No Essay Scholarships: Your Essential Guide for 2019

Scholarships are a fantastic way to save money on your college tuition and to avoid being stuck with loads of student debt after graduation. But, let’s face it, the process of applying for scholarships can be time-consuming and tedious. Sometimes, it would be nice if it was a little easier, or more fun at least.

The good news is that easy scholarships and scholarships without essays do exist. To make good news into better news, scholarships engaging your core interests are in the world too!

Easy and No Essay

Some scholarships require as little effort as simply entering your name and email address while others require only a short video rather than an essay.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that, while these offers labeled “easy scholarships” and “no essay scholarships” are legitimate, your chances are much lower than with traditional scholarships. You also run the risk of being spammed with loads of emails. In fact, many scholarship sweepstakes are created with the sole idea of getting your email address in mind.

We recommend using scholarship sweepstakes as a secondary option for paying for college and using the majority of your time applying for scholarships that you find on reputable scholarship sites or ones recommended to you by your high school guidance counselor or financial aid advisor.

Engaging and No Essay

Let’s push aside the common misconception of “No Essay” meaning “No Effort”. You can apply to significant scholarships giving you a chance to flex your skills.

These types of scholarships value genuineness, effort, innovation, and ambition. Instead of an essay you might apply using a video, music, original artwork, or a social media post. Involving your interests or a relatable theme allows the process to feel less tiring and less mechanical.

You’ll be surprised at the scholarships you can find online. Here’s a quick tip: Search keywords related to your interests, hobbies, or desired career. Many of the scholarships will focus more on the skill or interest than a student’s academic standing. In creating balance, less academic restrictions allow more people to be eligible, while the theme of some scholarships narrows the competition.

Avoiding Scholarship Scams

While scholarship offers without essays are legitimate, scammers will sometimes offer too-easy-to-be-true scholarship opportunities in an effort to get money or your information. You should proceed with caution and follow the tips below to avoid getting scammed.

Scam Tip #1: Say “No!” to Upfront Fees!

A scholarship shouldn’t cost anything at all to apply for (except postage). Be wary of any company or scholarship provider who requires you to pay an upfront fee in order to apply. Chances are they have nothing to offer you!

Scam Tip #2: Do The Paperwork Yourself

Some scammers will try and lure you in by telling you that they’ll take care of all the scholarship paperwork for you. You can just sit back, relax, and wait for the money to start rolling in. It almost seems too good to be true, doesn’t it? We hate to break it to you, but that’s because it is. It might be painful, but filling out your own applications will save you loads of trouble!

Scam Tip #3: Guaranteed Scholarships Don’t Exist

If scholarships were guaranteed, student loans would be a thing of the past. Avoid any company claiming to offer you a guaranteed scholarship. It’s a guaranteed scam.

Scam Tip #4: Avoid Dodgy Offers

If you receive an email from an unknown and unprofessional-looking company claiming to offer an amazing scholarship if you enter personal information on their site, it’s best to avoid it. If you’re unsure, simply do a quick Google Search and see if others have reported it as a scam before.

Scam Tip #5: Do Your Research!

Doing a quick search can save you tons of trouble in the end. Unfortunately, easy scholarships are too good to be true a lot of the time. We just want to reiterate that using trusted sources, like Going Merry or your counselors/advisors, is always the best option when it comes to scholarships.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s our list of 30 scholarships without essays:

*= updated scholarship

** BONUS SCHOLARSHIP: Our No Essay Merryapp is now live. Join Going Merry for free and apply to up to a dozen scholarships with one application and no essay!

1.* Two Ten Higher Education Footwear Design Scholarship

Provider: Two Ten Footwear Foundation

Amount: Up to $3,000

Submit: Three design drawings

Sneaker-heads can show-off their inner hypebeast/ hypebae for this scholarship! Students studying design with a focus on footwear are encouraged to apply. Provide three design drawings from your portfolio for consideration.

