The College Scholarships Hiding On Your Desk, Right Now

Finding college scholarships for young kids can be frustrating. You have to have the research skills of a detective, the persistence of a gold medalist, and the curiosity of a scientist.

I’ve found that if I make a game of it, I can maintain my sanity and find free college money for my kids—even if those awards have to wait a few years.

How to play the game

Today’s game is called, “Tuition on My Desk.” To play, simply divert your eyes from the screen and look around your desk for product labels, company names, and the like. Make a list of prospects from the items on your desk.

My list looks something like this:

  • Vitamins from the Vitamin Shoppe
  • Pilot PreciseGrip ink pen
  • Hallmark thank you notes (darn, I need to mail those)
  • Coca cola bottle
  • Google email printout
  • Water bill

How to search for prizes

Take your list and head back to the computer. Visit your favorite search engine, and get to work. Type an item from your list into the search. Add the keywords “scholarship” or “scholarship for young kids.”

For example, I took the “Hallmark” in “Hallmark thank you notes” from my list. I did a Google search for “Hallmark cards scholarship.”

I got millions of hits, including The Gallery Collections 6th Annual Create-A-Greeting Card $10,000 Scholarship Contest.

This scholarship is open to high school and college students, 14 years and older. Obviously, my kids are too young. But this is one more opportunity that I would not have known about, if I hadn’t looked.

We now have a decade to design an awesome greeting card. I think we can handle that.

Keep your head in the game

Here is where some of you will stop playing the game. You did a search, found that your child was not eligible for the contest, and you gave up.

For that, I could thank you. With you out of the race, that just means less competition for my kids. But I’m actually saddened. Don’t give up the good fight. There really is college money out there.

Do you know what happened when I tried again?

Looking back at my list, I took the “Google” from “Google email printout.” I did a search for “Google scholarship for young kids.”


Doodle 4 Google is an annual art contest for U.S. students in kindergarten through the 12th grade. The top winner will see their artwork appear on the Google homepage and receive a $30,000 college scholarship.

This 10-minute exercise uncovered $40,000 in potential scholarships. I imagine there are opportunities on your desk, in your pantry, and on your television, right now!

You just have to stay in the game.

To my readers: Do you worry about the rising cost of tuition? How are you planning for college?

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About Nicole Robinson

Nicole Robinson is a Dallas-based freelance writer who specializes in college planning, parenting, women’s lifestyle, education, and self-help. But she's always hungry to munch on new topics. In addition to writing for The BookWormMama blog, Nicole provides content, copywriting and proofreading services for various publications.


The College Scholarships Hiding On Your Desk, Right Now — 19 Comments

  1. My honest plan is to work to pay for their college education. That’s what my mom did. My dad paid the bills, my mom paid for college. But just yesterday I was asking my husband about any scholarships for kids to go to private school. I am going to try your tip!

  2. This is a really great tip that I would have never thought of! I’t sad but our kids are pretty much on their own if they want to go to college. My son is graduating this year and will have to apply for financial aid or student loans if he decides to go on to college. My daughter still has a few years and if she keeps at it, may be able to get a sport or other scholarship through school to help with tuition.
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  3. Here’s a two tips that we discovered by accident 1.if you child gets reasonably good grades, have them take their SAT in their Junior year, and check the box that says something about “do you want to be considered for National Merit Scholarships?” My daughter scored high on her Jr year SAT, and got tons of scholarship offers, like 2 milk boxes full of them. She got a scholarship from BellSouth (Now AT&T) that amounted to $1,000 per semester for 4 years, because I worked there. If she had not checked that box on the application form for the SAT, she would have never received that scholarship.

    2. We didn’t have enough money to pay for her books in her first semester. I called the school to ask if I could sign a promisary note for the cost of the books so she could go to school. They told me they offer books scholarships but not one ever applied for them. She got her books paid for in full for the first year.

    3. If your student has a high GPA, they will receive lots of scholarship offers. My daughter got so many offers of scholarships that she could have gone to school in any state of the US. She accepted an offer for one school, and called them and told them what a different school was offering her, and they matched their offer. She got to go to the school of her choice with a full four year academic scholarship plus her dorm room and meals for the first year. She wouldn’t have gotten the dorm room and meals if she hadn’t called and asked them for it. Of course, this all depends on the kid studying and making good grades, but it can be done.

  4. We have a college fund set up for our boys, I know it won’t be near enough by the time they go to college, but it’s a start. They also have some GI funding left over from my husband.

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