Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition
Students compete for this award by writing and recording an audio essay on a patriotic theme. The theme for the 2019-20 contest is “What Makes America Great.” The first-place winner gets a grand prize of $30,000 as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC. The program gives out a total of $2.1 million in awards and incentives each year.
- Eligibility: Students in grades 9-12
- Deadline: October 31, 2019
The Fountainhead Essay Contest
Students compete for this award by writing an essay on one of three topics related to Ayn Rand’s book The Fountainhead. The first-place winner will receive a grand prize of $10,000. Runners-up also receive awards. Each year a total of $22,500 is given out in prize money.
- Eligibility: Students in grades 11-12
- Deadline: Likely late April, 2020
Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest
Students compete for this award by writing an essay on one of three topics related to Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. The first-place winner will receive a $25,000 prize. Runners-up also win prizes, and a whopping $40,000 in scholarship money is awarded annually.
- Eligibility: High school seniors, college students, and graduate students
- Deadline: September 19, 2019
American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest
Are you a good public speaker, or do you just want an excuse to hone your public-speaking skills? Then this competition would be a good fit for you. Students compete for this award by preparing and performing a three- to five-minute oration on some aspect of the US Constitution. You can view this year’s topics here.
The first-place winner receives $18,000, second place receives $16,000, and third place receives $14,000. There are also smaller awards for state winners. In total, annual award amounts can exceed $138,000.
- Eligibility: US high school students under 20 years of age
- Deadline: Varies by state, as contests are arranged by local American Legion departments. Get more information for your state here.
Create-a-Greeting Card Scholarship Contest (Gallery Collection Scholarship)
This scholarship is pretty unique—and it’s great for students with some untapped artistic talents! Students compete for this award by submitting a photo, piece of artwork, or computer graphic to be used on the front of a greeting card. The winner will receive $10,000, and the winner’s school will also get $1,000.
- Eligibility: High school and college students, aged 14 or older
- Deadline: March 2nd, 2020
To win these scholarships, you have to show that you’re tough—or at least that your brain is tough.
Scholarships Based on Academic Strength
The following scholarships are generally awarded based on students’ academic performance in conjunction with a few other factors, such as leadership skills and commitment to community service. As a result, the most competitive applicants will be dedicated, high-achieving students who are also invested in their communities.
Coca-Cola Scholars Program
Coca-Cola Scholars are judged primarily on their academic performance, extracurricular activities, leadership experience, and community service. This scholarship program is fairly big: 150 awards of $20,000 each are given out every year. You can learn more about the Coca-Cola Scholarship by reading our guide to winning the award.
- Eligibility: Current US high school seniors who are not children or grandchildren of Coca-Cola employees
- Deadline: 5pm EST Thursday, October 31, 2019
Burger King Scholars Program
Applicants to this scholarship are judged on their GPA, work experience, extracurricular activities, and community service. Award amounts range from those as small as $1,000 to those as large as $50,000.
- Eligibility: employees and their spouses/partners/children, US high school seniors
- Deadline: October 15-December 15, 2019
Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarships
For these, award eligibility requirements will vary based on your local Ronald McDonald House Charity chapter. For example, some have ethnic eligibility requirements. Deadlines and award amounts will also vary by location, but some of the bigger national awards can be as large as $100,000! Check out our how-to guide to learn more about getting an RMHC scholarship.
- Eligibility: High school seniors, but other requirements may apply depending on scholarship
- Deadline: Varies depending on scholarship but likely January 2020
If your family income isn’t enough to cover college expenses, need-based scholarships might be a great option for you.