What are Unusual Scholarships?

Did you know that not all scholarships are given out on the basis of your grade point average or financial need? You can earn a scholarship based on which hand you write with, a job you’ve held, being a twin, or going to prom in a really strange outfit. In the world of “unusual” or “weird” scholarships, anything goes. Although some of the criteria to win one of these scholarships can seem pretty “out there,” unusual scholarships can be grouped into some basic categories based on the stipulations that the scholarship provider makes.

  • Awarded based on physical characteristics – If you attend Juniata College in Pennsylvania, you can receive a scholarship based solely on the hand you write with…as long as it’s your left hand! Students who are twins or triplets may be eligible for scholarships from various colleges, such as Carl Albert State College in Oklahoma or Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.
  • Awarded based on jobs, hobbies, or interests – The Evans Scholars Foundation gives out about 200 scholarships each year to students who have worked as golf caddies for at least two years. Students with an interest in the study of the paranormal may be eligible for a scholarship from the Parapsychology Foundation. If you refuse to eat meat and try to convince your friends to do the same, you could win a scholarship from the Vegetarian Resource Group.
  • Awarded based on a specific set of criteria – Some scholarship sponsors establish very specific criteria designed to find a certain type of student to win an award. For example, a female student planning to attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro who will live on campus, has no car, has never been married, and has financial need can receive a scholarship in the amount of her financial need.

There are also unusual scholarships that are so weird that they don’t fit into any of these categories. If you possess the ability to call ducks, for example, you can compete in the annual duck calling contest in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and possibly win a scholarship. Students who are willing to go to prom dressed in an outfit made of duct tape (and have the ability to convince their date to do the same) could win a scholarship and win their school some money, too. Are you a fan of the undead? Believe it or not, students who can flesh out a plan to survive a Zombie Apocalypse can win free money for college. Do you love ice cream? If you can write about the ice cream flavor that best describes your personality, there is a scholarship for you! The point is, don’t give up on a scholarship just because you don’t have the highest GPA or a lot of financial need – there are plenty of scholarships out there for a student just like you!



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