Home > Financial Aid > College Scholarships > Scholarships by Type > Non-Academic College Scholarships

Non-Academic College Scholarships

Scholarships Aren't Just for "A Students" Anymore

Traditionally, scholarships encompass terms such as "merit" and "need", but there are more factors included. Students are often unaware of the many non-academic scholarships available and presume their chances at winning scholarships are low if they didn’t receive good grades in high school. Though academics are a crucial area for consideration, it does not mean you have zero chance to find money for college without such qualifications. Though your chances are increased if you do happen to belong to three or four clubs, boast a 4.0 cumulative GPA, or ace the ACT or SAT, these are not the only criteria.

Naturally, there are the unusual scholarships such as one for being left-handed. For those planning to attend Juniata College in Huntington, Pennsylvania, there is an exclusive scholarship for being left-handed. The Duck Brand duct tape contest has no GPA requirement, offers a $2,500 grand prize, and is fun! But if you do not like Pennsylvania or sticky residue, you have other options. There are many other non-academic scholarship awards out there, and you or your child/student could very well qualify for multiple awards. Below are several types of scholarships that don’t necessarily favor the valedictorian.

Talent: The new brain

Can you draw? Dance? Sing? There are quite a few non-academic college scholarships available to creatively-inclined individuals. Some may have a minimum GPA, which are not difficult to achieve. There are art scholarships for almost every discipline of art- from drawing to vocals, some scholarships may simply request videos for auditions.

Write your own ticket

Essay scholarships could prove rewarding. Scholarships grant $500 to $5,000 for book analysis and some don’t even require reading the book. Most scholarships essay contests do not have a GPA requirement, nor are they concerned with the famous three-letter acronyms (ACT, SAT). As a matter of fact, the Scholarships.com Resolve To Evolve Scholarship does not have any GPA, SAT, or ACT requirements and you could win up to $3,000 with your scholarship essay . Even without being the top winner, you could win $2,000 or be one of five $1,000 winners. Conduct a free scholarship search at Scholarships.com to see if you qualify.

Apply for an "Area of Study" Scholarship

There ample scholarships for students interested in a particular major, from Art to Technology. Though it could never hurt to have a perfect 4.0, you still may have a chance at thousands of dollars in free financial assistance, or maybe even a full-ride scholarship. For example, Scholarships.com awards 13 different $1,000 Area of Study College Scholarships each year- a written 250-300 word essay is the sole requirement. Put in your best effort—make a case to the scholarship provider and demonstrate why you are the best candidate for your given field.

Employers may pay more than just your salary

Often, a scholarship will be available exclusively to employees, children, or companies such as Kraft. Also, there are scholarships for particular trades and services, such as the police force or steel workers. Corporate scholarships often feature generous awards and requirements that can be met by the average person, and are worth the quick application.

Location, Location, Location

Sometimes, your zip code or high school may qualify you for a non-academic scholarship. There are a number of local scholarships available exclusively to those living in specific areas or attending specific high schools. If there is one for your city, county, or school, it will be in your search results at Scholarships.com.

All of the above types of non-academic scholarships will appear in your search results when you conduct a free scholarship search online at Scholarships.com. We ask the most pertinent questions possible in an approximately ten-minute session, so that you will see which scholarships are available to you with little effort. The more complete and accurate the information you supply, the more accurate and complete your search results. You may be pleasantly surprised to see how many scholarships you are eligible for.

Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 6/29/2020
  • Amount: $5,000
  • The Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship is open to all current high school seniors, and college freshman, sophomores and juniors (ages 27 and younger) who demonstrate an active commitment to end HIV/AIDS and taking on roles of public service and leadership. All applicants must describe their current leadership efforts/experience, its significance to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and how their future [...] More

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Coronavirus News Update for Students, Families, Colleges

March 31, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

From student loans to college athletics, Scholarships.com is keeping you updated on all of the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on high school and higher education. If you're tired of reading about COVID-19, take a break by checking out your latest scholarship matches and earning money for college here. [...]

Coronavirus Impact on SAT, ACT, and AP Testing

March 26, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

As a high school student in the midst of the standardized testing season and living through the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be wondering what the future holds for standardized test scores, AP courses, and the college admissions process. A recent survey conducted by The College Board revealed than 91 percent of 18,000 polled enrollees still want to take their AP tests. In fact, in 900 pages of comments responding to the AP survey, AP students "begged to be allowed at least one championship bout with an AP test." [...]

Coronavirus Stimulus Package: Higher Ed Edition

March 24, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

Negotiations and proposals for an economic stimulus package are being mulled over by lawmakers, ones that will ultimately affect school and education funding. Currently, student-loan borrowers are able enter forbearance on their student loans for 60 days without accruing interest. The U.S. Department of Education will also suspend student loan payments by borrowers who are over 31 days delinquent. The White House has already announced that it will waive the interest on federal student loan payments. Here are some of the recent developments in proposed relief for students, colleges and universities as part of the COVID-19 stimulus plan: [...]

Last Reviewed: April 2020

Scholarships by Type