If you’re anything like me, you’ll try to get some extra cash for college any way you can. There are loads of scholarships available for students based on grades and need. However, there are some really strange and unique scholarships out there that one would do well to consider applying for. Almost anyone could qualify for, and possibly receive at least one of these 32 bizarre scholarships.
1. If you find yourself having to duck to enter doorways then you might qualify for this obscure scholarship. If you are a male 6′2″ or taller, or a female 5′10″ or taller, then you can be in the running for the Tall Clubs International Scholarship. All you have to do is write a simple essay entitled “What Being Tall Means to Me,” and you could be the recipient of $1,000.
2. I’m left handed, and sometimes it really stinks living in a right-handed world. No matter, even though scissors are still a battle, and I always get ink smudges on my hand when I write in a notebook, I can still get an unusual scholarship. If you are left-handed and go to Juniata College (Huntingdon, PA), then you can try to get up to $1,000 that is offered to two left-handed students each year. Call 814-641-3142 for more information about the Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship.
3. Is it rabbit season or duck season? I never know, but you can always try to win the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest. This is open to any high school senior in the US who is adept at calling ducks. The winner, gets a $1,500 scholarship, with first runner up getting $500, second runner-up getting $300, and third runner-up getting $200. Call 870-673-1602 or visit the web site for more information.
4. Smells like college debt. The Fragrance Research Fund makes a scholarship of up to $50,000 available to clinical psychologists who are completing post-graduate research in aromachology. I always knew my fantastic sense of smell might come in handy, alas, I’m not studying anything at the post-graduate level. If you are, you can get in touch with the Fragrance Research Fund – 145 East 32nd St., New York, N.Y. 10016-6002.
5. Did you ever think that milk would do the body as well as the wallet good? If you excel in academics, athletics, leadership, and community services while sporting a milk mustache, then you can get the Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year (SAMMY) Award.
6. Are you a Sk8er Boi? Can you spell better than Avril Lavigne? If so, than you might be able to get this scholarship. The Patrick Kerr Skateboard Scholarship is available for students with a solid GPA (above 2.5), who like to ollie, fakie, grind, kickflip, and study (you don’t even have to be good at skating). There’s a $5,000 scholarship, and three $1,000 runner-up scholarships.
7. Ever watch Letterman late at night? I’m more of a Jay Leno guy, but Jay doesn’t have his own scholarship. Ball State University (located in Muncie, IN) offers the David Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship to students. Telecommunication students simply have to submit a variety of media for their project, with creativity being rewarded. The first-place winner receives $10,000 courtesy of the university’s very famous alumnus. There is no minimum GPA requirement, and the scholarship is awarded based on outstanding creativity.
8. It’s not what you know, but whom you share last names with. If you are fortunate enough to have the last name Van Valkenburg, or a slight variation, then you are eligible for the Van Valkenburg Memorial Scholarship, which offers $1,000, and it’s not restricted to a specific university. I, for one, am rushing down to the courthouse to have my name legally changed.
9. Do you want fries with that? Do you enjoy potatoes? Even if you don’t you can still apply for the Potato Industry Scholarship. It is up to $2,000 awarded to two senior graduate students who are in a field of study related to potatoes.
10. I was heart broken when I discovered that Santa wasn’t real. I shouldn’t have given up so soon, because I could have gotten a scholarship. The NCTA Help Santa Find the Perfect Real Christmas Tree scholarship offers $5,000 to $10,000 to persons ages 6 to 16 for the winning essay. If I had known, I would have been ho-ho-hoing all the way to the bank.
11. How much do you know? The amount could end up getting you some cash. If you know a whole lot about the FBI, you can get $250 via the FBI Common Knowledge Challenge. It is awarded to two high school students who win the quiz contest about the FBI. I wonder what Hoover would think of that.
12. Would you give Ms. Cleo a run for her money? If you can predict the future, then you might be able to get the Excellence in Predicting the Future Award. This scholarship is designed to encourage students to pursue economics and take part in the prediction market.
13. Everyone says that prom is one of the most memorable times in high school. Why not make it a profitable time as well? The Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck on Prom Contest offers $6,000 in the form of a scholarship to the winning couple that makes their prom outfits out of duct tape. Persons who wish to enter are given a large selection of tape to use.
14. If you aren’t tall enough for the tall scholarship, maybe you’re short enough for the short one. The Billy Barty Foundation offers scholarships to students who are short in stature. I’m short, but not quite short enough for this scholarship. One needs to be shorter than 4′10″ and have medical form as proof of dwarfism. For more information, call the Foundation at (818) 953-5410.
15. If you like Apple Pie, than you’ll love this scholarship. Students can enter the Culinary Institute of America’s All-American Apple Pie Recipe Contest. The person with the best recipe will win $25,000 for college. Second place takes $15,000, and third gets $10,000. Call 1-800-CULINARY for more information.
