20 Video & Multimedia ScholarshipsExplore Awards with Creative Applications & Expert Tips to Land Them

Many scholarships require essays to support an application, but for those who want to express themselves in ways other than the written word, there are multimedia-based awards that allow students to submit drawings, videos, graphics, and even greeting card designs. This guide features some of these video and multimedia scholarships and provides advice on how students can win them.

Meet the Expert

Pam Andrews CEO of The Scholarship Shark
Erin Goodnow Co-Founder and CEO of Going Ivy

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20 Video & Multimedia Scholarships for College Students

Whether students want to paint their way to scholarship funds or create a public service announcement, there are avenues for them to win funding for their education. Continue reading to find scholarship sources that ask students to make their statements using video and multimedia.

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Advocacy in Action Video Contest

$1,000 Sponsoring Organization: Center for Effective Government Application Deadline: Mid- March

Students who want to do something to help the environment can use their ideas to win a scholarship through this contest. Applicants should create a one minute public service announcement, as well as a five- to seven-minute documentary, discussing the risks people face when living near chemical facilities and what solutions they would enact to rectify this issue.

Andrew Flusche Scholarship Contest

$500 Sponsoring Organization: Andrew Flusche, Attorney at Law Application Deadline: Late November

From smoking to unsafe sex, we’ve all seen public service announcements warning us about the different dangers out there. With this scholarship, students get to use their own vision to make a PSA warning their peers about the perils of distracted driving. To enter, students should create a video no longer than three minutes and upload it to YouTube.

CBC Spouses Visual Arts Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization: Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Application Deadline: Late April

African-American students majoring in visual arts disciplines—such as graphic design, painting, drawing, or photography—can show off their skills and artistic abilities with this competition. In order to be considered, they should submit five original pieces of art related to the genre they are studying, as well as a resume, academic transcripts, and letters of recommendation.

Courageous Persuaders Video Contest

Up to $2,000 Sponsoring Organization: Detroit Auto Dealers Association Education Foundation Application Deadline: Early February

Michigan students can warn their peers about the dangers of drunk driving in this video contest. In a 30-second commercial, students should use their creativity and persuasion skills to educate and entertain viewers.

C-SPAN’s StudentCam Competition

Up to $5,000 Sponsoring Organization: C-SPAN Application Deadline: Late January

The American experience is very personal for each individual, so in this scholarship competition, students are asked the question “What does it mean to be American?”. To enter, they should make a five- to six-minute video talking about a historical event, constitutional right, or national characteristic that they believe sums of the spirit of America.

Create-a-Greeting Card Scholarship Contest

$10,000 Sponsoring Organization: The Gallery Collection Application Deadline: Early March

High school and college students can enter this contest by creating an original birthday, holiday, or get well greeting card. To be considered, people should submit art, photos, or graphics of their card design.

Create Real Impact Scholarship

$1,500 Sponsoring Organization: Impact Teen Drivers Application Deadline: Early October

Since reckless and distracted driving take the lives of so many teens, this contest asks high school students to help find a solution to this problem as they express themselves artistically. Applicants should submit a piece of art, music, or video describing strategies to end the epidemic of distracted and reckless driving. Although multimedia entries are accepted, those who have a way with words can also submit a written entry for consideration.

Don't Mess with Texas Scholarship

Up to $6,000 Sponsoring Organization: Texas Department of Transportation Application Deadline: Late March

Anyone considering leaving litter on the road in Texas should think again: The Texas Department of Transportation is on the case and deputizing students to help combat littering around the state with this contest. To enter, students should submit an essay with photographic support of what they would do to help prevent people from messing with the environment in Texas.

Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway

Up to $100,000 Sponsoring Organization: Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. Application Deadline: Mid-October

How will you use your education to change the world? This is the one question students need to answer to win a full tuition scholarship through this video contest. But even though students are expected to be creative and think big, their actual videos must be brief, as submissions should be no more than one minute long.

Life Lessons Scholarship Program

Up to $20,000 Sponsoring Organization: Life Happens Application Deadline: Early March

The death of a parent can be devastating emotionally and financially, and students who have lost a parent may struggle with paying for college. This scholarship provides funds for those who have lost a parent and gives students the opportunity to share their stories with others who have been through the same experience. Applicants should submit a video or essay describing how the death of their parent has impacted their lives on a financial and emotional level.

NPPF Scholarships

Varies Sponsoring Organization: National Press Photographers Foundation Application Deadline: Varies

Students who are studying photojournalism can apply for scholarships from the National Press Photographers Foundation. Applicants may be required to submit photographs or video, depending on the specific scholarship they’re interested in.

Prom Picture Contest

$250 Sponsoring Organization: Savvi Formalwear, L.L.C. Application Deadline: Varies

For high school seniors, the prom is one of the most photographed events of the year. With this scholarship, students can take advantage of this—and show off their fashion sense—by submitting the best photos they take before, during, and after the event.

