Scholarship Contests

Explore all types of scholarship contests, from poetry to essays.

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Thanks to schools, organizations and the Internet, there is a huge variety of scholarship contests. Students should apply to every scholarship they are eligible for, but figuring out the type of scholarship contests you’re best at and focusing on those can improve those chances of winning.

Finding and applying for scholarship contests can be a lot of work, but you get out of it what you put in.

Scholarship Contests

Essay Contests

Writing a scholarship essay is a common requirement for college scholarships. Typically, students are given a prompt and asked to write about how a particular event affected their lives. Prompts can range from specific questions like “What will you do with your scholarship money?” to more open-ended “How will you make the world a better place?”

Essay contests are great because many students often skip over them because they don’t want to spend the time writing an essay. Thus, competition is low. UCLA has a list of English scholarships, many of which are essay contests. Some groups like the Society of American Travel Writers even have scholarships for blogs.

Poetry Contests

You might be able to turn your love for poetry into a college scholarship. Though not as common as essay contests, there is still a long list of scholarships for poetry lovers.

The Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship is a great poetry contest for students already in college. If you’re still in high school, the Barbara Mandingo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards have prizes for several different age groups.

Remember that many individual schools also have poetry contests or other writing scholarships. Oklahoma State University, UC Berkeley, and Kent State University in Ohio are just a few schools that all have scholarship contests for poetry writers.

No Essay Contests

Maybe writing just isn’t your thing? Never fear! There are scholarships out there specifically for students who don’t want to write an essay.

Many college scholarship Web sites like offer No Essay Contests that simply involve submitting your name for consideration. has another No Essay Contest.

Be careful, though. Since these scholarship contests are so easy to compete in, your chances of winning are typically much smaller. Still, the chance to win thousands of dollars could be worth the minute it takes to apply!

Scholarship Contests: Tips and Tactics

Finding and applying for scholarship contests can be a lot of work, but you get out of it what you put in. If you love writing essays, short stories, and poetry or even if you just want to submit your name in a scholarship lottery, applying to many kinds of scholarships will help you when you’re paying for college.


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