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

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.Sponsored by CME Group & the National Cattlemen's Foundation, ten (10) [...] 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: 4/3/2020
  • 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 advisers. Students frequently come from science, engineering, mathematics, and technology studies, but creative invention can emerge from any course [...] More

Latest College & Financial Aid News

McDonald's, Ivy Tech Team Up on College Tuition Assistance Program

January 23, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

More than 300 McDonald's locations will participate in the new Archways to Opportunity education program which - through its partnership with Indiana's community college system - will help its employees afford college tuition. McDonald's employees who work a minimum 15 hours per week for 90 days can receive up to $2,500 in college tuition assistance each year - or $3,000 per year for managers - at 18 Ivy Tech Community College campuses located in Indiana.

[...]

Get Paid to Play in College with ESA Esports Scholarships

January 21, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced its first Esports scholarship, expanding its 20-year-old scholarship program to include Esports competitors in college, according to Polygon. The ESA Esports scholarship program is "intended to elevate the participation of women and minorities" who currently "account for a very small percentage of Esports scholarship recipients. Therefore, in order to be eligible for the ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Arts Scholarship, you must either be a woman or minority and pursuing a degree leading to a career in computer and video game arts and sciences. Current high school seniors, college freshman, sophomore and juniors who are U.S. citizens may apply for the ESA Esports scholarship. Applicants must also be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program at an accredited four (4) year college or university in the upcoming fall semester in order to be considered. All scholarship applications are due March 2, 2020 at 11:59 PST. Applicants will receive results by mid-June and funds will be issued to scholarship winners by end of August. [...]

Biggest / Largest Dollar Scholarships in 2020

January 16, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

When it comes to large dollar scholarships, mo' money means fewer problems in paying your college tuition bill. The average student will land between $1,000 and $5,000 in college scholarships after investing a decent amount of time and effort into applying for scholarships. Even smaller scholarships worth $500 are enough to cover books and fees, even if they aren't enough to foot an entire semester’s college tuition bill. [...]

Last Reviewed: January 2020

Scholarships by Type