You might be surprised to learn that free scholarships for your middle school or junior higher totally exist. This is the best time to start applying for scholarships! Financing college expenses can take a lot of time and planning, so get started now.

One tool you can add to your college savings arsenal is the Sallie Mae Scholarship Search. It’s free to register and will give you access to millions of scholarship opportunities.

But since it’s a bit tougher to find these resources before high school, I tracked down scholarships that award middle schoolers. Go ahead and forward this post over to your young college hopeful to get them started.

 

College scholarships with a January deadline.

1. Share your dreams (literal or not!) to win the I Have a Dream Scholarship.

Deadline: January 31, 2021

Available to: Students 14 and up

Details: Describe what you dream about in 250 words or less for a chance to earn a $1,500 scholarship in the I Have a Dream Scholarship contest. You can describe a literal dream you had while asleep, a daydream or your aspirations and hopes for the future.

 

2. Passionate about clean drinking water? Win $1,000 for it.

Deadline: January 1, 2020 (Extended to March 15, 2020 due to COVID-19)

Available to: U.S. and Canada residents, ages 13-19

Details: The American Backflow Prevention Association offers a $1,000 scholarship each year to the winner of the ABPA Harrington-Arthur Memorial Scholarship essay contest. You’ll need to address clean drinking water initiatives and strategies in 700-1,200 words, based on the writing prompt and current topic.

 

College scholarships with a February deadline.

3. Gush about a gift you received for the Sweet and Simple Scholarship.

Deadline: February 28, 2021

Available to: Students 14 and up

Details: Describe a simple yet meaningful gift you received for the Sweet and Simple Scholarship. Include why it meant so much to you in 250 words or less to win a chance at $1,500 for college.

 

4. Win up to $50,000 for your work in STEM or Liberal Arts.

Deadline: February 10, 2021

Available to: Anyone under 18 years old

Details: If you complete a significant piece of work in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy or an “Outside the Box” category, you could win the prestigious Davidson Fellows Scholarship award. Honorees get a trip to Washington D.C. and can earn scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.

 

5. Calling all young activists! Earn $500 for an environmental project you’re working on.

Deadline: February 28, 2020

Available to: Students 8-16 years old

Details: If you’re a young activist with a self-initiated project to produce a positive environmental impact, you’re eligible for the Action for Nature Eco Hero Awards scholarship. The judges give preference to ongoing projects and/or 2+ year-long projects. Judges consider initiative, originality, difficulty and impact among other factors. Win $500!

 

RELATED: Unique College Scholarships That Often Go Unclaimed

 

College scholarships with a March deadline.

6. Draw your way to $30,000 with the Doodle 4 Google Scholarship.

Deadline: March 20, 2020

Available to: All K-12 students, including homeschool students.

Details: Google chooses a new theme every year and invites students to create a doodle featuring their logo. If your doodle wins the national Doodle for Google contest, it’ll be featured on Google’s homepage for one day. You’ll also receive a $30,000 scholarship, a $50,000 technology award for your school ($5,000 if homeschooled), Google hardware and swag. Finalists receive $5,000 and Google swag.

 

7. Imagine yourself as a superhero or villain and write about it to win the Superpower Scholarship.

Deadline: March 31, 2021

Available to: Students 14 and up

Details: I bet you can answer this question in two seconds: Which superhero or villain would you like to trade places with for a day and why? If your 250-words or less answer is chosen, you’ll earn a $2,500 Superpower Scholarship.

 

 

College scholarships with an April deadline.

8. Bet you didn’t know there’s a scholarship for being unselfish and generous.

Deadline: April 15, 2020

Available to: U.S. and Canada residents 8-18 years old

Details: Involved in a project that shows your dedication to public service? Inspiring acts of service through generosity, unselfishness and positivity are what grabs these judges attention. Fifteen winners of the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes will receive a $5,000 scholarship toward higher education or their service project.

 

9. Convince the judges that you need this scholarship more than anyone else and win $3,000.

Deadline: April 30, 2021

Available to: Students 14 and up

Details: You’ll get a chance to earn a $3,000 All About Education scholarship for simply describing why winning the money for school would make a big difference to you in 250 words or less.

 

10. Get selected for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation college scholarship if you’ve got straight As.

Deadline: April 15, 2020

Available to: Students in grade 7 at the time of deadline

Details: If you’re a high-performing student with a financial need, you could become a Cooke Young Scholar. If selected for the program, you’ll receive a personal academic counselor, funding for academic enrichment programs, internship, study abroad opportunities and academic materials including books and technology. Last year, 60 students were selected. The program offers more than a flat dollar-amount prize.

 

College scholarships with a May deadline.

11. Confess your undying love to the number five and win $1,500.

Deadline: May 31, 2021

Available to: Students 14 and up

Details: If you’re interested in a quirky opportunity, try for the Fifth Month Scholarship to win $1,500 dollars. Write a letter to the number five, explaining just why it’s so important in 250 words or less. Both serious and humorous entries are encouraged.

 

RELATED: These U.S. Colleges Offer Free Tuition

 

College scholarships with a June deadline.

12. Create art that shows you’re an advocate for positive change and win up to $1,000.

Deadline: Usually mid-June

Available to: Students 11-18 years old from around the world

Details: If you can write, draw, produce in film or perform an original piece on the topic “Water Rising,” exploring our connection to water, you could win up to $1,000 for college through the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Challenge.

