For high school students aspiring to a career in writing, scholarships abound that will help ease college tuition. Start your search at major online scholarship clearinghouses, but doing your homework researching lesser-known sources will also pay off. Here's a quick guide to help you get started.
Start your search at well-known websites that do most of the searching for you. Scholarships.com, petersons.com, and finaid.org are a few of the many online that scour sources to present you the best grants and scholarships. Be wary of websites that ask for payment; truly legitimate databases offer their services for free and, at most, request an email login or registration. These websites are a treasure trove of free money earned with, naturally, well-written essays and applications. Finaid.org, for example, lists the Ayn Rand Institute as a promising source of scholarships; the organization hosts three separate essay contests for high school freshman and sophomores, juniors and seniors, and college students. Cash prizes range from $200-$10,000 and depend on reflective essays on Ayn Rand's works. Highscholarships.com is another reliable source geared specifically toward high school students. It lists a National High School Poetry Contest (highschoolpoetry.com) for creative writers, with scholarships up to $1500.
If you're a high school student who already knows what colleges you're applying to, research the English departments to see whether they offer writing scholarships for incoming freshmen. For instance, collegescholarships.org points out that schools like Arkansas Tech University and the University of Louisville offer substantial scholarships for writers.
Many arts and writing organizations offer awards and prizes that wouldn't necessarily be listed on scholarship websites. The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, for example, offers the Alliance Summer Arts Program for students in grades 7-11 who come from low-income households. The organization offers several other awards listed at artandwriting.org. When browsing online, narrow your search according to variables that reflect your specific interests or demographic; search for writing scholarships for women, ethnic minorities, science and technical writers, or nontraditional students.