Scholarships •

April 1, 2022

Guide to the Courage to Grow Scholarship

Want a shot at free money for college every month? Learn more about the Courage to Grow Scholarship and how to win it.

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Scholarships offer a great way to cover the costs of college—you don’t have to pay them back, so they can help keep your debt down, ensuring a less stressful post-college lifestyle.

Some ask for high grades, extracurriculars, and 3 essays just to apply, but the Courage to Grow Scholarship program is luckily not one of these. Instead, it’s a reasonably quick and easy scholarship to apply for.

Below, we’ll show you how to apply for this scholarship and maximize your chance of winning. We’ll also go over some other scholarships to go after to make your search a bit easier.

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What is the Courage to Grow Scholarship?

The Courage to Grow Scholarship is a smaller scholarship with a quick and easy application. It offers you multiple chances at winning a decent chunk of change that can help you overcome the financial burdens of getting a college education.

This scholarship consists of a quick application and a short, 250-word essay.

Each month, this program hands out $500 to 1 winner, making it one of the most accessible scholarships you can find.

How to apply for the Courage to Grow Scholarship

As mentioned, the Courage to Grow Scholarship program’s designed for basically any college student who wants some free money for school! The eligibility requirements aren’t strict, and the application form is pretty short.

Here’s all the information you need to know:

Courage to Grow requirements

Eligibility requirements

The Courage to Grow program has a low barrier to entry. Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident

  • Be currently enrolled in a 2- or 4-year college program (Or be at least a high school junior planning to attend a 2- or 4-year college program)

  • Hold a minimum GPA of 2.5 or better

The application

The Courage to Grow Scholarship has a rolling deadline, meaning you can apply year-round. The application form is quite short, consisting of only 2 steps.

Step 1 asks for some basic personal information:

  • First and last name

  • Birthdate

  • Phone number

  • Email address

You also have to check a few boxes that say you agree to the privacy policy and opt in to follow-up emails.

Fill that out, and you’re taken to the second part, which is the essay. Here, you’ll write an essay of 250 words or less explaining why you deserve to win the Courage to Grow Scholarship. You can write it right in that box, or you can write it in another word processor and paste it in.

Click submit when you’re done, and your application is sent off to be judged.

Winning

Applications are primarily judged on the essay’s quality and how well you demonstrate why you should be awarded the scholarship money.

If you’re selected as a winner, they’ll notify you within 7 days of submitting your application. 

Each month, the Courage to Grow committee selects 1 new winner.

6 tips to increase your chances of winning the Courage to Grow Scholarship

The Courage to Grow Scholarships has one of the easiest applications for any essay-based scholarship. But that pits you against plenty of other people. Try these things to boost your winning chances:

1. Apply every month

Remember, this scholarship’s available every month. Set yourself a monthly reminder to apply for it, and adjust and improve your essay.

2. Reuse and refine your essay if you don’t win

If you don’t win, it doesn’t necessarily mean your essay’s bad. It just means someone else’s was more compelling.

The essay prompt never changes, either, so you don’t need to start from scratch each time. Just refine, make some edits, change things around, and submit again.

3. Briefly outline your main points

The essay’s only 250 words, but take your time outlining your main points before you start writing. 

This helps you stay concise and communicate a meaningful message, not just a random train of thought. From there, you can expand and craft a nice, neat essay destined to earn you some sweet scholarship dough.

4. Be authentic

The essay is about you, so make it authentically about you. Get specific about why you deserve the scholarship, even if it doesn’t seem significant. You never know what impact you’ll have on the reader, and specificity comes across as more genuine!

5. Check the application requirements before submitting

Double-check the application requirements before you send your application off. Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements and that your name, birth date, and contact information match up with reality.

6. Proofread, and get a proofreader

Once you write your essay, wait a day to let your mind and eyes rest, then proofread it before sending it in. We recommend reading it out loud to check for voice and pacing, not just grammar.

Proofreading 250 words shouldn’t take too long. Make sure you have someone else read it, such as a friend or a parent. An outside pair of eyes can spot issues and mistakes that you miss.

Other scholarships like the Courage to Grow Scholarship

The Courage to Grow Scholarship is a quick and easy scholarship to apply for, and lucky for you, it’s not the only one out there. There are plenty more that require short essays or no essay at all. Here are a few:

Courage to Grow Scholarship alternatives

Be Bold Scholarship

Bold.org is a scholarship crowdfunding site. Plus, they give away 1 $25,000 Be Bold Scholarship each year to the users with the “boldest profile.”

Students in any school at any education level in any major can apply. There are no GPA requirements, either.

To apply, you must create a profile on Bold.org, fill out your profile, and apply for the scholarship. Bold.org says being bold means being:

  • Earnest

  • Determined

  • Moving

So they judge based on these criteria.

This scholarship has a rolling monthly deadline, but winners are announced on November 30 each year. Applying earlier increases your chances of winning.

You can learn more on the Be Bold Scholarship page.

