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Essay and Creative Contests  

The essay contests, creative competitions, and other opportunities on this page have no minimum GPA requirements.

For All Students

  • All undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. 500-1000 word essay on a specific topic required with application.
  • Award: $1,000
  • Open to all students; requires an essay.
  • Award: $500
  • For U.S citizens and legal residents. Sponsored by the American Fire Sprinkler Association. Must take online multiple choice quiz after reading essay on fire sprinklers. Not based on financial need.
  • Award: 10 $2,000 scholarships for high school seniors; 5 $1,000 "Second Chance" scholarships for those who have already graduated high school.
  • For all students, including international students. Essays will be judged on both style and content. Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of Atlas Shrugged.
  • Award: First prize: $10,000; 3 second prizes: $2,000; 5 third prizes: $1,000; 25 finalists: $100; 50 semifinalists: $50.
  • Open to all students. Requires an essay of no more than 1,000 words.
  • Award: $1,000
  • For U.S. citizens and permanent residents between the ages of 18 and 28 who have already arranged to participate in a minimum 6-month work, internship, or volunteer abroad program. The grant program does not support independent research projects, academic study abroad programs, missionary work, or religious programs.
  • Award: Ranges between $2,500 and $10,000.
  • Open to all U.S. citizens or legal residents. Only a short essay is required for entry.
  • Award:$1,500 first place, $750 second place, $250 honorable mentions.
  • Open to all undergraduate and graduate students, including international students. Instead of being judged by academic achievement, essays, or financial need, scholarships are rewarded on the basis of applicants' scores on multiple choice quizzes available on the website.
  • Award: Scholarships range from $250 to $2,500.
  • For U.S. citizens and permanent residents, undergraduate and graduate. Requires an essay of 250 words or less.
  • Award: $1,000
  • For all students between the ages of 18 and 25. Requires a maximum 500 word essay on the topic of importance of education in the applicant's life and how the scholarship money will assist in accomplishing the applicant's goals. Bonus points will be awarded to those students who find a creative way to include their passion for coffee within their essay without losing sight of the primary topic
  • Award: Up to $500. Winners are required to submit receipts for the educational materials acquired as a result of the scholarship award.
  • For all students. Combination essay and video entries must be made by a team of students assisted by a faculty adviser. This year's entries must address the following topic: widespread agreement among economists and public policy experts indicates that individuals and especially Americans have not engaged in long term financial savings at the rate they should to secure their financial futures. This poses significant long-term problems, in particular: 1) citizens may not be adequately prepared financially for their future; and 2) it may put a substantial burden on governmental budgets, especially social benefit programs in the future. International students are welcome to participate, but the team leader must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Award: The winning student team will receive $10,000, and their faculty adviser $2,000. Honorable mention teams will receive $2,000, and their faculty advisers $500.
  • For undergraduate and graduate students. Must write an essay about the use of alternative medical approaches in the treatment of cancer.
  • Award: $5,000 First Prize; $2,000 Second Prize; $1,000 Third Prize; $500 Fourth Prize; $100 Fifth Prize; $75 Honorable Mention (there are thirty Honorable Mention awards)
  • Contact: Send an e-mail to aelliott@cancermonthly.com for deadline information and to obtain an application.
  • Open to all students between the ages of 17 and 24 who have experienced the death of a parent or legal guardian, and who are a legal resident of the United States (including Puerto Rico). Applicant must submit an essay or video about how the death of their parent or legal guardian effected their life.
  • Award: Grand prize of $10,000 to the best video or essay; 6 awards of $5,000 to the first runners-up; 6 awards of $2,500 to the second runners-up; 45 awards of $1,000 to the third runners-up. See website for more details.
  • For freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and first-year graduate students. Applicants must become a student member of CSCMP to be considered for the scholarship; membership application is available on the website. Two essays and a letter of recommendation required.
  • Award: Awards range from $250 - $1,000.
  • All students are eligible. Requires a maximum 1,500-word essay addressing ideas that affect the Northwest.
  • Award: 1st prize: $500; 2nd prize: $200; 3rd prize: $75.
  • For all students, as well as recent graduates. The essay competition includes three essay questions; applicants may submit an essay for each question. All essays should be between 800 and 1500 words. See more detailed rules on website.
  • Award: 1,000 Swiss francs (approximately $1,000).
  • For U.S. citizens and legal residents who will be enrolled as undergraduate or graduate students in the fall semester. Ideal applicants are those whose volunteer efforts have made a difference in their communities. Applicants must write an essay of no more than 250 words, or to record a video up to 60-seconds, explaining the responsibility and leadership skills they have developed through their community service experience.
  • Award: One grand prize of $5,000; four 2nd prizes of $2,500; 35 third prizes of $1,000.

For All Undergraduates

  • Any undergraduate student eligible for study at Campion College, just outside of Sydney, Australia. Scholarship requires a 300 word essay, geared toward the interest of the parties granting the scholarship.
  • Award: up to $2,000 Australian, or approximately $3,000 US.
  • For full-time undergraduate students, including international students. Essays must be between 3,500 and 5,000 words and address the following question: "What is the origin of complexity in the universe?"
  • Award: One 1st prize of $50,000; two 2nd prizes of $25,000; five 3rd prizes of $10,000; up to ten honorable mention prizes of $3,000.
  • For full-time undergraduate students attending a U.S. college or university; U.S. citizenship not required. Requires a 1,500 to 5,000 word essay answering the question, "Did Lincoln free the slaves?" See website for more details.
  • Award: 1st prize of $1,500; 2nd prize of $750; 3rd prize of $500.
  • For incoming and current undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Applicants must be able to explain how their college experience is or will be enabled by remarkable frugality, ingenuity, effort or thrift.
  • Award: Five awards of $2,000.
  • For all undergraduate students, both women and men, who are legal U.S. residents. Requires a 2,500 word essay. See website for more details.
  • Award: Two first place winners receive $5,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the 11th Annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards at the Kennedy Center; eight essay finalists will each win $1,500.

For Freshmen

  • For freshmen and sophomores. Applicants must write an essay imagining that they have buried something that is dug up by their relative 200 years later, putting that relative's financial worries to rest. See details on website.
  • Award: $3,000

For Sophomores

  • For freshmen and sophomores. Applicants must write an essay imagining that they have buried something that is dug up by their relative 200 years later, putting that relative's financial worries to rest. See details on website.
  • Award: $3,000

For Juniors

  • Full time juniors or seniors interested in analyzing complex ethical issues in an essay. The website provides a list of suggested topics.
  • Award: $5,000 for first prize; $2,500 for second prize; $1,500 for third prize; $500 for two honorable mentions.

For Seniors

  • Full time juniors or seniors interested in analyzing complex ethical issues in an essay. The website provides a list of suggested topics.
  • Award: $5,000 for first prize; $2,500 for second prize; $1,500 for third prize; $500 for two honorable mentions.
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