10 Scholarships for Average Students — No GPA Required

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

scholarships for college students
Logo

OUR PROMISE TO YOU: Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less


Private Student Loan rates starting at 1.04%

1.04% to 11.98% 1
VARIABLE APR

Visit Lender

1.13% to 11.23% 2
VARIABLE APR

Visit Lender

3.80% to 9.36% 3
VARIABLE APR

Visit Lender

  • Variable APR

More students face the financial struggle of affording the rising cost of higher education for both private and public schools.

While many college-bound individuals take out loans to cover the costs, there are other ways to help pay for college without the debt burden — mainly scholarships. The problem is many people feel they don’t have the grades or talent to qualify.

But, those two factors are not the only criteria for getting a scholarship.

There are multiple scholarships for high school and college students available for those who weren’t at the top of their class, leads in the school play or the star athletes in high school. Here are 10 scholarships for average students that you can apply for right now.

1. $2,000 ‘No Essay’ Scholarship
2. $1,000 Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship
3. Marvel Optics National Scholarship Program
4. National Rice Month Scholarship
5. High School Senior College Scholarship Contest
6. Shout It Out Scholarship
7. E-waste scholarship for $1,000
8. Flavor of the Month Scholarship
9. New State of Mind Scholarship
10. Student Loan Hero $5K Scholarship

1. $2,000 ‘No Essay’ Scholarship

No essay, no GPA minimums, just money to cover tuition, housing, books or any education-related expenses.

Offered by Niche, a website that analyzes public data to review schools and colleges, the $2,000 scholarship is open to all high school, college and graduate students and those planning to enroll within 12 months.

All you have to do is register on their website for free and enter. A new winner is chosen every month randomly, and you’re allowed to enter once per month.

How to apply

Deadline: The last day of every month.
Available to: Students must currently attend — or within the next 12 months plan to enroll in — a high school or college, graduate school (listed on Niche’s website) or be the parent of a student who falls into one of those categories. The site states that one entry per person is allowed each month, so you or your parent could apply.

As the title of the scholarship states, you don’t need to write an essay and no GPA is specified. You must simply enter through their website.

Winners are selected via a random drawing about two weeks after the last day of the month and will be notified by mail, telephone or email; the winners will also be announced via Niche’s e-newsletter.

In addition, Niche provides more than 30 scholarships from other sources on its website besides the $2,000 “No Essay” one.

2. $1,000 Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship

The only thing required to win this $1,000 scholarship — named after Gen and Kelly Tanabe, the award-winning authors of 14 books on admission and scholarships — is a 250-word or less personal essay based on questions provided on the website.

Your GPA will not be considered. You must be in high school, or a student in college or graduate school and a legal U.S. resident.

According to the website, “the goal is to create a level field where students have complete control over their applications and are not given an advantage or disadvantage based on financial or academic circumstances.”

How to apply

Deadline: There are both fall and spring scholarships offered. Check the website for details.
Available to: Ninth- to 12th-grade, college or graduate students including adult students.

Simply fill out the answer to one of three essay questions — why do you deserve to win this scholarship, describe your academic or career goals or any topic of your choice — and a committee will choose the best answers. The first place award is $1,000; you use the money for any education expenses, including tuition, room and board and more.

Winners will be notified approximately four weeks after the deadline.

3. Marvel Optics National Scholarship Program

If you wear glasses, you may be familiar with the Marvel Optics company, but what you might not know is that its founders hold a $1,500 essay contest for full-time college students.

Applicants must submit a video or short essay on their social media or blog page tagging or linking to Marvel Optics that answers the following: “Helen Keller said, ‘The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.’ What does that mean to you?”

Two scholarships are offered (fall and spring semester) and the money is sent right to the winner’s school financial aid office.

How to apply

Deadline: August for the fall semester and January for the spring semester.
Available to: Any student attending a two- or four-year college. Follow the rules on the rules on Marvel Optics scholarship program website.

4. National Rice Month Scholarship

What do Arkansas, California, Texas, Missouri, Mississippi and Louisiana have in common? They are all rice-growing states. And if you are a graduating high school student living in one of these places, you can apply to win up to a $4,000 scholarship, sponsored by Corteva AgriScience, from the USA Rice Federation.

Applicants must simply make an original video (3 minutes or less) promoting your state’s product to the sustainability of rice crops.

Upload your video to Vimeo and YouTube and then submit your entry with an online form.

How to apply

Deadline: All entries must be in by the end of October.
Available to: High school seniors living in one of the following rice-producing states: Mississippi, California, Arkansas, Texas, Missouri and Louisiana.

Make a short video about any aspect of the rice, or promote your state’s rice production, upload it to Vimeo or YouTube and fill out the online scholarship entry form. The USA Rice Federation will contact you if you win one of the three scholarships: a grand prize ($4,000), second place ($3,000) and third-place scholarship ($1,500).

5. High School Senior College Scholarship Contest

Who knew your fire sprinkler could help you go to college or a certified trade school? Yes, the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) — a nonprofit representing fire sprinkler contractors dedicated to the educational advancement of its members — started a scholarship program offering 10 winners $2,000 in tuition assistance.

