Got a few minutes? Sure, even that’s a big ask, with your college search well underway and high school academics, activities, and sports dominating the rest of your time. But if you can squeeze in a brief pause, you could be rewarded with free money for college.
This might sound like one of those “too good to be true” ads, but in this case, it really is true. There are plenty of college scholarships out there you can apply to right now — without the time-consuming hassle of writing essays, tracking down letters of recommendation, and perfecting your resume.
*One caveat, though: If you want the big scholarship money, you may have to put in the time. The competition can be fierce for easy scholarships, and the selection is usually pretty much random.*
Other scholarships allow you to stand out with a killer essay or high school achievement. And the payoff may be bigger. Still, free money is free money; it can’t hurt to try!
You don’t have much time, so let’s get right to it. Here are five easy scholarships you can apply to right now:
The Niche ‘No Essay’ College Scholarship
How much is it? $2,000 you can use for tuition, housing, or other college expenses.
What do you have to do? Every month, review website Niche gives away $2,000 to college and high school students who fill out a simple form. If you know your name and your birthday, you can apply right now.
Strings attached? You must be in college or grad school or planning to start within a year. You can only apply once per month.
Deadline: There’s a deadline at the end of each month.
The Unigo $10K Scholarship
How much is it? $10,000 to be paid directly to your school.
What do you have to do? Apply online here and answer this question: “Surprise! You just got elected president. What’s your first tweet?” A panel of judges will pick the winner based on writing ability, creativity, originality, and overall excellence. A tweet (if you don’t already know) is only 140 characters long, so you can do this one in a few minutes.
Strings attached? Only one winner will be chosen. You must be an American resident in college or planning to go by 2023.
Deadline: Dec. 31, 2017
CollegeXpress $10,000 Scholarship Contest
How much is it? $10,000 paid directly to your school.
What do you have to do? To apply, just register on the college and scholarship search website CollegXpress. A single winner is chosen at random every May.
Strings attached? CollegeXpress will only pay out to participating colleges and universities. Luckily, there are a lot of them (almost 1,000).
Deadline: May 2018
Express Medical Supply Scholarship Program
How much is it? $500 paid directly to your school.
What do you have to do? Snap a picture of the “heart” of your hometown — however you define it. You probably already have the perfect photo waiting on your phone. Post your pic on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or all three, and in 108 characters or less, explain what makes your hometown special.
Strings attached? Spelling, grammar, and sentence structure count. Also, you must use the hashtag #ExmedScholarship and link to the scholarship page: exmed.net/500.
Deadline: Jan. 5, 2018
U.S. Bank Scholarship
How much is it? $20,000 for first prize, $10,000 for second, and $5,000 for three runners-up.
Strings attached? If your parents or other family members work for U.S. Bank, you’re out of luck.
Deadline: Oct. 27, 2017
Find More College Scholarships
College is expensive. Every little bit you get now means less debt later. Discover the best places to find scholarships in our free Financial Aid Quick Guide to Scholarships. Click on the banner below for your copy.