None of the online scholarship databases includes information about college scholarships that are available only to children under age 13 because of federal privacy laws. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), 15 USC 6501, and the Children’s Privacy Protection Final Rule, require web sites to obtain “verifiable parental consent” before collecting, using or disclosing individually identifiable information from children under age 13. This effectively prevents online scholarship databases from matching students under age 13 with college scholarships. Because of the difficulties in obtaining consent, all of the scholarship databases avoid the problem by omitting scholarships for underage children from their databases and refusing to register users under age 13.
Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for parents of younger students to find information about scholarships available to students under age 13. Early awareness programs try to encourage families to start searching for scholarships and saving for college early, yet are unable to help them find the scholarships. (Some early awareness programs such as GEAR UP offer their own college scholarships to encourage participation.)
Because Finaid does not require registration and does not collect personally identifiable information from children under age 13, we are able to include a comprehensive list of awards available to students under age 13 and in grades 8 and below. This list is directed at parents of younger students, and is intended to emphasize that students of all ages can pursue scholarships. This list is devoted to college scholarships that can be won by elementary and middle school students.
Some of the scholarships listed below are also available to students over age 13. To find additional scholarships for students who are over age 13, see the Fastweb scholarship directory.
Scholarships for Children Who Are Under Age 13
Action For Nature Eco-Hero Award
Action for Nature sponsors the International Young Eco-Hero Awards to recognize youth aged 8 to 16 who have completed environmental projects focused on environmental advocacy, environmental health, research or protection of the natural world.
The Do Something Awards
Do Something provides community grants and scholarships to “change-makers” age 25 and under who work with Do Something to improve their communities.
Davidson Fellowships are awarded by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development to US students under age 18 who have completed a significant piece of work in the fields of Mathematics, Science, Technology, Music, Literature, Philosophy or Outside the Box. The significant piece of work should have the potential to benefit society. The focus of the program is on gifted and talented students and there is no minimum age for eligibility.
Dick Blick Mixed Media Contest
Dick Blick sponsors an annual contest for students in grades K–12 to express their experiences and imagine what they can connect to with art.
Doodle 4 Google
Google is famous for the doodles that occasionally replace the Google logo. The Doodle 4 Google competition challenges children in grades K-12 to create their own play on Google’s logo. Doodles are judged in four grade groups: K-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. There is one national finalist in each grade group and the winner’s school or after-school program also receives a technology grant.
Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes is awarded annually to ten US and Canadian students, aged 8-18, who have developed an extraordinary service project that helped people and the planet. Half of the winners are focused on helping their communities and people, and half are focused on protecting the environment. Winners receive $10,000 to be applied to their higher education or to their service project.
MATHCOUNTS is a national math competition for middle school students (grades 6-8). Individuals and teams of four mathletes from each school compete on a local, state and national level. All 228 national competitors and their coaches receive all-expense-paid trips to the MATHCOUNTS National Competition. The national champion receives the $20,000 Donald G. Weinert Scholarship.
National Marbles Tournament Scholarships
The annual National Marbles Tournament awards scholarships to mibsters (marble shooters) aged 7 to 14. The tournament is held in June each year.
National Geography Bee
The National Geography Bee is sponsored by the National Geographic Society. It is open to US students in grades 4-8 who are age 15 or younger by the date of the national competition. The National Geography Bee is a three stage competition, starting at the school level, followed by state competitions and finally the national competition. The ten finalists compete for college scholarships. The first place national winner receives a $25,000 scholarship.
National High School Oratorical Contest
The National High School Oratorical Contest is sponsored by the American Legion. It is open to US students in junior high school or high school (grades 7-12) who are under age 20 as of the date of the national contest. The American Legion pays for the travel and lodging expenses of the state winners and their chaperones. The first place winner receives a $25,000 scholarship.
National History Day Contest
The National History Day Contest is open to students in grades 6-12 in the junior (grades 6-8) and senior (grades 9-12) divisions. The projects relate to a specific historical topic or theme. There are seven categories, including individual papers, individual exhibits, group exhibits, individual performance, group performance, individual documentary, and group documentation.
National Spelling Bee
The National Spelling Bee is sponsored by the E.W. Scripps Company. It is open to students in grades 1-8 as of their school finals and who are under age 16 as of the date of the national finals.
Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku Competition
The Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku Competition is open to students in grades 7-12.
Patriot’s Pen is an essay writing contest (patriotic theme) sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). It is open to US students in grades 6-8. More than 138,000 students enter the contest each year. The first place state winner receives a minimum of $500, and the national first place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards recognize children in grades 5-12 who have engaged in volunteer activities and have demonstrated exceptional community service. State winners receive a $1,000 award and national winners receive a $5,000 award.
Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are open to US and Canadian students in grades 7-12. It is sponsored by Scholastic Inc. and administered by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, Inc. Gold Portfolio Award recipients receive $10,000 scholarships.
Team America Rocketry Challenge
Team America Rocketry Challenge is a national model rocket competition open to US junior high school and high school students (grades 7-12). It is sponsored by AIA and the National Association of Rocketry. The top teams compete for over $100,000 in scholarships and other prizes.
Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards
The Toshiba ExploraVision Awards is a competition for teams of two to four US and Canadian students in grades K-12. The goal of the competition is to encourage students to explore a vision of a future technology. The teams research a technology or device and project how it might change in the future. They identify necessary breakthroughs to enable the development of the technology and discuss the positive and negative impact of the technology on society. There are four divisions: grades K-3, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, and grades 10-12. Within each division, there is one first prize and one second prize. The first prize consists of a $10,000 US Savings Bond for each student on the winning team. The second prize consists of a $5,000 US Savings Bond for each student on the winning team.