One misconception about scholarships that I am ALWAYS debunking with students is that you need to have a perfect GPA or have demonstrated financial need in order to be eligible to apply for scholarships.
The reality is that there are tons (and I mean TONS!) of weird and unusual scholarships out there that will award you money on the basis of your hobbies, passions, or other unique aspects of your personality.
With that, I decided that this post on weird and crazy scholarships is long overdue. Here is my list of some of the most unconventional and unique scholarship opportunities that are out there for you to apply for.
Deadline: February 26
Amount: Varies, $5,000 - $30,000
Description: This scholarship requires you to enter an original doodle and explain how it represents your inner strength. Doodles will be judged on artistic merit, creativity, and theme communication.
Deadline: February 20
Amount: $5,000 - $10,000
Description: Three scholarships (one $10,000; two $5,000) will be awarded to graduating U.S. high school students who promoted vegetarianism (includes veganism) in their schools and/or communities.
Deadline: March 1
Description: If you're ~vertically gifted~, aka, over 5'10" (women) and 6'2" (men), this is the scholarship for you!
Deadline: March 1
Amount: Varies, up to $12,500
Description: This scholarship is for students studying Enology/Viticulture, otherwise known as the wine and grape industry.
Deadline: March 2
Description: This scholarship, open to high school and college students, asks students to submit an original photo, piece of artwork, or computer graphic for the front of a greeting card. The student with the best design will win a $10,000 scholarship and have his or her entry made into an actual greeting card to be sold in The Gallery Collection’s line. The winning student’s school will also receive a $1000 prize for helping to promote the contest.
Deadline: March 31
Description: The Gamers Helping Gamers Scholarship is offered to students (preference to high school seniors) who play Magic: The Gathering.
Deadline: April 1
Description: The AFSA awards up to 10 scholarships to high school students who write a short essay about sprinklers and the importance of fire safety.
Deadline: April 30
Description: Calling all candy lovers! This scholarship, sponsored by the American Association of Candy Technologists, is for students studying a major such as food science, chemical science, or related, with a demonstrated interest in confectionary technology (through academics, work experiences, or side projects).
Deadline: June 8
Amount: Varies - $500 - $10,000
Description: The Stuck at Prom Scholarship is the coolest scholarship contest around. Students are challenged to create their own prom outfits made entirely from Duck Tape®, then wear those outfits to the prom for the chance to win scholarship cash!
Deadline: June 19
Description: This $10,000 scholarship gets awarded to one graduate student each year who has a demonstrated interest in the potato industry or related fields.
Deadline: July 31
Description: Calling all gamers (specifically Minecraft lovers)! This scholarship gives you the opportunity to win scholarship money simply by showing your appreciation for the game.
Deadline: August 15
Description: If you're into rodeo, you should DEFINITELY apply for this scholarship! Simply write a short essay on your rodeo story for the chance to win a $500 scholarship.
Deadline: October 1
Description: We all know that memes are all the hype nowadays. For this no-essay scholarship, simply submit your favorite memes for the chance to win.
Deadline: October 30
Description: The essay prompt for this scholarship reads: ‘Imagine that your high school/college has been overrun with Zombies. Your math professor, the cafeteria ladies, and even your best friend have all joined the walking dead. Use your brain to flesh out a plan to avoid the Zombies, including where you would hide and the top 5 things you would bring with you to stay alive.’ ... ~funky~
Description: All of Do Something's scholarship opportunities revolve around performing various types of community service and activism in exchange for being entered to win scholarships! While this certainly doesn't fall under the category of "weird", it is less-than-conventional, and great to know that students can earn scholarship money by giving back!
Description: If you love cats and have a background volunteering at an animal/rescue shelter, this scholarship is right up your alley.
There you have it- my running list of wacky, weird, and unusual scholarships!
Whether or not there are any scholarships on this list that apply to you and your hobbies, interests, or way of life, the important message that I want you to walk away with is that there truly are scholarships out there for everything!
Not all scholarships (like some students are led to believe) are awarded solely for being an A+ student or a star athlete.
So, it's important when you're going through the process of searching and applying for scholarships that you take the time to consider all of your unique qualities and interests and incorporate those into your search.