Scholarships •

April 4, 2023

Your guide to the Dr. Pepper tuition giveaway

The Dr. Pepper Giveaway gives out hundreds of thousands in scholarships every year. Learn how to apply and how to improve your winning chances.

Dr. Pepper bottle with money

Scholarships are a great way to fund college, but many of them only give out a few hundred here or a few thousand there.

Any free college funds can help, but one of the biggest scholarships available—besides a full-ride—is the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway. Grand prize winners can win up to $100,000!

Below, we’ll explain how the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway works and how you can enter, along with some tips on increasing your winning chances. Plus, we’ll give you a few scholarships like the Dr. Pepper giveaway and some tips on finding even more scholarship awards.

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What is the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway?

The Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway is a video scholarship competition that gives away hundreds of thousands of dollars in college money every year.


According to Forbes, Dr. Pepper has handed out over $10 million in scholarship funds to winning students since the company started the scholarship program in 2008.

Dr. Pepper usually gives away a total of $650,000. However, they bumped that up to $2 million to help more students amid the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

The competition is split into 2 parts.

Each year, applicants enter the competition by making a short video about their goals and how the Dr. Pepper scholarship money can help them get there. 

The scholarship’s judges select the top videos and invite those winners to compete against each other for the scholarship winnings in half-time football throwing competitions at the 5 college football conference championship games.

How to enter the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway

Entering the Dr. Pepper tuition giveaway is fairly easy if you meet the requirements.


Read on to learn if you’re eligible, how to enter, and how to win.


Applicants must be 18-24 years old by early December in the year they’re applying. For example, in 2019, applicants had to be 18-24 by December 6.

Entering the contest

In the past, Dr. Pepper required you to create an account on its website and upload a video there. For now, however, they’ve pivoted to TikTok. 

To enter the competition, you need to make an original TikTok video no longer than 1 minute. Your TikTok video can’t have been used to win other awards or published previously.

In the video, you have to explain how you want to make an impact with your degree or education and how the Dr. Pepper scholarship can help you make that happen. Including Dr. Pepper in your video in a creative way is also highly recommended but not mandatory.

The deadline to enter each year is usually October 17 or 18. For 2021, it was October 18.


In the past, Dr. Pepper notified finalists via email. Now that they use TikTok, they’ll send you a message via DMs.

If you win, you’ll get tickets for you and 1 guest to one of the following conference championships (chosen by Dr. Pepper):

  • PAC-12 Championship

  • ACC Championship

  • Big Ten Championship

  • SEC Championship Game

  • Big 12 Championship Game

The day before the game, you’ll compete in a preliminary football-throwing competition as a “Pass Contestant.”

After 5 warm-up throws, you have 30 seconds to throw as many footballs into an oversized Dr. Pepper can as you can from 5 yards away. You get 30 total throws.

The 2 Pass Contestants with the highest number of successful throws move on to become Pass Finalists, meaning they get to throw at half-time the next day.

If you’re eliminated at this stage, you get a $2,500 prize to put towards tuition. If there’s a tie of 3 or more people, they do it again until there are 2 contestants left with the highest scores. Those 2 contestants move on to the half-time event.

At this event, the same rules apply, except you don’t get any warm-up or trial throws this time. If you have a higher score than your opponent, you take home the $100,000 grand prize. Otherwise, you win the $25,000 runner-up prize.

But if there’s a tie…

You do it again, only this time, with 15 throws and 15 seconds. If you tie a second time, they use the results from the Preliminary Competition to decide the winner.

Regardless of how much money you win, Dr. Pepper will send the funds directly to your school.

5 ways to improve your chances of winning the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway

You’re going up against a lot of competition in this scholarship. Making a winning video will take a bit of effort.

How to win the Dr

Make sure you follow some of these tips to improve your chances of winning:

1. Include Dr. Pepper in your video

You don’t have to include Dr. Pepper in your video to enter, but Dr. Pepper strongly recommends it in the rules.

So basically, it’s tough to win without a Dr. Pepper reference.

But make sure you get creative with it. For instance, maybe you include a clip of you “in the future” throwing a party to celebrate winning the scholarships. In it, you and your friends do a “cheers” with cans of Dr. Pepper.

Another idea would be to make your video seem like a Dr. Pepper commercial. Make it about your goals and the scholarship, but make it feel like an ad.

Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to get creative.

2. Be authentic and specific

This video is about you, so be authentically yourself. Don’t be afraid of being honest about your goals—the viewer will feel the enthusiasm coming through the video.

Similarly, avoid being vague about it. After all, the rules for the video require you to be specific on how you want to make an impact with your degree and how the Dr. Pepper giveaway helps.

For example, Destiny A, a PAC-12 competition finalist, connected her goal of becoming a surgeon to her own life experience of undergoing 2 open-heart surgeries.

3. Spend time planning out your video

Video quality plays a role in your winning chances. To stand out from the pack, you should plan and script beforehand. Then, rehearse a few times once you think you’re ready.

Making the Dr

Then, film the video. Do several takes of each shot just in case so that you have more footage to work with.