2.* MUD Makeup Scholarship

Provider: Beauty Changes Lives, Make-up Designory (MUD)

Amount: $2,500

Submit: A video, a storyboard, or an essay

Miraculously, this glam scholarship allows you to avoid an essay by providing submission options! Students pursuing beauty and wellness careers can apply to win one of 5 prizes from Make-up Designory (MUD).  You can ignore the essay and choose between a video or storyboard submission. For this scholarship, you need to be a student attending an accredited Cosmetology and/or esthetics school with MUD makeup in their program.

3.*  Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship

Provider: The Gallery Collection

Amount: $10,000 (+$1,000 prize for the school)

Submit:  An original photo, art, work, or graphic design

If you have a knack for art and sentiment, apply to this greeting card design scholarship with your original art. You can use all art forms. An example needs to be uploaded in JPEG (.jpg) for the application. Students 14 years or older are eligible to send their ideas.

4.* The Customized Girl Annual Scholarship

Provider: Customized Girl

Amount: $500

Submit: An Instagram post

Bring out the Tumblr quotes!  Customized Girl prints bold statements on, you guessed it, customized shirts! Naturally, they know an eye-catching quote when they see one. To apply, post your quote on Instagram to be chosen as one of two winners. Check out past winners on the scholarship page for inspiration.

6.* Axon Optic’s ‘Migraine Story’ Scholarship

Provider: Axon Optics

Amount: $1,000

Submit: A video, an image, or an essay

Share your story of dealing with migraines or light sensitivity. All full-time students of accredited two- or four-year American universities may apply. Choose from a video (less than 1 minute in length) or an image (photo, drawing, etc.). To qualify, the submission must be posted on at least one of the following social media platforms: YouTube, Facebook, Google+, Instagram.

7.* #YouAreWelcomeHere Scholarship

Provider: U.S Higher Education (Led by Temple University)

Amount: At least 50% of tuition

Submit: A video or an essay

First-year international students at participating American universities can cut down the cost of education with this scholarship. The #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign gained nationwide support in creating a scholarship awarding two students per university. The video submission must express ideas of advancing intercultural learning. Check the list of participating universities on the campaign’s scholarship page

8.* “Create Real Impact” Contest

Provider: Impact Teen Drivers

Amount: $500- $1,500

Submit: A video, music, creative writing, or artwork

Students between 14-22 years old may apply. The contest seeks original work about a solution and strategy regarding reckless and distracted driving. Choose either video, music, creative writing, or artwork. There are many submission options and contest categories, so make sure to visit the scholarship page for detail!

9.* Go Skills Scholarship

Provider: Go Skills

Amount: $2,000

Submit: An application and business plan

Okay, Female high school and college students, here is your time to debut your online business ambitions. There are open-ended questions on the application, but it’s more like a friendly conversation. The questions ask you about your concerns and your role models. Besides the application, you need to provide a link to your business plan (Go Skills provides instructions for your business plan right above the area for the link). If you don’t get excited about writing an essay, try your hand at mapping a business plan

10.* GloFX Scholarship

Provider: GloFX

Amount: $500

Submit: A video, a PowerPoint, your own creative measure, or an essay

Tell GloFX about your business plan! For application, GloFX encourages you to “Create a small project to outline and depict your point of view”.  Release your inner business person with a video, PowerPoint, or your own creative method of presenting a business plan. Applicants must be a current or incoming student at a university in the United States.

11.* Selectblinds.com College Scholarship

Provider: Select Blinds

Amount: $1,000

Submit: A description, an inspiration/ idea board, visuals, a cover letter

Do you have a passion for interior design? Select Blinds is asking for your innovative approach to creating the perfect space (a room, dorm, office, any space!) For your design project, you can use videos, pictures, drawings, infographics, and the like as visuals. In place of an online application, Select Blinds snuck a cover letter in the requirements. Don’t be intimidated by a cover letter; it’s all about you and great practice for the future!

12.* Live Bearded Academic Scholarship

Provider: Live Bearded

Amount: $2,500

Submit: A video

The Live Bearded Team are focused on lending a hand to those building their future through higher education. Send a video (at least 90 seconds in length) sharing your goals, facts about yourself, and why you deserve the scholarship.

