10 Essay Scholarships For High School Seniors To Apply

Are you a high school senior who loves to put pen to paper? Do you dream of being the next J.K. Rowling or Ernest Hemingway? Well, get ready to grab your writing utensils, because we’ve got some fantastic news for you! 

There are numerous essay scholarships available exclusively for high school seniors. That’s right, you could earn money for college just by showcasing your writing skills. From creative writing to persuasive essays, the possibilities are endless. So, if you’ve got a way with words and a desire to earn some cash for college, it’s time to get cracking on those scholarship applications. Who knows, your writing could be the ticket to your college education and your future success!

Essay scholarships for high school seniors

1. AFSA High School Essay Contest

Are you a high school student with a passion for international affairs? Do you love to express your thoughts through writing? Then the AFSA Essay Contest is perfect for you! This scholarship challenges high schoolers to write an essay on a selected topic related to American foreign policy and global issues. Whether you’re interested in politics, economics, or human rights, this contest is an excellent opportunity to showcase your knowledge and writing skills.

The winners will receive a cash prize and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. to meet with government officials and tour international landmarks. Plus, it’s a chance to meet other talented young writers and make lasting connections. So, don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to share your voice and earn some scholarship money!

2. Interface “Tech for Good” Scholarship 

If you’re a tech enthusiast and have a passion for making a positive impact in the world, then the Tech for Good Scholarship is perfect for you! Interface Systems is offering a one-time grant of $5,000 to a high school senior or college student who can write an outstanding essay on the topic of how technology can be used for the greater good of humanity.

You can explore topics like sustainability, accessibility, social justice, healthcare, and education. The essay should be no more than 750 words and demonstrate your passion for both technology and making a positive impact in society. So, if you have some big ideas for how technology can be used to make the world a better place, then this scholarship is an excellent opportunity to showcase your creativity and passion!

3. WCF National Scholarship 

Do you have a passion for entrepreneurship and a desire to make a difference in the world? The WCF National Scholarship Competition is just for you! This essay scholarship is open to high school seniors and college undergraduates who have innovative business ideas and want to create a positive impact. The winner of the competition will receive a $20,000 scholarship to help them pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

The application requires you to submit a business proposal outlining your idea, a personal statement, and two letters of recommendation. So, put on your thinking cap and let your creativity run wild! Who knows, you might just be the next big thing in the world of entrepreneurship.

4. AEL Collegiate Essay Competition Scholarship

Are you passionate about education and leadership? Do you want to make a positive impact in your community? If yes, then Pepperdine University’s Aspiring Education Leaders (AEL) scholarship program might be just for you! This scholarship is designed for individuals who are interested in pursuing careers in education leadership and who are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of others.

The AEL scholarship provides selected candidates with financial assistance to attend Pepperdine’s prestigious Graduate School of Education and Psychology, where they will receive exceptional training and mentorship from experienced educators and leaders.  Just submit an essay with a word count between 1,500 and 2,000. The winners get three $1,000, $1,500, and $2,500 essay prizes. If you have a strong passion for education, leadership, and community service, this scholarship could be an excellent opportunity to help you achieve your goals and make a meaningful impact in the world. 

5. America’s 911 Foundation College Scholarship 

Are you passionate about serving your community and helping others? America’s 911 Foundation is offering a scholarship that aims to support students who demonstrate a commitment to community service and patriotism. To apply, students are asked to write a 500-word essay on a given topic related to the 9/11 attacks and how they have affected their lives and worldview. The foundation awards scholarships to multiple students each year, with amounts ranging from $2,000 to $3,000.

This scholarship is a great opportunity for students to not only receive financial support for their education but also to reflect on the impact of one of the most significant events in American history. If you’re a student who is passionate about making a positive difference in the world and honoring the memory of those who lost their lives on 9/11, this scholarship is for you!

6. Life Lessons Scholarship Program 

Life can be unpredictable, and sometimes it throws unexpected events our way. To raise awareness about the importance of life insurance, Life Happens has created the Life Lessons Scholarship Program. This scholarship aims to support students who have faced a loss due to the death of a parent or guardian who did not have life insurance.

