18 Essay-Free Scholarships to Apply for in 2020-2021

Scholarships are a fantastic way to save money on your college tuition and avoid taking on too much  student debt. But, let’s face it, the process of applying for scholarships can be time-consuming and, sometimes you just want something a little easier.

The good news is that easy scholarships–in particular, scholarships without essays–do exist. Some require as little effort as simply entering your name and email address (a scholarship “sweepstakes”), while other scholarships without essays require you to submit something else (like a short video, social media post, or illustration) rather than an essay. These second group of scholarships rewards effort and creativity. 

It’s important to keep in mind two things about the easiest scholarships without essays:

  1. Your chances of winning a scholarship award are much lower than with traditional scholarships. This is because often way more people apply for these easier scholarships. 
  2. You 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 therefore recommend using easy scholarship sweepstakes as a secondary option for paying for college. Consider using the majority of your time applying for scholarships with essays that you find on reputable scholarship sites.

And if you’re mostly worried about saving time, consider using Going Merry to apply for scholarship bundles, which combine multiple scholarships with the same essay prompts into one application. Sign up for Going Merry today to begin applying.



Avoiding Scholarship Scams

Another thing to keep in mind is that some easy, no essay scholarships are actually scams.  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, including answering all the questions. 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. Doing your own applications will save you loads of trouble!

(Psst – You can, however, save on some of the paperwork and the repetitive form filling by using Going Merry, which auto-fills your scholarship forms with information from your profile. You’ll still need to answer any scholarship application-specific questions yourself though!)

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, and talk to your guidance counselor to see if he or she has information or experience working with the company.

Scam Tip #5: Do Your Research!

Doing a quick search (on Google or snopes.com) can save you tons of trouble in the end.  Unfortunately, easy scholarships are too good to be true a lot of the time.

Student with computer and breakfast

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s our list of 27 scholarships without essays:

5 Sweepstakes-Style Scholarships with no essays

These are scholarships that require almost no effort.

1. Going Merry Seasonal Scholarships (Spring, Summer)

Amount: $1000 per year (one $250 winner each season)

Provider: Going Merry

When you create a free profile on Going Merry, you’re automatically matched with thousands of scholarship opportunities, including the Going Merry No Essay Scholarship, offered four times a year. Simply click “Start application,” and then “Submit application” to apply. It’s that easy!

Bonus: When you first register, we’ll prompt you to apply for our bundle of four no-essay, seasonal scholarships for the next year. This way, you won’t even have to think about submitting a new application each season. It’s our way of welcoming you to our platform! Sign up today to take advantage.

2. Christian College Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Provider: The Christian Connector Inc

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!


Loving these scholarships, but need help applying for your government financial aid? We can help you fill out your FAFSA and state aid.


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3. AFSA High School Senior Contest

Amount: $2,000

Provider: AFSA Scholarships

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. 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.

4. AFSA Second Chance Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Provider: AFSA Scholarships

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. Deadlines change on a yearly basis, so check out the scholarship website for the most up-to-date information.

5. Scholarship4Moms

Amount: $10,000

Provider: Scholarships4Moms

This scholarship and its organization was created by a group of mothers who wanted to help bring financial relief to moms who are seeking to further their education. Simply register with your first name, last name, and phone number, and you’ll be entered to win!

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3 Easy Scholarships With Short Answers

These are scholarships that don’t require essays (you know, those longer 500-word type ordeals), but do require you to answer a few questions, or to write a short piece (e.g. letter, caption, tweet).

6. C.I.P. Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Provider: College is Power

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 goals you have for your university education.

7. $5,000 Course Hero Scholarships

Amount: $5,000

Provider: Course Hero

In order to win one of these no essay scholarships, simply answer a short prompt in 150 words or less, such as “How do you prepare and study to feel confident for your final exams?” 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!

8. The Customized Girl Annual Scholarship

Provider: Customized Girl

Amount: $500

Submit: An Instagram post

Customized Girl prints bold statements on customized shirts. Naturally, they know an eye-catching quote when they see one. To apply, post your statement as a caption on Instagram to be chosen as one of two winners, and your statement may be featured on a customized shirt! Check out past winners on the scholarship page for inspiration.



10 Creative, essay-free scholarships

These are scholarships that require you to submit videos, drawings, business plans, etc. instead of essays. Get creative!

9. Two Ten Higher Education Footwear Design Scholarship

Provider: Two Ten Footwear Foundation

Amount: Up to $3,000

Submit: Three design drawings

Sneakerheads 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.

10. MUD Makeup Scholarship

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

Amount: $2,500

Submit: A video, a storyboard, or an essay

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.

11. 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 for this greeting card design scholarship with your original art. You can use all art forms. Just upload an example as a JPEG (.jpg) for the application. Students 14 years or older are eligible to send their ideas.

12. 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, Instagram.

13. #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.

14. “Create Real Impact” Contest

Provider: Impact Teen Drivers

Amount: $500- $1,500

Submit: A video, music, creative writing, or graphic design

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 details!

15. GoSkills Scholarship

Provider: GoSkills

Amount: $2,000

Submit: An application and business plan

Calling future girlbosses: Here is your time to debut your online business ambitions. This scholarship is open to female high school and college students. 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 (GoSkills provides instructions for your business plan right above the area for the link). Try your hand at mapping a business plan to be your own boss in the future.

16. GloFX Scholarship

Provider: GloFX

Amount: $500

Submit: A 3-minute video, a PowerPoint, a PDF,  your own creative measure, or an essay

GloFX wants to hear from students like you with your own creative project. Simply answer their prompt in the format of your choice. The prompt: “Every person has failed at some point in his or her life, and dealing with the outcome is rarely an enjoyable experience. However, failure is how we learn, and it allows us to see our mistakes and make changes. Describe a time in your life you tried your best and still failed. How did this shape your thinking moving forward?” GloFX encourages applicants to post the project on their own social media accounts (this is optional, not required). Applicants must be a current or incoming student at a university in the United States.

17. 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. While the company Live Bearded focuses on grooming products for men, this scholarship opportunity is open to males, females, high school students, college students, undergraduate, and graduate students. Send a 90-second video sharing your goals, facts about yourself, and why you deserve the scholarship. Upload your video to a social media platform, fill out your application with a link to your video, and you’re good to go!

18. HeadSetPlus.Com College Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Provider: HeadSetPlus.Com

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.

Student on phone looking for scholarships without essays

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