 

13. Win money for college by talking about your mistakes.

Deadline: June 30, 2021

Available to: Students 14 and up

Details: You could win a $1,500 Do-Over Scholarship by writing the best answer to this prompt in 250 words or less: “What if you had the chance to “do-over” a moment in your life? What would it be? How would it affect you and your future?”

 

College scholarships with a July deadline.

14. You always know your love of ice cream would eventually pay off!

Deadline: July 31, 2021

Available to: Students 14 and up

Details: In honor of National Ice Cream Month, you could win a $1,500 Flavor of the Month Scholarship for explaining what your favorite ice cream flavor is and why, along with if you were a flavor of ice cream, which would you be?

 

 

College scholarships with an August deadline.

15. Win $2,500 for college just for collecting and donating five items.

Deadline: August 30, 2020

Available to: Students under 25 years old

Details: For the Healthier Us Award, GPA doesn’t matter and there’s no essay. Just collect and donate five personal care or cleaning items to help underprivileged people stay safe during the pandemic. If your name is drawn from a random selection of other entries, you’ll win.

 

16. GPA and test scores aside, you just have to make these judges laugh to win $1,500.

Deadline: August 31, 2020

Available to: Students 14 and up

Details: These judges don’t care about your GPA or sports stats, just make them laugh! Submit a true or fictional account of a hilarious incident in 250 words or less for a chance to win a $1,500 Make Me Laugh Scholarship.

 

College scholarships with a September deadline.

17. Make a no-sew mask for a chance to win $1,000.

Deadline: September 14, 2020

Available to: Students under 25 years old

Details: Download the pattern to make a mask and you’ll be entered to win the No-Sew Mask Award — $1,000 for college. To enter, upload a photo of your mask by the deadline. Winners are chosen at random.

 

18. Win money for college when you imagine speaking to the whole world at once.

Deadline: September 30, 2020

Available to: Students 13 and up

Details: You can win a $1,500 Shout It Out Scholarship for detailing in 250 words or less what you’d say if you could speak to the whole world at once.

 

College scholarships with an October deadline.

19. If you know you’d survive a zombie apocalypse, this is your scholarship contest.

Deadline: October 31, 2020

Available to: Students 14 and up

Details: All those zombie movies, books, and video games just might pay off to the tune of $2,000! To win the Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship, you have to “survive.” Describe your plan for survival if your school was overrun by zombies, including where you’d hide and the top five items you’d pack in order to survive.

 

20. “What is patriotism to me?” If your answer wins you could receive $5,000.

Deadline: October 31, 2020

Available to: Students in grades 6-8, including homeschool students

Details: If you can submit a 300-400 word essay on a patriotic theme chosen by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander in Chief over all entries in the nation, you could win $5,000 and a trip to Washington D.C. Each first place state winner receives $500.

 

College scholarships with a November deadline.

21. Win money for college, plus a trip to Washington D.C. for your community service hours.

Deadline: November 10, 2020

Available to: Students in grades 5-12

Details: Prudential Spirit of Community Awards wants to award you exclusively based on your volunteer community service. Judging criteria includes initiative, effort, impact, and personal growth. State Honorees receive $1,000 and a trip to Washington D.C. where selected National Honorees receive an additional $5,000, plus $5,000 for the non-profit of their choice. Grades 5-8 are judged separately from grades 9-12.

 

22. What would you say to someone who thinks education is a waste of time and money?

Deadline: November 30, 2020

Available to: Students 14 and up

Details: You can earn a $5,000 Education Matters Scholarship for writing the best answer to this question: What would you say to someone who thinks education doesn’t matter, or that college is a waste of time and money?

 

23. Create a video explaining why transportation matters to the economy and win $500.

Deadline: November 30, 2021

Available to: Students from Kindergarten to Graduate School

Details: The American Road & Transportation Builders Association wants you to create a two to four minute video for the Student Video Contest on the importance of transportation infrastructure to the economy. Each category is judged separately, and students in grades K-12 are judged separately from college students. If you win first place, you’ll receive $500.

 

 

College scholarships with a December deadline.

24. Offer a unique idea for addressing climate change and win $1,000.

Deadline: December 1, 2020

Available to: U.S. and Canada residents, 13-18 years old

Details: You could be one of four people who wins a $1,000 One Earth Award for your creative work of art that addresses climate change. Your piece must elevate the judges’ thoughts on climate change by addressing topics like changing weather patterns, rising sea-level and greenhouse gases and their effect on the global population.

 

25. Take a shot at a $10,000 scholarship — for just 250 words.

Deadline: December 31, 2020

Available to: Students 14 and up

Details: “Imagine a historical figure is brought back to life. Who is it? What’s their favorite mobile app?” You’ll get 250 words or less to answer this. The winner of the Unigo 10K Scholarship receives — you guessed it — a $10,000 scholarship.

 

26. David Letterman isn’t the only one who can get paid for a Top Ten List!

Deadline: December 31, 2020

Available to: Students 14 and up

Details: Inspired by David Letterman and his top ten lists, the Top Ten List Scholarship asks students to simply name the top 10 reasons they should get this $1,500 scholarship. You can get creative, be silly, or choose perfectly serious reasons.

 

Don’t scroll up! Here are the articles I mentioned:

Unique College Scholarships That Often Go Unclaimed
These U.S. Colleges Offer Free Tuition

 

UP NEXT: Learn more creative ways to save money

26 Free Scholarships for College Your Middle-Schooler Can Apply For