Open Topic Essay Scholarships For 2016

If you’re a skilled writer, a few hundred (or even a thousand) words is no biggie.

Students that can easily express themselves through writing flock toward scholarships with interesting essays and the scholarships on this list are just that.

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.

To help better organize your scholarship and internship search, please note that the following scholarships for writers are listed according to deadline, with the earliest deadline appearing at the top of the page. Deadlines that vary will appear at the bottom of each list.

If you enjoy expressing your opinions through writing, the scholarships on this list await your entries.

Scholars Helping Collars

Deadline: 2/15/18
Available to: High School Seniors
Award Amount: $1,000

The Scholars Helping Collars Scholarship is open to current high school seniors. You must submit an essay of between 500 and 1000 words with two to three photos of your volunteer efforts to help animals in need and how that involvement has changed your lives or shaped your perceptions on the importance of animal welfare in order to be considered for this award.

Learn more about the Scholars Helping Collars.

Live Deliberately Essay Contest

Deadline: 3/15/18
Available to: Ages 13-21 Years
Award Amount: 3 Awards of $250

The Live Deliberately Essay Contest is open to all students aged 14 – 21. You must submit an essay of no more than 750 words based on the prompts listed on the sponsor’s website. This year’s prompts will ask you to consider a time in your life when you pursued a path that was “narrow and crooked,” but felt like it was the right path for you. In what ways are/were you able to, as Thoreau advises, walk that path with “love and reverence?” How has navigating that path shaped you into the person you are becoming?

Learn more about the Live Deliberately Essay Contest .

AFSA High School Essay Contest

Deadline: 3/15/2018
Available to: High School Freshmen through High School Seniors
Award Amount: $2,500

The AFSA High School Essay Contest is open to high school students. To be considered, in a 1,000 – to 1250 – word essay, you must identify two cases – one you deem successful and one you deem unsuccessful – where the U.S. pursued an integrated approach to build peace in a conflict – affected country.

Learn more about the AFSA High School Essay Contest .

Brighter Future Scholarship

Deadline: 3/31/2018
Available to: College Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $500

The Brighter Future Scholarship is available to undergraduate, graduate or law students enrolled at an accredited college or university. You must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit 500 word letter of intent that identifies a problem and explains how you intend to use your education as a way to begin solving that problem, thus creating a brighter future.

Learn more about the Brighter Future Scholarship.

NPG 2018 Scholarship Contest

Deadline: 4/20/2018
Available to: High School Seniors through College Juniors
Award Amount: Awards from $750-$2,000

The NPG 2018 Essay Scholarship Contest is open to high school seniors and college freshmen, sophomores and juniors. You must submit an essay of between 500 and 750 words on one environmental issue from the sponsor’s chosen list and explain how it is made worse by population growth and describe what measures you would recommend our nation’s leaders take to ensure we protect our fragile environment for generations to come. You must also be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident to qualify for this award.

Learn more about the NPG 2018 Scholarship Contest.

E-Waste Scholarship

Deadline: 4/30/2018
Available to: High School Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $1,000

The E-waste Scholarship is available to high school, undergraduate or graduate students. You must submit a short statement that completes the sentence “The most important reason to care about e-waste is…” and be U.S. citizen or legal resident to qualify for this award.

Learn more about the E-Waste Scholarship.

Feldco Scholarship

Deadline: 6/15/2018
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: $1,000

The Feldco Scholarship is available to current and prospective college students. To be considered, you must submit a 700 – to 1000 – word essay on the following topic: “How has your family contributed to who you are today?”

Learn more about the Feldco Scholarship.

Immigration Scholarship Essay Contest

Deadline: 7/01/2018
Available to: High School Seniors through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $1,500

The Immigration Scholarship Essay Contest is open to U.S. citizens attending or planning to attend an accredited college or university. You must submit an essay of between 800 and 1000 words on one of the five topics related to immigration listed on the sponsor’s website in order to qualify for this award.

Learn more about the Immigration Scholarship Essay Contest.

Love Your Career Scholarship

Deadline: 9/10/2018
Available to: College Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $1,000

The Love Your Career Scholarship is available to students attending an accredited college or university. You must submit an essay of at least 1,000 words describing at least three steps that you plan to take in the next year to start a path towards having a career that you love in order to qualify for this award. Topics may include: What are your passions that could be turned into a career? What are some ideas you have for a business based on things that you love and are skilled at? You must also interview a professional in your chosen field that has at least three years of experience.

