Weird College Scholarships: They really do exist!!!

Weird – something that usually is uncanny, unnatural, or strange. Put that together with scholarships and to me it doesn’t seem like something that would mesh well together. Higher Education also comes off as being so informal that to have and apply for something that would be downright odd just doesn’t seem to be real.

Oh but it’s real and there’s quite a bit out there. Some are downright hilarious to read through. Other’s sound like absolutely ridiculous. However, they all offer an opportunity for money. They should be looked at seriously as part of your College Financial Plan.

Where to find Weird and Wacky Scholarships?

So in my research I came across several sites that showcase these “Weird Scholarships.”

They are:

Where to Start with Unique Scholarships?

So there a lot and I mean a lot of weird scholarships. I’d be lying if I said that I have heard of these before. I honestly haven’t and as we dig into them, I’m sure you can see why that is given that they are so unusual.

I’d like to begin with the article I found on affordable colleges since it was the first one that I came across. You can find the article here Unusual and Unique Scholarships for College Students.

Weird Scholarships that Pay!!

  • American Board of Funeral Service Education National Scholarship Program – We really are starting off with an interesting scholarships right? For this one you can get anywhere between $500-$2,500. The intent is to attract young applicants to the field of funeral and mortuary services. Sound morbid right? Well I’ve known several people in this field and they have made a very good living.
  • American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship – This award is up to $2,000 and it’s available to students who are brand new to college as well as the students who may be returning to college after some time. The main goal here is awareness for automatic fire sprinklers and their benefits.
  • Asparagus Club Scholarship – My oldest daughter smiled and laughed when she heard. This award is up to $2,000 and has ten scholarships available per year. It offers it’s funding to any student interested in pursuing a career in a field related to the grocery industry. Not exactly sure which career paths and degrees that entail so that will be something I will be research more. 
  • C.A.T.S. Tall Club Scholarship Program – This is for exceptionally tall students living in central Arizona. I mean how more precise can you get than that? Goes to show you how specific these can get and with research you can find them. 
  • Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest – Do you have the ability to call ducks? LOL. Can you duplicate their mating calls? Well if you can’t you better think again because this award offers up to $2,000.
  • Collegiate Inventors Competition –  This award caries and it’s for young inventors from more than 180 different countries so this one is harder to get I would assume. However, this is at least fun to apply for.
  • Create-A Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest – Now we are talking this is a cool one. This is a $10,000 award and it’s a contest and gives high school and college students to create and design a greeting card. Everything must be original from photography and graphics. Those who don’t win can still be selected to be published and there will be compensation.
  • Debt.com Scholarship for Aggressive Scholarship Applicants – With encouragement for students to apply to as many scholarships as they can, the goal here is to reduce student debt. Remember multiple streams!!!!!
  • Doodle 4 Google Scholarship – My oldest daughter actually participated in this one and it’s a $30,000 college scholarship. In addition to winning you will also have your artwork featured in Google’s daily featured logo design. Again I would deem this one as very hard to obtain but it’s out there.
  • DutchCrafters Amish Furniture Heritage Scholarship – Try saying this one 10 times fast. No really…try it!! For a reconnection with your Amish roots this is designed for students studying any academic field. You can win up to #500 for this one.
  • Eileen J. Garrett Scholarship –  Who was Elieen J. Garret you ask? Well whoever she was there is a scholarships with her name on it to the tune of $2,000. She was a parapsychologist and this is to help students gain interest in the field.
  • FMA Solo Scholarship – Designed to transform young musicians into aircraft pilots. You must be at least 16 years of age or older and have a passion for both music and aviation. 
  • Foreclosure.com Scholarship – This is for $2,500 and it allows students to express their opinions on the pros and cons of renting vs buying a home.

