We’ve put together a great list of 20 no essay scholarships below. But we’ll also show how you can find a ton more scholarships with no essay writing required on your own without a ton of work. Put another way, in this article, we’re giving you a fish and teaching you to fish. A double whammy.
Just because you need money for college doesn’t mean you want to sit down and write hundreds of tedious essays on the importance of flossing or how crucial it is to use the right brand of motor oil, all for a tiny chance at maybe getting a scholarship.
Luckily, there are literally thousands of scholarships you don’t need to write an essay for out there. Most of them exist to try to get teens to spread cheap advertising about a product or a brand. It’s a little underhanded, but since they’re passing out the money, why not take advantage of it?
No Essay Scholarships That Aim for Cheap Marketing
The Niche $2,000 No Essay Scholarship is a great place to start.
We spoke with Kevin Ladd, Vice President of top scholarships search site Scholarships.com about scholarships with no essays.
“There’s one no essay scholarship on our site that’s a marketing scholarship, let’s put it that way. They pay us to drive traffic to their website. There are quite a few smaller businesses now that do this. The big companies like Coca Cola or Dell have these big not for profits that they set up and they offer tons of scholarships, millions of dollars. But then there’s these not as big companies that say, you know what, we offer scholarships, we don’t get as much traffic as Scholarships.com, can we list our scholarships on your website and then we’ll pay you on a cost-per-click basis to drive traffic to our website. That’s the niche for the first no essay scholarship I’m going to tell you about, and it’s actually called “The No Essay Scholarship.” It does really well because it has “no essay” right in the name.”
The Doodle 4 Google no essay scholarship awards $30,000 for the best Google doodle for Google’s home page.
There are a lot of scholarships that don’t require an essay. Students who want to find no essay scholarships should do a scholarships search with an online tool or app, then look at each description. Cross off all the scholarships that say they need an essay and what’s left is all the no essay scholarships.
“That would leave me with a list of no essay scholarships,” says Ladd. “Then I’d just go through and apply to all the ones that don’t require an essay.
Some scholarships require essays, but some require video and some don’t require anything but an online registration. Scholarships.com even has an iPhone app to make the search for no essay scholarships even easier.
Scholarships.com’s scholarships search app can help make you a no essay scholarship getting ninja.
No Essay Scholarships That Aim for Social Media Exposure
A lot of other no essay scholarships are trying to get social media exposure or go viral in some way, so they’ll create contests where a student does something that’s very easy to do. Then the student shares it on Facebook or Twitter and mentions the sponsor of the no essay scholarship.
“Those again are typically more marketing style scholarships,” says Ladd, but there’s nothing wrong with it. They’re offering the money. It’s legit. Yeah, they’re benefiting from it, it’s a capitalistic endeavor for certain but I don’t have a problem with that. As long as they’re helping to support Scholarships.com to offer free scholarships to students.
20 Great No Essay Scholarships
Below we have compiled a list of 20 great no essay scholarships. Some require a video, one requires a speech and some require nothing more than filling out an online form. There are literally thousands of other no essay scholarships out there, with some expiring and new ones popping up all the time. Therefore, as Ladd says, the best way to find them is to do an online search with a free scholarships search tool like Scholarships.com. That said, the list of no essay scholarships below should get you started.
