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: 3/1/2021
  • 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: 9/30/2021
  • Amount: Varies
  • As the nation's largest scholarship program for caddies, we've helped thousands of hardworking young men and women get to college since 1930. Our Evans Scholars Program addresses the barriers to college graduation faced by students and prepares them for a lifetime of success. For more information or to apply, please visit the scholarship provider's website. [...] More

CME Beef Industry Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 10/30/2020
  • Amount: $1,500
  • The National Cattlemen’s Foundation and CME Group are committed to the future of the cattle industry and continue to recognize and support outstanding youth in the beef community. The tradition remains strong today, each year a total of ten $1,500.00 scholarships are awarded to students pursuing careers in the beef industry. Applicant must be a graduating high school senior or full-time [...] More

LaFontaine Aquatic Entomology Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 4/1/2021
  • Amount: Varies
  • The LaFontaine Aquatic Entomology Scholarship supports graduate students (MS or Ph.D.) doing a research project in aquatic entomology. A resume, a short synopsis of the project, and a letter of recommendation from his or her faculty advisor are requested for each candidate. Nominations will be forwarded to the VP of Education and the Education Committee for recommendations to the FFI Foundation. [...] More

National Candy Technologists Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 4/3/2021
  • 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: 6/15/2021
  • Amount: $10,000
  • Each year, the National Potato Council Scholarship 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 [...] More

The Collegiate Inventors Competition

  • Application Deadline: 6/14/2021
  • 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 advisers. Students frequently come from science, engineering, mathematics, and technology studies, but creative invention can emerge from any course [...] More

The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund

  • Application Deadline: 12/1/2020
  • 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: 12/1/2020
  • Amount: $6,000
  • The USBC Chuck Hall Star of Tomorrow 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. For more information or to apply, please visit the scholarship [...] More

Latest College & Financial Aid News

ACT Class Action Lawsuit: $16 Million Settlement for Students with Disabilities

October 23, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

ACT, Inc., the college admissions testing company, has agreed to pay out $16 million to 65,728 California students with disabilities to settle a class-action lawsuit. The class-action federal lawsuit filed in California in 2018 alleged that ACT, Inc. violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and California's Unruh Civil Rights Act by disclosing test-takers' disability status to colleges and scholarship organizations on score reports, and denied certain examinees with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in its Educational Opportunity Service. [...]

Test-Optional Colleges Pledge to Judge Applications Holistically

October 22, 2020

by Izzy Hall

In response to the coronavirus pandemic and the way it has made it harder than ever to take the SAT and ACT, many colleges and universities, from large state universities to small liberal arts colleges, have announced that their admissions for next year’s Class of 2025 will be test-optional. Test-optional admissions mean that schools won’t require a submission of a standardized test score as part of the admissions process. But how will admissions officials judge applicants without a score? Will a student who doesn’t submit a standardized test score be penalized in any way? And will a student who does submit a score be chosen over one who doesn’t? [...]

Increasing Number of Students from Immigrant Families in Higher Education

October 20, 2020

by Izzy Hall

Getting a college degree is part of the American Dream. College graduates generally earn more money and have a better quality of life. So it’s not surprising that students from immigrant families or who are immigrants themselves are making up an increasingly larger percentage of associate’s, bachelors and masters-seeking students in America. [...]

Last Reviewed: October 2020

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