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The Top Essay Scholarships for Students

Scholarships with essays often have interesting topics which allow you to express your opinion through the written word.

Shawna Newman

February 23, 2021

This scholarship list showcases 17 unique writing opportunities worth more than $140,000!
The Top Essay Scholarships for Students
For writers, an essay assignment is a thrilling opportunity to express yourself. No matter what your level of experience, writing has many positive elements! Some novice writers enjoy a mental health or mindfulness boost by journaling. Others value technical writing and sharing important research through term papers. Writing is an essential skill you’ll use throughout school—from high school to attending college onto your career. In the professional world, a candidate that can write well is highly sought-after—no matter the industry. Business communication and message sharing happens every day via writing. Whether that takes the form of reports or emails.

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Students that can easily express themselves through writing, flock toward scholarships with interesting essays and the scholarships on this list are just that. Write an essay, enter a scholarship contest, win the grand prize: money to help pay for your college tuition! All of the below scholarships require an essay entry – some as short as only 250 words – with interesting essay topics that range from safe driving and technology to America heroes and animal activism. For writers, a few hundred (or even a thousand) words is no biggie. If you’re looking for tips to win scholarship essays, we have you covered. Pencil to paper, typewriter, journal or computer, whatever your preferred method, if you enjoy expressing your opinions through writing, check out these essay scholarships below:

  1. AFA Teens for Alzheimer's Awareness College Scholarship
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    Deadline: 3/1/21
    Available to: High School Seniors
    Award Amount: $500 - $5,000 The AFA Teens for Alzheimer's Awareness College Scholarship is available to college - bound high school seniors. To be considered, you must submit a 120 - to 1500-word essay describing the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on yourself, your family or your community, and what you have learned in light of coping with the brain disorder.

  3. Stossel in the Classroom Essay Contest
  4. Deadline: 3/8/21
    Available to: Maximum Age, 18
    Award Amount: $50 - $2,500
    The Stossel in the Classroom Essay Contest is open to students between the ages of 12 and 18. To be considered, you must watch a short video, then write a 500 - to 1000 - word essay about entrepreneurship and innovation.

  5. President Gerald R. Ford Student Writing Challenge
  6. Deadline: 3/12/21
    Available to: High School Freshmen through Seniors
    Award Amount: $250 - $1,000 The President Gerald R. Ford Student Writing Challenge is open to high school students. To be considered, you must submit a 500 - to 750 - word essay on the topic of "resilience."

  7. College Scholarship Contest
  8. Deadline: 3/15/21
    Available to: College Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5
    Award Amount: 2 Awards of $1,000 The College Scholarship Contest is available to students enrolled in a college or university or planning to enroll as a freshman for the 2020-2021 academic year. You must be in good academic standing and submit an essay of no more than 1,500 words based on the topic listed on the sponsor's website in order to be considered for this award

  9. Negative Population Growth 2021 Essay Scholarship Contest
  10. Deadline: 4/18/21
    Available to: High School Seniors through College Juniors
    Award Amount: $750 - $2,500
    The NPG 2021 Essay Scholarship Contest is open to high school seniors and college freshmen, sophomores and juniors. You must submit an essay of between 450 and 600 words on the following topic to qualify for this award: "Write a letter to President Biden that highlights why overpopulation must be part of his administration’s discussions concerning our environment, including efforts to curb climate change."

  11. Paradigm Challenge
  12. Deadline: 5/1/21
    Available to: Students Maximum Age of 18
    Award Amount: $500 up to $100,000
    The Paradigm Challenge is open to students up to the age of 18. You may work in a team or alone in creating an original and creative way to help solve real-life problems in homes, schools, communities, and/or around the world. Entries may come in the form of posters, videos, inventions, messages, community events, websites, mobile apps, or anything else that will help save lives. Additionally, you must submit a brief statement of your idea (140 characters or less) in order to qualify for this award.

  13. Sugar Spun Scholarship
  14. Deadline: 8/1/21
    Available to: High School Seniors through College Seniors
    Award Amount: $500
    The Sugar Spun Scholarship is open to high school seniors and current college students. You must submit an essay of no more than 1,000 words on one the food related topics provided on the sponsor's website in order to be considered for this award.

