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Your dream college might not offer your dream scholarship.

It doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

Although the process for applying for outside scholarships can be more exhausting than applying for institutional scholarships (i.e. scholarships offered directly from a college), they have their advantages. You can use outside scholarships at any college of your choosing so that dream college with poor financial aid can still be a real possibility.

Below I’ve put together a list of 23 outside scholarships that pay out at least $10,000 to their top prize winners. Some of these scholarships are designed for top academic performers, but others are based off of community service or leadership, an artistic work, a science project, or an essay. There is something for everyone on this list so take a look through, and start working for some extra college cash!

Buick Achievers Scholarship Program

Amount: up to $25,000 per year for four years

Number of Awards: 25

Description: The scholarship is designed to reward students who have succeeded in and out of the classroom and who may not be able to attend college without financial assistance.

Determining Factors: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement and financial need, participation in leadership and school activities and work experience. Preference is given to students with an interests in the automotive or related industry and to students who plan to major in a STEM field. First-generation college students, minorities, females, military veterans and their dependents are also given preference.

Siemens Math, Science, and Technology Award Scholarships

Amount: $1,000-$100,000

Description: The competition is designed to recognize students with talents related to math, science, and technology and who have engaged in scientific research. Applicants submit a research report relating to scientific research they have engaged in.

Determining Factors: Reports are judged based off of scientific importance, creativity, field knowledge, comprehensiveness, interpretation, literature review, potential for future work, clarity, presentation and teamwork (in the case of team submissions)

Coca-Cola Scholarship

Amount: $20,000

Number of Awards: 250

Description: One of the biggest scholarships available in the country awarding general academic achievement and leadership.

Requirements: Minimum 3.0 GPA

Determining Factors: The scholarship is awarded based on academic achievement and students’ capacity for leadership and service in their schools and communities as reflected in an initial application, recommendations, and from interviews. Recipients are selected during an all-expenses paid trip for finalists to Coca-Cola’s headquarters in Atlanta.

Davidson Institute for Talent Development

Amount: $10,000-$50,000

Description: The scholarship awards students who have completed significant work in fields related to one of its focus categories: science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature, music, philosophy, and outside the box.

Determining Factors: Applications are evaluated by the scope and quality of the work, the level of significance of the work submitted, and the applicant’s depth of knowledge and understanding of the work and in the related domain area.

Horatio Alger Scholarship Award

Amount: $22,000

Number of Awards: 106

Description: The scholarship recognizes students who have faced and overcome great obstacles and who demonstrate a commitment to use their college degree in service to others.

Requirements: Applicants must demonstrate critical financial need ($55,000 or lower in adjusted gross family income) and have a 2.0 GPA or higher.

Determining Factors: Involvement in extracurricular and community service activities, proof of adversity faced and overcome, and answers to four short essay questions.

Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship

Amount: up to $24,000 over four years

Number of Awards: 40-60

Description: The scholarship provides college funds to minority high school students who show leadership potential and demonstrate financial need.

Determining Factors: General academic achievement (grades and SAT/ACT scores), financial need, and answers to four essay questions

Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarship

Amount: $1,000 to $100,000 over four years

Description: The scholarship is designed to provide funds to students with financial need who have demonstrated academic achievement and who have been leaders in their communities.

Requirements: Students must live in an area covered by a RMHC, 2.7 GPA minimum

Determining Factors: Scholastic performance, involvement in the community, financial need, and essay content

Voice of Democracy Scholarship

Amount: $1,000-$30,000

Description: The scholarship is designed to give students the opportunity to express their democratic ideas and principles by recording a 3-5 minute speech related to an annual theme.

Determining Factors: Students are evaluated based on the treatment of the theme, clear expression and organization of ideas, and the delivery of the speech.

The Dell Scholars Program

Amount: $20,000, laptop, and textbook credits

Number of Awards: 300

Requirements: Participate in an approved college readiness program (23 programs are currently approved including AVID, Upward Bound, Aspire, Gear Up, Kipp Academy, Uncommon Schools, and IDEA Academy), have a minimum of 2.4 GPA, and proof of demonstrated need (i.e. students must be eligible to receive a Pell grants)

Determining Factors: Determination to succeed, future goals, ability to communicate hardships, self-motivation, and demonstrated need for financial aid. Financial need is weighted more strongly than academic metrics and students on the lower end of the eligible GPA spectrum are highly encouraged to apply.

Gates Millenium Scholarship

Amount: Covers all unmet need and self-help aid, renewable

Number of Awards: 1,000

Description: The scholarship aims to give outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asia Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students the opportunity to gain funds for college.

Requirements: 3.3 GPA minimum; identify and meet the requirements for one of the minority groups; and meet Federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria

Determining Factors: Academic performance, community service and leadership activities, and demonstrated need

Intel Science Talent Search

Amount: up to $150,000

Number of Awards: 300

Description: The scholarship awards students who have done original scientific research. Applicants submit a research report which is evaluated by Ph.D scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.

