10 Scholarships for Teens
There’s a college myth that has been floating around for years – scholarships are only for high school seniors or older. Wrong! If you were one of the students who bought into this myth, you know the frustration and stress associated with finding free money for college in just a few short months. There’s nothing worse than trying to cram in a bunch of scholarship essays on top of applying to colleges, taking college entrance exams, and trying to maintain your grade point average. It’s enough to make anyone throw up their hands and give up.
In fact, savvy high school counselors and college prep advisers know that your college scholarship search should start the moment you enter high school, if not sooner. By starting your scholarship search earlier, you’ll be able to schedule a few hours each month to search and apply for awards. This will allow you more time to craft a well-written essay and application, which could result in more awards, not to mention reducing your stress levels. Many programs also allow you to apply each year, so if you don’t win on your first effort, try again! To get you started on your scholarship search, we’ve compiled a list of scholarships just for teens.
1. ‘I Was Born in 1996’ Scholarship
You’ve heard that there are scholarships for just about everything, but how about being born? This scholarship is specifically for students born in 1996. Simply share something that people may not know about students born in that year and you could win a scholarship worth $1,996. BTW – they also offer a scholarship for those born in 1995 too! Deadline: December 31. 2012.
2. Voice of Democracy Scholarship Program
Each year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars offers several scholarships for students in grades 9-12. Awards are given out at the local, district, state, and national levels, with the overall winner receiving a $30,000 college scholarship. Students are not required to have a relative in the military to apply. Deadline: November 1, 2012.
3. AFA Teens Video Competition
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America offers both a $250 and $500 scholarship to students between the ages of 13 and 19. Students must submit a short video (under two minutes) that details the moment they learned something about themselves (in relation to the disease) or decided to become an Alzheimer activist. Deadline: December 1, 2012.
4. Make Me Laugh Scholarship
Have you ever had something embarrassing or hilarious happen to you? Simply submit a short essay (250 words or less) about the incident and make the scholarship committee LOL for your chance to win a $1,000 scholarship. Deadline: August 31, 2012.
5. FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
Students in grades 8-12 may enter this writing competition by submitting a story about a trip with their family, sports team, or school group. The essay can be about a wonderful experience or something dreadful but funny, as long as it explains what they learned from the experience. A total of three scholarships will be awarded, ranging in value from $200 to $1,000. Deadline: August 1, 2012.
6. Patriot’s Pen Essay Writing Contest
For those who are getting a head start on their scholarship search, here’s an award specifically for students in the 6th-8th grade. Students must submit an essay (300-400 words) on the following topic: ‘What I Would Tell America’s Founding Fathers.' A total of 46 scholarships will be awarded, with the overall winner receiving $10,000 for college. Deadline: November 1, 2012.
7. Education Matters Scholarship
What would you say to someone who says an education doesn’t matter? If you are a student 13 years or older, submit your response (250 words or less) for a chance to win a $5,000 college scholarship. Deadline: October 31, 2012.
8. Youth Free Expression Film Contest
The National Coalition Against Censorship is offering a $1,000 cash prize and a $5,000 scholarship to the New York Film Academy. To enter, students must be 19 years old or younger and must submit a 4-minute video on book censorship. Films may be submitted by an individual or teams. Deadline: October 31, 2012.
9. Chegg Monthly Scholarship
Chegg gives you tons of opportunities to win a $1,000 scholarship. Each month, they post a new scholarship essay question and you must respond in 280 characters (approximately three sentences) or less. If you don’t win this month, come back and try again! Any high school student is eligible to apply. Deadline: Varies.
10. Shout it Out Scholarship
Did you ever wish you could get everyone in the world to just stop and listen to you for one minute? If you could, what would you say to everyone? Submit your short response (250 words or less) and you might win a $1,500 college scholarship. Anyone 13 years or older may apply. Deadline: September 30, 2012.