Let's face it: getting a scholarship isn't the easiest thing in the world. Sure, when you're the Albert Eienstein of your class and are smart enough to have the good grades, you have a better chance then most. Or maybe you have amazing abilities in sports which pay for your college education. But what about the rest of us? Believe it or not, millions of dollars are given out each and every year to regular Joes looking for a piece of the scholarship pie. Let's take a look at some of the down-to-earth scholarship programs that anyone has a chance of getting.
1. Horatio Alger Association Scholarship - The only requirements here are the drive to go to college and a minimum GPA of 2.0; if you can't handle that, then should you really even need a scholarship for anything? Scholarships are awarded by state level and can change depending on location.
2. Discover Card Tribute Award - The financial giant gives 10 $25,000 and up to 300 $2,500 scholarships annually; all you'll need to do is showcase a whopping 2.75 GPA and show some leadership leadership within your community and have "faced a significant roadblock or challenge."
3. Do Something Brick Awards - The national awards program gives students in the U.S. and Canada a shot at $25,000. All you have to do is make sure you are participating in activities that "powerfully impact your community" or the world. In addition to the money, you'll get the benefits of "international recognition and televised glory."
4. Tylenol Scholarship - If you're planning on going to college, you're probably already familiar with the brand of medicine due to all the headaches you're having. In 2006, the medicine makers gave away over $250,000 to college students from all across the nation.
5. AngelSoft Angels in Action - Believe it or not, there's more to TP than just wiping your bum, Angel Soft gives away scholarships to kids under 18 who showcase community or charity act of service. Winners receive a cash prize and a years's supply of AngelSoft toilet paper!
6. National Peace Essay Contest - Yes, there is such a thing as the United States Institute of Peace; to get the scholarship and spend a week in Washington, you'll have to write an essay that deals with the Unites States' role in in preserving peace in the international community.
7. David Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship - Dave created the scholarship at his own Ball State University for telecommunication students for the average student who has the creative potential to succeed. Each student can submit any number of different media for their project; the more creative the better your chance of winning a scholarship.
8. AFSA National Scholarship Essay Contest - What does the AFSA stand for? The Automatic Fire Sprinklers Association, that's what. If you thought the organization itself was crazy, they also give away $5,000 and $3,000 scholarships to those who showcase the positive effects of having automatic fire sprinklers present.
9. Oakseed Ministries International Essay Contest - This essay contest is a little more serious, offering $1,000 for the best essay in three different age categories. The 2007 contest topic is "Compassion and the Working Child", which deals with child labor issues that are present all over the world.
10. Akademos / TextbookX.com Scholarship Contest - the online textbook supplier offers $2,500 each spring and fall; this years prize will be given to the student with the best essay about the topic "What is the future of the printed book?"
11. Americanism Essay Contest - Sponsored by the FRA (Fleet Reserve Association), an organization made up of current and former members of the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps. The essay contest is open to all kids in grades 7 to 12 with a nice fat $15,000 as the grand prize.
12. Calgon Take Me Away to College Contest - Giving away almost $8,000 in awards, Calgon (who produces various bath and body products) allows students the ability to grab some cash by answering two short essay style questions. Sorry guys, you'll have to sit this one out (the scholarship is limited to female applicants only.)
13. College Prowler Essay Competition - Together with Wachovia, College Prowler throws $1,000 and free guidebooks out to students each and every month. The scholarships are essay format, and the only qualifications are that you have to be a current high school or college student. Essay topics are open to the applicant!
14. Environmental Essay Contest - Hosted by aBetterEarth.org, the essay contest will land you $2,000 for the grand prize. The contest theme this year deals with the "unintended consequences of government driven bio-fuels", posing the question if the government is or should be responsible for the adoption of these fuels.
15. Holocaust Remembrance Project Essay Contest - Yet another national essay contest for students interested in encouraging and promoting the continued study of the Holocaust. The contest is sponsored by the Holland and Knight Charitable Foundation; winners visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. and can earn a nice $10,000 scholarship to take home.
16. Maryknoll Student Essay Contest - Maryknoll is the catholic foreign mission society of america, and gives out nearly $3,000 in cash prizes to students who "imagine themselves as missionaries", writing essays dealing with spreading the good word. A great exercise for those heavily involved with the church.
