Zina Kumok Image Written By: Zina Kumok | Updated: June 16, 2024

Easy Scholarships

These days, it seems like applying for a scholarship is almost as hard as applying to college itself. With all of the required essays, transcripts and letters of recommendation, completing a scholarship application can take hours. The worst part? You may not even win. That's why many students resort to easy scholarships that don’t require much time and effort. But before you throw away all your other scholarship applications, there’s a lot you should learn about easy scholarships. Keep reading to understand exactly what easy scholarships mean, where to find them - and if they’re even worth applying for.

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What is an easy scholarship?

There's no standard definition of an easy scholarship. For some people, a scholarship that requires a video might seem pretty hard, but for others it’s a piece of cake. Some students find that writing an essay is straightforward, while others see it as a huge undertaking. It depends in part on what you're good at and what you struggle with.

Even well-known scholarships that seem easy can actually require dozens of hours of work. For example, the Stuck at Prom Scholarship awards those who create prom dresses and tuxes out of Duck-brand duct tape. Again, this might seem like a fun scholarship, but creating a scholarship-winning dress or tuxedo is far from easy.

You have to design the outfit, buy all the necessary materials, make it and then submit your application. And while you may be able to reuse a scholarship essay for another application, you can’t reuse your tape dress.

Where to find easy scholarships

One of the best places to find easy scholarships is through your college. When you complete your regular admission application, you are often automatically considered for several scholarships.

Many schools do not require that students submit extra materials to be considered for their internal awards. But this isn’t always the case.

If you're not sure what you need to provide, contact the financial aid department and ask them what you must submit to win those institutional scholarships and grants.

Many schools have specific financial aid deadlines that you must meet to be considered for these scholarships, as well as for other grants and types of financial aid. If you miss the deadline, then you may be out of luck.

You can also find the majority of easy scholarships at Scholarships.com.

How to apply for easy scholarships

Many scholarships, especially those from specific colleges and universities, will require you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You’ll also need to submit the FAFSA to be eligible for federal student loans, grants and work-study.

Many students don’t submit the FAFSA because they assume it’s only helpful if you qualify for need-based aid. But every student should submit the FAFSA, no matter what their financial situation is.

It's usually best to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible, because some awards are only given on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you submit the FAFSA too late, you may miss your chance to receive scholarships that you could have won.

Most easy scholarships only require a simple application form, which will ask for your full legal name, birthday, address and contact information. If you're already enrolled in college, then you may have to provide the name of the school you attend.

Types of Easy Scholarships


The most common type of easy scholarship is known as a sweepstakes. Basically, when you enter your information, you will be put into a pool with all of the other eligible contestants.

The scholarship committee will then choose a name at random. Think of it like playing the lottery, but you're playing for a college scholarship instead of a million-dollar prize.

These sweepstakes scholarships often have very basic applications that only take a few minutes to complete.

State Grants

Many state grants do not have the same kind of detailed applications that traditional scholarships do. For example, you may not have to write an essay or include a letter of recommendation. Instead, these applications may just ask for your high school or college transcript to verify your information.

You often have to submit the FAFSA to be eligible for state grants. Also, many state grants are only given to local students who attend college in-state.

Easy Scholarship FAQs

Is it easy to win an easy scholarship?

It might sound contradictory, but easy scholarships may not be so easy to actually win. The “easy” descriptor refers more to the application process, not your chances of winning.

In fact, winning an easy scholarship is usually much harder than winning a regular scholarship that asks for one or more essays and several letters of recommendation.

Should I only apply to easy scholarships?

These days, high school students are often juggling homework, extracurriculars, part-time jobs, and more. It can be tempting to only apply to scholarships that don't require much from you.

However, you shouldn't only apply for easy scholarships. It's like winning the lottery. The easier a scholarship application is, the greater the number of applicants. On the other hand, the harder a scholarship is to apply for, the fewer number of applicants.

If you only apply to easy scholarships, you should brace yourself that you might not win many - or even any. Remember, there are millions of students applying to college every year. When you compete against such a wide pool, you’re not giving yourself a fighting chance.

Instead, you should try to apply for scholarships given to students who match your academic major, interests, skills, hobbies, and background. For example, if you're a female student looking to major in engineering, look for engineering scholarships exclusively available for women.

While you may have to write an essay and find people to ask for letters of recommendation, you’ll also likely have a better chance of actually winning.

Are community college students eligible for easy scholarships?

If you’re attending a two-year school, or even a vocational or trade school, you may still be eligible for easy scholarships.

