We’re going from diapers to dorms…

The rising cost of college is enough to give any parent chills. We want the best for our kids, but the price of a good education can be downright scary.

Hey, we’re no Fraidy cats.

Many families wait until high school to think about tuition. Big mistake. The key is to save early and often.

Say it with me: Scholarship! Scholarship! Scholarship!

While it’s a challenge to find free college money for young kids, it’s not impossible.

This page is dedicated to scholarships and contests for kids 14 and younger.

I’ll do my part to dig up opportunities and share them—right here.

Email me if you come across a merit-based scholarship for young kids, and we’ll share it—right here.

 NOTE: Missed a deadline? Don’t despair.

This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Add the contest to next year’s calendar and apply early.




Lions International Peace Poster Contest – $5,000 for Top Winner

  • Eligibility: Students, ages 11, 12 or 13 on November 15; sponsorship requirement
  • Deadline: January 15; various deadlines
  • Details: The theme of the 2013-14 Peace Poster Contest is “Our World, Our Future.” Twenty-three merit award winners will receive a cash award of $500. Check out sponsorship requirements and official rules.
  • Tip: Here’s the 2011-2012 winning poster.

Letters About Literature Contest – $1,000 for Top Winner

  • Eligibility: Students grades 4 through 10 in participating states
  • Deadline: January 11, 2013
  • Details: Students are to read a fiction or nonfiction work, and write a personal letter to the author of that work. LAL awards prizes on both the state and national levels.
  • Tip: Visit the frequently asked questions page and how to enter.





Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program – $10,000 for Top Winners

  • Eligibility: Students between 6 and 18; extraordinary community service project
  • Deadline: Nomination period – Feb 1 through Mar 15, 2013
  • Details: More than 2,200 kids will win more than $420,000 in scholarships and prizes. Winners are chosen based on their community service project, benefits and outcome.
  • Tip: Check out the 2012 National Winners page.







Doodle 4 Google – $30,000 for Top Winner

  • Eligibility: U.S. Students grades K through 12
  • Deadline: March 22, 2013
  • Details: Doodle 4 Google challenges students to redesign the homepage of Google. The winner gets a $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 technology grant, and the chance to have their design viewed by millions of Google visitors.
  • Tip: Check out the Frequently Asked Questions page and Contest Rules.

Olive Garden’s 17th Annual Pasta Tales Essay Writing Contest– $2,500 Savings Bond for Top Winner

  • Eligibility: U.S. Students grades 1 through 12
  • Deadline: March 22, 2013
  • Details: Olive Garden wants to know how you would help end hunger in your community. The winner gets a $2,500 savings bond, a trip to New York, and a $5,000 grant to bring their idea to life. Winners in each grade category will also get a $500 savings bond.
  • Tip: Check here for complete rules, and check out my tips for crafting a strong essay.




















Jif’s Most Creative Sandwich Contest – $25,000 for Top Winner

  • Eligibility: Kids age 6 to 12
  • Deadline: July–October (2012 entry period, will update as available)
  • Details: Create an original sandwich recipe using an eligible Jif product. Submit entry form, photos, and name of your sandwich.
  • Tip: Check out previous winning recipes for inspiration.






















Scholastic Art & Writing Awards – $10,000 for Top Winner; additional prizes

  • Eligibility: Students grades 7 through 12
  • Deadline: December 15 to January 15 (based on your region)
  • Details: The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers awards $250,000 annually in awards and scholarships to top winners and their teachers. Students can submit work in Art and Writing categories (e.g. Drawing, Photography, Ceramic, Journalism, Essay, and more).
  • Tip: Visit the frequently asked questions page.


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