|No Essay Scholarship||Max Amount||Description|
|The Niche $2,000 No Essay Scholarship||$2,000||Just fill out an online form and you could win a $2,000 0 no essay scholarship|
|CollegeWeek Live Scholarship||$1,000||Sign up and visit colleges while logged in and you might win this $1,000 no essay scholarship.|
|Unigo $10,000 Scholarship||$10,000||Give a short answer to an easy question online and you could win this $10,000 scholarship.|
|CollegeXpress Scholarship||$10,000||Register online for a chance to win this $10,000 no essay scholarship.|
|Doodle 4 Google||$30,000||Create a doodle for the Google home page for a chance at this no essay scholarship.|
|The Chegg $2,000 Summer Scholarship||$2,000||Take two minutes to complete a sentence and you could win a $2,000 no essay scholarship.|
|Cappex Monthly Scholarship||$1,000||Fill in the online form for a chance at this no essay scholarship.|
|Love Your Body Poster Contest||$350||Create a poster that counteracts the media’s unrealistic view of women’s bodies.|
|The Scholarships.com “Tell a Friend” $1,000 Sweepstakes||$1,000||Tweet, email, IM or share their referral link on Facebook and you get a chance to win a $1,000 no essay award.|
|National Ten Minute Play Contest||$1,000||Applicants to this no essay scholarship must write a script for a stage play no more than ten pages in length.|
|AFA Teens Video Competition||$500||Create a two minute video about Alzheimer’s disease for a chance to win this no essay scholarship.|
|Natural Disaster PSA Video Contest||$3,000||Create a brief video PSA about hiring a contractor in the wake of a natural disaster for a chance at this no essay scholarship.|
|American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest||$18,000||Give an award winning speech on the Constitution of the United States to win this no essay scholarship.|
|Poster Contest for High School Students||$1,000||Create a poster based on the idea that one person can make a difference and you might win this no essay scholarship.|
|Girls Impact the World Film Festival Greenis Award||$2,500||Make a 3-5 minute film about the environment and girls for a chance to win this no essay scholarship.|
|Californians for Population Stabilization||$5,000||Make a short video related to population stabilization and you might win this $5,000 no essay scholarship.|
|Chris Meyer Memorial French Scholarship||Full Tuition||This no essay scholarship is open to students aged 14-18 who excel at French language and culture.|
|Create Real Impact||$1,500||Convey a solution to distracted or reckless driving through use of video, music, art or creative writing and you might win this no essay scholarship.|
|IFWE Student Video Contest||$5,000||Create a three minute video about God or helping the poor for a chance to win this no essay scholarship.|
|The U.S Bank Scholarship||$5,000||Complete eight “Financial Genius for Life” online personal finance learning modules.|
Do an Online Scholarships Search to Find More No Essay Scholarships
There are tons of interesting no essay scholarships out there. But again if you do a scholarships search with an online search tool like Scholarships.com and you start looking through the descriptions, you’ll see right off whether there’s an essay required, and if you don’t want to do an essay just cross off those scholarships that require an essay.
The Agnes M. Lindsay scholarship is a no essay scholarship open only to students from rural areas in Massachusetts. There are thousands of local scholarships out there that make using a scholarships search tool or app crucial.
One of the biggest reasons to use an online search tool or an app to find no essay scholarships is that a ton of scholarships are local. Relying only on a list of 20 or 100 no essay scholarships like our list above won’t unlock all the no essay scholarships that are only available to people in your town, your county, or who have the same color eyes as you or share your passion for diet Hotpockets.
“The only reason I tell people to use Scholarships.com to do a scholarships search to look for no essay scholarships is not to be self-promotional,” says Ladd. “It’s because it’s the only tool I know backward and forward. But there are a lot of free scholarships search sites and I’m not going to promote those but I’m not going to dissuade anyone from using them either. But you can use more than one. When I buy a car, I’m going to buy one car because I have to pay for it, but if they were free I’d just have tons of cars because I would just want to drive a different one every day. The point being, you may not have any money, but it doesn’t matter because you can easily go to five different scholarships search sites for information and they might all be useful. I think ours is the best but I might be a little biased.”
The scholarships that you don’t have to write essays for are out there. Start with our list of 20 no essay scholarships above to whet your appetite, but definitely use an online search tool to find a lot more.
How are you going to pay for your college tuition? Scholarships can give you the financial support you need so that you can focus on your studies and still be able to eat name-brand macaroni and cheese. They also make it possible to offset student loans so that you won’t be paying off piles of school debt well into your retirement (or, at least not as many piles).
So what’s the downside?
Applying for scholarships is a time-consuming process that will take a great deal of your focus and dedication. A typical scholarship will require you to submit an extensive application and write a brilliant essay proving that you are an exceptional student who is aligned with the donor’s mission and worthy of its financial support.