13. C.I.P. Scholarship

Provider: College is Power

Amount: $1,000

Submit: 150-word description of your goal for school

While this scholarship technically has an essay, it’s only a short 150 words, so we’re adding it in! To apply, just fill out the super short application form and write a mini-essay about the goal you have for your university education.

14. Beliz Law Firm Scholarship

Provider: The Beliz Law Firm

Amount: $500

Submit: A video

If you love getting behind the camera and bringing ideas to life, apply to this scholarship by creating a short video detailing three important bicycle safety tips.

15. HeadSetPlus.Com College Scholarship

Provider: HeadSetPlus.Com

Amount: $1,000

Submit: A video

HeadSetPlus.Com wants to help you pay for college…no essay needed! Be creative and create a video with a maximum length of five minutes detailing why you deserve the scholarship and what inspired you to pursue a degree in your field.

16. $2,000 No Essay College Scholarship

Provider: Niche

Amount: $2,000

Submit: An application for a free Niche account

Niche awards a $2,000 scholarship to a lucky student twice a month…and all you have to do is create a free account! These scholarships without essays are open to all high school and college students planning to attend college within the next year!

17. $5,000 Course Hero Scholarship

Provider: Course Hero

Amount: $5,000

Submit: A review about an online course

In order to win one of these no essay scholarships, simply review a college course on CourseHero.com. If you have more than one college class you’d like to review, you can improve your chances by leaving as many reviews as you’d like!

18. $5,000 VIP Voice Scholarship

Provider: VIP Voice

Amount: $5,000

Submit: Surveys

VIP Voice offers points in exchange for completing online surveys. Once you’ve completed two surveys, you can use your points to enter for this scholarship and more. The more surveys you complete, the higher your chances of winning!

19. School Survey Sweepstakes

Provider: Niche

Amount: $1,000

Submit: A survey

Just one of the many scholarships without essays offered by Niche, you can enter for a shot at this $1,000 scholarship by creating a free account and reviewing your school. A new winner is drawn each month.

20. The $1,000 SuperCollege Scholarship

Provider: SuperCollege.com

Amount: $1,000

Submit: A short application

In order to ease the pain of paying for college, SuperCollege offers a monthly drawing for a $1,000 scholarship. All you need to be eligible is to fill out the exceptionally short application form and you’re good to go!

21. Local Survey Scholarship

Provider: Niche

Amount: $1,000

Submit: A survey

Yet another of the no essay scholarships from Niche, all that this scholarship requires is that you review your neighborhood or town. A new winner is selected on a monthly basis.

22. Opinion Outpost $10,000 Quarterly Drawing

Provider: Opinion Outpost

Amount: $10,000

Submit: A survey

Entering to win $10,000 has never been so easy! All you need to do is fill out at least one survey on the Opinion Outpost website. If you have more time, you can fill out as many surveys as you’d like. Each survey gets you another entry into the drawing.

23. Digital Responsibility E-Waste Scholarship

Provider: Digital Responsibility

Amount: $1,000

Submit: 140-word opinion

If you’re excellent at fitting your feelings and opinions into a Tweet, this easy scholarship just might be the perfect one for you. To enter, just fill out a short application form and submit a Tweet-length message about e-waste. Note: Finalists are asked to write an essay between 500 to 1,000 words later on.

24. Tetherbox Creative Video Challenge Scholarship

Provider: Tetherbox

Amount: $1,000

Submit: A video

Put your creative talents to the test to be eligible for this no essay scholarship from Tetherbox. Create a short commercial (between one and four minutes) for Tetherbox to be entered to win.

25. Make a Recycling Bin Scholarship

Provider: DoSomething.org

Amount: $5,000

Submit: A recycling bin design

DoSomething.org wants to inspire people to recycle their used beauty and personal care products in order to promote environmental sustainability. To apply for one of these scholarships without essays, unleash your creative side and design a recycling bin that will make people want to recycle.

26. Christian College Scholarship

Provider: The Christian Connector Inc

Amount: $2,500

Submit: A Survey

If you’re planning on attending a two- or four-year Christian college, you’re eligible to enter the drawing for this $2,500 Christian College Scholarship. Simply fill out a short online survey and you’re good to go!

