (1) individual prize, consisting of a $4,000 scholarship.
- One (1) individual prize, consisting of $1,000 scholarships.
- Two (2) individual prizes, consisting of $500 scholarships each.
- The individual scholarship winners will be selected in a random drawing from the pool of eligible entrants."
Off to College Scholarship Sweepstakes
Sponsor: SunTrust Bank
Eligibility Requirements: Available for high schools students planning to enroll in college and to students already in college and expecting to be there in fall. This is good for accredited colleges and trade schools. By all that we can tell, no scholarship essay is required. It sounds like the winner is picked from a drawing.
Money: Multiple scholarships worth $1,000 will be awarded.
Contact Information: http://www.suntrusteducation.com/sweeps/default.asp
Chegg$1,000 MONTHLY Scholarship Contest
Chegg has now become MORE than just a company that rents textbooks. It appears that Chegg has acquired Zinch and now provides all kinds of college-related information, including scholarships. It appears that some of the scholarships funded by Zinch are available within Chegg, still.
Eligibility Requirements: Chegg offers a $1,000 MONTHLY Contest. This is open to students in the U.S. who are least 16 years old and enrolled in high school or accredited college in the U.S.
There is a question listed at their website and the answer can be up to 600 characters.
Money: $1,000 and this is a MONTHLY contest.
For a few years, we have listed College Prowler as a source for about four scholarships.We see that the name of the company has kind of changed and the format of the scholarships/website has changed. The URL has changed, also. This is a good example of how difficult it is to track these scholarships. All too often, there is a lot of change.
NICHE is the new name and will fund a number of scholarships, as well as provide a search service for scholarships. NICHE has continued the $2,000 NO ESSAY contest.
Here are some links that you can continue to try to use.
About the company/organization: https://niche.com/about/company/
https://colleges.niche.com/scholarships/ is a link to Niche scholarships and other scholarships.
It appears that, at least, the $2,000 "No Essay" scholarship is still available.
$2,000 “NO ESSAY” MONTHLY Scholarship is open to all current students and those planning to enroll within 12 months.
"The $2,000 “No Essay” Scholarship is an easy scholarship with no essay required! The scholarship can be used to cover tuition, housing, books, or any education-related expenses. The monthly winner will be determined by random drawing and then contacted directly and announced in Niche's e-newsletter and on the Scholarship Winners page. You can apply once each month, with a new winner selected every month."
The AFSA Scholarship Contest
Sponsor: American Fire Sprinkler Association
Okay, I admit that the application for this scholarship may be “different” but it is a pretty easy way to qualify for a scholarship. I am not going to get into all the details of this contest but let me give you a brief summary. You answer a "short quiz" at the website. “For each question answered correctly, students will receive one (1) entry into a drawing for one of ten $2,000 scholarships. A total of ten (10) entries into the drawing is possible if the student answers all ten questions correctly.”
There are two main scholarships. One is the High School Senior Scholarship Contest where ten scholarships worth $2,000 each are awarded to high school seniors. The other scholarship is called the Second Chance Scholarship Contest. This is open to anyone “who has graduated high school or equivalency and wants to pursue a college degree or trade school education.” A total of five scholarships are awarded and each scholarship is worth $1,000.
Contact Information:Please visit the website to review all the information for both scholarships. https://www.afsascholarship.org/
Dave’s Bike Site Scholarship (Video Contest)
Sponsor: Dave’s Bike Site
Eligibility Requirements: Go to website to view requirements. Basically, you create video about your favorite memories with a bicycle. There is more to it, though.
International students are welcome to apply, however, we can ONLY mail the Award to a school address inside the UNITED STATES, on a military base, or on US territories.
This scholarship is sponsored by davescheapbikes.com
101 W 29th St, STE G142, Pittsburg, Ks 66762
Please go to http://www.davescheapbikes.com/scholarship for MORE information.
