Sure, you want to catch up with friends back home or enjoy your last summer before your high school buddies go off to different colleges. Maybe you’re taking a summer class or working a summer job or internship. Throw in a family vacation and, yes, summer is busy. Of course, you deserve a break after working hard all year. But your future self will thank you if you make time to apply for scholarships now.

Bills for the fall semester will be in your mailbox sooner than you may realize! Your first installment is due August 7. By then, it’s too late to scramble and find scholarships to cover your bill. Now is the time to put in your applications for many scholarships, including these 12.

July 1 deadline

  • Frank J. Richter Scholarship—The American Association of Railroad Superintendents (AARS) offers this $1,000 scholarship to undergraduate or graduate students in any major with preference given to those who wish to work in transportation.

July 10 deadlines

  • Novus Biologicals Scholarship Program—Awarded twice each year, this scholarship asks applicants to make a top 10 list of their favorite scientists or write a personal statement of no more than 500 words on how you plan to use your degree to further advance science in your field of interest.
  • Safe Driver Scholarship—Use your creativity and knowledge of safe driving techniques to make a video, artwork, essay, or anything that would encourage other students to be careful on the road.

Deadlines the week of July 13

  • Book Nerd Words/Project Ed Video Contest—Make a video that is no more than 30 seconds long explaining one of five new terms related to loving books. If the judges select your video, you could win $1,000.
  • Resume Companion Annual Scholarship—A $1,000 scholarship is awarded to the student who submits the best resume, based on the life of any fictional or nonfictional character from history, literature, TV, movies.
  • Lending Tree Scholarship—A $2,500 award for incoming freshmen with a 3.5 or higher GPA.
  • Scholarship—This company posts a new essay contest scholarship every quarter. This time, you must submit a 400–500-word essay about your experience as a female student in a tech-related field: how you got interested in your chosen subject, what challenges or issues you have faced, what you plan to do with your major, your career goals, etc.
  • The SweatBlock “Social Confidence” Scholarship—Don’t sweat this essay contest! Applicants must submit a 500–1,000-word essay on a sweat-related topic for a chance to earn a $2,000 scholarship.

Deadlines the week of July 27

  • Platt Family Scholarship Prize Essay Contest—The Lincoln Forum, an Abraham Lincoln and Civil War interest group, sponsors this essay contest awarding $1,500 for first prize, $750 for second prize, and $500 for third prize.
  • From Failure to Promise Essay Contest—First place in this contest wins $10,000, and three $500 honorable mentions are awarded. You must write an essay of at least 1,500 words related to specific prompts based on the book “From Failure to Promise.”
  • A Better Chicago Scholarship—Tired of the same old essay contests? You can submit audio, video, a visual design, or an essay (if you prefer) related to improving the physical or cultural landscape of Chicago.

August 31 deadline

  • For Diehard Fans Scholarships—These scholarships are awarded several times throughout the year to students who provide the best slogans for the company. The site says, “Entries will be judged on overall quality, originality, and creativity.”

Have you been applying for scholarships this summer? In the comments, share your tips for staying motivated when the beach is calling your name!