There’s more Weird Scholarships

  • Gamers Helping Gamers Scholarship –  This is for $5,000 and it’s for students who enjoy playing Magic: The Gathering. They are required to submit a written statement discussing their favorite and least favorite magic cards and why they feel Magic teaches lessons applicable to the real world.  
  • Getting Real About Distracted Driving – Something besides the wheel that I can get behind. It’s a big issue and anything to help raise awareness for distracted driving is great.  
  • Illuminating Engineering Society Scholarships – Engineering is it now right? Applicants here will be expected to pursue an academic program geared towards the art of illumination, interior design or architecture. You can get anywhere between $500-$1,500.
  • IP Video Contest –  Discussing the importance of intellectual properties (patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc). This one is broken into age groups 13-15, 16-18, and 19 and older. A video submission is required.
  • Lose Your V-Card – V for voter’s card. It states that many neglect to do this out so for students who run their own online voter registration through dosomething.org can enter.
  • Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship – This one is for graduate students who want to specialize in X-Ray crystallography. Name after a renowned scientist you do not get any more specific than this!! You can score up to $2,500 for this scholarship.

Even more Weird Scholarships!!

  • Make Me Laugh Scholarship – Well this one made me laugh. Its $1,500 and it’s coined as a stress-free scholarship. It only requires a story of 250 words or less where you detail a funny or embarrassing incident in your life lol.
  • Morgan/O’Neil Underwater Photography Grant –  This one is for $2,000 and sponsored by the Women Divers Hall of Fame. It’s award to female photographers interested in underwater art that is beautiful.
  • National Potato Council Scholarship Program –  This one if for $10,000! Holy smokes! This is for graduate students. But you can see just how niche these can get. For the record I love potatoes!!!
  • PeakPickler Scholarship Program – I just like saying the name of this one. You can get up to $500 and it’s geared towards those studying marketing, communications, or health science. Applicants will need to write an essay.
  • Shout It Out Scholarship – This is one of my favorites. It’s for $1,500 and it gives students the opportunity to express thoughts and opinions that would otherwise go unspoken. So if you can say one this to the world what would it be and why???
  • Starfleet Scholarships –This is for you Trekkies out there. This is for up to $1,000 and it awards avid Star Trek fans. These may require students to be studying in a specific field

Still More Unusual Scholarships!!

  • Tall Clubs International Student Scholarship – Are you at an above-average height? This scholarship is for students under the age of 21 and are at 5’10 (women) and 6’2 (for men). You can be awarded up to $1,000 for this scholarship.
  • The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund – Francis Ouiment was the “father of amateur golf.” Did you know that? I surely didn’t!! Applicants must have at least two years’ experience working as caddies, course attendants, or pro shop experience.  The amount awarded is $1,000 – $15,000 and is renewable up to four years which is nice.
  •   Interested in a career with the postal service? You can get anywhere between $1,000 – $2,000. The submission will include postal history in the form of a paper.
  • Unigo Flavor of the Month Scholarship –  Requiring a 250 word description that explains which ice cream flavor you most closely relate to and why you chose the flavor. No really that’s what you have to do for the submission.
  • Ursinus College Creative Writing Award –  This is a writing award and you can get $33,000. Please in additional to the prizes the winner will also be given the opportunity to live in J.D. Salinger’s own dorm room for one academic year. Ursinus College is in Pennsylvania by the way.
  • Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship – This group awards $20,000 annually. For high school students practicing vegetarians or vegans and promote peaceful living.
  • Zolp Scholarship – For catholic students attending Loyola University in Chicago who have the last name Zolp!!!! If this is you then apply right away. You must provide proof of surname as well as Catholic Faith.

It’s Not the End of the Weird Scholarships

Affordable colleges mentioned quite a bit of scholarships that we breezed through. However, there are even more out there!!!! It’s insane to think that this opportunity exists and if not applied for then the money goes unused.

The Heavy Hitting Scholarships (Above $10,000)

I want to break down the heavy hitters now. The ones that offer more than $10,000 that we didn’t cover in the list above.

Stuck at Prom from Duck Brand

Amount: $10,000

What you need to do/requirements: Make a prom outfit from Duck Tape. First place will receive the $10,000 award. Also they offer eight runner up prizes.

