As the cost of higher education continues to rise, more students face the financial struggle of affording it.
While many college-bound individuals take out loans to cover the costs, there are other ways to help pay for college without the debt burden, mainly scholarships. The problem is many people feel they don’t have the grades or talent to qualify.
But, those two factors are not the only criteria for getting a scholarship.
There are multiple scholarships for college students available for those who weren’t at the top of their class, leads in the school play, or the star athletes in high school. Here are five you can apply for right now.
1. $2,000 ‘No Essay’ Scholarship
Image credit: Niche
No essay, no GPA minimums, just money to cover tuition, housing, books, or any education-related expenses.
Offered by Niche, a website that analyzes public data to review schools and colleges, the $2,000 scholarship is open to all high school, college and graduate students and those planning to enroll within 12 months.
All you have to do is register on their website for free and enter. A new winner is chosen every month randomly, and you’re allowed to enter once per month.
How To Apply
Deadline: The last day of every month
Available to: Students must currently attend — or within the next 12 months plan to enroll in — a high school or college listed on Niche, or be the parent of a student who falls into one of those categories. It only states that one entry per person is allowed each month, so you and your parent could apply.
As the title of the scholarship states, you don’t need to write an essay and no GPA is specified. You must simply enter through their website.
Winners are selected via a random drawing about two weeks after the last day of the month and will be notified by mail, telephone, posting on Facebook, or e-mail, within 10 days of drawing date.
2. $1,000 Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship
Image credit: The Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship Program
The only thing required to win this $1,000 scholarship — named after Gen and Kelly Tanabe, the award-winning authors of eleven books on admission and scholarships — is a 250 word or less personal essay.
Your GPA will not be considered. You must be in high school, or a student in college or graduate school and a legal U.S. resident.
According to the website, “the goal is to create a level field where students have complete control over their applications and are not given an advantage or disadvantage based on financial or academic circumstances.”
How To Apply
Deadline: Dec. 31, 2017, Midnight
Available to: Ninth- to 12th-grade, college, or graduate student including adult students.
Simply fill out the answer to one of three essay questions — why do you deserve to win this scholarship, describe your academic or career goals, or any topic of your choice — and a committee will choose the best answers. The first place award is $1,000; you use the money for any education expenses, including tuition, room and board, and more.
Winners will be notified approximately four weeks after the deadline.
3. High School Senior College Scholarship Contest
Image credit: AFSA
Who knew your fire sprinkler could help you go to college? Yes, the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) — a nonprofit representing fire sprinkler contractors dedicated to the educational advancement of its members — started a scholarship program where they offer 10 winners $2,000 in tuition assistance.
Their mission is to also “educate the public at-large about the life-saving properties of automatic fire sprinklers” and therefore part of the application is to take a short quiz after reading an article about the industry of fire sprinklers.
The selection does not take financial need, GPA, or demographics into consideration. The only requirements are that you must enroll for classes beginning no later than the Fall 2018 semester and take a short quiz.
How To Apply
Deadline: April 1, 2018
Available to: High school seniors enrolled for the Fall 2018 semester
All you need to do to enter is fill in your education and contact information, and take a short quiz. A random computer-generated drawing selects the winners.
AFSA will contact each winner by email and phone within 14 business days of contest end-date. The prize will then be sent directly to the college or university where you’ll be attending.
4. Shout It Out Scholarship
Image credit: Unigo
Are you the student who always gets told to quiet down in class? Well, there’s a scholarship just for you. Unigo, a college and scholarship search website, started their own scholarship where they encourage you to speak out.
Applicants have up to 250 words to say whatever they want creatively and memorably. The “loudest” person will win $1,500 for college expenses.
How To Apply
Deadline: Sept. 30, 2018
Available to: Students must be 13 years or older and currently enrolled (or enroll no later than the fall of 2024) in an accredited post-secondary institution of higher education
To enter, you must answer the following question in 250 words or less: If you could say one thing to the entire world at once, what would it be and why? A qualified panel of judges will select one potential winner based on the criteria of writing ability (25 percent), creativity (25 percent), originality (25 percent), and overall excellence (25 percent).
The winner will be notified by email or phone toward the end of December 2018.
5. Student Loan Hero $5K Scholarship
Image credit: Student Loan Hero
Of course, a website dedicated to helping students afford college and pay back student loan debt has a scholarship for average students.
Yes, Student Loan Hero awards two $5,000 scholarships each semester to help alleviate educational costs and no minimum GPA is required.
How To Apply
Deadline: Dec. 25, 2017
Available to: Participants must be 18 years of age or older and enrolled at an eligible educational institution.
To enter, you must write an essay in 500 words or less answering this question: What financial challenges have you overcome growing up? How have they shaped your goals and career aspirations?
A panel consisting of four personal finance professionals will judge the essays. Each essay will receive a score based on clarity of writing and organization, grammatical correctness, relevance to the prompt question, and creativity and thoughtfulness.
Winners will be notified by Jan. 2, 2018.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2018!
Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print, understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Are you tired of working on those long scholarship applications that require you to list every activity you have participated in since you started high school? What about writing those boring scholarship essays where you have to explain why you deserve the award or who you are going to be in ten years? Well, you’re in luck. Today is No-Brainer Day, which means you get to relax and put very little thought into everything you do — including filling out scholarship applications! We know it may seem as though every scholarship, regardless of the amount of money, requires a ton of work, but there are actually quite a few easy scholarships with simple applications that are fun and painless. Don’t believe us? Check out this list of scholarships that are total no-brainers.
1. $2,000 No Essay Scholarship
Niche (formerly College Prowler) gives away a $2,000 scholarship every month. Simply register for a free account and you are entered to win this easy scholarship.
2. $1,000 Cappex Monthly Scholarship
Don’t let a low GPA scare you away from applying for scholarships. Some scholarship providers, like Cappex, don’t even consider it when choosing a winner. Just register for a free account, and you’ll be entered to win the $1,000 monthly prize.
3. $5,000 Course Hero Scholarship
If you've taken a college class, cash in your experience with this easy $5,000 scholarship. To apply, just review a college class. It only takes a few minutes and the more steps you complete, the more you can win.
4. $5,000 VIP Voice Scholarship
How does a $5,000 scholarship sound? If you're 13 or older, complete two surveys and redeem your points for a scholarship or other awards. The more surveys you do, the better your chances to win.
5. Go Ennounce Yourself Scholarship
Applying for this scholarship is so easy, and you can do it every month to increase your chances of winning! Just create a free profile and post at least once a month about your educational achievements to be eligible for this super simple monthly scholarship.
6. Unigo $10K Scholarship
If you are 13 or older, apply to win our $10,000 scholarship. Yes, it requires a 250 word or less essay, but for $10,000, who’s complaining?
7. Unigo Monthly Scholarships
Think you know how to survive a zombie apocalypse? Do you enjoy eating ice cream? Can you tell a great joke? If you answered yes to any of these questions, check out our monthly scholarships! Awards range in value from $1,500 to $5,000, and all are fun and easy to enter! A new winner is selected every month.
Keep in mind that many students are looking for these simple scholarships, so the competition may be a little higher than normal, but that doesn’t mean you should blow them off. Just be sure to spend some time on local scholarship programs and those that may be a little more restrictive, as your chances of winning will increase. One thing is for certain, you can’t win if you don’t apply.
Want more scholarships? We have over 3 million in our scholarship directory, but if you need more help paying for college, check out our LoanFinder.