27. AFSA High School Senior Contest

Provider: AFSA Scholarships

Amount: $2,000

Submit:  An entry form

If you’re ready for an extra $2,000, simply fill out the online entry form on the AFSA website and be registered to win one of 10 prizes. The entry form asks for common information such as name, city, and anticipated date of graduation. This scholarship is open to high school seniors during the school year and deadlines change on a yearly basis, so head to the scholarship website for the most up-to-date information.

28. AFSA Second Chance Scholarship

Provider: AFSA Scholarships

Amount: $1,000

Submit: An entry form

If you didn’t have the luck of winning the AFSA High School Senior Contest, try your luck again after graduation with the AFSA Second Chance Scholarship. This $1,000 award is awarded to five high school graduates during the summer months. The entry form asks for common information such as name, city, and anticipated date of graduation. Deadlines change on a yearly basis, so check out the scholarship website for the most up-to-date information.

29. Scholarship 4 Moms

Provider: Scholarships 4 Moms

Amount: $10,000

Submit: A short entry form

If you’re a mom who is planning on heading back to school, you’re already halfway done applying to win one of these scholarships without essays. The next step is to simply register for the site and cross your fingers!

30.* Debt.com Scholarship for Aggressive Scholarship Applicants

Provider: Debt.com

Amount: $500

Submit: A short letter and proof of scholarship application

Literally, their only mission is to give scholarships to students constantly applying to scholarships.  Debt.com asks you to send all the tedious scholarship confirmation emails you received and a short letter about yourself. Your letter can be about how you feel applying to so many scholarships or if you learned anything from the application process. Winners are announced every two months.

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If you want a simple way to apply to multiple easy scholarships, without essays, at once, sign up with Going Merry (let us know in the comments section if there are others we should include). In the meantime, we already have thousands of scholarships which you can apply for directly.

Just fill out your profile, see what we match you with, and click apply! It’s that easy.

Everything You Need to Know About Work-Study Jobs in College

Every possible option should be considered when organizing college funds. Exploring work-study means finding one more way to lessen the amount of money you need to borrow. Higher education is already expensive. Finding money you don’t need to pay back is the best kind of money!  

Work-study is available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Students may be full-time or part-time. Most work-study programs operate in the same way by supplying aid to financially eligible students. Otherwise, colleges and universities may have other criteria or restrictions for work-study. It is important to speak with your school about details specific to their work-study program, such as a minimum GPA.

This is especially true for international students. Typically, international students do not qualify for work-study, but check with your school for detailed information.

Finally, work-study programs follow the academic calendar to match time spent in college, and do not impact winter or spring break.

 

What is Work-study?

Work-study is a program offering opportunity to earn government funded aid through part-time employment. The funds are supplied by either the federal government or state government. Federal work-study programs are more common. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education reports approximately 3,400 colleges and universities provide a Federal Work-study program.

Student employment may occur on-campus or off-campus at an approved employer. The program defines non-profit, civic education, and community-service related jobs as most eligible. Off-campus jobs are usually with a private non-profit organization or a public agency, but some schools will approve of jobs with private for-profit organizations.

Work-study favors jobs promoting public interest. At the same time, the program encourages you to be employed in “work related to your course of study whenever possible”

The work-study amount is split into a percentage paid by the school (federal) and paid by the employer (nonfederal). In general, the federal portion funds 75% and the nonfederal portion funds 25% of the student’s wages. The percentage ratio can differ depending on the job. For employment with for-profit employers, the percentage is 50% federal and 50% nonfederal. For non-profit employers, the percentage ratio can be 90% federal and 10% nonfederal. While for most literacy or mathematics tutor jobs, the federal funds may cover up to 100%.

Schools do not dictate how funds earned during work-study are spent. You are paid directly, and you decide how the funds are dispersed. For example, you could spend the money on groceries or travel. Alternatively, you can request your school to use your earnings toward your college expenses, like room and board.

 

Where to begin?

As with many forms of financial aid, you begin by completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). In case you are unfamiliar with the application, check out our overall FAFSA guide.