Safe Jobs for Youth Month Poster Contest

Up to $300 Sponsoring Organization: Labor Occupational Health Program, UC Berkeley Application Deadline: Late February

How can young people stay safe in the workplace? This contest allows California high school students to express their ideas in an artistic way by submitting a 20 x 15 inch poster that addresses the theme of "Safe Jobs for Youth."

Social Entrepreneur Award

$10,000 Sponsoring Organization: Students Serving Washington Awards Application Deadline: Early March

Those who want to use their entrepreneurial spirit to address problems in the community can submit six photographs and a six-minute video describing a service project they would create. Students enrolled in a Washington Campus Compact member institution are eligible to apply for this award. Applicants must have one college sponsor and one private community sponsor submit letters of recommendation on their behalf.

The Tenfold Initiative Scholarship

$1,500 Sponsoring Organization: Tenfold Initiative Application Deadline: Mid- May

Budding artists can apply for this scholarship to help pay for a visual arts degree program by submitting four samples of their artwork. To qualify, students must be enrolled in a high school in the Central Ohio region.

Tupelo Elvis Fan Club Scholarship

Up to $5,000 Sponsoring Organization: Tupelo Elvis Fan Club Application Deadline: Mid-February

Mississippi students don’t need to have a good luck charm or blue suede shoes to channel their inner Elvis for this scholarship. All they need to do is submit an MP4 video of them singing, dancing, or playing a musical instrument while displaying their burning love for their performance. If they impress the committee, students will get a big hunk o’love by being invited to perform in the live finals.

Walgreens Expressions Challenge

$2,000 Sponsoring Organization: Walgreens Application Deadline: Late November

Navigating the world can be difficult for a teen, and there are several issues that teens face, from bullying to pregnancy prevention to self-esteem. In this scholarship contest, students can express their feelings about the problems teens face by submitting a photograph, animation, short film, sculpture, or drawing.

Zinggia Art Scholarship

$2,000 Sponsoring Organization: Zinggia Application Deadline: Early March

Whether students are interested in studying photography, sculpture, design, painting, or illustration, they can win a scholarship by putting their creativity and vision on display. Open to Ohio students, this award requires that applicants submit five original works of art to be considered.

Expert Tips for Directing an Award-Winning Submission

Just as with other types of scholarship applications, students should put thought and effort into those that require video and multimedia. The following do’s and don’ts can increase students’ chances of winning these types of awards.

  • Do think about content first.

    Although the visuals of a multimedia project are important, they won’t get students far if they don’t think about what message they’re trying to convey. “If your video has a pretty background but your words are totally generic, the visuals can't save you,” said Erin Goodnow, Co-Founder and CEO of Going Ivy. “Brainstorm what you will say or the piece of music or art you will feature. Then worry about the location or the packaging.”

  • Don’t forget to practice.

    Generally, video applications have a time limit, so after students have outlined what they want to say, they need to practice their script to ensure they don’t exceed the time specified by the scholarship guidelines.

  • Do stay in one place unless multiple locations are necessary.

    “No one needs a tour of your home or location unless it plays a valuable role in communicating your message or theme,” said Pam Andrews, CEO of The Scholarship Shark. “In other words, it tends to be easier to understand and follow a video submission if you are keeping the camera steady and focused in one place.”

  • Don’t speak in an unnatural way.

    While students should carefully plan what they want to say, they should not read a script in their video. Instead, they should be as natural as possible, while making sure to speak slowly enough to be understood and loudly enough to be heard.

  • Do avoid shaky cam.

    When using a large camera, students should place it on a level surface or tripod to keep it steady. Unless they’re creating a short film where the shaky cam technique is appropriate, they want to avoid making the scholarship committee feel like they’re in the middle of a bad found footage horror movie.

  • Don’t forget about the audio and lighting quality.

    Just as students should practice to make sure their script does not go over the time limit, they should also test the lighting and sound to produce a high-quality video. “In your test shots, analyze the light and audio to ensure they provide the best overall functionality for you,” said Andrews. “You want to make yourself look as natural as possible.”

  • Do think about the background.

    The background should complement the message of the video, not distract from it. Things like a messy floor or loud colors can take away from what the student is saying, so it’s best to film in front of a plain backdrop.

  • Don’t strive for picture perfection.

    Although students should work hard to produce the best scholarship application possible, they don’t have to worry about being perfect. “When applying for scholarships, students should be authentic: Life doesn't always have to be pretty or airbrushed,” said Goodnow. “Show what is true to you and explain why it's worth considering.”

Additional Scholarships for College Students

No matter who students are or what they’re interested in studying, chances are there’s a scholarship opportunity that’s perfect for them. The following are some additional guides to help students find funding for their college dreams.

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