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Micro Essay Scholarships About Yourself

FastWeb is happy to announce the winner of the Leg I of our Scholarship Triathlon’s world’s shortest essay contest. Our criteria: write a “nano-essay” not to exceed a standard tweet-length of 140 characters on one of the following topics:

• The best way you have used technology to your advantage in school in the past year.

• How do you think technology will impact your college career?

We judged over 3,500 essays. Our consideration was given three-parts of equal weight: originality, creativity, and ability to accurately answer the question.

Sounds easy doesn’t it? I mean…how long does it take to write a tweet or shoot off a text? The answer, we found, was that this assignment was far from easy. I know what you’re thinking, “Yeahhhhh right. That’s like the easiest thing in the world…” Trust me, I can almost see you scoffing, smirking confidently and thinking how you could “crank out such an overgrown haiku in less than two minutes.” And you may have been right; maybe you could have “dropped science like Galileo dropped an orange.” And if that’s the case then you should definitely try next time, because it’s easier to say you can do something than actually doing it, just ask Uncle Rico, he was pretty sure he could throw those dang footballs over them mountains. The truth is, writing this tiny essay was harder than it sounds, anyone battling a low word count knows it’s not easy to pack a lot of information into a little paragraph—Attempting to answer complex questions in 140 characters is quite challenging. Take that italicized bit for example; it was over 100 characters too long for this contest.

Now, if you were like 85% of our enthusiastic entrants, your first challenge would have been in not getting tripped up by the instructions. The key word in those directions was the 140-character part. It wasn’t 140 words, nor 140 pages, and certainly not 140 sentences, trust us—we saw all of the above. As we know from texting and tweeting, letters, dashes, hyphens, spaces, commas, ellipses, etc, take up a lot of space, like it or not— space takes space—this essay forced entrants to be very economical and impactful with their language.

As judges we read many hundreds of entertaining, interesting, heartfelt, and eloquent essays. Unfortunately, we had to disqualify a great majority of these excellent entries because they ranged from 140 words to several pages in length. While such a roomy word count allows for more expansive freedom of expression, it also eliminated many otherwise worthy participants from our micro-essay contest.

A second, and more frustrating aspect of judging was in discovering the essays that were soooo close to 140 characters, the funny, succinct, poetic little bursts of imagination that were 143 characters, or 148. These were like finding diamonds and then realizing they were cubic zirconium, so teasingly close to inclusion, but ultimately unable to cut it.

Next, we enjoyed the rarest of gems, those perfect participants, the entrants that followed the directions down to a texty-tweet-T, delivering creative uses of punctuation, text-speak, and funny and honest answers to our questions. It was a challenge to sort through these essays because we could tell that, like boiling down a lot of wordy-starches into a potent drink, it had taken some real time to create a sound idea and distil an entire essay into a sentence or two.

Finally, without any further ado, we present you our top three winners from third place to first.

In third place and answering Question II, is a frenetic symbol-heavy equation to success.

Online classes = computer + internet + downloadable books (-$) + research + flash drives & CDs = gr8 grades = diploma = job interviews = $ = career! M

Coming in at second place and answering Question I, is a powerful example of technology as a tool of communication.

25 hrs + my brain + my Dell + sweat & tears = 1 girl who now has a voice. 2 more years + sweat + tears + Windows & my Dell = MS, CCC-SLP!

Finally, our winner of Leg One of the FastWeb Triathlon and answering Question II, Jessica Simkins for her eloquent completeness of thought. She manages to answer the question fully and subtly with only a handful of well-placed, well-conceived letters. A+.

Technology has created my PC autobiography: accomplishments in .doc, tastes in .wma, connections in @, memories in .jpg, the world in .com

Congratulations to our top finalists and we look forward to all of your contributions in Leg II of the Triathlon.

Need Money to Pay for College?

Every semester, Fastweb helps thousands of students pay for school by matching them to scholarships, grants, and internships, for which they actually qualify. You'll find high value scholarships like VIP Voice's $5,000 Scholarship, and easy to enter scholarships like Niche $2,000 No Essay Scholarship, and internships with companies like Apple, Google, Dreamworks, and even NASA!

Join today to get matched to scholarships or internships for you!


If you’re a skilled writer, a few hundred (or even a thousand) words is no biggie.

Students that can easily express themselves through writing flock toward scholarships with interesting essays and the scholarships on this list are just that.

All of the below scholarships require an essay entry – some as short as only 250 words – with interesting essay topics that range from safe driving and technology to America heroes and animal activism.

To help better organize your scholarship and internship search, please note that the following scholarships for writers are listed according to deadline, with the earliest deadline appearing at the top of the page. Deadlines that vary will appear at the bottom of each list.

If you enjoy expressing your opinions through writing, the scholarships on this list await your entries.

