One of the most searched for phrases online when it comes to college scholarships is, “No essay scholarships.” Every student dreams of filling out short scholarship forms, without doing essays, and clicking their way to thousands of dollars to be used for their college education, right?
Have you ever wondered about these so-called “scholarships?”
- What is the story with scholarships that only take 5 minutes of a busy student’s time?
- Are these awards legit?
- Do the companies actually select real students and send them checks that they can use for college?
- What is the catch?
- Is there a catch?
I wondered about these things too, as a busy mom searching for scholarships for my own sons. The internet is filled with tempting links promising easy money for college without the hard work that usually comes with applying for scholarships.
Asking a teenager to write a scholarship essay is sometimes harder than getting them to eat vegetables. As a mom of three boys, I fully understand this dilemma, but I also know that the insanely high cost of college can be greatly reduced by scholarships, if you know where to find them, and it would be foolish not to let an opportunity to win money pass by if it is legitimate.
Where Do You Find No-Essay Scholarships?
One very popular website that boasts a “no-essay” scholarship is ScholarshipPoints by Edvisors. Instead of writing an essay, students are encouraged to take surveys and sign-up for more “easy” scholarships to earn points.
ScholarshipPoints awards (3) $1000 scholarships each month and (1) $10,000 scholarship every three months by selecting students in random drawings. The more points a student has earned, the higher their chances of winning.
Who Wins No-Essay Scholarships?
The burning question here is, do websites and no-essay scholarship sites like ScholarshipPoints actually choose real students and send them scholarship money? The answer is YES. I know this because one of my sons won a $1000 scholarship from ScholarshipPoints!
He was contacted via email and had 3 DAYS TO RESPOND. Once he did, they sent him a few simple forms to fill-out and within two weeks the scholarship money was deposited into his tuition account at his college.
I know what you are thinking. Did my son spend hours earning scholarship points? Did he sign-up for a ton of survey sites? Did the scholarship money affect the financial aid that he was already receiving at his college? No, no, and no.
Actually, my son hardly spent any time filling out surveys. Instead, he faithfully grabbed the free 300 points offered each week and the 35 free points given for logging in daily. That took a total of about 15 minutes a week.
He won the scholarship money in the fall and school had already started with financial aid funds already dispersed to students, so the money was just added to his tuition account where he could use it for books or whatever miscellaneous charges that came later in the semester.
Tips For Applying To No-Essay Scholarships
That being said, there are several very important points for parents and their students to remember when applying for no-essay scholarships. First, students should always create a dedicated email just for their scholarship applying. A simple [email protected] is perfect, adding a symbol or number if their name is already taken.
No-essay scholarship sites want the information of college-bound and current college students, as companies will pay big money for these lists. Knowing this, students should never give out personal information when signing up and filling out surveys.
Bank information, social security numbers, and drivers’ license numbers should never be shared and if a site asks for this data, it is a red flag and should be clicked away from immediately. Another reason for having a dedicated scholarship email is so students can quickly delete any spam that gets sent to them and respond if they have been selected to receive a scholarship award.
Scholarship, Lottery or Sweepstakes?
The reality is many companies use scholarships, and particularly no-essay scholarships, as a marketing tool to collect contact information for potential customers. In fact, student lenders and banks identify students that will potentially need to borrow money for college, based on the fact that a student is interested in a scholarship.
The theory is a student looking for scholarship money will eventual need a loan to cover whatever funding gap they are trying to fill. So the next time you (or your student) comes across a scholarship that only asks for contact information and doesn’t require an essay, think a little longer about what that company is really trying to do and whether this is truly a scholarship or merely a sweepstakes.
Filling out no-essay scholarship applications should never be the #1 strategy for students who are trying to win money for college. A few minutes a day is fine, as long as more time is spent writing essays and finding scholarships that are based on merit, academics, leadership, volunteering, talents, financial need or college majors.
For example, students who are in college for engineering, or would like to major in engineering, should find and apply for scholarships offered by engineering firms or other STEM-related fields.
It is very easy for students to be attracted to no-essay scholarships and those who spend HOURS “applying” and then complain that they never win should look closely at the sort of awards they are spending the majority of their time on.
Time filling out surveys hoping to win a scholarship drawing is totally different from time spent writing essays and submitting applications from small businesses that truly want to help students pay for college. Hundreds of thousands of students “apply” for no-essay scholarships and the odds of winning can be compared to winning the lottery.
The bottom line is: No-essay scholarships can be ONE way for students to try and win money for college, but should never be the only way.
Get Real Funding for College
The truth that many families don’t realize is that the biggest source of college funding is actually the school itself. You need to find schools that are generous with aid to families in your situation.
Want to save time and find the right schools for your student? Take a look at our College Free Money Finder today!
What are your thoughts on no-essay scholarships?
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by Monica Matthews, the author of How to Win College Scholarships. She helped her own son win over $100,000 in scholarships and now shares her expertise with other parents and their students. She truly has “been there, done that” in regards to helping parents and students navigate the scholarship process. Ms. Matthews’ step-by-step scholarship guide has taught parents to help their own students win thousands of scholarship dollars. Find more info at how2winscholarships.com.