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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.

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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.

Kinnett Scholarships for College/Further Education

  • Application Deadline: 4/3/2022
  • Amount: $1,000
  • The Kinnett Scholarship for College/Further Education, aimed at graduating seniors from NSSED-affiliated high schools (see website), grants $1,000 scholarships to: students receiving special education services pursuing further education through college, vocational school, or post-secondary programs; or, students planning on getting a degree in special education. For more information or to apply, [...] More

Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 6/29/2022
  • 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

Tukwila City of Opportunity Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/31/2022
  • Amount: $5,000
  • The missions of the City of Tukwila Scholarship Program is to provide financial assistance to high school seniors enrolled for undergraduate study in community colleges, colleges, trade schools, and universities. The City of Tukwila Scholarship Program principally targets two- and four-year academic programs; however, certificate/licensing programs are also eligible. Applicants must be residents [...] More
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Last Reviewed: October 2021

Scholarships by Type