Save Time, Money With Easy College Scholarship Contests

Sarah Ober

The process of searching, applying and following up on scholarships can be extremely time-consuming. If you're thinking that you just can't write one more essay explaining why you're a deserving, hardworking student, there's good news for you. You can take a break and still earn cash for college through easy scholarship contests.

Whether the amount is $50 or $50,000, easy scholarships can provide money that is well worth the time and effort needed to apply -- which is usually very little. Check out these simple ways to support your education.

[Take a look at additional quick and easy scholarship applications.]

One of the easiest ways to receive a scholarship is through a sweepstakes. Simply enter some basic information about yourself, maybe answer a short question and you're entered into a drawing to win scholarship money.

Sallie Mae, a financial services company specializing in education, offers monthly sweepstakes for $1,000 in scholarship money. All you have to do is create an account with Sallie Mae's online toolbox, which offers access to a variety of college planning tools, as well as a chance to win the money.

Any student, parent, guidance counselor or financial aid officer in the U.S. is welcome and eligible to enter. The winner is randomly selected on the first day of each month and is contacted by phone or email within two weeks following the drawing.

[Find scholarships that pay for extra college costs.]

Another scholarship sweepstakes that only requires some basic information for entry is the Countdown to College scholarship sponsored by Potential Magazine. The magazine is designed to help parents find tools and resources to help college-bound children achieve and fulfill their potential.

Upon signing up for Potential's free weekly e-newsletter, students will be entered to win a $1,000 scholarship. The e-newsletter provides information on ACT and SAT prep tips, college readiness, other scholarship opportunities and more.

Founded in 2002 by college students, website Niche provides reviews and insight from everyday experts on choosing a neighborhood, college or K-12 school. The organization also gives back to students with the $2,000 No Essay college scholarship. This easy scholarship contest is open to all high school students, current college students, adults and anyone else looking to attend college or graduate school within 12 months.

To register, just enter some basic information about yourself and your education. A winner is drawn every month and awarded the $2,000 prize. Taking just a few short minutes out of your day to register for these scholarship drawings could turn into a large payoff in the form of scholarship money.

Another easy monthly opportunity is the Courage to Grow scholarship. Juniors or seniors in high school and college students with a minimum GPA of 2.5 are eligible to enter this contest.

In addition to some basic information, students are asked to explain in 250 words or fewer why they believe they should be awarded the scholarship. Every month, one winner is selected for the $500 scholarship.

Lastly, don't forget to research scholarships that require nothing more than work you've already done. Maybe you wrote a beautiful poem for a creative writing class that also qualifies for a scholarship writing contest, or perhaps you built a high-tech robot in your spare time that you could enter in a science contest. Even the college application essay you've spent hours perfecting could qualify for many scholarship essay contests.

While the pursuit of higher education is not an easy feat, there are some easy opportunities to fund your way. Every little bit counts when trying to pay for a college education -- especially when you don't need to put much time or effort into the application process.

Sarah Ober interned at Scholarship America in 2014. She attends the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., where she majors in communication and minors in psychology. She is a current scholarship recipient.