The 2020 Earnest Scholarship Fund

Congrats 2020 Winners!

Meet the students who won $5,000 in free college cash. If you’d like to apply next time, you can sign up for scholarship alerts below. If you need money for college now, check out our low-rate private student loans.

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Why the Earnest Scholarship Exists

At Earnest, we believe in helping people realize their hopes and dreams through further education.

To help more students get to school, we created the Earnest Scholarship as a way to award 50 students who best articulate how their education will enable their dreams.

To maintain the Earnest Scholarship, we put a percentage of each loan we refinance into our scholarship fund.

Key dates


February 24, 2020

Applications open


June 30, 2020

Submission deadline (extended!)


August 2020

Winners notified via email


September 2020

Schools receive funds

Application criteria

Who can apply for the Earnest Scholarship?

  • Applicants must be enrolled, or soon be enrolled, as a full-time student at a Title IV accredited, not for profit U.S. college or university for the Fall 2020 semester.
  • There are no minimum GPA, residency, or major requirements to apply!
  • Applicants can be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (including DACA students).

How to apply

Required Application Details

The submission of an essay answering one of the following questions:

  • How will your college education help you achieve your goals?
  • How has your education contributed to who you are today?

Essays should be 800–1,000 words and submitted as a PDF, DOCX, or DOC.

Completion of the Earnest Scholarship form.

See Terms & Conditions page for complete list of rules and requirements.

Low-rate, no-fee private student loans

Know a student who needs help paying for school? Earnest private student loans can help.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can graduate students apply?

Yes, we welcome applications from both undergraduate and graduate students.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement?

No, there are no major or GPA requirements to apply to the Earnest Scholarship.

Can I nominate a student?

If you know of a deserving student you can share the Earnest Scholarship page with someone above.

Can international students apply?

Unfortunately at this time we are not accepting international student applicants.

My school is not on your list, can I still apply?

Applicants must be attending an accredited Title IV school to apply.