Before considering student loans to cover your higher education, you can go ahead and apply to many scholarships instead. Unlike those loans, scholarships are essentially free money, meaning you don’t have to pay back the prize you’ve received. Scholarships come in many shapes and sizes, and companies now also offer their awards alongside universities and non-profit organizations.
Earnest, for example, has been offering financial aid to deserving students for three years now. The San Francisco-based private student loan financing company organizes the Earnest Scholarship annually to encourage students like you to pursue their dream degrees. Its generous amount makes it one you shouldn’t miss when it comes to your scholarship hunt.
With that said, read on to find out all about the Earnest Scholarship in and out to further optimize your chances of winning your own award.
What is the Earnest Scholarship?
Figuring out how to pay your tuition fees can be stressful, especially if you have to manage it on your own. Luckily, there are many options out there that you can choose from according to your financial standing. From getting student loans to working part-time, these solutions allow students to remain in college.
But there’s no denying that securing a scholarship is the best way to afford college. While some demand rigorous qualifications, others are relatively easy to apply for. These easy scholarships for college students are perfect if you dread writing essays or if your academic achievements are less than stellar.
Also called “sweepstakes,” they generally work like a raffle. All you need to do is enter your identity into the scholarship sponsor’s website, and that’s it! The sponsor will draw all applications received to determine the lucky winner. What’s the catch? Because the application is so straightforward, sweepstakes have more competition.
Even so, it never hurts to try. The more sweepstakes you enter, the better your chances of winning! Applying to the Earnest Scholarship by Earnest, for example, is a good start. Unlike most sweepstakes, Earnest awards free money to up to 10 selected students, which is a relatively big number.
If this will be your first, you might be wondering, “Is the Earnest Scholarship legit?” The short answer is a resounding yes! In fact, 185 students across the country have been benefited since the program was launched in 2019. That equates to $875,000 disbursed to encourage bright students to attend top U.S. institutions.
This year Earnest is back with the much-awaited Earnest Scholarship 2023. You can find more details about the program in the next section, so keep going.
How Do I Know if I’m Eligible for This Scholarship?
While it’s an easy scholarship, not that it’ll welcome any students. You must satisfy the following requirements to be considered for this scholarship.
First, the scholarship is open to those currently enrolled, or soon to be enrolled, at least half-time (minimum 6 credits) at an accredited U.S. university or college by Spring 2023. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply for this scholarship provided they attend an accredited Title IV school. You can check if your school falls into this category by clicking here.
Unfortunately, only U.S. applicants are encouraged to enter the sweepstakes at this time. International applications will not be accepted.
Second, you must be a legal resident of the 50 states or the District of Columbia to apply.
Third, you must be at least 17 years old at the time of application. Otherwise, there is no maximum age limit.
Finally, Earnest’s employees are strictly prohibited from entering the sweepstakes, including their family members.
The best part about this program is that there’s no minimum grade point average (GPA) requirement to apply. Also, no purchase or loan obligations are required to register or win the prizes. Most importantly, students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status also have the same opportunity to enter the sweepstakes.
How Much Money Can I Get from This Scholarship?
Earnest will award one-time scholarships totaling $250,000 to ten lucky applicants. Winners can use their prizes to pay for education-related expenses at their institutions. These expenses include application fees, course credit hour fees, laptops, books, and school-related supplies.
In addition, it is a taxable scholarship. Simply put, you will need to list the money left over after paying your expenses as part of your taxable gross income. Prizes will be awarded eight to ten weeks after the winners have been verified.
What Information Do I Need to Apply?
To apply, you will need:
- Your name and the school you will be attending
- Email address
- A short answer on what it means to be a winner
How Do I Apply to the Earnest Scholarship?
As we touched on earlier, applying for this scholarship should be a walk in the park. First of all, visit the Earnest Scholarship webpage here. Then, enter all the required information into the form. Make sure you specify your identity, whether you are applying as a student or a parent or guardian of an applicant.
Only one application is required to apply, and there is a limit of one email address per student.
When is This Scholarship Due?
Submit your form before January 31, 2023 at 11:59 pm ET. Confirm that you have submitted the correct information before finalizing your application. You can check the list of winners of this scholarship on Earnest’s website on April 5, 2023.
Should you need assistance with your application or you have more questions regarding the program, visit the Earnest Help Center or send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other than the Earnest Scholarship, there are many other easy scholarships available for students of all walks of life out there. Some companies also organize their own sweepstakes that you can tap into for more financial resources.
For example, there is the Bold no-essay scholarship that awards up to $2,000 to winners. The Smarter College Scholarship has $2,500 for U.S. students. Niche.com is offering the biggest prize of all with a total of $50,000 in cash for one winner. Give all these competitions a try and you might be lucky enough to win one.