College Scholarships for High School Juniors

It’s never too early to start looking for scholarships to help cover the cost of college. The earlier you start, the more opportunities to earn some free money towards tuition, books, and other college costs. And, hey, every little bit can help! Applying for college scholarships for high school juniors is a great way to get an early start.

We understand that junior year of high school is already packed with football games, music concerts, club meetings, and junior prom. With the focus on choosing schools, participating in extracurriculars, and studying to get good grades, scholarship shopping is usually left for senior year. But don’t let that busy schedule get in the way of potential scholarship awards available to high school juniors.

We’ve assembled a list of some scholarships that high school juniors are eligible for to get you started.

A wooden dinosaur on top of a stack of books.

8 Scholarships for High School Juniors

1. $2,500 College Raptor Scholarship

  • Amount: $2,500
  • Deadline(s): March 31, June 30, September 30, December 31
  • Awards Quarterly

The $2,500 College Raptor Scholarship is one of many ways that College Raptor helps students achieve their college dreams.

The high cost of tuition is often the biggest obstacle for many students looking for an affordable college. The College Raptor Scholarship award is intended to make it easier for students to afford the college of their dreams.

To qualify for the College Raptor Scholarship, you must be:

  • 16 years or older.
  • A legal resident of the US, District of Columbia, or a US Territory.
  • Enrolled in or enroll no later than the fall of 2025 in an accredited secondary institute of higher learning.

This scholarship is easy to apply to. You must register with College Raptor, use the College Match tool, and submit a short essay in English on one of the scholarship topics provided. The essay must be original and not published anywhere else. No purchase necessary. That’s all you need to do.

Once your essay is submitted, it will be reviewed by a panel of judges and two winners will be selected. One winner will win a $2,500 award and a runner-up will win a $1,000 award. Winners are chosen based on the essay as well as GPA and ACT or SAT score.

The award will be in the form of a check made payable directly to the college you’re enrolled in or will enroll in before the fall of 2025. You will need to submit proof of enrollment so your school can receive the award money.

No origination fees or prepayment penalties

Fixed rates from 3.95% - 8.01% APR with auto-debit

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2. Doodle 4 Google: $30,000 Scholarship

  • Amount: $30,000
  • Deadline: March
  • Awards annually and by age groupings

Google is a company that has built its empire with the help of extremely innovative individuals, so it’s no surprise they have scholarships for high school juniors (and other students). The Doodle 4 Google contest, created in 2008, takes place each year. The company invites students K-12 to create a Google doodle to feature on the Google web page for a day and the winner will receive a $30,000 college scholarship! And there’s more: the winner’s current school receives a $50,000 technology grant

Runner-ups, known as National Finalists, will get some fantastic prizes as well such as a computer and a trip to Google to meet the doodlers. Winners are also named for state and territory winners. Just being named a National Finalist or Winner will look amazing on your college application, too.

3. Prudential Emerging Visionaries

  • Amount: $15,000
  • Deadline: September
  • Awards annually

The Prudential Emerging Visionaries program, in collaboration with Ashoka, is a great scholarship for high school juniors. Open to anyone between the ages of 14 to 18, individuals applying need to develop “innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities.” Those who win can receive up to $15,000, coaching and skills development, and an all-expenses paid trip to Prudential’s headquarters in New Jersey.

Initiatives designed for the program are evaluated on certain criteria:

  • Innovation that is dedicated to financial health and society’s issues.
  • Understanding of the program and a connection with the community.
  • A vision for the future that will create meaningful impacts, potentially outside the community, too.
  • Passion for change.

There are also Early Entry Awards for $1,000 if applications are submitted by an earlier deadline. Applicants will also receive feedback on their initiative, a digital certificate of participation, and on-demand trainings.

25 winners will be selected for the $5,000 prize in two different categories: Societal Solutions and Financial Solutions. A Financial Solutions Grand Prize Winner will also receive an additional $10,000, and two winners from each category will receive the Prudential Employees’ Choice Award ($5,000).

4. 2024 Davidson Fellow Scholarship Open

  • Amount: $50,000 (for top award)
  • Deadline: February
  • Awards annually

This is one of the most prestigious and generous scholarships for high-achieving students 18 years old and under.

The Davidson Fellow Scholarship offers 3 awards of $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 each to gifted, high-achieving students. To be considered for this scholarship, you must have completed a significant piece of work in any one of these 8 submission categories:

  1. Science
  2. Technology
  3. Engineering
  4. Mathematics
  5. Philosophy
  6. Music
  7. Literature
  8. Outside the Box.

On their website, you will find specific descriptions for each of these categories.

Besides the general age and citizenship criteria that apply to the scholarship in general, every submission category has its unique requirements that are different from others. Make sure to read through the criteria and other requirements to ensure that you don’t lose out on the award on a technicality.