Scholars Helping Collars

Deadline: 2/15/18
Available to: High School Seniors
Award Amount: $1,000

The Scholars Helping Collars Scholarship is open to current high school seniors. You must submit an essay of between 500 and 1000 words with two to three photos of your volunteer efforts to help animals in need and how that involvement has changed your lives or shaped your perceptions on the importance of animal welfare in order to be considered for this award.

Learn more about the Scholars Helping Collars.

Live Deliberately Essay Contest

Deadline: 3/15/18
Available to: Ages 13-21 Years
Award Amount: 3 Awards of $250

The Live Deliberately Essay Contest is open to all students aged 14 – 21. You must submit an essay of no more than 750 words based on the prompts listed on the sponsor’s website. This year’s prompts will ask you to consider a time in your life when you pursued a path that was “narrow and crooked,” but felt like it was the right path for you. In what ways are/were you able to, as Thoreau advises, walk that path with “love and reverence?” How has navigating that path shaped you into the person you are becoming?

Learn more about the Live Deliberately Essay Contest .

AFSA High School Essay Contest

Deadline: 3/15/2018
Available to: High School Freshmen through High School Seniors
Award Amount: $2,500

The AFSA High School Essay Contest is open to high school students. To be considered, in a 1,000 – to 1250 – word essay, you must identify two cases – one you deem successful and one you deem unsuccessful – where the U.S. pursued an integrated approach to build peace in a conflict – affected country.

Learn more about the AFSA High School Essay Contest .

Brighter Future Scholarship

Deadline: 3/31/2018
Available to: College Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $500

The Brighter Future Scholarship is available to undergraduate, graduate or law students enrolled at an accredited college or university. You must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit 500 word letter of intent that identifies a problem and explains how you intend to use your education as a way to begin solving that problem, thus creating a brighter future.

Learn more about the Brighter Future Scholarship.

NPG 2018 Scholarship Contest

Deadline: 4/20/2018
Available to: High School Seniors through College Juniors
Award Amount: Awards from $750-$2,000

The NPG 2018 Essay Scholarship Contest is open to high school seniors and college freshmen, sophomores and juniors. You must submit an essay of between 500 and 750 words on one environmental issue from the sponsor’s chosen list and explain how it is made worse by population growth and describe what measures you would recommend our nation’s leaders take to ensure we protect our fragile environment for generations to come. You must also be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident to qualify for this award.

Learn more about the NPG 2018 Scholarship Contest.

E-Waste Scholarship

Deadline: 4/30/2018
Available to: High School Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $1,000

The E-waste Scholarship is available to high school, undergraduate or graduate students. You must submit a short statement that completes the sentence “The most important reason to care about e-waste is…” and be U.S. citizen or legal resident to qualify for this award.

Learn more about the E-Waste Scholarship.

Feldco Scholarship

Deadline: 6/15/2018
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: $1,000

The Feldco Scholarship is available to current and prospective college students. To be considered, you must submit a 700 – to 1000 – word essay on the following topic: “How has your family contributed to who you are today?”

Learn more about the Feldco Scholarship.

Immigration Scholarship Essay Contest

Deadline: 7/01/2018
Available to: High School Seniors through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $1,500

The Immigration Scholarship Essay Contest is open to U.S. citizens attending or planning to attend an accredited college or university. You must submit an essay of between 800 and 1000 words on one of the five topics related to immigration listed on the sponsor’s website in order to qualify for this award.

Learn more about the Immigration Scholarship Essay Contest.

Love Your Career Scholarship

Deadline: 9/10/2018
Available to: College Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $1,000

The Love Your Career Scholarship is available to students attending an accredited college or university. You must submit an essay of at least 1,000 words describing at least three steps that you plan to take in the next year to start a path towards having a career that you love in order to qualify for this award. Topics may include: What are your passions that could be turned into a career? What are some ideas you have for a business based on things that you love and are skilled at? You must also interview a professional in your chosen field that has at least three years of experience.

Learn more about the Love Your Career Scholarship.

MajGen Harold W. Chase Prize Essay Contest

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: $3,000

Sponsored by the Marine Corps Gazette, the MajGen Harold W. Chase Prize Essay Contest is open to all Marines on active duty and to members of the Selected Marine Corps Reserve.

The contest honors the essay that proposes and argues for a new and better way of “doing business” in the Marine Corps.

Learn more information about the MajGen Harold W. Chase Prize Essay Contest.

Mary Grant Charles Prize Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Mary Grant Charles Prize Scholarship is open to undergraduate students at Tufts University.

You must possess the same creative qualities in the writing of prose and poetry to qualify for this award.

Preference is given to students whose writing reflects an interest in ancestry and genealogy.

Get more information on the Mary Grant Charles Prize Scholarship.

Need Money to Pay for College?

Every semester, Fastweb helps thousands of students pay for school by matching them to scholarships, grants, and internships, for which they actually qualify. You'll find high value scholarships like VIP Voice's $5,000 Scholarship, and easy to enter scholarships like Niche $2,000 No Essay Scholarship, and internships with companies like Apple, Google, Dreamworks, and even NASA!

Join today to get matched to scholarships or internships for you!


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