Pursuing a college education can be expensive, but there are several scholarship essay contests available if you consider yourself to be a decent writer or simply enjoy writing. Scholarships help provide financial relief to individuals who are unable to pay for their college courses. If college seems unaffordable right now, below is a list of 30 scholarship essay opportunities that are worth trying.
1. Better Business Bureau Ethical Torch Essay Scholarship
The Better Business Bureau is offering an Ethical Torch Essay Scholarship to high school students. The main goal of this essay scholarship is to award young individuals for making ethical decisions. Students can apply for this scholarship by turning in an essay that describes different ways they have used ethics and integrity when running into an ethical dilemma at any time or place. Only Greater Arizona residents may apply. Five individuals will be awarded scholarships for their essays, which range from $1,500 (first place) to $500 (fifth place).
2. Bird Dog Foundation Annual College Scholarship Essay Contest
The Bird Dog Foundation offers an Annual College Scholarship Essay every year. The goal of this scholarship essay is to create more admiration among young people for field and outdoor sports, such as hunting and fishing, while also providing financial assistance to their college studies. This scholarship is only open to students in the 12th grade who are getting ready to go to college, are residents of Arkansas, Tennessee, or Mississippi, or are affiliated with the bird dog club or field trial association. The first-place winner will receive $2,000; the second-place winner will receive $1,500, and the third-place winner will receive $1,000. Each scholarship award will be paid to the college or university where the student is registered to attend.
3. Center for Alcohol Policy Essay Contest
The Center for Alcohol Policy has organized an essay scholarship for individuals who need assistance paying for their college tuition. The essay topic is typically based on American court cases regarding alcohol policy, and the writer must write about what they think is necessary to do with the case. The three winners will receive $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 toward their tuition. In addition, all three winners will be invited to the Center for Alcohol Policy’s Alcohol Law and Policy Conference, where they will be able to speak and read their essay aloud to the attendees.
4. Fleet Reserve Association Americanism Essay Contest
Each year, the Fleet Reserve Association features an essay contest for students in grades 7th-12th. Students are required to write 350 words on Americanism and patriotism. The objective of this essay scholarship is to stimulate young people’s pride and support of America. Students will compete locally, regionally, and nationally. Each grade has three national winners, and there is one grand national winner among all grades. The top national winner will receive $5,000. The first-place winner in each grade will be awarded $2,500; the second-place winner in each grade will be awarded $1,500, and the third-place winner in each grade will be awarded $1,000.
5. Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives Essay Contest, George Watt Prize
Since 1998, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives has offered a yearly essay contest, which celebrates George Watt. Mr. Watt was a great writer and activist who helped create the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives. Students around the globe are eligible to participate in this essay contest. The topics to write about are any part of the Spanish Civil War, the history of the international individuals who volunteered and supported the Spanish Republic through 1936 to 1938, or the struggles and fights against fascism in the 1920s and 1930s. There will be three pre-college winners, one undergraduate winner, and one graduate winner. All winners’ essays will be published. The pre-college winners will receive $250. The undergraduate winner will receive $500, and the graduate winner will receive $1,000.
6. American Backflow Prevention Association ABPA Harrington-Arthur Memorial Scholarship Essay
The American Backflow Prevention Association created an essay scholarship opportunity more than two decades ago, which was named the ABPA Harrington-Arthur Memorial Essay. This opportunity is directed toward students who have an interest in learning about managing cross-contamination as well as preventing backflow to minimize the risks of dangerous bacteria and chemicals moving into the water. The essay topic changes each year, but the goal is to educate individuals and bring attention to maintaining safe and pure drinking water. The winner will be presented with $1,500 toward their college tuition.
7. Herrman & Herrmann Innovation Scholarship Essay
Herrman and Herrmann provides an Innovation Scholarship Contest annually. Students are encouraged to be creative and are able to send their entry in as a poem, essay, art piece, video, or song. The topic is on a community service project that brought positive changes to your community, inspired your growth, or altered your future plans and goals. After finishing the creative piece, individuals will also be required to write a 300-word essay about a teacher who inspired their creativity. High school students in 11th and 12th grades as well as undergraduate college students in the United States may apply for this scholarship. There will be three winners in the state of Texas and three winners across the country. First place essays will be awarded $2,500. Second place essays will be awarded $1,500, and third place essays will be awarded $1,000. The teachers featured in the two first place winners’ essays will also receive $1,000.