17. Patricia M. McNamara Memorial Scholarship - Patricia worked hard during her teenage years in order to pay for her Catholic high school education in a time where not all women had the privilege. Now you won't have to pay your own way with the $2,500 scholarship that her memorial gives out to students every year.
18. MoneyMatters101.com Scholarships - If you're a college student and have at least a 2.7 GPA, then you qualify for the MoneyMatters101.com scholarship. $300 will be awarded to the best essay that answers the question of whether or not credit cards are too easy to get and if they contribute to the countries rising debt of our youth.
19. OP Loftbed Scholarship - $500 is given out each year for essays entered in the OP Loftbed Scholarship. The company, which manufactures and sells loft beds (or will teach you how to build your own), created the scholarship as a way of "giving back" to the students that by their products.
20. School Band and Orchestra Magazine Scholarship - With over $20,000 in awards given out, the SBO hosts a great essay contest for the budding musician. Past essay topics have included "How A Music Education Has Made Me A Better Student".
21. Prudential Spirit of Community Awards - Honoring high school students for volunteer service, the program was started in 1995 in conjunction with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).
22. The Patrick Kerr Skateboard Scholarship - That's right dude, grind away and get a scholarship! The only requirements for getting the $5,000 (or one of 3 $1,000 runner up scholarships) is maintaining a GPA of 2.5, be a senior in high school, and skate; you don't even have to be any good!
23. The Vegetarian Resource Group - If you're a fan of the burger, you probably won't get too far with this one. $10,000 in scholarship money gets awarded each year to the students responsible for promoting vegetarianism in their schools and communities.
24. Stuck At the Prom - Yes, this is for real. Duck Tape brand duct tape gives out $6,000 to a lucky couple that makes their prom outfits entirely out of their product. They actually offer a wide selection of tape for you to get fancy with. Give a new meaning to "peeling" off your date's clothes, doesn't it?
25. Tall.org - If you thought the duct tape prom dress was ridiculous, there's actually a Tall Clubs International, which gives out scholarships of up to $1,000 for tall men and women under the age of 21. Sorry shorty.
26. Parapsychology Foundation - If you've ever watched the tv show the X-Files, then this foundation is for you. Parapsychology is the scientific study of paranormal activity. The Parapsychology Foundation actually gives out a number of grants and scholarships for those interested in the subject.
27. Girls Going Places Scholarship - Obviously another girls-only deal, the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America awards girls ages 12 to 18 with it's Entrepreneurship Award Program designed to "reward the enterprising spirits of girls ages 12 to 18.
28. The National Make It Yourself with Wool competition - Yes, several scholarships are available for those fashion savvy individuals who can make garments out of 100 % wool (or 60 % wool blend, in case you were wondering).
29. AXA Achievement Scholarship Program - AXA Financial Protection Services gives access to a whopping $1.3 million in scholarship money.The AXA Achievement Program awards students in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
30. SPAACSE. The Society of Performers, Artists, Athletes, and Celebrities for Space Exploration, Inc. offers 3 different $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors who have an interest in writing essays about space travel.
31. The Klingon Language Institute - Chances are if you're into the SPAACSE essay contest, you'll also be attracted to the Klingon Language Institute's scholarship. $500 gets awarded to a student to "encourage scholarship in fields of language study". Ability to speak Klingon is not required.
32. American Association of Candy Technologists - It just keeps getting weirder around here, doesn't it? The AACT shells out a combined $10,000 to high school students who have a demonstrated interest in confectionery technology.
33. Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student Award - The Elks Foundation awards 500 four-year scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 per year! The awards are open to high school students; membership with the Elks is not required.
34. Educational Communications Scholarship Foundation - The ECI Foundation was created in 1968 and has since given out over $4,000,000 in scholarship money to deserving students. In addition, the foundation gives grants to other organizations that are involved with students.
35. Executive Women International - The EWI offers two different programs to help students and adults achieve their academic goals. The EWISP gives high school juniors up to $10,000 while the ASIST is designed for adults continuing education by earning up to $2,500.