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15 Scholarships for High School Freshmen in 2023

What’s Covered:


It’s never too early to apply for scholarships. In fact, there are plenty of scholarships available to students starting their freshman year of high school! Applying for scholarships at the beginning of high school gives you more time to find scholarships that are the right fit for you. There are many companies and organizations that offer awesome scholarships to high school students—it’s just a matter of getting a head start and applying!


Here’s our list of 15 scholarships that high school freshmen can apply for, as well as some tips for how to handle the process of applying.


15 Scholarships for High School Freshmen


1. Doodle for Google Competition


Amount: $30,000 for the student and $50,000 technology grant for their school

Deadline: March 7


  • K-12 students
  • U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Enrolled in a U.S.-based school (including homeschool or a school in Puerto Rico, Guam, or the U.S. Virgin Islands)

Application Requirements: Unique doodle that includes the letters G-O-O-G-L-E


If you are creative and artistic, you’ll want to check out this scholarship! The Doodle for Google Competition asks applicants to design their own Google Doodle for the chance to have it featured on Google for a day. The theme of the competition changes annually, with this year’s being “I am grateful for…” Doodles are judged on artistic merit, creativity, and theme communication.


The competition is divided into five grade divisions—K-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, and 10-12. Each year, Google chooses one National Winner to receive a $30,000 college scholarship and four National Finalists in each division to receive $5,000 scholarships. In addition to awarding scholarships, Google awards the National Winner’s school a generous technology grant of $50,000.


2. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum – Profile in Courage Essay Contest


Amount: $100-$10,000

Deadline: January 13


  • 9th-12th graders under the age of 20
  • Students enrolled in a high school correspondence/GED program in the U.S., or U.S. citizens attending schools overseas

Application requirements: Essay


As its name implies, the JFK Library’s Profile in Courage Essay Contest awards a scholarship to the best essay. The essay must “describe an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official who served during or after 1917.” The essay must be between 700 and 1,000 words, and it must cite a minimum of five sources, which can include government documents, letters, newspaper articles, books, and/or personal interviews.


This scholarship contest is open to practically any U.S. high school student under the age of 20, and is an awesome opportunity for students with a knack for writing and history.


3. The VFW Auxiliary’s Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest


Amount: $34,000

Deadline: March 31


  • Students in 9th-12th grade
  • U.S. citizen or a permanent U.S. legal resident
  • Enrolled in a public, private, or parochial high school or home study program in the United States, its territories and possessions; or dependents of U.S. military or civilian personnel in overseas schools

Application requirements:

  • Two-dimensional piece of art on paper or canvas
  • Typed explanation of patriotism expressed in art (250 words or less)


This scholarship is an amazing opportunity for talented high school students to show off their art skills and earn scholarship money while doing so! This art contest asks students to create a two-dimensional piece of art that depicts American patriotism. The scholarship has been around since 1979 and more than 4,000 students participate each year.


There are multiple rounds of selection at the local, state, and national levels. State winners compete against one another for national awards of $34,000.


4. Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes


Amount: $10,000

Deadline: April 15


  • Ages 8-18
  • Permanent residents of and currently residing in the U.S. or Canada
  • Currently working on an inspiring service project or have done so within the past 12 months
  • Working as an individual to lead their service work

Application Requirements:

  • Project summary
  • Project essay
  • Letter from the lead reference
  • Two additional letters of recommendation
  • One color photo of the applicant


Have you led a community service project? Each year, the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes honors 25 students from across the United States and Canada who have made a positive impact on their communities and/or the environment.


Since 2001, the Barron Prize has honored 550 students and has awarded more than half a million dollars. The purpose of the scholarship is to shine a spotlight on those who demonstrate heroic qualities like courage, compassion, and perseverance.


