• Allison Styffe

20 Essay-free Scholarships

Updated: Jan 4


We get it — writing essay after essay for scholarship applications can grow a bit wearying. So this week we've put together a list of twenty essay-free scholarships to help you mix things up on your search for college funds. Instead of writing, most of these applications require you create something, from videos to greeting cards, custom crosswords to outfits made out of duct-tape. Others require something as simple as a catchphrase or pre-made study guide . Check them out below, and as with all scholarships, be sure to read the fine details and instructions for these applications carefully!


  1. Course Hero Scholarship Sweepstakes Amount: $4,000 Due: December 15, 2020 Prompt: Upload your best study docs. It could be any materials you've created for your courses, studying, or test prep––study guides, practice problems, essays, lab quizzes, assignments, notes, and more.

  2. Top Ten List Scholarship Amount: $1,500 Due: December 31, 2020 Prompt: Create a Top Ten List of the top ten reasons you should get this scholarship.

  3. Getting Real About Distracted Driving Scholarship Amount: $1,500 Due: December 31, 2020 Prompt: Design an advertisement that will educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving, and convince them with a clear call to action not to text and drive, drink and drive, eat and drive, or any other distraction you choose to focus on. All forms of ads accepted including: PSA, commercial, music, billboards, media, graphics, etc.

  4. HeadSetPlus.Com College Scholarship Amount: $1,000 Due: December 31, 2020 Prompt: 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.

  5. Go There Greener Scholarship Amount: $1,500 Due: December 31, 2020 Prompt: Upload a photo of yourself traveling greener to cut down on CO2 emissions.

  6. Customized Girl Scholarship Amount: $500 Due: December 31, 2020 Prompt: This custom t-shirt company wants to see your original "statement for the world." One that you would wear on your shirt. It doesn't have to be serious. In fact, silly might be better. Post it on Instagram or through their scholarship form to be entered.

  7. No-Sew Mask Scholarship Amount: $1,000 Due: December 31, 2020 Prompt: Use their easy guide to make a DIY mask to keep yourself and others healthy.

  8. Share Your Dream Job Scholarship Amount: $1,000 Due: January 1, 2021 Prompt: Create a TikTok video about what a great day at your dream job would be like. It can be realistic, inspiring, funny, etc. Take it whichever direction you choose!

  9. MarvelOptics National Scholarship Contest Amount: $1,500 Due: January 5, 2021 and August 15th, 2021 Prompt: Helen Keller said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” What does that mean to you? Share your answer on social media — blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.

  10. Live Más Scholarship Amount: Varies Due: January 20, 2021 Prompt: Submit a video (2 minutes or less in length) that addresses these questions: What is your passion and how are you currently pursuing it? How do you plan to use your passion to uniquely make a positive change in your community or the world? How will your education help enable you to pursue your passion and make a change?

  11. Live Bearded Academic Scholarship Amount: $2,500 Due: January 21, 2021 Prompt: Record at minimum, a 90 second video telling us a little about you, the school you're attending, your major, and why you deserve the Live Bearded Scholarship more than any of the other students applying for it.

  12. Return 2 College Scholarship Amount: $1,000 Due: January 31, 2021 Prompt: In three sentences or less, please answer: "Why are you getting your degree?"

  13. Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship Amount: $10,000 Due: March 9, 2021 Prompt: Submit original photo, artwork or computer graphics for the front of a greeting card.

  14. “Create Real Impact” Contest Amount: $500 - $1,500 Due: March 19, 2021 Prompt: Create an original work (video, music, creative writing, or graphic design) showcasing your idea for a solution or strategy to fix the very real problem of reckless and distracted driving.

  15. Doodle for Google Scholarship Amount: Up to $30,000 Due: March 20, 2021 Prompt: Students are invited to create their own Google Doodle for the chance to have it featured on Google.com, as well as win some great scholarships and tech packages.

  16. Frame My Future Scholarship Amount: $5,000 Due: April 1, 2021 Prompt: Show us how you frame your future! Whether through photography, ink, collage, painting, mixed media, or graphic design work, submit an original creation expressing what you hope to achieve in your personal and professional life after college.

  17. Project Yellow Light Scholarships Amount: $2,000 - $8,000 Due: April 1, 2021 Prompt: Create a video, billboard design, or radio spot created to motivate, persuade and encourage your peers to not drive distracted.

  18. Stuck at Prom Scholarship Amount: $500 - $10,000 Due: April 1, 2021 Prompt: Students are challenged to create their own prom outfits made entirely from Duck Tape®. Check out previous winners here.

  19. Crossword Hobbyist Crossword Scholarship Amount: $1,000 Due: April 30, 2021 Prompt: Instead of a typical essay, Crossword Scholarship applicants create and submit one 15×15 newspaper-style crossword puzzle. The theme should focus on a topic that you’re passionate about. It can be anything you want! Animals, music, skateboarding, cupcakes, retro video games – the sky really is the limit.

  20. GloFX Scholarship Amount: $500 Due: July 31, 2021 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?" Answer by submitting a project to scholarships@glofx.com. The project can be an essay (500 word max), Powerpoint, PDF, Youtube video (3 minute max), or your own unique format.

Know of other no-essay scholarships? Share them in the comments below!
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