Davidson Fellows Scholarship

What you need to do/requirements: For those 18 and under who have completed a significant piece of work in the categories of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, and Philosophy.

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholarships

Amount: $20,000

What you need to do/requirements: Must be a resident of Texas and plan to go to college in Texas. Some requirements include a minimum of 19 on the ACT.

Ira Mitzner Collegiate Boxing Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

What you need to do/requirements: For high school seniors being accepted into a four-year college and will be a competitive boxer for the U.S. Intercollegiate Boxing Association (USIBA).

Girls Inc. National Scholarship Program

Amount: $20,000

What you need to do/requirements: The Girls Inc. National Scholarship is to help fund the education of active Girls Inc. members. Up to five high school student and five 8th grade per location can apply. To be eligible you must have been in the program for a minimum of 24 months.

Walmart Dependent Scholarship Program

Amount: $10,000

What you need to do/requirements: Meijer team members and children of Meijer team members can apply for this and win a $3,000-$10,000 award. You must have a year of continuous part or full-time employment.

ASEV Traditional Scholarship  

Amount: $12,500

What you need to do/requirements: ASEV (American Society for Enology and Viticulture Scholarship program. For students currently enrolled in a four-year program at an accredited university in North American. Minimum GPA must be a 3.0 for undergraduates and 3.2 for graduates. Applicants must be enrolled in enology or viticulture, or programs highlighting science basic to the wine and grape industry.

James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program  

Amount: $20,000

What you need to do/requirements: Available for those pursuing culinary arts, baking, hospitality, pastry, food students, agriculture, and sustainability. You will need to provide transcripts, GPA, and list of community service. Statements about goals and essays may be required.

Rolex Scholarships

Amount: $25,000

What you need to do/requirements: For students between the ages of 21-16 and have not earned a graduate degree you also will need to be a certified Rescue Diver with a minimum of 25 dives logged in the past two years.

Maritime Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

What you need to do/requirements: The TK Foundation offers this scholarship to help support those wanting a career in the maritime industry. If you are a sophomore, junior, or senior and enrolled in  a maritime major then you are invite to apply.

Ben Carlson Memorial Scholarship  

Amount: $10,000

What you need to do/requirements: Created to honor Ben Carlson (lifeguard who passed away). This grant is awarded to two outstanding and deserving applicants.

Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge

Amount: $25,000

What you need to do/requirements: For high school students with a passion for writing musical theatre songs. Applicants can apply as individuals or as writing teams. The submission of an audio recording and written narrative will be required.

Creative Writing Awards

Amount: $10,000

What you need to do/requirements: Given to students with strong and original clear voices who will take risks with writing. You can be 21 years old and under, or a high school senior graduating from a New York public high school. Original work of poetry, personal essay, and/or graphic novel can be submitted.

GET IT (Girls Exploring Together – Information Technology)

Amount: $20,000

What you need to do/requirements: This scholarship is worth up to $5,000 each year and can be renewed for up to three additional years for the total of $20,000. For high school seniors and women who will be enrolled at Michigan University full-time.

Microsoft Imagine Cup

Amount: $100,000

What you need to do/requirements: No typo here! This monster of a scholarship is a skill-based competition that will award the scholarship to an individual student or a team of students. They must showcase the most ground-breaking, and appealing software build with Microsoft tools. Must be at least 16 years old and cannot have any family members employed by Microsoft.

TYLENOL Future Care Scholarship  

Amount: $10,000

What you need to do/requirements: For undergraduates and graduate students who wish to pursue their career in healthcare and are enrolled in an accredited health education, medical school, nursing, or pharmacy program. TYLENOL will award 10 scholarships in the amount of $10,000 and 30 in the amount of $5,000 annually.  

