Top 20 No Essay Scholarships to Apply for in 2022

Introduction: No essay scholarships

Let's talk about no-essay scholarships. Whether you've been applying to scholarships for a while or you're completely new to the scholarship process, chances are, at some point you've felt tired, frustrated, or even fully on fed-up with writing all of those essays. Finding financial aid can be a lot of work - I feel you!

A smart strategy when applying for scholarships is to mix up the types of scholarships you're applying for. But what does this actually mean?

Well, if you're familiar with the world of scholarships, you've probably discovered that there are scholarships out there of all sorts, shapes, and sizes.

Some scholarships are for small amounts (think: anywhere from $100 to a few thousand dollars) while others go for larger amounts (sometimes even full-tuition!). Some scholarships have long lists of application requirements, while others only ask you to write a sentence, upload your transcript, or fill out a form.

So, when I say "mix up the types of scholarships you're applying for", I'm saying that it's important to consider things such as scholarship type (is there an essay required?), amount (generally, scholarships with bigger awards are harder to earn), and category (how specific does the scholarship get in terms of matching your unique profile?).

This post covers one specific type of scholarship that I'm sure you'll enjoy incorporating into your scholarship strategy: a no-essay scholarship!

Most of these no essay scholarships are open to high school, college, and graduate school students, be sure to get those easy applications in, and keep your toes crossed while you get to work on some of those other more labor-intensive opportunities.

*Pro-tip - While some of these no essay scholarships currently have specific deadlines, keep them bookmarked because they often renew monthly, quarterly, or yearly!

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    20+ No essay scholarships to apply for ASAP!

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    Frequently asked questions about no essay scholarships

    • Are no essay scholarships legit?

      No essay scholarships are 100% legit!

      No essay scholarships are created to be more like contests or sweepstakes. Generally, all you have to do to be considered is enter some information on an application page and you're good to go. This is in contrast with other more labor-intensive scholarships, that require a greater amount of work and time commitment (think: essays, letters of recommendation, videos, interviews).

      The fact that no essay scholarships don't require a whole lot of effort (they're definitely the easiest opportunities out there!) doesn't mean that they aren't just as real as other scholarships that do have more detailed eligibility and application requirements to apply. In fact, no essay scholarships can sometimes be just as competitive as full-ride scholarships, given the fact that so many students apply for these opportunities.

      At the end of the day, each and every scholarship we feature in our database and in our blog posts aims to guide students in the direction of legitimate opportunities to help you navigate the journey of paying for college.

    • What are some common qualities of a no essay scholarship?

      The most identifiable quality of a no essay scholarship is the fact that it doesn't require an essay! Rather than asking students to upload an essay on the application page, these scholarships generally will ask for the completion of a form, or for students to upload a photo, video, or other unique type of submission. The fact that these scholarships can often be completed much more quickly and easily than other scholarships is what makes them so great.

      You'll also find that the majority of no essay scholarships are open to a wide variety of students, and they usually won't have any specific eligibility requirements such as only being open to students in certain majors or with a certain minimum GPA.

    • Who is eligible to apply for no essay scholarships?

      When it comes to eligiblity, as I mentioned just above, no essay scholarships are usually open to a wide range of students. For example, a no essay scholarship might be open to students ages 13 and older in the US, or maybe it's open to all high school students in the US. These eligibility criteria are very generous and intended to give all (or nearly all) students who want to apply an opportunity to do so.

    • How difficult is it to win a no essay scholarship?

      Because no essay scholarships are usually open to so many different types of students, along with the fact that they often require very little effort on the part of the student (and run more like sweepstakes than real in-depth scholarships), means that they are difficult to win, and the process is unpredictable.

      Luckily, because these scholarships require so little time commitment to apply, not winning one of these types of scholarships doesn't necessarily indicate that you've wasted your time applying, since it likely didn't take that much time in the first place!

    • How can I increase my chances of winning no essay scholarships?

      No essay scholarships are open to such a wide variety of students in terms of eligible areas of study, state residency, and year in school. This, in combination with the fact that the winners for these scholarships are generally always selected at random, means that increasing your chances of winning one of these scholarships is very, very difficult.

      In the spirit of full-transparency: the only way that you can actually increase your chances of winning no essay scholarships is by applying for all of them and not missing any deadlines.

      For example, take Tallo's monthly no essay scholarships. They pick at least 12 winners each year, usually at the end of each month. If you want to maximize your chances of winning one of Tallo's no essay scholarships, you should set a reminder to make sure that you apply for them every month, so that you don't miss out on an opportunity to win.

    • Most of the no essay scholarships I've come across are for small amounts, such as $1,000. Why is this the case?

      Most no-essay scholarships are for small amounts (think: $500 - $2,000) because, in comparison to other scholarships that have lots of application requirements, no-essay scholarships tend to run more like contests.

      Organizations love to give back to students in any and all ways possible, and they also like to try to make student's lives easier by offering easy scholarship opportunities.

      However, from the perspective of private organizations, many of them would rather save their scholarships of higher amounts to be distributed through competitive opportunities where they can select students on the basis of merit, leadership, and other qualities. That's why you'll probably never come across a full-ride scholarship that doesn't require an essay or extra submission of some sort!

    • Where can I find more scholarships to apply for?

      There are tons of resources and places out there that you can use to find "harder" scholarships to apply for to pair with your efforts in applying to the easy ones.

      The first place I recommend you go is over to the Access Scholarship Search Engine or Blog, where you can find all types of scholarships based on criteria such as home state, area of study, ethnicity, and more.

      After that, I recommend you also do some surfing of the web, as well as outreach to your guidance counselor or financial aid office to help you find local scholarships and even more nuanced opportunities.