Learn more about the Love Your Career Scholarship.

MajGen Harold W. Chase Prize Essay Contest

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: $3,000

Sponsored by the Marine Corps Gazette, the MajGen Harold W. Chase Prize Essay Contest is open to all Marines on active duty and to members of the Selected Marine Corps Reserve.

The contest honors the essay that proposes and argues for a new and better way of “doing business” in the Marine Corps.

Learn more information about the MajGen Harold W. Chase Prize Essay Contest.

Mary Grant Charles Prize Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Mary Grant Charles Prize Scholarship is open to undergraduate students at Tufts University.

You must possess the same creative qualities in the writing of prose and poetry to qualify for this award.

Preference is given to students whose writing reflects an interest in ancestry and genealogy.

Get more information on the Mary Grant Charles Prize Scholarship.

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Weird. Wacky. Outlandish. Some of the most ridiculous things in life are what you take notice of.

The same goes with scholarships. Some of the best are also some of the silliest, weirdest, oddball awards that often get a “I can get an award for what?!” type of reaction. This is exactly why they’re worth celebrating.

Here are some of Fastweb’s all-time favorite take-notice scholarships. These fall under the silly, outlandish and how’d-they-come-up-with-that? category of scholarship opportunities that may make you think or, perhaps, look twice. They make you wonder exactly who is applying for these scholarships and how on earth can you meet them?

But, at the end of the day, a scholarship is a scholarship! And these are nothing short of awesome.

You never know, one of the following awards could be perfect for you! If so, you are our hero.

Project Yellow Light Radio Scholarship

Deadline: 4/01/2018
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: 2 Awards of $2,000

The Project Yellow Light Radio Scholarship is available to high school juniors and seniors and full – time undergraduate students. To be considered, you must record a radio recording of exactly 20 seconds that discourages distracted driving, specifically texting while driving.

Learn more about the Project Yellow Light Radio Scholarship .

Project Yellow Light Video Contest Scholarship

Deadline: 4/01/2018
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: 6 Awards from $1,000 – $5,000

The Project Yellow Light Video Contest Scholarship is available to high school juniors and seniors and full – time undergraduate students. To be considered, you must create a 25 or 55 second video that discourages distracted driving, specifically texting while driving.

Learn more about the Project Yellow Light Video Contest Scholarship .

Stop Texting and Driving Video Scholarship Contest

Deadline: 4/02/2018
Available to: High School Juniors through College Seniors
Award Amount: 3 Awards of $1,000

The Stop Texting and Driving Video Scholarship Contest is available to high school juniors, seniors and full-time college students. You must submit a 30 to 60 second video on YouTube that will convince others not to text and drive in order to be considered for this award.

Learn more about the Stop Texting and Driving Video Scholarship Contest .

E-Waste Scholarship

Deadline: 4/30/2018
Available to: High School Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $1,000

The E-waste Scholarship is available to high school, undergraduate or graduate students. You must submit a short statement that completes the sentence “The most important reason to care about e-waste is…” and be U.S. citizen or legal resident to qualify for this award.

Learn more about the E-Waste Scholarship.

Paradigm Challenge

Deadline: 5/01/2018
Available to: Maximum Age 18 Years
Award Amount: 100 Awards from $500 – $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 reduce waste 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.

Learn more about the Paradigm Challenge .

For the Love of Chocolate Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: 5/01/18
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The For the Love of Chocolate Foundation Scholarship is available to students at the French Pastry School. You must be accepted into L’Art de la Patisserie program, demonstrate a desire to develop your pastry art skills and have worked a minimum of 40 hours in a food service establishment prior to the beginning of the semester to qualify for this award. Selection is also based on financial need. A personal essay and two letters of recommendation must also be submitted.

Learn more about the For the Love of Chocolate Foundation Scholarship.

Andrew Flusche Scholarship Contest

Deadline: 6/30/2018
Available to: High School Seniors through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $500

The Andrew Flusche Scholarship Contest is available to high school seniors and students currently enrolled in a college or university. You must create a public service advertisement video (PSA) which portrays the correct way of interacting with a police officer during a traffic stop, or any other encounter, to qualify for this award. The video must be uploaded to YouTube and be no longer than three minutes long.

Learn more about the Andrew Flusche Scholarship Contest.

