Earn College Scholarships for Going Green

There are several opportunities to earn money for school by displaying your commitment to planet Earth.

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This Saturday, March 31, marks the fifth annual "Earth Hour" event, which has quickly become the world's single largest climate campaign. In hundreds of countries across the globe, millions of people, businesses, and governments turn out their lights for one hour to stand in solidarity against climate change. In honor of Earth Hour, the Scholarship Coach is bringing you scholarships for those who are passionate about our planet—and hope to one day turn this passion into a career. Read on for these great opportunities, and don't forget to turn off your lights this Saturday!

The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation was established in the early 1990s to honor Morris Udall's 30 years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives and was expanded by Congress in 2009 to honor the public service of his brother, Stewart Udall.

A champion of environmental conservation and Native American initiatives, one of Rep. Morris Udall's greatest achievements was the Alaska Lands Act of 1980, which doubled the size of the national park system and tripled the size of the national wilderness system. The Udall Scholarship awards 80 scholarships worth $5,000 each—and 50 honorable mentions of $350 each—to college sophomores and juniors who are studying environmental studies, as well as to American Indian and Alaska Native students studying tribal policy or native healthcare.

If you win a scholarship, you must be able to attend the four day, all-expenses-paid orientation in Tucson, Ariz. Though it's too late to apply this year, faculty can begin nominating students starting in October, so keep this one on your radar for the fall.

[Learn how to find your net price of college.]

Ink and toner manufacturer Castle Ink is offering a $1,000 Paperless Scholarship with the intention of promoting the importance of recycling. The scholarship is open to U.S. students who'll be attending college in 2012 or 2013, as well as to current college students. Though the application deadline is literally just around the corner—March 31—it couldn't be easier to apply.

Founded in 1982 by environmentalist David R. Brower, Earth Island Institute serves as a hub for grassroots campaigns dedicated to conserving, preserving, and restoring ecosystems. Earth Island Institute's New Leaders Initiative is dedicated to growing environmental leadership, and its Brower Youth Awards do just that. The awards recognize residents of North America, ages 13 to 22, who have shown "outstanding leadership on a project or campaign with positive environmental and social impact." In 2011, six recipients received $3,000 scholarships and all-expenses-paid trips to the award ceremony in San Francisco. Though the deadline for this year has passed, keep checking the website for updates on the next round of scholarships.

If you're working toward a degree in environmental health or a graduate degree in environmental health sciences and/or public health, you should consider applying for the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and the American Academy of Sanitarians (AAS) scholarship program. The program's goal is to encourage students to commit early to a career path in environmental health, and to help graduate students pursue studies in environmental health sciences or public health. Recipients must demonstrate financial need. Apply by Feb. 1, 2013, for scholarships awarded during the 2013-2014 school year.

[See U.S. News's rankings of the best graduate schools for public health.]

Finally, make sure you check out the scholarships offered by your current or prospective college or university. Many institutions offer their own green scholarships, particularly if they have strong environmental or agricultural studies departments. Either way, it never hurts to check!

Michelle Showalter joined Scholarship America in 2007 and is an alumna of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.