5. The Gallery Collection Create-A-Greeting Card Scholarship


Amount: $10,000 (plus a $1,000 donation to the winner’s school)

Deadline: March 2


  • Ages 14 and up
  • High school, college, or university student enrolled in an academic program designed to conclude with a diploma or degree
  • Legal resident of one of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico
  • International students who have a student visa to attend school in the United States are considered legal residents and are also eligible

Application Requirements: Submit a design for the front of a greeting card


This scholarship is a great opportunity if you enjoy arts and crafts—it rewards the student who creates the best greeting card with $10,000 in scholarship money. Applicants must simply submit a photo, artwork, or computer graphic for the front of a greeting card. The cards are judged on overall aesthetic appeal, quality of execution, creativity, and originality.


Each month leading up to the deadline, judges select 100 cards which are posted to the Gallery Collection’s Facebook page for voting. The top ten cards make it to the final round, after which a winner is chosen and announced. So channel your creative side and have fun while hopefully earning some scholarship money!


6. Breakthrough Junior Challenge


Amount: $250,000 college scholarship (plus $100,000 for the renovation/addition of a science lab and $50,000 for a teacher of the winning student)

Deadline: June 25

Eligibility: Ages 13-18

Application Requirements:

  • Short video (90 seconds maximum) that brings to life a concept or theory in the life sciences, physics, or mathematics
  • Review at least five other entries from other participants


The Breakthrough Junior Challenge offers a prestigious scholarship to young students who are passionate about science and technology. Submissions are judged on the student’s ability to communicate complex scientific ideas in engaging, illuminating, and imaginative ways. This is an amazing opportunity if you are passionate about STEM!


7. The Ayn Rand Institute’s Anthem Essay Contest


Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 27

Eligibility: Students in 8th-12th grade

Application Requirements: Essay


Have you ever read one of Ayn Rand’s novels? If so, this scholarship may be for you. Each year, the Ayn Rand Institute hosts an essay contest on Ayn Rand’s fiction. Essays are judged on whether the student can make a strong argument for their point of view. Judges are looking for clear, concise, and well-organized writing.


Applicants must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophical meaning of the novella Anthem by crafting an essay in response to one of three prompts.


8. Too Cool to Pay for School Scholarship


Amount: $1,000

Deadline: Last day of the months of March, June, September, and December

Eligibility: Full-time high school, college, or graduate students

Application Requirements: Short application form


Looking for a quick way to get some money for college? Simply fill out the short application form and hope your name is selected to win a $1,000 award—applying for this scholarship is that easy. Winners are chosen quarterly by random drawing and scholarships can be used on a variety of educational expenses, such as tuition, textbooks, housing, and technology.


9. The VFW Voice of Democracy Scholarship


Amount: Up to $35,000

Deadline: October 31


  • Students in 9th-12th grade
  • Enrolled in a public, private, or parochial school, or home study program in the U.S., its territories, or its possessions

Application Requirements: 3- to 5-minute audio essay


Democracy-loving high school students will want to check out this scholarship, which provides a generous award to the participant who submits the most patriotic-themed audio essay. In addition to the $35,000 grand prize awarded to the winner of the national competition, numerous smaller awards are available to regional winners.


10. The Cirkled In “No Sweat” Scholarship


Amount: $2,500

Deadline: March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31


  • Ages 13 and up
  • Students in 8th-12th grade
  • U.S. resident

Application Requirements:

  • Create a free Cirkled In account
  • Complete a portfolio


This quarterly scholarship provides $2,500 in cash to help students cover education-related expenses ranging from books to summer camps. To apply, participants simply need to create a free Cirkled In account and complete a portfolio.


The scholarship is awarded using a point system—points are earned through bolstering your portfolio and inviting friends to create their own accounts. The more points a participant earns, the more their odds of winning an award increase.


11. Technology Addiction Awareness Scholarship


Amount: $1,000

Deadline: January 30


  • High school, undergraduate, and graduate students
  • U.S. citizen or legal resident

Application Requirements: Personal statement


The average young person spends 7.5 hours a day consuming media—a figure that doesn’t include the use of a computer for schoolwork. The intent of this scholarship is to drive awareness of the negative effects of spending too much time in front of a screen and to show students the benefits of taking a break from technology.


