Are No Essay Scholarships for Real

Everyone who has ever gone through the entire college scholarship process knows how arduous it can be. All that paperwork, the transcripts, the letters of recommendation, the essay. Oh, the essay! That torturous, time consuming essay. How you wished the essay fairies would come and slip the winning entry under your pillow as you slept the sleep of the righteous and the justly awarded.

Alas, the essay fairies never came. Must have lost your address. But you soldiered on, alone, confused, uncertain. Is my essay any good? Will people like it? Will they give me money? Have I spelled my name right?

Standing in opposition to all this anxiety and hard work there is this thing known as the No Essay scholarship. Are they for real? Is it really possible to get college scholarship money just by filling out a form that is about as complicated as a change of address form from the post office? No essay, no fuss, no muss. Just free money. Sounds too good to be true. Is it? Do No Essay scholarships really exist?

The short answer is yes, they do exist. But, of course, with caveats.

There are organizations that offer scholarship money and only require of you some brief personal information. These companies take your info and enter you in with all the other contestants. They then have occasional drawings where a winner is randomly selected for the scholarship prize. It is, quite literally, like winning the lottery.

There are other websites where in addition to collecting your personal info you will be asked to participate in marketing exercises. These can include reading and evaluating blogs, playing online games or taking surveys.

The catch is that these companies will then sell your personal information to interested third-parties. The companies that purchase your personal demographic info could range from for-profit colleges (Capella University, University of Phoenix, etc.) to suppliers of dorm room bric-a-brac (the Che Guevara Poster Company) to predatory lending companies (you know who you are!)

So if you fill out a form for a No Essay scholarship the least you can expect is a whole lot of spam. It might be a good idea to use a dedicated email address for this sort of thing. This way you wont be clogging up your everyday inbox with a lot of unwanted advertising.

Also, keep in mind that these No Essay cash prizes tend to be somewhat small. Every little bit helps but don't expect to put a large dent in your college expenses with these types of awards only. If you want to compete for the larger cash prizes you are going to have to do the work. This includes writing the essay.