Odenza Marketing Group Scholarship

Odenza Marketing Group is a business travel incentive firm that awards 2 $500 scholarships each year—1 for the spring and 1 for the fall.

To enter, you must be 16-25 years old and attending a college or university for any field of study by the fall of the year you’re applying for. 

To apply, you must first “like” Odenza’s page on Facebook. Then, you’ll head to the application form on their site.

The application asks you 2 questions. Each one requires you to answer with a 500-word essay. After that, fill out some basic personal information, and you’re done.

The deadlines for this scholarship are on September 30 for each fall award and March 30 for each spring award. You can win this one more than once, too.

You can learn more at the scholarship’s web page.

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AFSA High School Scholarship

The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) High School Scholarship is a relatively easy shot at $2,000 in free college money.

You’re eligible if you’re a US citizen or permanent resident, a senior in high school, and not an employee of or related to an employee/national board member of the AFSA. You must also be attending a US college, university, or trade school by the fall of the year you win.

To enter, you must fill out some personal information and answer an 8-question quiz. 

This scholarship runs from September 1 to April 1 every year. If you win, the funds are paid directly to your school for you.

You can find more information on the scholarship’s website.

Because College is Expensive Scholarship

Cedar Lending is a student loan consolidation and refinancing firm, but that’s not the only way they can help students.

They also offer a $500 scholarship giveaway called the Because College is Expensive Scholarship once per quarter. 

You can apply if you’re a high school sophomore, junior, senior, current college student, or anyone else looking to attend college or graduate school within 24 months.

Applications are due by 11:59 at the end of each quarter—the last days of March, June, September, and December.

All you do to apply is fill out their application here. You’ll provide some basic personal and contact information, as well as your year in school.

Winners are announced on the 15th of the month following the application deadline. If you win, they’ll post your name, picture, and a quote from you on their site.

How to find more scholarship opportunities

The Courage to Grow Scholarship offers plenty of chances to win some money, but $500 won’t cover your tuition on its own.

Learn how to get a scholarship from other sources below:

Fill out the FAFSA every year

Each year, 19,000,000+ students fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. This is a government form that qualifies you for most forms of aid, including loans, scholarships, grants, and more.

FAFSA

It costs nothing, and you can knock it out in just 1 day, so there’s no reason not to fill it out. Even if you think your family makes too much for financial aid, it never hurts to check your eligibility by filling this out.

Contact your school’s financial aid office

Your school’s financial aid office can be a great scholarship resource, whether you’re an incoming freshman or months from graduating. 

They’ll help you find relevant scholarships your school offers, look for other forms of aid you qualify for, and provide other tips such as finding on-campus jobs.

Use scholarship aggregator websites

These days, scholarship aggregator websites make it easy to find tons of scholarships in minutes!

For example, Mos offers you access to $160 billion worth of scholarships with almost no work. You get automatically matched to the most relevant scholarships for you—from there, you simply apply for those scholarships and hopefully win some free money.

Plus, Mos offers human advisors that help you nail your scholarship applications and offer helpful financial advice for students.

Talk to your high school guidance counselor

Still in high school? Check with your guidance counselor about scholarships. They can be a great resource for helping you find scholarships for high schools and from organizations in your area.

Check with your own or your parents’ employers

These days, many companies offer scholarships and other types of aid to their employees and their families.

So ask your parents if their employers have any of these. Check with your boss as well if you currently have a job.

Even if your company doesn’t offer scholarships, it may provide tuition reimbursement to employees. Basically, you pay your tuition and fees at first. If your grades are good enough at the end of the semester, your employer reimburses some of those costs.

Courage to Grow Scholarship FAQs

Have more questions about the Courage to Grow Scholarship? Check out our FAQs below for more info.

When can I apply for the Courage to Grow Scholarship?

You can apply for the Courage to Grow Scholarship when you enter your junior year of high school.

The Courage to Grow Scholarship has a rolling deadline all year, and a new winner is announced every month. That offers you nearly 64 chances to win this scholarship, assuming you attend a 4-year university or college. 

How long does it take to apply for the Courage to Grow Scholarship?

There are only 2 steps. The first involves providing some basic personal and contact information. Step 2 requires a quick 250-word essay on why you deserve the Courage to Grow Scholarship.

It doesn’t take long—perhaps 30 minutes to an hour if you spend time planning out your written statement. 

How do I answer why I deserve a scholarship?

If you see this question, try to link the scholarship award to your life situation and your goals. Make your goals specific and authentic and appeal to the reader’s empathy. Be detailed about how the money you win will help you move toward those goals.

Courage to Grow: Apply Every Month

The Courage to Grow Scholarship isn’t the biggest scholarship award out there, but its application is short and easy, and it's available every month. That gives you plenty of chances to try and win the $500 prize.

Speaking of that, it’s never a bad idea to explore new ways to achieve your college dreams. Scholarships and loans aren’t your only options. Check out our guide on how to pay for college for more ideas on reducing your student debt load.

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