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
  • 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

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 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: 4/2/2020
  • 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

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

Female-Only Scholarships Under Fire In Higher Ed

August 20, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

Female-only college and university STEM programs are coming under fire for male discrimination as they attempt to "redress gender imbalance" in fields such as computer science and engineering. The U.S. Department of Education launched more than two dozen investigations into higher education institutions nationwide - including UC Berkeley, UCLA and USC as well as Yale, Princeton and Rice - which offer female-only scholarships, awards and professional development workshops. [...]

Author Argues "Assault on American Excellence" in Highly Critical Book

August 15, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

In his book "The Assault on American Excellence," author and former dean of Yale Law School Anthony Kronman is highly critical of American colleges, particularly when it comes to issues of affirmative action, the renaming of buildings that honored those who embraced slavery, and political correctness. [...]

Education Department Beats out Debt Collectors in Student Loan Collection Battle

August 6, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

A U.S. Federal Judge paved way for the Education Department to halt usage of private debt collectors and overhaul the existing federal student loan program by consolidating loan servicing and default collection efforts. [...]

Last Reviewed: August 2019

Scholarships by Type