The OPERA Foundation Scholarships

Amount: $17,600

What you need to do/requirements: For those pursuing a career in opera. Applicants selected will attend the Opera Foundation’s auditions in an effort to compete for one of four scholarships. The winners will receive a stipend and travel expenses to Berlin, Munich, and Turin. The winners also sign a contract for 10 months with the Opera Foundation.

Student Alexia Grant

Amount: $17,600

What you need to do/requirements: For those pursuing a career in opera. Applicants selected will attend the Opera Foundation’s auditions in an effort to compete for one of four scholarships. The winners will receive a stipend and travel expenses to Berlin, Munich, and Turin. The winners also sign a contract for 10 months with the Opera Foundation.

American Academy in Rome Prize

Amount: $28,000

What you need to do/requirements: Rome? Sounds good to me….let’s go! For students specializing in a variety of students like architecture, visual arts, renaissance studies, ancient students, and more! Stipends are either $16,000 or $28,000. Winners are also provided meals, bedrooms, private bath, and a study.

Nikon Storytellers Scholarships

Amount: $10,000

What you need to do/requirements: This scholarships supports the next generation of content creators visually. It’s for undergraduate and graduate students at accredited, non-profit colleges, or vocational/technical schools. Fine arts, visual arts, journalism, film, multimedia are all applicable.

But Wait There’s Even More Weird Scholarships!!

How can this be you say? How can there be even more weird scholarships out there you ask? Well there are again going to show you that money/funding is there and these odd offerings are proof.

Michael Jackson Scholarship

No way, a Michael Jackson scholarship? It’s true and this scholarship offers up to $4,000 tuition if you major in communications, performing arts, or English. You must have a 3.0 or better GPA.

Oregon Space Scholarship Program

Offering $4,000 for students majoring in math, engineering, technology, or science. The intent here to advance the space program which is really going to get exciting in years to come. This program belongs to the National Space fellowship and Grant program. It’s assisting to train the next workforce of NASA.

Chuck Allen Snowboard Scholarship Award

Offered by the USA Snowboard & Freeski Association, this scholarship’s intent is to attract talent and the promoting of their development while providing education for their members. Again showcasing jujst how specific these scholarships can be.

Nordstrom Cares Scholarship

This scholarship will chose 90 students who live in the US where there are Nordstrom stores. They are awarded $10,000 in scholarships. To be eligible you must be active in extracurricular activities or volunteer. You also need a 2.7 GPS or better. Now financial assistance will need to be demonstrated so that college can be attended.

Little People of America Scholarship

We’ve seen scholarships available for those “taller” individuals so why not the opposite right? Little people of America provides support for those people 4”10 or shorter in height and their families. Amounts may vary.

Hood College’s Heritage Scholarships

Hood College award incoming freshman the chance to pay what alumnus parents or grandparents paid. Pretty neat if you think about it. Of course your grandparent/parent would have had to of gone to Hood College but still it’s a great opportunity.

The Illinois Organization of Mother of Twins Clubs Scholarship

Cannot get any stranger/weirder than this right? This scholarship was founded by the Illinois organization named in the exact title. You must be an Illinois resident and must show financial need. Now this is one the smaller scale with the award amount being $300. However, that is $300 less than you had before.

After You Find These Weird Scholarships, Now What?

We went through a lot of scholarships. I mean these are scholarships that if brought up in general conversation, most people would not believe you that they actually exists. So what do you do with all of these scholarships? You sort through them and find out which ones you are eligible for and APPLY TO THEM ALL!!

These are a different element and present a different dynamic. Why? Well because with the more “formal” scholarships you have to stand out but with these wacky ones that already “stand out” by nature you will need to stand out even more!

I would suggest having a master essay for you application and a word document with several versions. Much like a resume for job applications, you should approach the same with the application essay. This way you can then pull information from them and use it to create at the very least your skeleton and foundation for your essay.

We have seen some of these with specific requirements for what you need to submit but having this handy will help you and save you time!

Tuition Drop Podcast

If you are on the go and want to check out our episode on Weird Scholarships you can do so below!

Tuition Drop Podcast – Weird Scholarships

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