Contest scholarships are unusual in that they are not based on a student’s GPA or their community service. Applicants are asked to submit one or more entry, such as a creative essay, art piece, short film, practical invention—the list is endless.
Pros of Contest Scholarships
- Students can (sometimes) submit multiple entries, increasing their chances of winning a scholarship.
- It levels the playing field for all students as all applicants are assessed using the same entry criteria.
- Puts scholarships within reach of all students, even if your grades don’t meet every scholarships’ requirements, if you cannot boast top marks on standardized tests, or if you don’t have an impressive list of extracurricular activities.
- They offer students an opportunity to stand out based on their creativity and inventiveness.
Cons of Contest Scholarships
- More time and effort has to be put into the application and submission.
- Is it worth your time, that could be spent on applying to other scholarships.
- The competitive nature of the scholarship will attract many talented students, making it more difficult to win.
- With extra effort put into the project, students may feel more let down if they do not win.
Assuming that you will not win a contest scholarship because you do not have the necessary creative writing skills is a mistake that many students make. Considering the easy entry point of contest scholarships, they are well worth exploring for the opportunity of adding free money towards your college education.