Scholarships for High School Sophomores

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It’s never too early to start looking (and applying) for college scholarships.

College Scholarships for High School Sophomores

Even as early as your sophomore year in high school, you can start entering essay, video, and other scholarship contests in order to apply for financial aid in the form of scholarships.

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Another activity that could not only earn you some money but also give you a great experience on your college application is to apply for summer internships for high school students.

20 Scholarships for High School Sophomores

Just as there are college scholarships for adults, there are also scholarships high school sophomores can apply for. The deadlines for these scholarships vary, so you’ll need to refer to each scholarship’s website for its annual deadlines, rules for applying, and additional details.

$10K BigFuture New York Scholarships
Amount: $10,000
Deadline: November 30th

To apply for the 10K BigFuture New York scholarships, you must attend a public or private school located in the State of New York, you must be graduating in the class of 2024 or 2025 as of September 1, 2022, and you need to create or already have a College Board online account.

$10,000 CollegeXpress Scholarship
Amount: $10,000
Deadline: May 1st

This scholarship is open to all students who are 13 years old or older. An applicant must register on and should be entering college as a full-time student, transfer, or graduate student at a participating university. However, you can apply at any time, meaning sophomores can apply in advance. You can check if your university participates via the CollegeXpress website.

$2000 House Scholarship Foundation Aspiring Scholars
Amount: $2,000
Deadline: February 21st

To apply for the $2000 House Scholarship Foundation Aspiring Scholars you have to be a US citizen or permanent resident of the United States, a current high school student in grade 9, 10, 11, or 12. Your high school transcript should be available and you plan on attending a college or equivalent school after graduating high school

$2,000 CaptainU Student-Athlete Scholarship
Amount: $2,000
Deadline: September 30th

Want to be recruited to play a sport in college? Sign up on this website to enter to win a $2,000 scholarship. You must be 13 or older to qualify. Four $2000 scholarships are awarded each year.

4-H Youth in Action
Amount: $5,000
Deadline: March 29th

The 4-H Youth in Action Program rewards four confident young leaders who are 4-H members or alumni between the ages of 15-19. Students should showcase the 4-H core pillars, which are Agriculture, Civic Engagement, Healthy Living & STEM.

American Foreign Service Association High School Essay Contest
Amount: $2,500
Deadline: April 4th

If you do not have a parent currently in the Foreign Service and you are currently in grades 9, 10, 11, or 12  you are eligible to participate. You must reside in the United States, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories, or if you are U.S. citizens/lawful permanent residents attending high school overseas. Students may be attending a public, private, or parochial school. Entries from home-schooled students are also accepted. 

Apprentice Ecologist Initiative
Amount: $1,750
Deadline: December 31st

Scholarships are available to students between the ages of 13 and 21. You will be tasked with conducting your own environmental stewardship project and in doing so, you will be required to submit an essay about your project, what it meant to you, and a few photos of your project in action. Your project should demonstrate leadership, initiative, and environmental stewardship.

Celebrate The West
Amount: $200 – $1500
Deadline: April 20th

The Western Governors’ Association hosts the Celebrate the West art competition. The regional art competition offers high school students the opportunity to create works of art inspired by their Western state.

CollegeXpress Fall Flavor Giveaway
Amount: $600
Deadline: September 30th

To apply for the CollegeXpress Fall Flavor Giveaway, applicants you be a resident of the US, register on, and answer one question, which is listed on the scholarship website. 

Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards
Amount: $36,000
Deadline: January 5th

The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam awards seek teen leaders who show leadership in creating and leading a new initiative. You must be between 13 and 19 years old and identify as Jewish. You must also be a resident of the United States and participate in volunteer projects without any compensation. 

Innovation in Education Monthly Scholarship
Amount: $500
Deadline: 20th of each month

LA Tutors offers this monthly $500 scholarship. Any high school or college student can apply. To apply, you must have designed an innovative project (website, blog, app, fundraising event, etc.) that makes a difference in the lives of others and submit an essay about the project. The deadline is the 20th of each month.

Israel Experience High School Scholarship Program
Amount: $1,000
Deadline: November 1st  for winter/spring submission; March 15th for summer submission

To apply for the Israel Experience High School Scholarship Program, you must be in grades 10, 11, or 12. This scholarship is meant for those who demonstrate financial need and live in Chicago. You have to apply to an approved Israel program that does not begin until after the application deadline and should be committed to participating in Jewish communal activities after returning from Israel.

The James Alan Cox Foundation Student Photojournalists
Amount: Five (5) Digital SLR Cameras
Deadline: November 15th

This scholarship is specifically for those with photojournalist aspirations. If you’re applying for this scholarship, you should have completed one year at an accredited high school and have taken at least one photography or related art class. You also have to be a US citizen and your high school must be located within the United States.

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To increase your chances of winning this scholarship, your artwork should tell a story as the review board is not looking for art photos, but instead compelling photos and videos. This is a true photojournalism competition. Along with your video or photos, you will also be asked to submit an essay, your transcripts, and letters of reference.