Now, you probably don’t want to write out your script entirely—you risk reading it word-for-word, which can sound less natural.

4. Inject some emotion

Decide what type of emotion you want, then look for ways to enhance it. 

Music is one of the best ways to do that. For instance, Destiny’s from above is more upbeat, Whereas Kinlie W., another PAC-12 finalist, uses sad music in her video.

Regardless, striking a consistent emotional theme will likely resonate with the scholarship judges.

5. Proofread and edit your video

Once you finish filming, give yourself a day to rest, then watch the video carefully and make edits if necessary.

Editing Dr

After your initial round of edits, give it one more day so you can come back with fresh eyes. Doing this will help you catch more errors.

Lastly, have a friend or family member watch it and give you feedback. Getting an outside perspective can help you notice things you wouldn’t have seen yourself.

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Other scholarships like the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway

Applying for more scholarships never hurts, especially with the stiff competition of the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway.

Here are a few similar scholarships for you to check out.

Taco Bell Live Más scholarship

Taco Bell’s Live Más scholarship lets students submit a short video to compete for prizes worth $5,000-$25,000. The videos can be 30-60 seconds long and must tell the story of the student’s life passions. It can be a testimonial, animated video, or short film.

Here are the requirements to enter:

  • 16-26 years old

  • Legal resident (and must live in one) of the 50 United States and Washington, D.C.

  • On track to apply for or currently enrolled in an accredited 2 or 4-year college, university, or vocational-technical or trade school

Learn more at Taco Bell’s FAQ page.

Life Lessons Scholarship program

The Life Lessons Scholarship is designed for students who have experienced the death of a parent. To enter, you must describe in a 500-word essay or 3-minute video how the death of a parent has impacted your life.

Here are the eligibility requirements:

  • 17-24 years old

  • Have experienced the death of a parent or legal guardian

  • Will be attending college, university, or trade school for an undergraduate or graduate degree in the US or Puerto Rico in the upcoming fall semester

  • Pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree

  • Legal resident of the United States or Puerto Rico

  • No employees or household members employed by The Life and Health Insurance Foundation or its affiliates

  • Have parent’s or legal guardian’s permission to enter if under age 18

Learn more at Life Happens’ website.

Project Yellow Light

Project Yellow Light is a scholarship designed to raise awareness about distracted driving. To enter, you must create a PSA in one of the following formats:

  • Billboard ad design

  • Video (10-25 seconds)

  • Radio

  • Social media video

Each of these formats lets you enter to win prizes ranging from $1,000-$8,000. You can find more details on the scholarship’s website.

How to find more scholarships to fund your college education

If you don’t win the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway, don’t fret. There’s a massive sea of scholarships out there that can help you fund your college education.

Here are some ways to apply for and win some of those scholarships.

Fill out the FAFSA every year

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or the FAFSA, is a form you can fill out to apply for student aid from the federal government.


It’s available every year and doesn’t take long to fill out, yet it helps you discover your eligibility for tons of grants, scholarships, loans, and more.

It may not pay for your entire college education, but it doesn’t take long to fill out, so you should definitely take the time to complete it.

Contact your school’s financial aid office

Your school’s financial aid office is a fantastic resource for finding scholarships. 

They can answer questions you have about applying and point you toward scholarships at your school and external scholarships if you aren’t sure where to start.

Use scholarship aggregator websites

Run a quick Internet search, and you’ll find plenty of websites that do nothing but pull in a ton of scholarships.

Many of these sites let you sort and filter by a bunch of criteria, and you can often save scholarships for later.

Using a few of these can cut down your scholarship search time quite a lot. Once you save some scholarships, just run down your saved list and apply to each one.

Talk to your high school guidance counselor

High school guidance counselors are a helpful but underused resource for finding scholarships—especially if you’re still in high school and new to applying for scholarships.

Like the financial aid office, they can help you understand scholarships you may qualify for and point you in the right direction.

Check with your or your parents’ employers

Many companies offer scholarships to employees and even their immediate family members. So check with your or your parents’ employers.

In particular, your own company may provide tuition reimbursement as part of your benefits. This can work similarly to a scholarship in that you don’t go into debt to use it.

Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway FAQs

Have more questions about the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway? Check out our FAQs below.

How old do you have to be to apply for the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway?

You can enter the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway if you’re age 18-24 by early December. The exact date changes every year—for 2019, for instance, that date was December 6.

What are my chances of winning the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway?

Winning the video portion can be challenging. That part takes a lot of effort because you have a lot of competition. Using the tips in this article could help.

As for the football portion, that depends on your skills at throwing a football accurately.

How long does it take to enter the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway?

It doesn’t take too long to enter the giveaway, but if you put substantial effort in, it might take you several days of work to craft a great video.

Try applying for the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway

The Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway grand prize can be life-changing. Depending on your school and which prize you win, it could potentially help you graduate debt-free.

However, don’t fret if you don’t win. There are a ton of other ways to find scholarships out there. Check out our complete guide on how to get a scholarship for advice on finding, applying for, and winning more free money for college.

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