If you meet the eligibility criteria and intend to apply to the Davidson Fellow Scholarship, you must be able to demonstrate that the work you’ve submitted is your own creation.

Two-person teams are eligible to apply too. Winners are expected to attend an awards ceremony, which may be virtual or in-person in Washington, D.C.

The organizers advise all prospective applicants to submit the initial part of the application as early as possible to allow for enough time to complete the second portion of the application.

5. Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes

  • Amount: $10,000
  • Deadline: April
  • Awards annually

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes honors students aged 8 through 18 who have involved themselves in their community, have made an impact, and benefited others and the planet. Interested students must currently be working on a service project or worked on one in the past 12 months, as well as be leading or have led service work.

This is a great scholarship for juniors in high school as some high schoolers are already working on projects that fall under this umbrella! Winners can apply the award either to their higher education OR to the service project they are a part of.

To apply, students must submit a letter from a Lead Reference. The Lead Reference is someone who can advocate for the student’s work (librarian, counselor, teacher, etc). In addition to the “Lead Reference Letter,” two additional letters of recommendation are required for entry.

In addition to $10,000, winners will receive a personalized plaque, recognition certificate, networking opportunities, and more.

The 2024 application cycle for the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes opens on January 3!

6. National Merit Scholarship Program: Various Awards Available

This award is more well-known among students and is an excellent college scholarship opportunity for juniors in high school. Students who take the PSAT in their junior year of high school are eligible to participate in the National Merit Scholarship Program, which recognizes the top 50,000 scoring students.

The organization commends the top 34,000 students, recognizes the top 16,000 students as semi-finalists, and recognizes the top 15,000 students as finalists.

The National Merit Scholars then select winners based on their academics, recommendations, and essays. Even students recognized but not finalists can reap the benefits of this program! Students are regularly awarded other scholarships because of their National Merit Scholarship Program participation.

It’s important to keep in mind that even though sophomores can technically take the PSAT, they cannot qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program unless they have a written request that is approved. This scholarship is for junior high school students only in most cases.

Make sure to read the detailed information about types of scholarships, detailed entry requirements, and more to better prepare for this competitive scholarship.

7. Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline(s): July 31, December 31
  • Awards bi-annually

High school students are invited to submit an essay of 250 words or less to be eligible for this $1,000 scholarship. You must be a legal resident of the U.S. to apply for this award.

Essays answer one of two questions posed on the application or can be on any topic that the applicant chooses. Applicants may reuse an essay that they have previously written for a class, college application, or scholarship competition. A committee reviews all submissions and chooses a winner based on the essay.

The Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship is open to 9th to 12th-grade high school students as well as college, graduate, and adult students. This is a quick and easy scholarship for juniors in high school.

8. Citizens Scholarship

  • Amount: $15,000 (Annually)
  • Deadline: June for annual scholarship
  • Awards annually plus $2,500 in monthly prizes

The Citizens scholarship is a no essay, no contest scholarship. Winners are chosen in random drawings. To enter, students 16 years of age or older just need to fill out a quick entry form.

To be eligible, applicants must be:

  • 16 years or older.
  • A legal resident of the US, District of Columbia, or a US Territory.
  • Intend to enroll (or be enrolled) at least half-time in an accredited undergraduate post-secondary institution.

Citizens also awards a quarterly $2,500 prize for students who meet the required criteria for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion scholarship eligibility. See full details and rules here.

What Scholarships Are Available to Juniors in High School?

These are only some examples of the college scholarships available to high school juniors! So how do you find others? We recommend:

  • Talking to your guidance counselor.
  • Speaking with your intended college’s financial aid office about scholarships, grants, and other awards.
  • Using scholarship databases. These, after you input your information, will return awards you qualify for the most.

There are millions of awards out there and many are available. And these eight college scholarships for juniors in high school are a great starting point in your search for financial aid. Good luck!

Sign up today for our FREE Scholarship Search tool. It allows you to find scholarships for juniors in high school from institutions, businesses, governments, and more!


Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Citizens logo.
6.38%-14.28%* Variable
4.48%-13.29%* Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Sallie Mae logo.
6.37% - 16.70% Variable
4.50% - 15.49% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Credibe company logo.
4.98% - 17.99% Variable
4.13% - 17.99% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
5.84% - 11.11% Variable
4.39% - 11.11% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Ascent company logo.
6.17% - 16.11% Variable
4.13% - 15.46% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
6.54% - 11.08% Variable
3.95% - 8.01% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Earnest company logo.
5.62% - 16.20% Variable
4.42% - 15.90% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
4.98% - 12.79% Variable
8.42% - 13.01% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Raptor is not a loan lender and does not assume responsibility for suggesting a loan to a user who may not be eligible for it. Rates, terms, conditions, eligibility, approval, and other considerations are the decisions of the lenders and may vary depending on which lender or marketplace the user selects. We urge users to carefully consider and review all loan options and terms before committing to taking out a loan.

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