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  • Jean O'Toole

A Growing Trend: Social Media Scholarship Applications

People ask me all the time about trends that are happening in the private scholarship world. One trend that has caught my attention has been the growing requirement to include a social media component to the application.

Private scholarships are awarded from companies, organizations, individuals and foundations. They have begun to realize that their application requirements do not need to fit a traditional mold of essay, academic transcript and application for consideration. Private companies may be offering scholarships because doing so aligns with their corporate mission. They have begun to realize that by including social media components, offering a scholarship can have outreach benefits to their company or organization.

Applications are often now including:

· Hashtag requirements

· Posting on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook

· Voting from the applicants own social media community of influence

Scholarship seekers should be prepared with this growing trend by taking the following actions:

1. Create social media profiles on the major platforms

2. Be mindful of content that may be on your own social media platforms to reflect positively on award committee consideration, or adjust privacy settings

3. Communicate with your current social media community of friends and family that your scholarship pursuit may require their assistance in the future. Prepare them to LIKE and SHARE and VOTE for application submissions when needed in the future.

The following are several scholarship examples with a social media component:

10 Words or Less Scholarship. This scholarship is open to students ages 14-25 who will be attending school in the fall of 2021. This scholarship is from and applicants must apply through their Facebook page, Myscholarships. Award is $500. Deadline is November 30th. For more information visit

Districts make the Difference Video Contest. This scholarship is open to CA students attending high school, college or a trade school. Awards are up to $2000. Applicants must create a 90 second video about “Making a Difference”. Deadline is September 30th. For more information visit

Don’t Text & Drive Scholarship. This scholarship from the Law Offices of Matthew J Quinlan is for high school seniors, college and graduate students, who are 24 years old or younger. Deadlines are September 15th and March 15 each year. This is not a needs-based scholarship. Award is $1000. Promotion points on Facebook and Twitter. For more information visit

K9 Carts Social Influencer Micro-Scholarship Program. This scholarship is open to students pursuing veterinary medicine or a related field at a US college or university. Open and available to students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs, who have done volunteer work or community service. This $1000 scholarship has no age restrictions and the deadline is August 31st. Applications require a video posted to YouTube as well as an essay. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5. For more information visit

National Rice Month Scholarship. This scholarship is open to high school seniors from AR, CA, LA, MI, MS and TX (the 6 main rice growing states in the United States). Create a video of 3 minutes or less about US grown rice and upload to social media. Awards of up to $5000. Deadline is October 31st. For more information visit

Rent a Knee Walker Scholarship. This scholarship is open to high school seniors, 2-year and 4-year college students and graduate students. Option to submit an essay or a video for application requirements. Award of $250. Deadline is September 1st. GPA minimum is 3.0. For more information visit

Science Ambassador Scholarship. This scholarship is female high school seniors and undergraduate students who are pursuing STEM careers. Funded by Cards Against Humanity, this is a full tuition scholarship. Create a video that is 3 minutes in length or less about any STEM topic and upload to YouTube. The purpose of the application is to teach others something in a short amount of time. Deadline is December 14th. For more information visit

As with all scholarships, if we can plan ahead, we can be prepared for expediting more scholarships quickly and more easily.


Jean O’Toole is an educational consultant and author of the bestselling book, Scholarship Strategies Finding and Winning the Money You Need. Over the past 15 years, she has helped tens of thousands of students in the United States. Individuals collectively have been awarded millions of dollars by applying her scholarship strategies. In 2008 she co-founded Connections101, a company specializing in providing motivational tools for scholarship searching. It is her goal to empower students to design their paths to their future without college debt. For more information about Jean, visit


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