High school students looking to attend college have a tremendous number of sources for grants that take many forms. The biggie that every kid should apply for is the Pell Grant. But once that’s taken care of, where else can you turn? College funding can come from grants and scholarships but it is also available from interesting contests where your creativity is the key to securing a bit more money for college.
Almost five and a half million students receive the Federal Pell Grant each and every year. This upcoming school year, the grant amount on the Pell will be $5,645. And a little known fact about the grant is that it can actually be used for 6 years or 12 semesters of study. So in other words, you can use the Pell to get your undergraduate and graduate degrees if you choose to attend school all the way through grad school. Eligibility for the grant is determined by financial need and you can easily apply for this grant and all other federal student grants and loans offered by the Department of Education through one simple application. This grant must be used to attend an accredited program. So check with the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend to make sure you can use the Pell at their institution and to seek help in filling out your application.
Ayn Rand Novels Essay Contests
If you’re a student who enjoys literature, then this essay contest could be for you. The Ayn Rand Institute offers this yearly contest for students from 8th grade and up. Not only are there 600 individual prizes but $100,000 is up for grabs with several $10,000 prizes for first place across several contests. All you have to do is read a selected Ayn Rand novel and submit an 800 to 1,600 word essay on the provided topics. The contest is open to students worldwide. Make sure you send in your entry by the April 26 postmark deadline to have it considered for prizes. Submission can also be handled electronically. Have a question about the contest? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
C-SPAN’s Student Cam
Another $100,000 is available through this annual video contest. There are 150 individual awards to be won by student documentary filmmakers. And the contest not only awards high school students in three regions but has a nationwide category for middle school students as well. All you have to do is film and edit a 5 to 7 minute film on this year’s theme of your personal message to congress. Eligible entries will be accepted by solo filmmakers and teams of up to 2 or 3 students. Entries can be submitted online and must be in by the January 20 deadline.
Stuck at Prom
Head to the prom in outfits made out of Duck Tape and you and your date could head home with a whopping $5,000 scholarship each. And, hey, even your school will get $5,000 just for putting up with you. Check out Caden and Ashton wearing their winning design and many other entrants from last year’s contest and get to taping your way into some cool college cash. Entries are accepted yearly between March 10 and May 23. Who wanted to rent a tux or shop all over for some hideous dress, anyway? Even if you don’t win you might just have a blast at your prom, anyway.