Are ‘No Essay’ College Scholarships a Student’s Dream Come True?

no essay scholarship

Are ‘No Essay’ College Scholarships a Student’s Dream Come True?

Published April 20, 2024

no essay scholarship

Editor’s Note: Monica Matthews is the author of “How to Win College Scholarships.” She helped her son win over $100,000 in scholarships and now shares her expertise with other parents and their students.

It turns out that some students don’t absolutely love writing essays for scholarship applications. Shocking, right? Well, we have your answer: no-essay scholarships. There indeed are legitimate college scholarships without essays. Here’s your guide.

Can You Really Get a Scholarship Without Writing an Essay?

Yes, you can get certain college scholarships without an essay. You just have to know where to look and how to apply. One good example is ScholarshipPoints. How do I know? My son got one. But you need to get lucky.

Let’s dive into my research and findings.

My Personal Experience With ‘No Essay’ Scholarships

As a busy mom searching for scholarships for my sons, I wondered about no-essay scholarships. The internet is filled with tempting links promising easy money for higher education without the hard work that usually comes with applying for scholarships.

Asking high school seniors to write a college scholarship essay on a deadline is sometimes harder than getting them to eat their vegetables. As a mom of three boys, I fully understand this dilemma. But I also know you can use merit scholarships to reduce the insanely high cost of college if you know where to find them. Wouldn’t it be foolish to let a scholarship opportunity pass by if it is legitimate?

But I had many questions to investigate:

  • What’s the story with scholarships that only take 5 minutes of a busy student’s time?
  • Are these scholarship contest awards legit?
  • Do the companies actually select real high school students and send them checks that they can use for college?
  • What’s the catch?
  • What are the scholarship rules?
  • Do these awards affect eligibility for a student loan?

The quick answers are:

  • The purpose behind them is usually marketing data.
  • Yes, you can legitimately get money. You just need to provide some info and follow the rules. But think of these no-essay scholarships as supplementary, not your main scholarships.

Let’s get into the details.

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 received a $1,000 scholarship from ScholarshipPoints!

He was contacted by the scholarship provider via email and had a deadline of three 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 school.

I know what you’re thinking: “Did my son spend hours earning scholarship eligibility points to better his chances of winning?”

“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 or stressing about a scholarship application deadline.

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, school had started, and financial aid funds were already disbursed to students. So the money was simply added to his tuition account, where he could use it for books or other college expenses that came later in the semester.

List of No-Essay Scholarships

  • ScholarshipPoints

Monthly scholarships awarded through participation and points

Amount: $2,500 and $1,000

Apply: ScholarshipPoints

  • Niche

A significant award available simply for filling out a form on Niche

Amount: $25,000

Apply: Niche

  • ScholarshipOwl “You Deserve It” Scholarship

Multiple awards, culminating in a significant year-end prize, offered in a sweepstakes format.

Amount: Up to $50,000

Apply: ScholarshipOwl

    • Sallie Mae Scholarship

Awarded monthly without essay requirements

Amount: $2,000

Apply: Sallie Mae

  • Be Bold No-Essay Scholarship

Award for the boldest profile on

Amount: $25,055

Apply: Be Bold 

  • Nitro College Scholarship

Available monthly to high school and college students

Amount: $2,000

Apply: Nitro College

  • Survey Junkie Brand Influencer No-Essay Scholarship

Share you opinions on products and services

Amount: $1,000

Apply: Bold

  • Cirkled In No Essay Scholarships

Set up a profile on Cirkled In for a chance to win

Amount: $2,500

Apply: Cirkled In

  • Tallo Monthly Scholarship

Monthly drawings, available to anyone who creates a profile on Tallo

Amount: $1,000

Apply: Tallo

  • Appily/Cappex Easy College Money Scholarship

Just complete a profile for a chance to win

Amount: $1,000

Apply: Appily

Tips for No-Essay Scholarships

My son and many other high school students have been successful with no-essay scholarships, but there are several very important points for parents and their students to remember when applying for this type of scholarship program.

First, students should always create a dedicated email just for their college scholarship applications. A simple 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.

This is why 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. If a website asks for this data to determine eligibility, it’s a red flag indicating a scholarship scam. 

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.

No Essay: Scholarship, Lottery, or Sweepstakes?

The reality is many companies use scholarships – particularly no-essay scholarship giveaway programs – as a marketing tool to collect contact information for potential customers.

In fact, student lenders and banks identify students who will potentially need to borrow money for college, based on the fact that a high school, undergrad, or graduate student is interested in a scholarship.

The theory is that an applicant looking for scholarship money will eventually need a student loan to cover whatever funding gap they’re trying to fill.

So the next time you (or your college student) come across a scholarship fund 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 it’s truly a scholarship or merely a scholarship 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 traditional scholarship programs that are based on merit, cumulative GPA, leadership, volunteering, talents, financial need, or college majors.

For example, students who would like to go to law school should find and apply for scholarships offered by law firms or businesses in similar fields.

It’s very easy for students to be attracted to non-essay scholarships, and those who spend HOURS “applying” and then complain that they never win should look closely at the sort of awards they’re 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 to small businesses that truly want to help students pay for college.

Hundreds of thousands of students “apply” for no-essay scholarships, but the odds of winning can be compared to winning the lottery.

The bottom line is: No essay scholarships are 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 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. That may eliminate the need for your child to get a student loan.


Use R2C Insights to help find merit aid and schools that fit the criteria most important to your student. You’ll not only save precious time, but your student will avoid the heartache of applying to schools they aren’t likely to get into or can’t afford to attend.  

👉 Looking for expert help on the road to college? See our Preferred Partner List!

Other Articles You Might Like:

A Full Ride Scholarship Winner Shares His 7 Best Tips to Earn College Money

Teen Jobs Come with a Bonus: Scholarships

How My Daughter Got $53,000 a Year in Merit and Financial Aid Plus More in Private Scholarships











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