All participants need to do to qualify for this award is complete a short application and answer the question “Instead of spending time with technology, I’d rather…”


12. Bulkofficesupply.com Scholarship


Amount: $1,000

Deadline: February 1


  • High school students and freshmen and sophomore undergraduates
  • U.S. resident

Application Requirements: Essay


This scholarship provided by bulkofficesupply.com—an online marketplace for office and school supplies—aims to help students meet their educational and professional goals. High school students and undergraduate freshmen and sophomores with an interest in teaching, art, or owning a business are eligible for the award. To apply, applicants must complete a short application and compose a short essay.


13. Project Yellow Light


Amount: $2,000-$8,000

Deadline: March 1 and April 1


  • High school and college students
  • U.S. residents

Application Requirements: Varies


Project Yellow Light seeks to put an end to distracted driving. It hosts three contests—billboard, video, and radio—tasking students to share a message warning of the dangers of distracted driving.


Winners not only receive a generous award, but they may also see their efforts turned into real-life campaigns, gracing billboards across the country, airing on roughly 1,800 television stations, or being broadcast over the radio.


14. Cancer Pathways – Cancer Unwrapped Teen Writing Contest


Amount: $1,000

Deadline: March 3

Eligibility: Students in 9th-12th grade

Application Requirements: Essay


This writing contest invites high students to write about their experience learning about a cancer diagnosis. Stories range from tales of triumph to devastation to reflection—however, they’re all heartfelt, honest, and unique. Essays are limited to a maximum of 1,500 words.


15. The Fleet Reserve Association’s Americanism Essay Contest


Amount: $500$1,500

Deadline: December 1

Eligibility: Students in 7th-12th grade

Application Requirements: Essay


The Americanism Essay Contest is provided by the Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), a group that represents the interests of enlisted Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine veterans, and of active duty personnel in the United States. Students are tasked with composing a short essay—350 words maximum—on the spirit of Americanism and patriotism. Winners are chosen at the local, regional, and national levels.


16 (Bonus). CollegeVine Scholarships


Amount: $2,000

Deadline: Quarterly

Eligibility: high school student and US resident

Application Requirements: create a free CollegeVine account or fill out chancing profile if you already have an account.


CollegeVine provides a quarterly, no-essay scholarship of $2,000. All you have to do is sign up for a free account, which allows you to see your chances of acceptance at 1,600+ schools, get your essays reviewed by a peer, ask questions in our community forum, and more. If you already have an account, just make sure your chancing profile is filled out.


Awards will be paid out directly to students to help them cover any educational costs. Learn more about the CollegeVine scholarships.


Tips on Applying for Scholarships


1. Don’t Forget About Smaller Scholarships


Although most of the scholarships mentioned above are “bigger” scholarships, don’t forget to look out for $250-$500 scholarships. These smaller awards are extremely helpful when paying for books and supplies, and they’re often less competitive. Additionally, there is no limit to how many scholarships you can win, so winning multiple smaller awards can really add up.


2. Stay Organized


The more scholarships you apply to, the better your chances are of winning. However, this can become overwhelming as scholarships tend to have different deadlines and requirements. Therefore, it’s important to stay organized and keep a calendar that notes your application deadlines.


3. Don’t be Afraid to Try Again


If you aren’t selected for a scholarship, you don’t need to give up. Often, you can apply again next year. Since this list is for students starting in 9th grade, we encourage you to try again the following year if things don’t work out. After a year of more experience, you are bound to have a stronger application!


4. Go Local


Although you can find tons of scholarship opportunities online, local scholarships are often less competitive, since you are only competing against students in your community. This gives you a higher chance of winning the award. Be sure to reach out to your high school counselor to learn about local opportunities. Additionally, you can try searching for “scholarships + your city/state” on a search engine.


Curious about your chances of acceptance at a particular college? Our free admissions calculator factors in your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at hundreds of colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you compare to other applicants and how you can improve your personal profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.