8. Invensis Young Thinker Scholarship
The Invensis Young Thinker Scholarship is offered by Invensis, a global outsourcing services company. Students in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia may compete for this essay scholarship. The topic is “How robotic automation is shaping the future of business process outsourcing.” Each applicant will be required to write at least 600 words or more. The winner will receive $500 USD, and their essay will be featured on the company’s website, social media, and blog.
9. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Profile in Courage Essay Contest
The Profile in Courage Essay Contest is conducted by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. This essay scholarship is meant for high school students in the United States who are interested in writing about the political bravery of an American elected official during or after 1917, which was John F. Kennedy’s birth year. The winner will be awarded $10,000, and the second-place runner-up will be awarded $3,000. The five finalists will receive $1,000, and the eight semifinalists will receive $100.
10. Margaret Mary Missar/John Carroll Society Scholarship
The John Carroll Society has provided scholarship opportunities since 1997. Individuals who qualify for the scholarship opportunities are freshmen, sophomores, and juniors enrolled in Catholic high schools of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. Applicants are required to turn in an essay about a topic chosen by the John Carroll Society, which typically will be about a subject that requires the student to give deeper consideration to their faith. The first-place winner will be granted a scholarship of $2,000, and the second-place winner will be granted a scholarship of $1,000. There will be two or three third-place winners chosen, who will receive scholarships of $500 each. In addition, ten applicants will receive mentions for their essays and scholarships of $100 each. The first-place winner’s essay will be published in the Catholic Standard.
11. Asbestos.com Essay Scholarship
Asbestos.com provides $5,000 in scholarships to students willing to write and bring awareness to the issue of cancers caused by asbestos. Applicants will be required to write an essay with 750-1,500 words on the topic of mesothelioma. The winner’s essay will be presented on the asbestos.com scholarship page and social media accounts. The first-place winner will be awarded $3,000 toward their tuition, and the second-place winner will be awarded $2,000 toward their tuition. Each winner must be able to show an official college transcript from their school.
12. Negative Population Growth Essay Scholarship
Negative Population Growth, a national member organization, offers an essay scholarship contest every year. Only high school students and undergraduate college students are able to earn this essay scholarship. Essay topics are generally about a population-related challenge, and the applicant must provide a recommendation on how they would solve the specific challenge. The grand prize winner will receive $3,000 toward tuition, and the second-place winner will receive $2,000 toward tuition. Several other applicants will receive $1,000 and $500 scholarships.
13. Optimist International Essay Contest
Optimist International offers an annual essay scholarship contest for individuals who are under the age of 19 and are not current college students yet. The objective of the scholarship is to spark young people’s interests to write about the world they live in and their own opinions relating to it. Each applicant can write about their own experiences, the experience of the country they reside in, or a piece of history that they feel relates to this topic. Each essay submission will compete at the club level first and will move onto the district-level if considered one of the top essays. The district-level winner will be awarded a scholarship of $2,500.
14. Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Essay
Annually, Regions features a scholarship essay competition to help provide financial assistance to individuals planning to pursue a college education or are already enrolled in college. The essay topic recognizes black history month and should be about any African American who was inspirational to your life, experiences, and goals. The word-count is 500 words or less. High school seniors who lives in a state with a Regions branch may be awarded a $5,000 scholarship if they win, and college students who live in a state with a Regions branch may be awarded a scholarship of $3,500 if they win. There will be 15 high school seniors and 15 college students who will receive scholarships.
15. Ayn Rand Institute Essay Contest
Ayn Rand Institute is dedicated to the remembrance of Ayn Rand, a best-selling Russian American writer. For more than three decades, the institute has provided an essay contest for individuals to win scholarship money for college. The essays are typically based on Ayn Rand’s novels, and the main goal is to encourage students to learn about her wisdom, knowledge, and writing. There are different essay topics for high school students, undergraduate students, and graduate students. Depending on which essay contest you are eligible to compete in, you may be able to win as much as $25,000 or as little as $25.
