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The Doodle 4 Google College Scholarship

If you’ve ever visited the Google homepage and seen their interactive, colorful takes on the Google logo, then you might have an idea about what this scholarship involves. This national contest awards scholarships for the best student-created doodle. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your chances.


Doodle 4 Google College Scholarship: Overview and How to Apply


Since 2008, Google has run a contest open to students from the United States and U.S. territories to submit an original doodle, using the word Google and the year’s theme. The Doodle 4 Google College Scholarship is a prize given to the National Winner of the Doodle 4 Google Contest, along with an award given to the student’s school.


In order to be eligible for this contest-scholarship, you need to:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal U.S. resident
  • Enrolled in school, in any grade ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade


To enter, you’ll need to create a Doodle that fits the year’s theme. Most of the themes are pretty broad, such as “What inspires me” or “What I hope for the future.” You can create the Doodle in any medium, but it will need to be uploaded as a 2D creation so that it can be featured on Google’s website. You’ll need to scan or take a high-quality photo if you plan on using traditional media.


The deadline is sometime in March of each year, with the contest reopening shortly after the National Winner is announced. Check the Doodle 4 Google page for updates about when entries will be accepted and for the year’s theme.


Students are judged according to their grade category as follows:

  • Grades K-3
  • Grades 4-5
  • Grades 6-7
  • Grades 8-9
  • Grades 10-12


Each state and territory will have one winner, resulting in 53 State and Territory winners who go on to participate in an online public vote, where anyone can choose their favorite Doodle from each grade group to determine the 5 National Finalists.


Once the National Finalists are chosen, Google executives choose from the five top Doodles to select a National Winner, whose doodle will be featured live on Google’s website!


The National Finalists and the National Winner all receive a college scholarship. The Finalists receive a $5,000 scholarship, while the National Winner receives a $30,000 scholarship.


Tips on Applying for Scholarships


As the Doodle 4 Google contest illustrates, there are scholarship opportunities for students with all kinds of skills and abilities. Artistic students probably gravitate towards contests like these, but even if you don’t think you are particularly artistic, there are some tips that can apply to any type of scholarship:


Know your strengths. The Doodle 4 Google contest asks students to draw upon their creative ability, but you should explore what your strengths are in general. There are scholarships for all kinds of students, and knowing what comes naturally to you can help you find scholarships that celebrate those abilities.


For example, you may have artistic or athletic ability, and look for competitions with awards for your work or performance. Or maybe you have a passion for a cause where you’ve volunteered hours of your time, or maybe you could write a brilliant essay on a topic that you care about. If you aren’t sure of your strengths, then the next point is for you.


Ask for help. Whether you’ve identified the exact scholarship you want to apply for, or just want to win scholarships to finance your college education, it’s a good idea to ask for help. For most students, their first choice is to go their school counselor, but you can also turn to a trusted teacher, coach, or community leader.


If you’ve already picked out your scholarship, these people can review your application and give you feedback to make it stronger. If you aren’t sure what your strengths are or how to find scholarships, then these same individuals can point out your special qualities and guide you through the process of doing research and holding you accountable for completing your applications.


Start your application early. The earlier you can start your applications, the more time that you have to get feedback and make it as strong as possible. That means that you can get advice from several different people, and if the application requires that you create something like a Doodle or a polished essay, then you can take your time during that creative process and make sure that it’s a winning product.


Wrapping it Up


Many private scholarships, like the Doodle 4 Google Contest, are framed in terms of a contest where one winner is selected out of several applicants. While participating in national scholarships can bring a huge reward, there might be similar types of scholarships and contests available at the state or local level, which can help you develop the confidence to participate in a national competition.


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For more information about scholarships, check out these posts below:


Does the Ivy League Offer Scholarships?

How to Maximize Your Child’s Merit Aid Eligibility

Which Colleges Give Out the Most Merit Aid? A List of the Top 50


Short Bio
Gianna Cifredo is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she majored in Philosophy. She has six years of higher education and test prep experience, and now works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida and is a proud cat mom.