Are you an aspiring filmmaker or a small-screen producer of YouTube hits? Do you spend spare time creating storyboards or videotaping interviews?
If so, you might consider competing in any one of many video scholarship contests offered throughout the year. In fact, with a little time and talent, you could turn a videography hobby into some real money.
And unlike writing essays, videos can be fun to produce!
But no two contests are alike. Some might ask for a promotional video for a product (usually their product) or they might be looking for a public service announcement promoting an important idea or event.
For example, the Credit Union Foundation of MD & DC sponsors a college scholarship awards program that supports both an essay component and a video challenge. And this year, local college-bound credit union members are being asked to produce a 60-second video explaining “what you can do to help yourself become financially literate.”
Like a scholarship essay, a scholarship video will take time and some effort to create. But keep in mind that a good scholarship video may make a cool addition to an arts portfolio if you are considering a film or video major.
Here are ten competitions for budding filmmakers:
AFA Teens Video Competition: This is an opportunity to reflect on why Alzheimer’s disease is becoming an increasingly important worldwide issue. Videos, along with an application and 200-word autobiography must be submitted by December 1, 2013. Details are provided on the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America website.
C-SPAN’s Student Cam: Students are asked to create a 5- to 7-minute video documentary on the “most important issue the U.S. Congress should consider in 2014.” All documentaries must contain a small amount of C-SPAN footage that relates to the chosen topic. Submissions must be received by Monday, January 20, 2014.
Courageous Persuaders Video Scholarship Competition: Students are asked to create a 30-second TV commercial warning against the dangers of underage drinking. Open to all high school students, the Courageous Persuaders entry deadline is February 12, 2014. Note that production values in this contest are less important than “ideas.”
Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway: Eligible students with a “one-of-a-kind story” are invited to upload a video explaining how they “want to make an impact” with their degree/education. The video should include some reference to Dr. Pepper and must be no more than one minute in length. There are several different deadlines corresponding to different events. This contest is a little complicated, so check with the website for details.
Engineering for You Video Contest: Individuals or teams create a 1- to 2- minute video showing engineering contributions that serve human welfare and the needs of society. The “Best Video Overall” will be awarded $25,000, and there’s a “People’s Choice Award” of $5,000. Entries are due to the National Academy of Engineering by March 31, 2014.
‘My Mentor Was Me’ Scholarship Video Challenge: High school seniors produce and upload an original 1- to 3- minute video identifying and describing the impact a mentor has had on the pursuit of success and the importance of mentor-mentee relationships. Contestants must have an account on the mentoring site, and videos must be posted on their site by July 31, 2014.
Project Yellow Light Video Contest: High school students are asked to create a video designed to motivate, persuade and encourage teens to not drive distracted. You can video yourself or a group or make a cartoon or a music video. Just keep it to :25 or :55 seconds or less. The top prize is $5,000. Teams are welcome, and videos must be submitted by March 17, 2014.
Samsung SUPERHERO Video Competition: Students are invited to create a 1- to 3- minute video about a historical figure. The competition doesn’t require fancy or expensive video equipment—a camera phone can be used. Entries are due by November 30, 2013 (if you miss this deadline, another will most likely follow).
Toyota Teen Driver Video Challenge: If your friends were going to watch ONE video that made them think twice about making bad decisions behind the wheel, what would that video be? Create that 60-90 second video and submit your video as a YouTube link and win up to $15,000. Entries are due no later than March 13, 2014.
World of 7 Video Contest: Create a short video public service announcement (PSA) that shows the connection between world population at 7 billion and one of several specified issues. All high school students are eligible and all videos must be submitted by Friday, February 21, 2014.