    Important tips and things to keep in mind with no essay scholarships

    • Tip #1: Apply often.

      Many of these scholarships run continuously on a monthly or quarterly basis.

      Set a reminder for yourself to revisit these scholarships each month and reapply to give yourself the best chance at winning one!

    • Tip #2: Find ways to get a leg up.

      Scholarships with no essays that have any sort of additional component (like an art or video submission) will tend to give you a "leg up" because they involve more than some luck.

      Take full advantage of scholarships like these by putting your best foot forward with that extra submission!

    • Tip #3: Make no essay scholarships one piece of the puzzle.

      Scholarships with no essays should be a key component of your scholarship application strategy because of how easy they are to apply for.

      However, it's important to remember they should be balanced with other scholarships that have more specific and stringent requirements.

      When you apply for essay-based scholarships, you're given the opportunity to tell the committee about you, who you are and why you should be selected for the opportunity. The winners for these scholarships, unlike their no-essay counterparts, are not chosen at random, so if you choose these scholarships carefully, apply for ones that are specific to your qualities, and write strong essays, you'll have the best chances of winning at the end of the day!

    General tips for applying for all kinds of scholarships

    Navigating the world of scholarships can be stressful and confusing to say the least. Follow these tips to make sure you’re covering all of your bases and giving yourself the greatest possible chance at success!

    • #1: Get yourself organized before you dive right in.

      Just like with any other part of the college / financial aid process, organization is crucial to success when it comes to searching and applying for scholarships.

      My top organization-related recommendation for students is to start by creating a readily-accessible folder on your computer where you can then create subfolders for your scholarship essays, transcripts, and other application materials. This is also the place where you’ll want to house your scholarship tracker, which will help you keep track of scholarships you find, upcoming deadlines, and your overall progress.

    • #2: Do your brainstorming.

      You likely wouldn’t start an essay on the American Revolution without doing some initial brainstorming and planning first. The same rule should apply for when it’s time to search for scholarships.

      Sit down with a pen and paper or a blank word document open, and start to bullet out a list of traits and things that you feel make up who you are as a person. These things should be both academic and personal. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, here’s a sneak peek into what my own personal list might look like:

      -I am from New Jersey

      -I am a business student with an interest in marketing

      -I like to play sports (tennis, basketball, etc)

      -I hold leadership positions in my extracurriculars

      -I identify as female

      -I am a twin

      -I am left-handed

      -I enjoy doing crossword puzzles

      -I go to college in Wisconsin

      I could go on and on with this list, but I won’t bore you! What I’m trying to get at though is that creating a list like this to track your hobbies, academic pursuits, and other things that make up who you are can be incredibly helpful in allowing you to find scholarships that are highly specific to you.

      PS - For some students, this may also fall under the initial organization step of the process, but ultimately it doesn’t matter when you do it as long as it gets done.

    • #3: Know where to look.

      Knowing what types of scholarships you want to search for doesn’t really matter if you don’t know where to actually search for them! Here are a few ideas on where you can get started in searching for scholarships:

      -Scholarship search engines like AccessScholarships.com, which allow you to search through thousands of scholarship opportunities all in one place

      -Normal search engines, such as Google (the more specific you can be here, the better)

      -Your school’s college prep, guidance, or financial aid page/website

      -Social media (you can follow scholarship accounts and hashtags that might be relevant to help you discover local scholarships)

      -Family, friends, teachers, coaches, and other people in your community who might know of local or community-based scholarships that you’re eligible for

    • #4: If a scholarship has an essay or additional type of submission, make sure you put your absolute best foot forward.

      This is, in my opinion, the biggest key to help students see success in actually winning scholarships.

      You can have a 4.0 GPA and solid letters of recommendation, but if you don’t also take the time to carefully craft, edit, and perfect the essay (or other additional submission), you’re missing out on giving the scholarship committee the opportunity to learn more about who you are as a person and why you’re a great fit to win the award.

    • #5: Keep those grades up.

      Although this eligibility requirement can definitely vary, many scholarships require students to have at least a 2.5 or 3.0 GPA. Sometimes, the minimum requirement can be even higher, such as a 3.75/4.0.

      While grades certainly aren’t the end-all-be-all, keeping your GPA up (as high as you possibly can!) will make sure that you are opening yourself up to as many opportunities as possible.

    • #6: Apply often.

      Unfortunately, applying for scholarships is not a “one and done” process. To give yourself the highest chance at seeing success, you should apply for scholarships as often as you can, or whenever you come across an opportunity that you think is worth applying for.

      Many students find it helpful to set specific goals in this area, like to apply for 3 scholarships each month. Ultimately, the goal you set should be one that is specific and realistic, based on all of the other things that you’re juggling!

    • #7: Ask for feedback along the way.

      If you don't ever take the time to assess your weak spots, how can you possibly improve?

      Asking for feedback throughout the scholarship process, whether it be from a committee, a teacher, or someone who is helping you along the way, is crucial to helping you grow and becoming a stronger applicant. 

      Getting feedback is especially important when it comes to the scholarship essay piece of the puzzle. When we write and edit, we tend to overlook our own mistakes because we're so used to making them. Sometimes it takes an extra set of eyes on an essay to help lead you in the direction of success.

    No-essay scholarships: To conclude...

    To summarize, no-essay scholarships can be a great addition to any overall scholarship strategy for high school, college, and graduate students.

    Since no-essay scholarships often operate on a monthly or quarterly basis, you can give yourself a better chance at winning these scholarships if you enter in every application period that you're eligible for.

    Although no-essay scholarships usually aren't for large amounts, the process of entering to win is usually an easy one, so there's no harm in applying for these scholarships to round out your strategy and yes, give you a break from all those essays!

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