Are There Weird Scholarships Out There for Me?
In addition to merit-based college scholarships, there are a number of weird scholarships that you might qualify for.
When it comes time to pay for college, many students begin to panic. Don't worry if you don't qualify for merit-based college scholarships, there are many other kinds of college scholarships out there, from athletic scholarships to just plain weird scholarships.
Alternative Athletic Scholarships
Just because you’re not a football or basketball player in NCAA Division I, doesn’t mean there’s not an athletic scholarship for you.
Search high and low. Millions of dollars of scholarship money go unclaimed every year.
Alternative sports and sports that are sometimes considered hobbies also have scholarships, like The Patrick Kerr Skateboard Scholarship or The Annual National Marbles Tournament.
If you don't qualify for merit-based or alternative sports scholarships, there are still plenty of weird scholarships that may fit into your unique talents. Some are based on physical characteristics, like the left-handed scholarship. Other unusual scholarships are based on creativity, and even last name.
Here are some creative scholarships:
The “Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck on Prom Contest” is for couples that go to a prom in duct-tape getups. Winners have the potential of receiving $5,000 for each member of the couple.
The “National Make-It-Yourself with Wool (NMIYWW)” competition awards $2,000 and $1,000 for makers of wool garments.
Other creative scholarships are essay scholarships like the “Seussvile: Oh, The Places You'll Go!” College Scholarship and “The Ayn Rand Institute Essay Contest”, which both encourage the written word.
Some wacky scholarships are also college specific, like Hood College's “Grandma Scholarship,” which allows incoming freshmen to pay the same tuition as their alumnus parents or grandparents.
Wacky Scholarships for Last Names
Your last name may also have scholarship potential, provided you choose the right school.
- The “Zolp Scholarship” is restricted to students at Loyola University in Chicago that are Catholic and whose last name is Zolp.
- “Scarpinato Scholarship” at Texas A&M University
- “Baxendale, Hudson, Thayer, Downer and Bright” at Harvard University
Other Weird Scholarship Information
Whether you want to follow in J.D. Salinger's footsteps and earn his namesake scholarship at Ursinus College, or get something out of your devotion to the Starfleet Enterprise and try for a Starfleet Academy Scholarship, there are plenty of weird scholarships out there.
Many of these scholarships can provide some financial relief from the burden of college tuition, but should not be relied on entirely, no matter how familiar you are with the Klingon language.
Weird Scholarships: Tips and Tactics
- Search high and low. Millions of dollars of scholarship money go unclaimed every year. Money is out there, you just need to find it.
- Stay organized. Make a list of all of your scholarship deadlines and what you need to apply.
- Apply to more than you think you should, then apply to 10 more. When you apply to more than you need you can ensure you have the money you need for college.