In today’s multimedia world, more and more businesses and institutions are realizing that communication can take on a lot more forms than simple essays and short-answer questions. That’s why more and more video scholarships are popping up to help students fund their college careers.

If you’re like so many other students, you probably cringe at the idea of writing five-paragraph essays and personal statements for scholarship applications.

Imagine, however, if you got a scholarship application that instead read, “Create a video showing how you want to change the world.” That sounds a lot more fun, right? With just a little bit of equipment and creativity, you can create a video that will tell (and show) so much more than an essay ever could.

No Need to Go Broke on Expensive Video Equipments

Now, you might be wondering how you can create a quality video without spending a ton of money. First of all, if you have a smartphone, you have a video recorder. Plus, you can use the microphone on your ear buds or can purchase an external microphone for very little extra cost.

If you’re filming yourself indoors, play with lighting. You can get a more three-dimensional, flattering effect with multiple off-camera light sources and/or by reflecting light with white or light-colored paperboard. For example, you can create a warm, even tone by using a lamp on your right and a white piece of paperboard on your left to reflect some of that light back. Along with a ceiling light, you’ve just created a more interesting, better-lit shot than you had before. Just make sure that your lamp and paperboard are off camera and won’t cause any distractions in the frame.

When filming outside, pay attention to lighting, too. Natural light works very well on camera, but it can be too much. A light-colored umbrella can filter sunlight and give a less intense, washed-out shot. The more you play with lighting, the higher quality your video will be, and the better your message will come across.

Even if this is the first you’ve ever heard of any of these concepts with lighting, don’t worry. You can have a lot of fun setting up shots and creating interesting videos on your community service, your creative work, your academics, your hobbies, and much, much more. But how can you turn your new video-making hobby into funding for college? Check out a few of these video scholarships available to you.

Video Scholarships That Could Fund Your College Career

Courageous Persuaders Video Scholarship – If you are in 9th-12th grade, you could win a scholarship by creating a 30-second commercial that warns middle school-aged kids about the dangers of under-aged drinking.

AFA Teens Video Competition – If you have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease, or you are interested in spreading awareness about it and helping find a cure and better treatment for people affected by it, you might be interested in this video competition hosted by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The grand prize winner is awarded $500 for their video, and the first runner-up will receive a $250 prize.

Project Yellow Light – Create a compelling advertisement that discourages your friends and peers from distracted driving. Show them how texting, talking, drinking, and other distractions can put them and others in great danger, and you could win a scholarship for your college tuition.

The Joe Foss Institute Video Contest – This year the Joe Foss Institute is giving away scholarships worth $5000, $2500, and $1000, respectively, to students who win a contest making videos based on the theme “Keepers of the Constitution: Services and Freedom”.

Whether you have been making amateur videos since you were a child or you’re brand new to video making, with a little bit of creativity, you can express yourself in ways that you could never dream of with a simple essay. Look for these and other video contests online in scholarship databases like

Submitting Video Scholarships

Most submissions for video scholarships are done online. For these, you’ll just follow the provided instructions to ensure that your video is in the right format and that it is delivered properly. If you are mailing-in a video, it’s usually recommended to burn it to a DVD and to watch it and check all menu options before sending.

Video scholarships are growing more and more popular as a means to show community involvement, express creativity, and show drive and motivation. You don’t have to give up on the scholarship search just because you are unsure of your essay-writing skills. Instead, look for a video scholarship that will let you really show what you’re made of.

Search and Apply for Scholarships on helps students and parents search and apply for scholarshipsgrants, awards and other financial aid options to help pay for college. Whether you are a high school senior starting college or a single mom going back to school, you can find money for college through