It’s a challenge to find college scholarships for young kids, but March is ripe with opportunities for students as young as kindergarten. If your child isn’t quite old enough, I hope you’ll join me in marking your calendar for future contests.
Young Naturalist Award (Deadline March 1)
The Young Naturalist Awards is a research-based science competition hosted by the American Museum of Natural History. Students in grades 7-12 are invited to conduct their own scientific investigation and write an essay on their findings.
Cash prizes range from $500 to $2500 for winning essays.
This contest offers your child a chance to explore the world around them. Pay close attention to the rules, they are detailed. Essays must include tables, charts, or graphs, and artwork, and photographs that help illustrate the findings.
Just in case you were thinking it, projects involving human subjects are ineligible. No exceptions.
Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program (Deadline March 15)
Kohl’s will award 2300 young volunteers, age 6-18, with more than $425,000 in scholarships and prizes. Top winners will each receive $10,000 for higher education.
Winners are selected based on the benefits and outcomes of their volunteer service.
Indeed, there are scholarships for young kids. The 2012 National Winners list includes five kids under the age of 12.
Their service projects ranged from a six-year old who sells homemade pins to benefit Ronald McDonald House to a nine-year old who started a nonprofit that sends cards and care packages to firefighters and military personnel.
If your child has a track record of community service, get your nomination in pronto. If not, help your child flex their volunteer muscle with these virtual volunteering opportunities.
Junior Duck Stamp Contest (Deadline March 15; varies by state)
Draw a duck. Win $5,000. Okay, it’s a little more complicated than that.
Students in kindergarten through 12th grade can win various prizes with their best drawing of an eligible North American waterfowl.
Winners from the state competitions, called the “Best of Show,” are submitted to the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest.
One image from the 53 Best of Show entries will become the next Junior Duck Stamp. That’s right, your child’s work could appear on a U.S. stamp.
And let’s not forget the prizes for national winners:
- First Place – $5,000
- Second Place – $3,000
- Third Place – $2,000
- Conservation Message First Place – $500
Remember, the hunt for scholarships isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. If you miss the deadline, mark your calendar for next year. And the year after that…
To my readers: Which contest do you think your child might be interested in? If you could turn any of your child’s artwork into a stamp, which would it be? What other types of contests do you want to hear about?