Their mission is to also “educate the public at-large about the life-saving properties of automatic fire sprinklers” and therefore part of the application is to take a short quiz after reading an article about the industry of fire sprinklers.

The selection does not take financial need, GPA or demographics into consideration. The only requirements are that you must enroll for classes beginning no later than the fall semester of the year you apply, and take a short quiz.

How to apply

Deadline: Spring
Available to: High school seniors enrolled for a fall semester.

All you need to do to enter is go to the site and fill in your education and contact information, and take a short quiz. A random computer-generated drawing selects the winners.

AFSA will contact each winner by email and phone within 14 business days of contest end-date. The prize will then be sent directly to the college or university where you’ll be attending.

6. Shout It Out Scholarship

Are you the student who always gets told to quiet down in class? Well, there’s a scholarship just for you. Unigo, a college and scholarship search website, started their own scholarship where they encourage you to speak out.

Applicants have up to 250 words to say whatever they want creatively and memorably. The “loudest” person will win $1,500 for college expenses.

How to apply

Deadline: End of September each year.
Available to: Students must be 13 years or older and currently enrolled (or enroll no later than the fall of 2026) in an accredited post-secondary institution of higher education

To enter, you must answer the following question in 250 words or less: If you could say one thing to the entire world at once, what would it be and why? A qualified panel of judges will select one potential winner based on the criteria of writing ability (25%), creativity (25%), originality (25%) and overall excellence (25%).

The winner will be notified by email or phone toward the end of December.

7. E-waste scholarship for $1,000

High school, college and graduate school students who are interested in environmental issues, might check out Digital Responsibility’s $1,000 scholarships. The grassroots company whose mission is to help create safe internet awareness offers this scholarship each year. There are two steps in the process.

First, applicants must fill out an online application form including a 140-character limit answer to the question “the most important reason to care about e-waste is …” From that pool of applicants, Digital Responsibility will select 10 finalists, who will be asked to submit a full-length essay (500 to 1,000 words) about e-waste.

How to apply

Deadline: Earth Day (mid-April)
Available to: All high school students, college students entering or currently in college, and graduate school students. Home-schooled students may apply as well. All applicants must be legal residents or citizens of the U.S., but there is no age limit.

Fill out the online application form via Digital Responsiblity’s website, and answer a question about e-waste in 140 characters or less. If you are chosen as one of 10 finalists, you will be asked to submit a 500- to 1,000-word essay. The winner will be chosen from that pool of 10 applicants.

Digital Responsibility will contact the winners by email listed on the original application.

8. Flavor of the Month Scholarship

Ice-cream loving students rejoice, there is a scholarship out there for you. In honor of national ice cream month (Juy) Unigo — which also offers the Shout It Out award above — is offering a $1,500 to the student who can best explain to them what ice cream flavor best reflects your personality and why.

How to apply

Deadline: End of July

Available to: Anyone ages 13 or older planning to go to a college, university or trade school. Simply submit a 250-word or less online response to the scholarship portal. The winner is announced by the end of November, and decisions are based on the decisions of a “qualified panel of judges based on the criteria of writing ability (25%), creativity (25%), originality (25%) and overall excellence (25%),” according to the Unigo website.

9. New State of Mind Scholarship

Share your tips and photos for managing your stress, and earn $1,000 in scholarship money from DoSomething.org and Blue Shield. In the past six years, DoSomething.org has awarded $1.2 million in scholarships to over 300 winners.

You might win cash and your suggestions may go into a guide for students by students on how to help young adults manage stress.

How to apply

Deadline: End of May
Available to: Anyone in the U.S. or Canada under age 26. Become a member of DoSomething.org and then fill out the simple scholarship application, which takes an average of five minutes, according to its website.

Winners are announced via text message or email in late June, and there is no GPA or essay required to win. Simply share your strategies for dealing with stress. In addition, DoSomething.org offers other simple entry scholarships to young people worth checking out.

10. Student Loan Hero $5K Scholarship

Of course, a website dedicated to helping students afford college and pay back student loan debt has a scholarship for the typical student.

Yes, Student Loan Hero awards two $5,000 scholarships each semester to help alleviate educational costs and no minimum GPA is required.

How to apply

Deadline: Early October
Available to: Participants must be 18 years of age or older and enrolled at an eligible educational institution.

To enter, go to our scholarship page and submit an essay in 500-700 words answering this question: What financial challenges have you overcome growing up? How have they shaped your goals and career aspirations?

A panel consisting of four personal finance professionals will judge the essays. Each essay will receive a score based on clarity of writing and organization, grammatical correctness, relevance to the prompt question and creativity and thoughtfulness.

Winners will be notified in early December.

Maya Dollarhide contributed to this report.

Need a student loan?

Check out our top picks below or learn more about other ways to pay for college.
Variable APRDegrees That QualifyMore Info
1.04% – 11.98%1 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit College Ave

1.13% – 11.23%2 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit SallieMae

3.80% – 9.36%3 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit CommonBond

2.20% – 6.17%4 Undergrad & Graduate

Visit EdvestinU

1.05% – 11.44%5 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit Earnest

1.82% – 11.32%6 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit Ascent