Doing What You Enjoy Could Help Pay for College

Turn Your Passions Into Scholarship Money


For high school juniors turned seniors, the search is on for ways to finance their college education. They will soon be applying to colleges, comparing financial aid offers, and hoping for the coveted merit-based aid. Another way of paying for college is through the scholarship process. There are many large and small scholarships out there which can help cover the cost of everything from books to a significant portion of tuition.

While many of these scholarships are from recognizable sources, many students don’t realize that there are also a large number of scholarships based on specific areas. Here are a few tips that might help you find scholarship money for doing something you love:

  • Science: If you can’t get enough of science experiments, you might want to consider the Intel Science Talent Search. Intel has sponsored this competition since 1988. The Talent Search seeks to inspire innovation in science, technology, engineering and math, and to recognize notable achievements by the next generation of scientific leaders.
  • Golf Caddy: If you are above par as a golf caddy, The Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship is for you. This is a renewable, full tuition and housing scholarship for golf caddies. Applicants must have a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need, and outstanding character. Each year, more than 800 deserving male and female caddies from across the country live and work together as they attend one of the fourteen universities where the Foundation maintains a Scholarship House. Application is available online beginning August 1.
  • Art: Turn your doodles into dollars with Doodle 4 Google. This is an annual art competition open to students K-12 which seeks to inspire innovation through creativity. Check the website in September 2015 for this year’s contest details. Or design a greeting card for The Gallery Collection for a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship. Submit photo, artwork or computer graphic for the front of a greeting card.
  • Public Speaking: If you’re not afraid to talk in front of others, you should consider entering the American Legion Oratorical Contest. Since 1938, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches leadership qualities, the history of our country’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. Competition begins at the local post level and advances to a state competition.
  • Reading: Attention lovers of Ayn Rand books. Turn your passion into college dollars with the Ayn Rand Institute International Essay Contests. Awards available on different topics for different age groups. The “Atlas Shrugged” category is open to high school seniors and college students. Select one of three topics and write an essay.
  • Animal Lover: In collaboration with the Animal Welfare Institute, the Humane Education Network hosts A Voice for Animals Essay Contest to award more than $6,000 in scholarships for high school students whose essays best promote the humane treatment of animals.

No matter what you love doing in your free time, check to see if there are organizations that promote what you enjoy.

Chances are there’s a scholarship for that!