16. Vegetarian Resource Group Essay Scholarship
The Vegetarian Resource Group offers an essay scholarship for seniors in high schools around the United States who have encouraged their schools or communities to engage in vegetarianism. Being a vegetarian means the person does not consume meat, fish, or fowl. Vegans are slightly different, as they do not consume any meat or dairy and eggs. There will be two $5,000 scholarships and one $10,000 scholarship given out. If your essay wins, it will become the Vegetarian Resource Group’s property and your name will be given to the media to acknowledge your outstanding work.
17. Veterans of Foreign Wars Patriot’s Pen Youth Essay Contest
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) offers a Patriot’s Pen Youth Essay Contest. The objective of this essay is to inspire young people to look at the history of America as well as their personal experience in the modern-day society of America. VFW will choose a specific topic related to patriotism, and applicants will be required to write between 300 to 400 words. The current topic is “What is Patriotism to Me.” This contest is only available for middle school students. Each submission will compete at the state-level and may go on to the national-level if considered one of the best submissions. All first-place winners will be awarded at least $500 at the state-level, and the first-place national winner will receive $5,000 and a paid trip to the capital, Washington, D.C.
18. Bill of Rights Institute We the Students Essay Contest
Once a year, the Bill of Rights Institute offers a We the Students Essay Contest. Applicants are required to write about what civil discourse means to them. The goal is to encourage individuals to write an essay about their own experiences and ideas instead of solely writing about a definition from the dictionary. The Bill of Rights Institute seeks essays containing creativity, engagement, and examples. First-place winners will be awarded $7,500 and a scholarship to the Constitutional Academy in Washington, D.C. In addition, five runners-up will be chosen and awarded $1,500 each, and eight individuals will be acknowledged for their essay as well as receive $500 each.
19. Unigo College Review Scholarship
Unigo offers a College Review Scholarship every year to individuals who currently attend a college or have previously attended a college. Applicants are required to write a short, 250-character essay about an accredited college that is listed on Unigo’s website. The college of choice must be one in which you currently attend or have attended before. The winner of this essay scholarship will be awarded $1,000, which will go toward tuition of the college that they plan to enroll or are already enrolled at. The essays will be evaluated based on writing ability, originality, creativity, and overall quality.
20. The Christopher W. Keyser Scholarship
Keyser Law, P.A. established the Christopher W. Keyser Scholarship to help provide financial assistance to students pursuing an education that is related to the law field. The different majors that are currently accepted are criminal justice, pre-law, English, history, political science, journalism, communications, sociology, and Bachelor of Individualized Studies. Applicants can choose between three different topics and must write between 2,000 to 3,000 words. Only college students and individuals entering college are permitted to apply. The writer of the winning essay will receive a scholarship worth $1,500.
21. Learncurious Phyllis F. McCarthy Scholarship for Excellence in Writing
Learncurious features an essay scholarship called the Phyllis F. McCarthy Scholarship for Excellence in Writing. There are three different topics for applicants to choose to write about, and essay submissions must be 3,000 words or less. The first-place winner will receive a scholarship of $1,000, and the two runners up will receive $50 each. All winners and their essays will be showcased on the Learncurious website and blog. Only high school seniors and juniors are permitted to write an essay for this scholarship.
22. The Lincoln Forum Platt Family Scholarship Prize Essay Contest
The Lincoln Forum offers an essay scholarship each year on a given topic about Abraham Lincoln. The essay topic this year was created to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of women’s voting rights. Individuals participating in the contest must write an essay about how women may have influenced the time period of Abraham Lincoln, even though women were unable to vote. This essay contest is only open to undergraduate students pursuing college courses at a school in the United States. The winner will receive a scholarship of $1,500, the second-place winner will receive a scholarship of $750, and the third-place winner will receive a scholarship of $500. The winners will also be featured on the Lincoln Forum Platt’s website.
23. Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition
Writer’s Digest has been hosting a writing competition for almost 90 years to help new and budding writers win money as well as have their work featured for others to see. This is a good opportunity for individuals who need help paying for their college tuition. Each year, around 500 winners are chosen for different prizes. The grand prize winner will receive $5,000, an interview with Writer’s Digest, and a free trip to the annual conference as well as a pitch slot. The first place through tenth place winners for each category will be awarded between $1,000 and $25. The first-place winners will also receive a subscription to the Writer’s Digest magazine, their submission published on the website, and discounts on all purchases through the website.
24. Maryland Criminal Defense Group Oleg Fastovsky Outstanding Citizen Scholarship
Every year, Maryland Criminal Defense Group sponsors an essay scholarship, which is named the Oleg Fastovsky Outstanding Citizen Scholarship. This scholarship was created to help students pay for their college expenses. Applicants must write about a topic that is centered around being a good citizen and participating in community service projects. Individuals who show that they possess qualities of an outstanding citizen in a 500-word essay may be able to earn the scholarship award of $1,000. High school seniors, undergraduate college students, and graduate college students are all welcome to participate in this essay contest. The winner must show proof of enrollment or a current transcript.
25. The Branson Shows Inspired Scholarship
BransonShowTickets.com offers an essay scholarship called the Branson Show Inspired Scholarship. The objective of the essay scholarship is to inspire and encourage individuals to chase their dreams and pursue their goals. Individuals entering the competition are required to write about their own personal and professional dreams. The winner will secure a scholarship for the amount of $1,000. Students between the ages 16 and 19 who live in the United States are permitted to enter this essay scholarship competition. If you are already affiliated with BransonShowTickets.com, you may not apply.
26. American Bullion Scholarship
American Bullion, Inc. has provided a scholarship program for over six years to assist students with paying for their college tuition. The goal of the American Bullion Essay Scholarship is to help students gain knowledge about valuable assets, such as gold, by writing between 500 to 1,000 words on a given subject. Applicants must be an American citizen and currently enrolled in a full-time program at a college or university. The winner will receive $1,000 toward their tuition.
27. EssayPro Writing Contest Scholarship
EssayPro offers a Writing Contest Scholarship. This scholarship competition is available to all students around the globe who need assistance paying for their college tuition. There are several different topics to choose to write about, and you must write between 600 to 800 words. The first-place winner will be awarded $1,000, the second-place winner will be awarded $650, and the third-place winner will be awarded $350. The winning essays will be displayed on the EssayPro website and social media accounts. In addition, the winners will also receive a competitive job offer to become part of the team of writers at EssayPro.
28. International Bipolar Foundation High School Essay Contest
The International Bipolar Foundation provides an essay competition on a topic of their choosing for young people who desire to raise awareness on the issues of mental health. This contest is open to students attending high school, and three winners are announced annually. The grand prize winner will receive $1,000. The second-place winner will receive $500, and the third-place winner will receive $250. All three winners will be featured on the International Bipolar Foundation’s website for the public to read their submissions.
29. Noplag Scholarship Essay Contest
Noplag, a writing assistance app, is offering an essay contest for current and future college students needing financial assistance. The purpose of this essay contest is to improve your writing, motivate your creativity, and encourage you to use engaging details to interest and inspire your readers. High school students and college students are allowed to apply, as long as they are 16 and older. Each applicant is required to submit an essay of at least 700 words. The author of the best written essay will receive a scholarship worth $2,000. The second-place winner will be awarded a $700 scholarship, and the third-place winner will be awarded a $300 scholarship.
30. Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Teens for Alzheimer’s Awareness College Scholarship Essay Contest
Annually, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America features an essay competition, which is called the Teens for Alzheimer’s Awareness College Scholarship Essay Contest. This scholarship contest is meant for students in their last year of high school who are getting ready to go to college directly after graduation. All essays must be between 1,200 to 1,500 words and express how Alzheimer’s affects your personal life, family and community, and what you have learned about managing the disease. The top essay will receive $5,000. There will also be several runners-ups chosen and awarded for their excellent work.
Scholarships are one of the first types of financial assistance to consider, as they are provided by companies and earned as prizes by individuals who apply for them. Each of the scholarships mentioned on this list are wonderful options for current or prospective college students in need of help paying for their full or partial tuition. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, you may be able to win one of these well-respected scholarship essay contests.