By sharing their experiences and lessons learned, applicants can win a scholarship of up to $15,000 to help them achieve their academic goals. It’s an opportunity to transform a difficult experience into a source of motivation and inspiration. So, if life has dealt you a tough hand, use your story to win this scholarship and show the world that you can turn a tragedy into a powerful life lesson.

7. Arts for Life Scholarship 

Are you a high school senior in Florida with a passion for the arts? Look no further! The Arts for Life Scholarship is here to help fund your future artistic endeavors. All you need to do is submit an original piece of art, along with a written essay on how the arts have impacted your life, for a chance to win up to $3,000 in scholarship money.

The scholarship is open to all graduating high school seniors in Florida who plan to pursue further education in the arts. So, whether you’re a painter, dancer, musician, or something in between, let your creativity soar and apply for this unique scholarship opportunity!

8. DAR Good Citizen Scholarship 

The DAR Good Citizens Award and Scholarship Contest was created in 1934 with an aim to reward students who have the qualities of a good citizen, specifically for students who have demonstrated qualities of dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism in their homes, schools, and communities.

In the first stage, the eligible students are selected by teachers and peers. The student does not have to be a US citizen but accredited with their state board of education to be eligible for this award. The DAR awards one student per year.

9. Maxwell Foundation Scholarship 

The Maxwell Scholarship was created to help Washington high school seniors who want to pursue higher education in colleges of their choice. The Foundation provides students entering a four-year private college program throughout the academic year with the financial aid of up to $5,000 each year.

To be eligible for this scholarship, students have to be a resident of Western Washington, have an SAT or ACT score of 1200 or above, pursue a four-year degree at a recognized private university in the United States, and demonstrate financial need.

10. Voice of Democracy Audio Essay Scholarship 

Looking for a scholarship that will test your writing skills and reward you for your creativity and knowledge? The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has you covered with their youth scholarship program. Open to high school students, the VFW scholarship program challenges you to write an essay on a patriotic theme.

From exploring the meaning of the U.S. Constitution to discussing the importance of American democracy, this scholarship gives you the opportunity to express your ideas and learn about American history and values. Plus, there’s the added bonus of a chance to win some cash for college! Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to show off your writing skills and love for the country.

What kind of essays do scholarships want?

Experts caution that writing an essay for a scholarship is different from writing an essay for a high school class. There are thousands of candidates each year, making it an extremely difficult process to submit an essay for a scholarship. Students will have to make sure to write an essay that convinces the scholarship program board that they deserve the money up for grabs, as many scholarship applications call for one. 

From mechanical engineering scholarships to environmental scholarships to even scholarships for nursing, different scholarships have different formats and word limits, the first thing to keep in mind while submitting an essay is to adhere to the format as specified by the scholarship. It is essential to keep your essay within the allotted word count and make sure you are responding to the question that has been posed. Even though the essay prompt appears to be somewhat open-ended, your essay should nonetheless have a distinct beginning, middle, and end.

In essays and scholarship applications, students frequently feel pressure to present a particular persona or aspect of themselves. However, this is not always required. The essay should feel real and true to the student’s life. Above all, what the scholarship essay seeks is for the essay to stand out in a sea of academic writings by providing genuine insights into who the candidate is on a deeper level.


In conclusion, scholarships are a fantastic opportunity for students to fund their education and pursue their dreams. It’s essential to keep in mind that scholarship committees are looking for applicants who stand out, who have a unique perspective, and who are willing to put in the effort to craft a well-written and thoughtful essay.

So take the time to research the scholarships you’re interested in, brainstorm ideas, and write a compelling essay that showcases your strengths, passions, and achievements. Remember, your essay is your chance to make a lasting impression and persuade the scholarship committee that you are the best candidate for the award.

So go ahead, put pen to paper, and show the world what makes you extraordinary! However, if you wish to go for a scholarship without an essay too, a non-essay scholarship should work fine for you!

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