16. How good are you at welding? I couldn’t weld a box if I wanted to, but students who are interested in the craft are eligible for welding scholarships. The American Welding Society Scholarships can help students afford to be educated in the craft of soldering, brazing, joining, and thermal spraying.
17. Maybe you can’t weld, but maybe you can write or draw. The Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest award a scholarship to student authors and illustrators in the genre of Science Fiction. All those years of obsessing over Battlestar Galactica may finally pay off for Sci-Fi fans.
18. If Lisa Simpson was applying for a scholarship, perhaps she would consider the Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship. If carnivores annoy you, then you can finally get back at them by getting money for your beliefs (up to $10,000 to be exact). All students need to apply is to have promoted vegetarianism in their schools and/or their communities.
19. What’s your favorite fabric? If it’s wool, then you might be able to get a scholarship via the National Make It Yourself with Wool Competition (you could enter even if you didn’t like wool). If you are an ace in the area of fashion and you can make garments out of 100% wool (or 60% wool blend), then you should enter the competition.
20. Ever read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand? Ever write an essay about it? The Ayn Rand Institute has a contest to see who can write the best essay concerning the novel. First-place winner gets $10,000. If only such incentives existed for all things one must read in high school, I may have actually read Macbeth.
21. Ever use or hear of a Gatling gun? Even if you haven’t, but your last name happens to be Gatling or Gatlin, then you may be eligible for the John Gatling Scholarship. The scholarship provides a full ride to North Carolina State University. Further proof that it may not be who you know, but who you share a distant relation to that helps you pay for college. Call the NCSU Department of Scholarships and Financial Aid at (919) 515-2421 for more information.
22. Any Star Trek fan would love this scholarship. The Klingon Language Institute (yes, there is one) awards $500 each year to a student who is in the field of language study. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know Klingon to get the scholarship.
23. I want candy. That being said, I also want money for college. The American Association of Candy Technologists (AACT) gives out a total of $10,000 to high school students who are interested in confectionary technology. I guess people can offset the outrageous dentist bills by having a college scholarship.
24. The truth is out there, and the truth is, that the Parapsychology Foundation offers scholarships and grants to students interested in parapsychology. For those who may not be x-files fans, parapsychology is the scientific study of paranormal activity.
25. The Society of Performers, Artists, Athletes, and Celebrities for Space Exploration, Inc. (SPAACSE) is always willing to help people pay for college. Three $1,000 scholarships are given out to graduating high school seniors who are interested in composing essays about space travel. Douglas Adams would certainly have gotten this scholarship had he applied.
26. If you are planning on lofting your bed in college, then you should also look into getting a scholarship. The OP Loftbed Scholarship is a $500 scholarship given to selected essays that are submitted. The company that sponsors the scholarship sells loft beds (and offers help for students wanting to know how to build their own) and offers it as a way of giving back to the students who are their customers.
27. After years of being mocked by football players for being in the band, you can finally one-up them. The School Band and Orchestra Magazine Scholarship gives scholarships to musicians who have written great essays. There are a variety of topics, but one past topic was “How a Music Education Has Made me a Better Student.”
28. Not all money-related web sites are complete scams. The MoneyMatters101.com Scholarships are awards of $300 dollars given to students who write the best essay. The winning essay is determined to be the essay that best responds to the question of credit cards being too easy to get and if they are contributing to rising debt amongst youth in this country.
29. Ever wish you were in the Elks? Even if you haven’t, you can still get money from them. The Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student Award gives 500 four-year scholarships. The amount per year is between $1,000 and $15,000. The scholarships are open to high school students and you don’t even need to have membership with the Elks.
30. I believe it was Snoop Dogg who so eloquently said “Calgon, calgon, take me away, I’m in the dirty dirty with my nephew J.” The Calgon Take Me Away to College Contest gives almost $8,000 away in awards to students. The host (Calgon, a company that produces a variety of body and bath products) opens the awards to students who only need to answer two short essay questions. Unfortunately for the males, it is only open to female applicants.
31. If you are entering college, Tylenol may become a necessity. If you are trying to pay for college, the Tylenol Scholarship can help you there too. In 2006 alone, over $250,000 was given to students all across the nation. Subsequently, many parents experienced headache relief as their college financial issues were taken care of by the medicine company.
32. Discover Card makes a living off of getting college students (and many other people) in debt. So, I guess they figured it was about time to give back. The Discover Card Tribute Award gives 10 $25,000 scholarships as well as almost 300 $2,500 scholarships annually. The only requirement is a 2.75 GPA, and you need to have showcased leadership within your community while having “faced a significant roadblock or challenge.” That’s a pretty easy scholarship to get (almost as easy as getting a new credit card in college).
So there you have 32 strange scholarships that almost anyone could get. So, if you’re having trouble paying for college, look no further because help could be just an essay (or ancestor) away.
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