If that’s where you’ve been focusing your time, hopefully you’re having someone edit those scholarship essays before you apply.
But what if there was an easier way? There are some scholarship opportunities that don’t require much more than your ability to share some personal information. The no essay scholarship works like a sweepstakes or a lottery ticket.
In this article, I’m going to tell you how to find a no essay scholarship, and I’ll lay out the pros and cons of applying for one. I also had a chance to talk with a lucky winner of one of these scholarships, and she’ll give you the inside scoop on what it took for her to win and whether or not she felt like she sold her soul (or at least her info) in the process.
What Is a No Essay Scholarship?
Basically, a no essay scholarship entails the following: the donor company takes your information (such as your email, home address, and scholarly interests) and passes it around to various retailers and institutions (typically colleges that want your tuition or retailers that want to sell you a beanbag chair for your dorm room).
In exchange, it offers you a chance to win some cold, hard cash to put toward your ridiculously expensive, yet necessary, college education. There are quite a number of different no essay scholarship opportunities. Let’s talk about specifics now.
No Essay Scholarship at Colleges.Niche.com
During my research on no essay scholarships, the first website I came across was Niche. It actually has a pretty cool interface that allows you to compare colleges by majors and rankings.
It also allows you to research a database of scholarships based on your career goals, interests, major, state, etc. This is a great tool for you to use to find countless scholarship opportunities that match your qualities, including the no essay scholarship.
As you can see in the above screenshot, the first scholarship listed is the $2,000 “No Essay” Scholarship. Niche itself hosts this scholarship, and it’s been awarding $2,000 to one lucky winner every single month since June 2009 (formerly as CollegeProwler.com). It even provides a list of past winners to reassure you that this is for real.
Just like the title says, there is no essay required. Just fill out the form, and *boom*—you’ve applied! Even better, you can keep applying month after month, even as you are attending school and sweating your tuition money while working the counter at McD’s.
In the fine print, Niche says, “If a scholarship applicant indicates an interest in receiving offers from Niche and its trusted business partners, Niche reserves the right to use your personal information and may sell or share it with selected outside companies. If you express interest in particular schools or affiliates, Niche may sell or transfer your personal information to those schools or affiliates accordingly.”
Basically, Niche admits that it’ll be selling your information to these institutions so that, in turn, the institutions can send you glossy school catalogs.
But you do have the choice of whether to allow your information to be given away.
Niche says, “When submitting an application for the scholarship contest, applicants may opt-in to receive student related offers from Niche and our trusted business partners. The choice is entirely optional and has no impact on the applicant’s submission to the scholarship contest.”
It isn’t just taking your info and running off with it like some no-integrity purse-snatcher; you have control over the process. Just make sure to check the right boxes as you apply if you don’t want to get offers from trusted partners.
It sounds like your personal info is pretty well-respected by this organization.
*HINT* A great way to keep your email inbox spam-free is to create a dedicated email address that you use just for entering scholarship sweepstakes. For example, mine might be [email protected] I chose Yahoo! because it sounds celebratory.
Naturally, the next question I had, and I’m sure you do too, is what are your chances of winning this thing? I mean, it’s easy to apply, and you can apply repeatedly month after month, but are you really going to take home the two grand?
Niche’s website says, “The odds of winning are determined by the total number of eligible entries received. Only one (1) prize will be awarded to any one person and/or e-mail address.”
This isn’t really that informative. I decided to email Niche and ask about the chances of winning.
Here’s what a representative told me:
“While we do get many applicants every month, we do offer access to many other scholarship opportunities on our website. The more opportunities you apply for, the more opportunities you have to get money for school. Hope this helps!”
Hmmm, I’m not sure that does help. Niche is definitely holding its numbers close to its chest. From what Niche says, it sounds like your odds of winning aren’t all that high.
A quick search on Alexa.com ranks Colleges.Niche.com as the 10,792nd most popular website in the United States.