Dogs by Nina $1,000 “Show and Tell” Scholarship (Video Contest)
Eligibility Requirements: The requirements are very similar to the requirements listed for the Dave’s Bike Site Scholarship. The big difference is that you create a video where you tell people about your favorite pet memories.
International students are welcome to apply, however, we can ONLY mail the Award to a school address inside the UNITED STATES, on a military base, or on US territories.
This scholarship is sponsored by dogsbynina.com.
101 W 29th St, STE G142, Pittsburg, Ks 66762
Pelican Water Systems Scholarship (Bi-annual)
Sponsor: Pelican Water Systems.
The requirements for this specific scholarship have changed over the years and it may, one day, change to less than an essay requirement, again. HOWEVER, for now, here are the new requirements.
"Video Theme: Show how you're doing your part to conserve water.
How To Enter:
- Upload a 30-60 second video on Instagram using the hashtag #pelicanwatersmart
- Tag @pelicanwatersystems in the caption of the video
- Write a 250-word essay highlighting what water conservation means to you."
Money: First Place: $1,500. Second Place: $1,000. Third Place: $500.
Common Knowledge Scholarship
Sponsor: Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation.
Eligibility Requirements: “CKSF offers a wide variety of scholarship quizzes throughout the year for U.S. high school, college, and graduate students. We even have some scholarships that parents can win for their children.” CKSF Scholarship Facts: All U.S. high school, college, and graduate students are eligible (parents can compete, too). Scholarship competitions consist of one or more quizzes with topics ranging from general "common knowledge" to specific academic subjects, books, websites, and even movies. Current and upcoming scholarship quizzes will appear in your account once you register. Scores are based on a combination of time and accuracy. Results are always accessible from our homepage. Students with the highest scores at the end of each competition win.
Money: Award amounts range from $250 to $2,500. CKSF scholarship awards may be used at any post-secondary school in the U.S.
Contact Information for more information: http://www.cksf.org/default.cfm
Sallie Mae Fund Scholarship Program
Sponsor: The Sallie Mae Fund
We have modified this listing a number of times because Sallie Mae has made a number of changes to their website and information over the years.
For a number of years, scholarships provided by Sallie Mae seem to come and go. The thing to keep in mind is that apparently Sallie Mae will provide some scholarships, but you need to keep checking their website or organization in some way. As of this writing, the main web page to contact for scholarship information is: https://www.salliemae.com/plan-for-college/scholarships/.
There have been a couple of things that have continued over the years:
- Occasionally, Sallie Mae will provide scholarships, BUT they change.
- Sallie Mae has added a free scholarship search service. You need to register.
- Some of the scholarships listed by Sallie Mae have had almost no requirements, including NO ESSAY. You need to keep checking the website.
Please use the following link for current information about Sallie Mae's scholarships: https://www.salliemae.com/plan-for-college/scholarships/.
There is some VERY GOOD information about scholarships and about searching for scholarships at this website. Sallie Mae is a very well-respected educational source
Stay Safe on the Internet Scholarship
Eligibility Requirements: NO Essay is required. Design a poster-style image that encourages your fellow students to "Stay safe online. You can create the poster in any medium you see fit from photography to hand-drawn art - just make sure it is engaging and creative. Submit a PDF or .jpeg file that is up to 2 MB in size.” Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States. High school seniors and college students can apply.
PLEASE visit their website for MORE information: http://frontierbundles.com/scholarship
Study.com (Formerly Education-Portal) Tuition Won't Stop Me Scholarship Opportunity
"Study.com offers 10 different academic scholarships totaling $5,500 to students who are pursing higher education. Our goal with scholarships is to help alleviate the rising cost of college." There are other study services offered that may interest students. Some of these scholarships, such as the "Tuition Won't Stop Me Scholarship" might have NO ESSAY requirement.
The scholarships and financial awards vary.
Scholarships for Moms: We were hesitant to list this specific scholarship for a while because we just did not know if it was legitimate. However, this scholarship has been around a while so we decided to list this scholarship for mothers, single or married.