“Stuck at Prom” Scholarship Contest

Deadline: 7/09/18
Available to: Ages 14-18
Award Amount: 10 Awards from $100 – $10,000

The Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest is open to students who will be attending a high school, home school association, or other school – sanctioned prom. To enter, you must submit at least one photo of you in either the dress or tux category wearing DIY prom attire made out of Duck brand duct tape. One $10,000 grand prize winner will be selected from each category, with 4 runners-up in each category receiving $100.

Get more information on the “Stuck at Prom” Scholarship Contest.

American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest


Deadline: Varies
Amount: $18,000
Ages: High School Freshmen through High School Seniors

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.

Get more information on the American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest.

Kermit and Mickey Schafer Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 2
Award Amount: Varies

The Kermit and Mickey Schafer Foundation Scholarship is open to students studying broadcasting, motion pictures or video-film at the University of Miami, School of Communication. You must be working in the field comedy to qualify for this award.

Learn more about the Kermit and Mickey Schafer Foundation Scholarship.

CKSF Scholarship Competition

Deadline: Varies
Available to: High School Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $2,500

The CKSF Scholarships are available to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in the U.S.

You must register to participate in scholarship quizzes that test your knowledge of topics ranging from general “common knowledge” to specific academic subjects, books, websites, and even movies.

You will be scored based on a combination of time and accuracy. Students with the highest scores at the end of each competition win.

Learn more about the CKSF Scholarship Competition.

Alice McArver Ratchford Scholarship for What You Don’t Do

Deadline: Varies
Available To: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Alice McArver Ratchford Scholarship is open to female students at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

You must live on campus and have never been married.

You must also not have a car and have received no other scholarships to be eligible for this award.

Get more information on the Alice McArver Ratchford Scholarship.

Twin/Triplet Dorm Room Waiver

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen
Award Amount: Varies

The Twin/Triplet Dorm Room Waiver is available to full-time entering freshmen at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.

You must be a twin or triplet and all must attend NEO together (but you don’t have to room together) to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the Twin/Triplet Dorm Room Waiver.

Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest

Deadline: Varies
Available to: High School Seniors
Award Amount: $2,000

The Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest is available to high school seniors who demonstrate talent in duck calling.

You must participate in a duck calling contest in Stuttgart, Arkansas to be considered for this award.

Get more information on the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest.

Prom Pics Contest

Deadline: Varies
Available to: High School Juniors through High School Seniors
Award Amount: $250

The Prom Pics Contest is open to high school students. To be eligible, you must submit a high resolution photo from your prom event. Prizes will be awarded in each of the following categories: promposal, pre-prom, prom dance, and post-prom.

Get more information on the Prom Pics Contest.

Rodeo Club Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available To: College Freshmen
Award Amount: Varies

The Rodeo Club Scholarship is open to entering freshmen or transfer students enrolled in the Michigan State University, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

You must be majoring in animal science, be enrolled full time, have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and be planning to participate in the Rodeo Club NIRA sanctioned events to be eligible for this award.

Get more information on the Rodeo Club Scholarship.

Mycological Society of America Graduate Research Prize

Deadline: Varies
Available to: Graduate Students, Year 1 through Year 5
Award Amount: 4 Awards of $100

The Mycological Society of America Graduate Research Prizes are available to student members of the MSA who present the best research papers or posters in mycology.

You must be a student member of the MSA and be a M.Sc. or Ph.D. candidate to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the Mycological Society of America Graduate Research Prize.

Chester Gould Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Sophomores through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Chester Gould Scholarship is available to full-time sophomores, juniors and seniors at Oklahoma State University. You must be a Daily O’Collegian staff member and demonstrate creativity through cartooning, graphics and layout and have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the Chester Gould Scholarship.

Jack Oakie Comedy Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: Varies

The Jack Oakie Comedy Scholarship is open to undergraduate and graduate students attending the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. You must demonstrate excellence in writing or directing comedy to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the Jack Oakie Comedy Scholarship.

Need Money to Pay for College?

Every semester, Fastweb helps thousands of students pay for school by matching them to scholarships, grants, and internships, for which they actually qualify. You'll find high value scholarships like VIP Voice's $5,000 Scholarship, and easy to enter scholarships like Niche $2,000 No Essay Scholarship, and internships with companies like Apple, Google, Dreamworks, and even NASA!

Join today to get matched to scholarships or internships for you!


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