By tamaraOver the years, I have heard my share of excuses why students don’t want to apply for scholarships: it’s too complicated, my grades aren’t good enough, or too many people apply for the same award. Surprisingly, though, the biggest complaint has to do with writing those dreaded scholarship essays. If this sounds familiar, guess what? There are actually scholarships that don’t require you to put pen to paper in order to win some free money for college. Now, I’m not talking about those easy-to-enter contests where you have as much of a chance at winning as you do at hitting all six numbers on the lottery. What I am referring to is the hot, new trend of using video for scholarship submissions. Many scholarship providers are turning away from the traditional essay–based application and encouraging applicants to use their creativity to make amateur films, public service announcements (PSAs) and even short documentaries. If you’re a budding director or producer, you might want to check out some of these video scholarships right now. 1. Rocket 55 Video Scholarship Here are the magic words every student loves to hear…no application required! Simply upload a short video to YouTube that explains your version of the story behind the name Rocket 55. One lucky videographer will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Deadline: December 31. 2. Corrosion in Motion Competition Ever wonder what the Statue of Liberty or the Golden Gate Bridge might look like in 100 years? Here’s your chance to create a short video showing how corrosion will impact these or any other well-known structure. There are three awards available, ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 each. Deadline: December 31. 3. StudentCam Documentary Competition C-SPAN is offering 75 scholarships to budding filmmakers. Just submit an original documentary (5 to 7 minutes in length) about an issue, event, or topic that you feel President Obama should address. Prizes vary in value from $250 to $5,000 each. Deadline: January 20. 4. Courageous Persuaders Video Contest If you don’t like using Youtube, you can go old school on this scholarship program and submit a VHS tape or DVD. Whichever format you choose, be sure to keep it to 30 seconds and focus on the dangers of underage drinking. A total of 11 scholarships are available, ranging in value from $250 to $3,000. Deadline: February 12. 5. E4U Video Contest Want to win some ‘big money’ for college? Check out this $25,000 video competition. Simply create a video (two minutes or less) showing how engineering has served the needs of society between 1964 and 2064 (that’s not a typo!). Deadline: March 31. 6. Swackhamer Disarmament Video Contest You should get an award for being able to say that name five times fast, but they actually require you to submit a video. Topics will be announced on February 1, but will cover some aspect of nuclear disarmament. One winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Deadline: April 1. If you are interested in promoting safe driving habits or educating others about the dangers of distracted driving, be sure to check out my post “Scholarships That Put You in the Driver’s Seat.” It has several programs that require short videos or films, instead of lengthy essays. Don’t forget to review my tips for making video entries for scholarships, as well.