Scholarships are one of the best ways for students to pay for college. While many scholarships require extensive applications and essays, others are more straightforward and easy to apply for. While easy scholarships shouldn’t be the only scholarships you apply for, they are a useful part of your scholarship search strategy.
You can apply to easy scholarships quickly, as they have few eligibility requirements and require only a brief essay (if they require any essay at all). Easy scholarships are often offered on a monthly basis, which means you have multiple opportunities to apply.
Tips for students applying to easy scholarships
Apply early and often
The best strategy for applying to easy scholarships is to cast a wide net. You’re less likely to win any given easy scholarship, because the application is “easy” and there are more applicants. So, the best way to help your chances is to apply to a great many opportunities, since each individual application takes minimal time and effort.
Applying to easy scholarships is great, but you should make sure to spend a good amount of time on more involved applications too. You have a much better chance of winning scholarship money with a well-crafted application to an opportunity that suits you than a random drawing, which is how many easy scholarships pick their winners. If you’re looking for a place to start looking for more specific scholarships, try out our free scholarship search tool to browse custom-matched, vetted opportunities, updated daily!
Expect a lot of email
Easy scholarships are a great way to put your name in the ring for scholarship money without taking too much time on your applications. But keep in mind that each opportunity you apply for will request your contact information. Most of the time, you will be signing up for a mailing list with each application you submit. You might end up getting monthly, weekly, or even daily email from the organization offering the scholarship.
Many people use two separate email accounts: one for personal communication with friends, family, and professional relationships, and another to manage the emails they receive from businesses, from their banks, and from newsletters they subscribe to. Making a separate email can be a great way to manage the influx of mail you will begin to receive if you apply to a lot of easy scholarships.
Consider no essay scholarships
If you’re in the market for easy scholarships, don’t neglect our list of no essay scholarships for college. Our easy scholarships involve little in the way of application materials, but some of them have a short essay or response. These no essay scholarships don’t require any response on your end, and you can easily sit down and apply to many of them.
Be wary of scholarship scams
There are a great many scholarship scams out there, but they are especially common among easy scholarships. Remember to do some investigation before you send off your application to any organization. You should never submit personal information that could be used for identity theft, and never pay an application fee to enter a contest. For more information on the matter, check out our article on how to avoid scholarship scams.
Don’t forget financial aid
One way to pay for college that’s even simpler than easy scholarships is through financial aid like institutional aid, FAFSA funds such as the Pell Grant, and other federal and state grants. Remember, if you are not filling out the FAFSA, you are potentially giving up free money for your higher education. Unlike a scholarship application, the FAFSA does not require essays or personal statements. The application process only takes you and your parents’ financial information such as tax returns and information about assets.
Types of easy scholarships
There are several different types of easy scholarships to apply to. Here’s what you should know about the most common types of easy scholarships.
No essay scholarships tend to be some of the easiest options when it comes to applying for scholarship money. Applicants usually just fill out some information about themselves, such as their grade level, GPA, contact information, current school, and occasionally their financial need, such as their EFC, and are entered into the competition.
While these scholarships are easy to apply for, they also give applicants less of an opportunity to stand out as an individual. So, if no essay scholarships are part of your scholarship strategy, you should apply to many in order to increase your chances, and be sure to apply to other opportunities as well.
Short essay scholarships are not as involved as in-depth opportunities like Posse and Questbridge, but they do give students a chance to use their own voice to appeal to the selection committee. Remember, a short essay is a great opportunity to say a lot with few words. Make sure you have a strong opening sentence, and be sure to check out our guides on writing 250 word essays to help.
Sweepstakes are some of the easiest scholarships to apply to. Winners are chosen at random and contacted through the avenues they filled out on the application. However, because these are the easiest types of scholarships, they are also the ones that receive the most applicants. That means each applicant has a lower opportunity of winning.
Sweepstakes can be great if you win, but the chances of winning are low. Make sure you keep your eye out for scholarship scams when you apply. Although we vet all of our easy scholarships, some sites may post fraudulent ones that do not actually offer awards, or collect information to scam applicants.
Downsides to easy scholarships
The biggest drawback of easy scholarship opportunities is that many students can apply for them. They are basically like a sweepstakes with free entry, which means that they will get many more applicants than more complex scholarships.
This means that your chances of winning are lower than scholarships with essays and other specific criteria. Many of these scholarships are more similar to a contest than a true scholarship competition based on merit or talent. You may also be opting into receiving marketing materials and offerings from the scholarship providers, so be aware of that if you are asked to opt-in!
Additional scholarship categories
At the end of the day, the easiest scholarship to win is the one you are best qualified for! Let us help you find the perfect scholarship fit with lists tailored to your interests and strengths:
- Scholarships by state
- Top scholarships for Black students
- Top STEM scholarships
- Top scholarships for high school seniors
- Top scholarships for women
- Top writing and essay scholarships
- Scholarships that don’t require an essay
Frequently asked questions
What are some of the easiest scholarships?
The easiest way to maximize your chances of winning a scholarship is to pursue local scholarships that cater to your skills and needs. Try consulting with a community organization or school counselor to find out what opportunities might help fund your college education.
What is the lowest GPA to get a scholarship?
Students who did not earn a high GPA in high school should look for scholarships that do not focus on GPA, many of which are included in this list of easy scholarships!
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