  15. MarvelOptics.com Scholarship Essay Contest
  16. Deadline: 8/15/21
    Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
    Award Amount: $1,500
    The MarvelOptics.com Scholarship Essay Contest is available to full-time students enrolled at an accredited four-year university or college. You must submit a response to the following prompt "Helen Keller said, "The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision." What does that mean to you?" on your preferred social media platform in order to be considered for this award.

  17. Race to Inspire Essay Contest
  18. Deadline: 8/15/21
    Available to: College Freshmen through College Graduate Students, Year 5
    Award Amount: $500
    The Race to Inspire Essay Contest is open to students who have run a 5k, 10k, half marathon, or marathon. To be considered, you must submit a 1000 - 2000 word essay detailing what inspired you to run, what challenges you faced, and what you learned through the experience.

  19. Galvanize the Future: Richard L. Brooks Memorial Scholarship
  20. Deadline: 3/31/23
    Available to: College Freshmen through College Graduate Students, Year 5
    Award Amount: $2,500
    The Galvanize the Future: Richard L. Brooks Memorial Scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled at an accredited four - year college or university. You must be majoring in architecture, civil engineering, structural engineering, construction management, material science, or a related field to be eligible for this award. To be considered, you must submit a 1000 - to 2000 - word essay that addresses one of the two essay questions provided.

  21. The Washington Advocates Scholarship
  22. Deadline: Varies
    Available to: College Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5
    Award Amount: $1,000 The Washington Advocates Scholarship is available to students enrolled at an accredited college or university in the state of Washington. You must submit a 300-500 word essay on the following topic: "What are some ways YOU can contribute to making our roads and highways safer? What are some of the ways the laws can be changed to accomplish that goal?"

  23. American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest
  24. Deadline: Varies
    Available to: High School Freshmen through High School Seniors
    Award Amount: From $14,000 - $18,000 The National High School Oratorical Contest is open to junior high and high school students who are under the age of 20 and citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States. You must prepare an oration on some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with some emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. A complete list of topics are available on the Legion's Web site. Each individual state winner certified into and participating in the first round of the national contest receives an additional $1,500 scholarship.

  25. Alert Scholarship
  26. Deadline: Varies
    Available to: High School Seniors through College Freshmen
    Award Amount: $500
    The Alert Scholarship is available to high school seniors in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. To be considered, you must submit a 650 - to 800 - word essay about a personal encounter you, or someone you know, has had with drug and / or alcohol abuse, how it was dealt with, and, in your opinion, what was right or wrong about the way the incident or problem was handled. You must have a minimum 2.5 GPA to be eligible for this award.

  27. George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest
  28. Deadline: Varies
    Available to: High School Seniors through College Freshmen
    Award Amount: $500 - $2,000
    The George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest is open to high school students. You must submit an 800 - to 1200 - word essay discussing an event, person, philosophy, or ideal associated with the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the United States Constitution. Essays will be judged on historical accuracy, clarity of thought, organization and proven topic, grammar and spelling, and documentation.

  29. Leo Wasserman Student Essay Prize
  30. Deadline: Varies
    Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
    Award Amount: $100
    The Leo Wasserman Student Essay Prize is open to undergraduate students. You must submit a 15 to 50 page paper that deals with any aspect of the American Jewish experience. Your paper must have been completed as a requirement in a college course to be considered for this award.

  31. Ethical Torch Essay Scholarship
  32. Deadline: Varies
    Available to: High School Freshmen through Seniors
    Award Amount: $500 - $1,500
    The Ethical Torch Essay Scholarship is available to high school students residing in Greater Arizona and Southern California. To be considered, you must submit a 400 - word essay on the following topic: "The Importance of Ethics and Integrity in our Community."

  33. Samsung American Legion Scholarship Program
  34. Deadline: Varies
    Available to: High School Juniors
    Award Amount: Varies The Samsung American Legion Scholarship Program is open to high school juniors who are direct descendants of U.S. wartime veterans who served during one or more of the periods of war officially designated as eligibility dates for membership in the American Legion by the United States government. In order to apply, you must have completed an American Legion Boys State or American Legion Auxiliary Girls State Program and plan to attend an accredited U.S. college or university. Selection is based on the following criteria: academic record; involvement in school activities; involvement in community activities and financial need.

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