However, your school usually still has to be accredited to qualify for scholarships and other kinds of financial aid, like federal student loans, Pell Grants, and work-study. Verify that your school is eligible before you apply.

Can graduate students apply for easy scholarships?

High school and undergraduate college students aren't the only ones who can apply for and win easy scholarships. There are also tons of easy awards that graduate students can win.

For example, the Niche $2,000 No Essay Scholarship is available for graduate students, as well as undergraduate and high school students. Students must be U.S. citizens or have a U.S. passport.

When should I apply for easy scholarships?

Just like with other types of scholarships, there is no season for easy scholarships. They are available throughout the year - and many easy scholarships even offer applicants a chance to win every month.

If you feel like you’ve missed the boat on scholarships, it’s not too late to apply. In fact, you can still be eligible for scholarships, even if you’re a Ph.D. candidate.

Are easy scholarships available more than once a year?

There are many easy scholarships that are available throughout the year, instead of just annually.

For example, the BigFuture Scholarship is open every month. Unlike other types of easy scholarships, this award has some interesting requirements. You must complete a series of action items to receive one entry into the scholarship drawing. You can earn an entry by creating your college dream list, submitting the FAFSA, applying to college, and more.

You can set a reminder in your calendar to apply for these scholarships every month or as often as they come up.

Is there a need-based component for easy scholarships?

If you have demonstrated financial need, you may find it easier to qualify for scholarships, especially if you also have a stellar GPA or good standardized test scores. Having financial need can help you stand out, even with easy scholarships.

While many easy scholarships don’t focus on financial need, there are some that will give it extra weight. For example, the BigFuture award provides more entries for students who have a household income of $60,000 or less, qualify for a fee waiver with a CollegeBoard standardized test, or attend a high school that has 75% free or reduced lunch. You will receive twice the number of normal entries if you meet one of those criteria.

What is the typical GPA requirement for an easy scholarship?

Every scholarship, even the easiest scholarships, has its own GPA parameters. Basically, a rule of thumb says that you should generally have a 3.0 GPA if you want to apply for a scholarship.

However, some scholarships may have a lower requirement, such as a 2.0 or 2.5 GPA. It all depends on the scholarship you’re applying for.

Is applying to an easy scholarship a waste of time?

If you're a time-crunched high school senior or college student, then you want to maximize every waking minute. And that means only applying for scholarships if you think there’s a decent shot of winning.

Easy scholarships are hard to win, despite what they sound like. However, the application process is usually fairly straightforward and can be done in about the same amount of time you spend scrolling TikTok.

You should still apply to more challenging scholarships. However, it doesn't hurt to sprinkle in a few easy scholarships here and there. Think of these easy scholarships as junk food - you don’t want to fill up on them but they’re OK to have every once in a while.

How much can I win from an easy scholarship?

There's no specific range for how much you might receive if you actually win an easy scholarship.

Easy scholarships can range from meager - like the BigFuture $500 award - to exceedingly generous, like the BigFuture $40,000 award.

There are also plenty of awards in the middle, like the $2,000 Sallie Mae Scholarship. This award, like other easy scholarships, is given out once a month. Students don’t have to write an essay or even create an account.

Can I get an easy scholarship for multiple years?

Many scholarships offer multi-year renewal options for eligible students. To qualify for a scholarship renewal, you usually have to maintain a certain GPA or take a certain number of credit hours to get the scholarship for multiple years.

Unfortunately, easy scholarships usually aren’t renewable for multiple years. Once you win and receive the money, that’s it. This is another reason why it's hard to count on easy scholarships to provide the bulk of your financial aid.

How can I make my easy scholarship application stand out?

For the most part, the application process for an easy scholarship doesn't leave much room to sell yourself. Most of the time, winners are chosen at random. It's like asking someone, how do I improve my odds of winning the lottery?

The best way to increase your chance of winning any scholarship is to pick the ones that you are best qualified for. Instead of looking for scholarships that take less than 10 minutes to apply, look for scholarships that are in your wheelhouse.

For example, if you're a Hispanic student interested in engineering, look for STEM scholarships for Hispanic students. While these applications will take more time and effort to apply for, you will also have much better odds of actually winning.

Applying for a scholarship is like applying for anything else. It's all about quality, not necessarily quantity. If you fill out 10 scholarship applications for awards that you're uniquely suited for, you're probably more likely to win at least one than if you only apply for 10 easy scholarships that take you less than an hour to complete in total.

In general, the return on investment for completing a regular scholarship application is going to be much higher than for an easy scholarship.