To put this in perspective, Pinterest has a U.S. rank of 12, and the University of Delaware (home to 22,000 students and 4,000 staff members) is ranked around 7,000. So it seems that Niche is a moderately popular website, but not quite as popular as the University of Delaware. You’re probably up against a moderate amount of competition for this money.
Based on this, I think it could be worth it to go ahead and apply—every month for the rest of your student career, even. Think positively, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll win.
No Essay Scholarships at SuperCollege.com
If you’re hesitant to part with your personal information but still want to search for no essay scholarships, you can actually bypass Niche and visit SuperCollege.com.
SuperCollege.com maintains a database of more than 2.2 million available scholarships and has an interface that helps you match scholarships to your unique qualifications—you amazing-sumo-wrestler-cupcake-baker, you!
SuperCollege.com does not sell your information to third parties; it says, “We use the information you provide about yourself when placing an order only to complete that order. We do not share this information with outside parties…”
Well that’s refreshing!
SuperCollege.com makes its money from advertisers, and it sells some interesting books about getting into and paying for college, taking the SAT, and other things students are interested in. It also offers free ten-step guides that cover topics like applying for scholarships, finding colleges, and seeking financial aid.
While SuperCollege.com doesn’t offer a no essay scholarship itself, the site will definitely be able to point you to more no essay scholarship opportunities, including the ones I found at Cappex.com.
No Essay Scholarships at Cappex.com
Cappex (Alexa U.S. ranking 14,137) offers a helpful interface for students seeking to apply for scholarships and learn about schools. You have to sign up for an account to see any information, though. So that’s your first step.
In exchange for your personal information, Cappex offers about $9,500 per month in no essay scholarships that are easy to apply for. For example, the CappexCash Monthly Scholarship gives you a chance at winning $1,000 just for signing up and completing your profile.
It publishes a list of its scholarship winners on its Facebook page. Will you be one of them?
Cappex also keeps a database of scholarships offered by other institutions, and if you ask me, it has the best interface of all the sites that I mention in this post.
After signing up for a Cappex account, you’ll be able to view a list of scholarships that match your interests and qualifications under a tab called “My Scholarship Matches.” The cool thing is that its scholarship database can be sorted by amount, deadline, ease of applying (i.e., how much writing is involved), and the amount of competition you’re up against.
In this example, I sorted by the “competition” column. Check it out:
By checking out the competitiveness of various scholarships, I can see that with a bit of effort, I may have a decent shot of winning the Boettcher Foundation Scholarship (Say what? A $160,000 prize? I’m in!).
But let’s say you want to find the easiest possible scholarships to apply for, with no essay writing involved (the fact that you’re reading this blog post probably means that you do).
Simply sort the scholarship list by the “effort” column. In this screenshot, you can see that I’ve sorted mine so that the scholarships rated one pencil (least effort) appear on top:
You can see that the easiest scholarship to apply for is at ScholarshipPoints.com, where you can win a big, fat ten grand. Notice that the competition on this one is pretty stiff (lots of people apply).
No Essay Scholarships at ScholarshipPoints.com
So I went to check out the deal at ScholarshipPoints.com and found that it offers another essay-free scholarship opportunity. You can win money by taking surveys, reading blogs, and playing games, among other online activities. It’s the perfect opportunity for a professional Internet surfer like you!
By participating in these marketing and information-collecting schemes (because let’s be honest, that’s what they’re all about), you rack up points, and these points are used as entries into the monthly scholarship giveaways.
I asked ScholarshipPoints (Alexa ranking 40,159) what the real odds of winning are, and here’s what a representative had to say:
“I think it’s safe to say that everyone in the ScholarshipPoints program wants to win a scholarship and everyone wants to know how to increase their chances of winning some cash for school!
The best advice we can offer is:
1) Complete AS MANY activities as you can.
2) SPEND those Points!
When it comes the time to enter your points into our monthly drawings, keep in mind that there is no such thing as spending “too many” points.
Note: please make sure when providing any private information during an activity, that you read all the terms & conditions. If you are not comfortable providing specific information, please do not complete the activity.”
