Weird Scholarships

When it comes to winning scholarships, geek is chic. Often, a college scholarship is not awarded solely based on major, academic ability, test scores, or athletic talent, but according to a variety of criteria likely to indicate potential for college success. Students who think creatively, express themselves well, and demonstrate an interest in acquiring a great depth and breadth of knowledge are likely to stand out in scholarship applications, as well as the college application process.

Students with unusual talents and interests often find themselves uniquely suited to art scholarships, writing scholarships, and a variety of other weird scholarship opportunities. It makes sense. A typical scholarship contest will seek applicants who stand out from the crowd, and some, like the weird scholarship contests mentioned below, seek students who have spent their entire lives standing out from the crowd. The scholarship applicants whose talents and interests have already earned them school-wide recognition are likely to also receive recognition from scholarship providers, especially where wacky or unusual scholarships are concerned.

Free scholarship money abounds for students with a penchant for the unusual. The hippie girl is going to clean up in green scholarships and community service scholarships for all her high school activism. The guy who memorized pi to 250 places is almost guaranteed some sort of academic scholarship. Duct Tape Pants Guy and the girl hauling around a battered copy of The Fountainhead can win thousands of dollars just for celebrating their talents with a photograph or scholarship essay, as well. Even the sci-fi kids can win multiple weird scholarship awards.

In addition to merit scholarships, scholarships for women, scholarships for minorities, or other well-known categories, weird scholarships are also worth investigating. If you have a weird talent, there might be a weird scholarship for it. The only way to know is to look, so conduct a scholarship search, check off all your "out there" interests in your profile, and start finding money for college.

American Society for Enology and Viticulture Scholarships

  • Application Deadline: 3/1/2019
  • Amount: Varies
  • The American Society for Enology and Viticulture annually awards numerous scholarships to students pursuing a degree in enology, viticulture, or a curriculum emphasizing a science basic to the wine and grape industry. ASEV offers two scholarship programs: the ASEV Traditional Scholarship and the ASEV Presidents’ Award for Scholarship in Enology and Viticulture. The awards are not in predetermined [...] More

Chick Evans Scholarship for Caddies

  • Application Deadline: 9/30/2019
  • Amount: Varies
  • To be eligible to apply for a Chick Evans Scholarship for caddies, candidates must meet the following requirements:
    1. Strong caddie record: Applicants must have caddied, successfully and regularly, for a minimum of two years and are expected to
    caddie at their sponsoring club the year they apply for the scholarship
    2. Excellent academics: Applicants must have completed their junior year of [...] More

CME Beef Industry Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 10/30/2019
  • Amount: $1,500
  • Sponsored by CME Group & the National Cattlemen's Foundation, ten (10) scholarships of $1,500 will be awarded to outstanding students who are pursuing careers in the beef industry. Fields of study may include education, communications, production, research or any other area involved with the beef industry. The purpose of this program is to identify and encourage talented and thoughtful students [...] More

LaFontaine Aquatic Entomology Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 4/1/2019
  • Amount: Varies
  • This grant was created to honor Gary LaFontaine and the aquatic entomology he loved and spent his life studying. A Fund has been established in the FFF Foundation, to support graduate students (MS or Ph.D.) doing a research project in aquatic entomology. A minimum of five years membership and service to the FFI is required. Nominations will be forwarded to the VP of Education and the Education [...] More

National Candy Technologists Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 4/2/2019
  • Amount: $5,000
  • The National Candy Technologists Scholarship is $5,000, paid in two $2,500 installments. To qualify, the student must be either a college sophomore, junior or senior for the upcoming academic year, have a demonstrated interest in confectionery technology, and be majoring in food science, chemical science, biological science or related area. A minimum 3.0 GPA is also required. For more information [...] More

National Potato Council Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 6/15/2019
  • Amount: $10,000
  • Each year, NPC awards a $10,000 academic scholarship to one graduate-level student conducting research for the benefit of the potato industry. The winner is selected based on a number of criteria, including academic achievement, leadership abilities, potato-related areas of graduate study, benefit to the U.S. potato industry/commercial value, extracurricular activities, and grades.

    Explain in [...] More

NDS/DMI Milk Marketing & Dairy Products Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 4/15/2019
  • Amount: $1,500
  • These scholarships are provided to encourage undergraduate sophomores and junior students to pursue careers in the marketing of milk or dairy products. Major areas can include Dairy or Agricultural Marketing, Dairy Product Development, Dairy Quality Control or Testing, Dairy Foods or Nutrition, and Food Product Science. Scholarships are based on leadership, experience, academic ability and [...] More

Our World-Underwater Society Rolex Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 12/1/2018
  • Amount: $25,000
  • The Our World-Underwater Scholarship provides a hands-on introduction to underwater and other aquatic-related endeavors for young persons with an interest in underwater–related disciplines. Students must be 21 to 26 years of age, be in high academic standing, fluent in English and certified as a rescue diver or equivalent with a minimum 25 dives logged in the past two years. If you are chosen as [...] More

The Collegiate Inventors Competition

  • Application Deadline: 6/14/2019
  • Amount: $100,000
  • The Collegiate Inventors Competition, a program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Invent Now, is a national competition that recognizes and rewards innovations, discoveries, and research by college and university students and their faculty advisors. The competition encourages students who actively pursue invention. Students frequently come from science, engineering, mathematics, and [...] More

The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund

  • Application Deadline: 12/1/2018
  • Amount: $60,000
  • The Ouimet Scholarship is unique in that it is renewable for up to four years. Ouimet awards range from $1,500 to $15,000 per year, depending on financial need and ranking in our competitive evaluation process. The value of the award over four years can be $10,000 to $40,000, or more. Nearly 5,600 young people have received Ouimet Scholarships, and many have gone on to prestigious positions of [...] More

USBC Chuck Hall Star of Tomorrow

  • Application Deadline: 12/1/2018
  • Amount: $6,000
  • This award annually recognizes star qualities in a male high school senior or college student who competes in the sport of bowling. Star qualities include distinguished certified bowling performance on the local, regional, state and national levels, academic achievement and extracurricular and civic involvement. The award winner receives a $6,000 scholarship.

    Eligibility:
    -Be a current USBC [...] More

Latest College & Financial Aid News

College Students Expected to Vote in Record Numbers in Midterm Election

November 6, 2018

by Susan Dutca

Research indicates that college students are expected to vote in record numbers in today's midterm election, in stark contrast to the nation's lowest youth turnout and voter registration in 2014. While forty percent of 18- to 29-year-olds say they will "definitely vote" in the midterm elections, "doesn't mean they'll actually cast a ballot on Election Day." Here are a few of the issues in higher education on which voters will have a say: [...]

Graduate Students' "Fight for $15"

October 30, 2018

by Susan Dutca

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Graduate student assistants across the nation are pushing for a $15 per hour stipend, which they believe is a "minimum living wage." Graduate students have attributed the 29 percent stipend increase at Emory University to their successful campus advocacy. [...]

Could Federal Redefining of Gender Identity Cause "Administrative Chaos"?

October 23, 2018

by Susan Dutca

The Trump administration's consideration in defining gender as a biological condition determined by a person's gender at birth could cause "administrative chaos" at universities which employ Obama-era rules, where "there's no test" to "prove that a person is a certain gender." [...]

Last Reviewed: November 2018

Scholarships by Type