Sponsor: FreeCollegeScholarships, LLC.
"Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and must be permanent residents of the United States. You agree that you are currently enrolled, or will be enrolled within the next 3 months, in a college or university in the United States. Applicants for the scholarships4moms.net promotion must be a parent to one or more children. You may also be expecting one or more children at the time of entry. Documentation of requirements must be produced upon request." Apparently there is NO scholarship essay so the winner is picked through a random drawing. The award is for ten thousand dollars. More information is located at http://scholarships4moms.net/scholarship-application-for-moms
Scholarships for Moms provides a Scholarship for Dads. The eligibility requirements for Scholarships for Dads are practically the same as for Scholarships for Moms, EXCEPT that you have to be a DAD. More information about this single parent scholarship can be located at http://scholarships4dads.com/.
Sponsor for both scholarships is Free College Scholarship, LLC.
Money: $10,000 for each scholarship.
The Beliz Law Firm Video Essay Scholarship Contest
Please visit the website for more details about this scholarship contest. The topic of the video can change from year to year.
Eligibility: High school seniors who have been accepted to a college, trade school, or university, or students attending a college, trade school, or university.
Do Something.org Scholarships
Basically, you earn the right win a scholarship by volunteering to do something through community service. There are different “campaigns” that offer a variety of money. There is a lot of money to be awarded. PLEASE visit the website for MORE information. Applicants must be between 13 and 25 years old. This is for U.S. and Canadian citizens. A random drawing is part of the selection process.
Money: varies but many scholarships are worth $5,000.
Studentscholarships.org 10 Words or Less Scholarship
Eligibility: Anyone who is between the ages of 14-25 who will be attending school in the Fall. Submit answers to the essay question. This particular scholarship wants you to answer in TEN (10) words or less, why you deserve the $500 scholarship. Ten words or less is practically NO essay.
Caring.com Student-Caregiver Annual Scholarship
Eligibility: For students attending a U.S. university or college who have been caring for an older relative while attending school. Includes current high school students who are matriculating in January 2016 and have been involved in caregiving during high school and intend to continue while attending college. Topic of the ESSAY is located at their website. APPARENTLY: A two-minute video is an alternative to the essay.
Money: “Caring.com is offering three $1,500 scholarships to university students attending an accredited U.S. college or university who care for aging relatives.”
Create Real Impact Scholarship
Sponsor: Impact Teen Drivers.
Eligibility: "open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia between the ages of 14 and 22 years. Entrants must be enrolled as full-time students in an accredited educational institution (secondary [middle/high] school, trade school, college, or university)."
"Four (4) Grand Prize Individual Educational Grants of $1500 will be awarded, one (1) per category (video, music, art and creative writing) by a panel of qualified judges, whose decisions regarding the contest and related matters are final."
PLEASE go to their website for MUCH more information. Basically, there are four categories for submitting your entry. You can submit a very short video, music, art, essay.
Money: "Four (4) Grand Prize Individual Educational Grants of $1500 will be awarded, one (1) per category (video, music, art and creative writing)
COIT Emergency Stain Removal Graphic Scholarship
Sponsor: COIT Cleaning Services, Inc.
Eligibility: You must be enrolled in either an undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited college or university in the USA or Canada. International students are welcome!"
"This graphic design-centric scholarship challenges you to create a lightly animated GIF that shows us a fast way to get your space cleaned. When you are short on time, what is something unique or clever that makes your place feel or look clean quickly. Your GIF should be designed for posting on social media and can be as many frames as you like, just keep it short and sweet. We will give extra attention to clever submissions with a real sense of humor or brilliant cleaning hack. The most important criterion, though, is fantastic graphic design. The meme should be easy to read and visually appealing- something worth sharing!"
MORE valuable information about this scholarship is provided at their website: http://www.coit.com/scholarship