I also had the chance to talk to a recent recipient of a $10,000 scholarship award from ScholarshipPoints.com. She asked that she remain anonymous because she’s training to be a CIA operative, or maybe a ninja.
My Conversation with a Real-Life Ten THOUSAND Dollar No Essay Scholarship Winner:
Me: Hi there! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. I’m sure a lot of people are really interested in hearing about how you won a $10,000 scholarship.
$10k Winner: You’re welcome. Thanks for asking me.
[sociallocker]Me: So, how many activities did you have to rack up in order to win?
$10k Winner: I’m not exactly sure…I think I used between 50-100 points on each drawing that I chose…And each point was worth one entry. (So that’s about 50-100 times.)
Me: How quickly did they pay you?
$10k Winner: They contacted my college pretty much right away, and they called and let me know that I had won, and then sent me an email saying what I needed to do in order to confirm my scholarship…I did what they asked, and they said that it was confirmed. A couple of months later, my school received the money directly.
Me: So the money is real?
$10k Winner: Haha, yes, it’s definitely real.
Me: It sounds like a pretty amazing deal. Would you recommend other students try this?
$10k Winner: Yes, I would definitely recommend it.
Me: So what’s the catch? Have you noticed that you are getting a lot of spam or anything unwanted in your email?
$10k Winner: No, I haven’t really noticed any extra spam in my email. And, as of right now, I don’t know of a catch.
Me: What made you apply?
$10k Winner: I really, really need money for college, and I won’t be eligible for school scholarships until at least next semester. I honestly didn’t expect to win anything though.
Me: Have you also applied for more traditional scholarships?
$10k Winner: I did apply for traditional scholarships when I graduated from high school, but I wasn’t able to find many for people who were already enrolled in college.
Me: Were the traditional scholarships more difficult to apply for?
10K Winner: The traditional ones were definitely more time-consuming.
Me: Can I ask you a weird question? Are you a real person?
$10k Winner: Haha, yes, I am definitely real…I actually had the same question before I applied. I looked up past winners on Facebook to see if they actually existed… they do![/sociallocker]
Thank you, super-secret ninja winner, for sharing your story!
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding an easy-to-apply-for, no essay scholarship. Here is one other opportunity that I found while traveling down this rabbit hole:
No Essay Scholarship from Zinch.com
Zinch.com (Alexa U.S. ranking 38,115) offers a weekly $1,000 giveaway. In exchange for a chance to win, it asks you to answer a short essay question (I mean really short, like 280 characters, max; if you can Tweet, you can do this). Here’s a sample prompt:
It also collects your email address and sends you info about schools, scholarships, and other third-party services. You can easily opt out by following the instructions here. And like the other scholarship sweepstakes, Zinch lists past winners on its website.
No Essay Scholarships Are Easy to Apply for and Easy to Win (Sort Of!)
I’ve sorted the no essay scholarship sites I mentioned in this post into a handy table for your reference. If you look at it this way, it seems that the opportunities at Zinch.com and ScholarshipPoints.com might be your best bets. They have lower Alexa rankings and high payouts for little effort. While SuperCollege.com has the lowest Alexa ranking, it’s best used to find no essay scholarships offered by other companies.
No essay scholarships are easy to apply for and are usually a way for companies and schools to collect and share your information. And while real students can and do win prize money all the time, you really can’t put all of your hopes and dreams into winning these types of scholarships.
Go ahead and apply, but make sure to improve your chances of winning scholarship money by also applying for some of the opportunities that require a little extra effort.
When it comes time to write your scholarship essay, the guys over at StudyMode.com have aggregated thousands of essays to help get your ideas rolling (however, remember that plagiarism is a big no-no and won’t help you win any money).
Don’t forget to edit your essay before you send it! We employ some of the best editors in the biz to make sure that your scholarship essay shines brighter than the rest, so make sure to send it over to us for a thorough edit before you send it off to the scholarship committee.
Have you ever won a scholarship? How hard did you work for that money? Share your experiences in the comments below.
*Cover image by thisisbossi. (creative commons license)
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