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: 3/1/2020
  • Amount: Varies
  • ASEV Presidents’ Award for Scholarship in Enology and Viticulture. 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 [...] More

LaFontaine Aquatic Entomology Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 4/1/2020
  • 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 FFI Foundation, to support graduate students (MS or PhD) doing a research project in aquatic entomology. A resume, a short synopsis of the project, and letter of recommendation from his or her faculty advisor are requested for each candidate. [...] More

National Candy Technologists Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 4/2/2020
  • 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: 6/15/2020
  • 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.

    Applicants [...] More

The Collegiate Inventors Competition

  • Application Deadline: 6/14/2020
  • 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

Latest College & Financial Aid News

"U of Farmington" Fraudsters Prosecuted, Deported

December 10, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

The U.S. government set up a fake Michigan university as part of a sting operation to catch visa fraudsters. Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) secretly established the University of Farmington, enrolling more than 600 students studying science and technology in a "pay to stay” scheme. As a result, roughly 250 students have been arrested on immigration violations. [...]

Amazon Offers $40K Future Engineer Scholarships

November 6, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

E-tail giant Amazon is now accepting applications to its Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship Program for students entering college in the fall of 2020. The scholarship program offers 100 current high school seniors from underserved and underrepresented communities across the country the opportunity to receive $40,000 scholarships to study computer science at a four-year college or university and a guaranteed paid internship offer at Amazon after the completion of their first year. [...]

NC Senator Proposes Taxing of Athletic Scholarships

October 31, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

In response to the NCAA's vote to allow athletes to profit from their names, images and likeness, Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina has proposed taxing those scholarships. Senator Burr tweeted: "If college athletes are going to make money off their likenesses while in school, their scholarships should be treated like income. I'll be introducing legislation that subjects scholarships given to athletes who choose to 'cash in' to income taxes." [...]

Last Reviewed: December 2019

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