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Scholarship Essay Contests

Not everyone can boast an amazing GPA, a scroll of extracurricular activities, and top marks on their standardized tests. That doesn't mean you're at a disadvantage when it comes to applying for – and winning – scholarships. It only means you have to be a little more creative.

If you're a good writer who is able to come up with essays on a variety of topics, a scholarship essay contest could be a natural option for you. While some scholarship essay contests will still ask you to describe those qualities mentioned above as part of the application process, even if they're not weighted heavily among the judges of that award, many more only ask that you produce a thoughtful, well-crafted essay based on a topic of that scholarship provider’s choice. Some will ask you to get political, some will challenge you to come up with workable solutions to problems facing the country, and some will ask you to describe your passion for a particular field of study or potential career. Luckily for you, even if you're struggling to get going on a topic, we have a number of resources to help you come up with a winning, effective scholarship essay.

We've compiled a list of scholarship essay contests below. They are not necessarily targeting the average" student, and will require some work on your part as you come up with that winning essay. But they could feel all the more rewarding once you land one to help you fund that college education, because you put in that added effort. For more examples of scholarship essay contests and awards based on other criteria and interests, conduct a free scholarship search.

ALBA George Watt Memorial Essay Contest
Application Deadlines: August 01, Annually
The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) is pleased to announce the continuing annual competition for the George Watt Memorial Essay prizes. Graduate and undergraduate students from the United States and elsewhere are invited to submit an essay or thesis chapter about any aspect of the Spanish Civil War, the global political or cultural struggles against fascism in 1920s and 1930s, or the [...] More

Bird Dog Foundation Essay Contest
Application Deadlines: April 15, Annually
The Bird Dog Foundation, Inc. sponsors an annual college scholarship essay contest for all high school seniors from public, private, cdc and home schools. Students must reside in either Tennessee, Mississippi or Arkansas to be eligible to enter. There are no charges or fees required to enter this annual contest.

The Bird Dog Foundation, Inc. has established a scholarship fund to promote [...] More

Don't Text and Drive Scholarship
Application Deadlines: September 30, Annually
According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting while driving makes drivers 23 times more likely to get into a "safety-critical event." The purpose of this scholarship is to help you understand the risks of texting while driving. You must be a high school freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior or a current or entering college or graduate school student of any level. Home schooled [...] More

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest
Application Deadlines: January 05, Annually
The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest is the nation's most prestigious honor for elected public servants. The Award was created in 1989 by members of President Kennedy's family to honor President John F. Kennedy and recognize and celebrate the quality of political courage that he admired most.

The Profile in Courage Essay Contest invites high school students to consider the [...] More

VFW Voice of Democracy Competition
Application Deadlines: November 01, Annually
Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy has been the Veterans of Foreign Wars' (VFW's) premier scholarship program. Each year, almost 40,000 high school students compete for more than $2 million in scholarships and incentives. Students compete by writing and recording an audio essay on an annual patriotic theme. This year's theme is: My Vision for AmericaEach year, nearly 38,000 high school students [...] More

Last Edited: September 2015

Scholarships by Type

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