While filing your FAFSA, you will see a question about consideration for the work-study program at your school. You can confirm or decline. Requesting work-study as part of your financial aid is that simple! For reference, you can view pictures for applying to work-study in this helpful post.

Asking for consideration on your application does not guarantee you will receive an offer. Schools must determine the financial need of students before offering funds.

If you do receive an offer, here are a few quick facts about the amount you will see:

  • This amount is earned, so you will not be required to repay the school, and you will not have any debt towards the school.
  • This is the total amount of money the school can offer you for your work-study.
  • The amount is earned at the rate of per hour pay from your employer (salary pay is possible for graduate and professional students).

 

Will the work distract from my academics?

You should be careful when working during college. Committing yourself to multiple activities and responsibilities can lead to burnout. That is the last thing anyone wants!

Fortunately, work-study programs are designed to help avoid such a dilemma.

The average student works 10-25 hours per week during their work-study employment. Part-time employment allows you to create a work schedule to compliment your academic schedule. Work-study employers give students flexible hours, as academics are the top priority.

Equally important, work-study employers must pay you at least the federal minimum wage. If the state minimum wage is higher, you will be paid the state minimum wage instead of the federal minimum wage.

While working, your job can teach you skills your academics will not. You can sharpen skills such as organization, communication, swift problem-solving, and leadership. Gaining real world experience creates solid examples you can include on your resume when applying to future employers. Depending on your job, you may be able to write the following on your resume:

  • Interacted with diverse customers
  • Handled monetary transactions
  • Data entry

Likewise, you’ll be able to use these skills to stay on top of your academic work.

 

What should I know about the work-study process?

Before participating in a work-study program, there are a few details you should think over. Every student’s situation is different. You determine if a work-study program benefits your college journey.

Let’s get the easy details out first. The funds are awarded on a first-come first-serve basis. Completing your FAFSA early betters your chances of receiving work-study aid.

Your earnings are considered income from the government’s viewpoint. Therefore, your earnings are taxable. Only full-time students working less than 20 hours a week are exempt.

The huge relief is that your future financial aid is not impacted by work-study earnings. Usually, the more income you make the lower your financial aid award. FAFSA does not count work-study earnings as regular income, so your financial aid award will not decrease.

Securing employment for a work-study requires effort on your part. You are responsible for finding your own job. Job hunting is not as scary as it may sound. A good strategy is visiting your school’s assigned career advisor or the office of student employment for assistance. Staff will give tips on using job search tools, writing a resume and cover letter, interview behavior, and interview questions.

Additionally, you can speak with your school to find out if they have a job placement program. A counselor will help you more directly in searching for an appropriate job.

 

How great is the earning potential?

The amount offered in your financial aid package is the maximum amount you may earn from the work-study program. Overtime hours are not available for example. To give you an idea of earning potential, the average work-study participant earns $1,500 for the academic year.

While this amount does not cover a large percent of what funds are needed for you to attend college, it does decrease the debt you would accrue if taking out a loan. Small amounts can go a long way! Just like this student earning $150,000 by applying to small scholarships. And remember too, you are able to work outside of work-study, for example part time during school or full time over the summer.

When you think about it too, your earning potential does not stop at work-study. The program gives you an opportunity to upgrade your skills and resume. Furthermore, work-study allows you to network, which leads to having references for your resume. In fact, if you build a strong relationship, you might convince your employer to hire you after completing your work study. Consider this scenario similar to an intern being hired after completing an internship. You can continue earning a steady income outside of your work-study program. Moreover, you can use these factors to apply for higher paying jobs in the future.

Comparatively, other common ways to secure money for college include:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Side Hustles
  • Paid Internships
  • Employer Tuition Assistance

 

What if I change my mind?

If you were offered work-study in your financial aid package, but no longer wish to participate, you may decline work-study. Be aware, work-study is not guaranteed every year and the amount may not be the same every time it is offered in your financial aid package.

Work-study is a reasonable program to consider when searching for ways to support your academic journey. Add “work-study” to your list of money-saving options!