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest
Amount: $100 – $10,000
Deadline: January 13th

The JFK Profile in Courage Essay contest is open to high school students in grades 9 through 12 attending public, private, parochial, or home schools located in the United States; any US student under the age of 20 attending a high school correspondence/GED program in any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the U.S. territories along with U.S. citizens attending schools overseas. 

Morris J. and Betty Kaplun Foundation Essay Contest
Amount: $1,800 to $500
Deadline: March 13th

This scholarship welcomes submissions from anywhere in the world, and by students of any faith. You do not have to be Jewish to apply and International students are welcome to apply as well. Level II of this contest is open to students in grades 10, 11, and 12. 

Ocean Awareness Contest
Amount: $1,500
Deadline: June 13th

The Ocean Awareness Contest is open to students aged 11-18 who are enrolled in middle school, high school, or homeschool. The Junior Division is available for students ages 11-14, while the Senior Division is for students 15-18. 

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
Amount: $1,000 – $15,000
Deadline: November 3rd

This program annually recognizes high school students for volunteer community service activities. State award winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, and $1,000. National award winners receive an additional $5,000.

Scout of the Year
Amount: Up to $5,000
Deadline: April 1st

The Veterans of Foreign Wars annually awards three scholarships to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts age 15 or older who have achieved their scouting organization’s top rank. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000. Applications go through a local scholarships competition before qualifying for the national competition.

US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Scholarship
Amount: $3,000 and $5,000
Deadline: March 31st

The top prize is $3,000 for this scholarship. Applicants must have Asian-Pacific Island heritage and be living in the United States. The scholarship is open to high school students in grades 9 to 12. The deadline to apply is usually in April.

As you can see, the above scholarships offer a lot of opportunities for high school sophomores to work toward their college tuition.

United States Hispanic Leadership Institute Scholarship
Amount: $500 – $1,000
Deadline: November 30th

To apply for this scholarship, you must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a full-time undergraduate student within the  U.S. or U.S. territories for the 2023 – 2024 academic year. This includes high school seniors, college freshmen, sophomores, and juniors up to age 25. You should also demonstrate a verifiable need for financial support. To apply, you must have at least one parent of Hispanic ancestry. If you are not a US citizen, don’t panic, as you can still apply!

Increase Your Chances of Winning High School Sophomore Scholarships

As a sophomore in high school, there are plenty of opportunities to win a scholarship for the next step in our education journey. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of winning scholarships for sophomores in high school. 

  • Work hard and pay attention in school. Just like college admission boards, the scholarship boards will look at your academic record. Be sure to pay attention in class so you can succeed on tests and show a high GPA, bettering your chances for high school sophomore scholarships.
  • Be active on campus and in your community. Regardless of what your interests are, try to take part in activities that interest you, perhaps you enjoy sports, or drama club, or art. While school activities are important, so are community activities. Think about volunteering locally.
  • Apply before the deadline and submit all of the necessary documents. If possible, apply to the various scholarships for high school students once applications are available. 
  • Write a unique essay based on the prompt provided. Take this time to show the potential scholarship board your beliefs, thoughts, and interests. 
  • Follow all directions.  It’s important to follow all directions set by the scholarship. This will ensure your application is submitted successfully. 
  • Take on a part-time job in the same field that you’ll be pursuing. While this can help you save for your college education, it can also lead to a scholarship from your employer. 

Remember these tips when applying for scholarships as a sophomore. Also, don’t give up! Keep applying but also make sure you’re applying for scholarships where you meet the eligibility requirements.

Can Sophomores Apply for Scholarships?

Yes! There is a variety of scholarships sophomores can apply for. This allows you to start the application process early and get a head start on your college education opportunities. 

It’s important to research the sophomore scholarships you are interested in and follow the detailed instructions to better your chances of winning the scholarship for high school sophomores. 

By applying for scholarships in 10th grade, you gain the ability to plan your future and budget properly for your college education. This also allows you to become familiar with the application process for when you start applying in 11th and 12th grades. 

When Should You Start Applying for Scholarships?

When to apply for scholarships truly depends on each scholarship’s deadline and requirements. Some scholarships are available to sophomores, while others are only available to juniors or seniors. 

Once you narrow down the scholarships for sophomores in highschool, you can then create a scholarship schedule that outlines when each scholarship application begins and ends. Be sure to submit before the deadline and build in enough time to complete the application process. If you miss the deadline, you could potentially be missing out on free education money. 

Finding College Scholarships for High School Sophomores

While you may think that scholarships for highschool students are only for juniors and seniors, there are plenty of college scholarships for high school sophomores.

Once you receive scholarship funds, you can then start researching and applying to accredited universities that offer the major you are looking for. If you are unsure if the college you’re interested in is accredited, you can always check out the U.S. Department of Education’s website

Now is a great time to start the journey toward paying for your college education with scholarships. The more time you build in for the application process, the more prepared you will be when applying for scholarships for 10th graders.


Ready to start your journey?
Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.