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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.

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.

Future Leaders of IT Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 12/1/2017
  • Amount: $2,000
  • The Future Leaders of IT Scholarship is open to high school seniors and college students pursuing a career in information engineering, information management (or related academic discipline). Scholarships include $2,000 payable to your academic institution on your behalf.

    Submission materials:
    -Most recent high school or college transcripts
    -Three letters of recommendations from teachers [...] More

Joseph Ayala Scholarship for Young Artists

  • Application Deadline: 3/31/2018
  • Amount: $200
  • FIRSTheatre is pleased to offer the Joseph Ayala Scholarship for Young Artists to current high school students (juniors or seniors) who are actively involved in their school drama department. FIRSTheatre will award one scholarship (nonrenewable) to the student who is able to demonstrate how their participation in their school performing arts program has prepared them to pursue their higher [...] More

Kinnett Scholarships for College/Further Education

  • Application Deadline: 4/8/2018
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Since 2005, the Northern Suburban Special Education District (NSSED) Foundation has been helping to make the dream of college a reality for many students. The Kinnett Scholarship for College/Further Education, aimed at graduating seniors from NSSED-affiliated high schools, grants $1,000 scholarships to:

    -Special Education students pursuing further education through college, vocational school, [...] More

Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 5/31/2018
  • Amount: $5,000
  • Dedicated to the continuing legacy of AIDS educator and activist Pedro Zamora, the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship Program (Scholarship) seeks to support the academic efforts of emerging young leaders who share Pedro's passionate commitment to ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The scholarship is open to all current high school seniors, college freshmen, sophomores and juniors (ages 27 and [...] More

Tukwila City of Opportunity Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/31/2018
  • Amount: $5,000
  • The City of Tukwila Scholarship Program was established in 2014. The mission of the scholarship 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 [...] More

Tupelo Elvis Fan Club Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 2/14/2018
  • Amount: $5,000
  • Applicants must be a resident of Mississippi and enrolled as a senior at a Mississippi high school and must sing, dance or play a musical instrument. To enter, you must submit a performance MP4 video for review by the selection committee. If chosen as a semi-finalist, you will be invited to perform live at the Finale to be held in Tupelo, Mississippi on a date to be announced. You must be able to [...] More

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Yale to Ditch "Freshman", "Upperclassmen", Adopt Gender-Neutral Terms

September 19, 2017

by Susan Dutca

In an effort to modernize, Yale will no longer use the terms "freshman" and "underclassmen" and will instead adopt gender-neutral terminology, such as "first-year" and "upper-level students." University officials still anticipate students and faculty to use the old terminology, since they're "deeply ingrained in our everyday language and in Yale's history."

The new terminology can be found in the Undergraduate Regulations and the First-Year Handbook and is expected to appear in all Yale College's publications and communications by the start of the 2018-2019 academic year. The effort to phase out the older terminology is "a piece of a larger movement to reflect the diversity of college campuses" and also in part because the "two words in particular are gendered," according to Jennifer Keup, Director Of the National Resource for the First-Year-Experience and students in Transition. [...]

Senate Bill to Make College Affordable and Accessible for Homeless, Foster Care Youth

September 13, 2017

by Susan Dutca

A bipartisan group of U.S House of Representatives and U.S. Senate lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would help homeless students and foster youth get the financial support they need for college. The bill would also remove other barriers to higher education, such as providing housing options, improving outreach, and streamlining the FAFSA to homeless and foster care students. [...]

Harvest Fall Scholarships for College

September 7, 2017

by Susan Dutca

Enjoy a seasonal treat this season with fall scholarships from Scholarships.com to help pay your college tuition bill. Harvest some of the largest dollar scholarships, most prestigious scholarships, and brand name scholarships out there with our list of October scholarships. These autumn scholarships are so good you'll scream! So hurry and apply for these scholarships due in October and don't let them fall by the wayside. For a complete list of scholarships due in October, click here. [...]

Last Reviewed: September 2017

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