Determining Factors: The scientific research and research report are the primary considerations although general academic achievement as reflected in grades, test scores, and recommendations is also considered.

Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship

Amount: $4,000-$50,000

Number of Awards: 500

Description: The scholarship is designed to award students with need for academic achievement and leadership

Determining Factors: Grades, test scores, leadership experience in activities, an essay, and financial need

Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck on Prom Contest

Amount: $10,000

Number of Awards: up to 21

Requirements: Open to students from all US states  and Washington DC except for VT, MD, and CO. Legal residents of all Canadian provinces except for Quebec are also eligible.

Description: Applicants create prom attire out of Duck brand duct tape and submit a picture of their creations for evaluation. Applicants can enter as single applicants or as a couple although only couples can receive the first prize award of $10,000 each.

Determining Factors: Judges select winners based on workmanship, originality, use of color, accessories, and use of duct tape

Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship

Amount: up to $10,000

Number of Awards: 4

Description: Scholarships awarded to vegetarian high school students who promote vegetarianism in their school or community.

Determining Factors: Applicants evaluated based on an essay about vegetarianism and their future goals.

Ayn Rand Essay Contests

Amount: up to $20,000

Number of Awards: 410

Description: Designed to inspire and intellectually engage students by having them read and respond to Ayn Rand’s works

Determining Factors: Based on a essay answering one of several question options about Atlas Shrugged or the Fountainhead (there are different prizes awarded for both novels)

Gallery Collection Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

Number of Awards: 1

Description: Applicants are asked to create an original greeting card using a photo, artwork, or computer graphics. The winner receives the scholarship and their design will be printed and distributed by a national greeting card company.

Determining Factors: The top 10 finalists are determined by popular vote via Facebook. A panel of judges will select the winner evaluating the finalists by quality of execution, creativity and originality, successful incorporation of design elements, appropriateness for use as a greeting card, attractiveness to corporate and consumer customers, and suitability as a design in a Prudent’s Gallery Collection greeting

Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway

Amount: up to $100,000

Number of Awards: 21

Description: Dr. Pepper awards a million dollars a year to help students achieve their dreams.

Determining Factors: Students are asked to submit their “goal” which are put up on the website. Once your goal gets 50 votes, you are asked to submit a video explaining the goal in more detail. Finalists are selected to compete in a football throwing competition to compete for the top prizes awarding up to $100,000. The students whose videos get the most votes are also awarded a $5,000 scholarship.

National Peace Essay Contest

Amount: up to $10,000

Number of Awards: 56

Description: The contest seeks to promote discussion about peace and conflict resolution today and in the future.

Determining Factors: Based on answers to a 1,500 word essay responding to an annual topic related to peace.

The WyzAnt College Scholarship

Amount: up to $10,000

Number of Awards: 3

Description: The award seeks to promote education.

Determining Factors: Students submit a 300-word essay describing one way that education has empowered them. Finalists are selected by popular vote and the winner is selected through a review by WyzAnt tutors.

From Failure to Promise Essay Contest

Amount: up to $10,000

Number of Awards: 4

Description: The scholarship seeks in inspire and motivate youth by reading and responding to the book “From Failure to Promise: 360 Degrees,” an autobiography of Dr. C. Moorer who transformed himself from a drop-out to an engineer.

Determining Factors: Students submit a 1,500-word essay in response to one of three questions related to the book. Responses are judged based on originality, quality of research, and effectiveness of presentation.

Image Cut Games Competition

Amount: up to $50,000

Number of Awards: 3

Description: The competition seeks to honor the most fun and innovative games built with Microsoft tools and technology

Determining Factors: Students work in teams to create a video game that can be played on Microsoft technology. Entries are judged based on concept, fun, execution, and feasibility.

Young American Creative Patriotic Art Award

Amount: up to $10,000

Number of Awards: 5

Description: Sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary, this scholarship young artists to produce patriotic works.

Determining Factors: Students submit a piece of patriotic artwork using water color, pencil, pastel, charcoal, tempera, crayon, acrylic, pen-and-ink, or oil. Entries are judged based on originality of concept, presentation, patriotism expressed, clarity of ideas, uniqueness, design technique, and total impact of work.

ExploraVision Science Competition

Amount: up to $10,000

Description: The contest encourages students to explore modern technology.

Determining Factors: Students work in teams to explore a piece of technology in their home, school, or community and write a report about its current uses, history, and future technology that may be developed. Students are also asked to explore scientific breakthroughs that may be necessary to improve the technology in the future and how the technology could both positively and negatively impact society. Entries are judged on creativity, scientific accuracy, communication, and feasibility of vision.

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