Some of the Weirdest College Scholarship Opportunities

Before you give up on the idea of getting a scholarship, take a look at this list of the weirdest college scholarships out there. With scholarships as strange as these, you may be eligible for more free college funding than you think! The amount offered is the top award; there may be runner-up prizes too. This list has been updated as of May 2022. PS: You can search for scholarships that fit you right here on CollegeXpress!

* Highlighted schools are featured

List produced by the Facts

  • The Gertrude J. Deppen Scholarship: Award varies. Available at Bucknell University, this scholarship is offered to students who honor the memory of its namesake by abstaining from drugs and alcohol, as well as being graduates of Mount Carmel Public High School, residents of Mount Carmel (Pennsylvania) for at least 10 years, and not involved in "strenuous athletic contests." #LowKeyLadies
  • Mycological Society of America Scholarships: Award varies. Scholarships up to $10,000 are available to graduates in various specialties who studied mycology, the study of fungi—aka a delicious pizza topping. #Mushrooms
  • Tattoo Journal Ink Scholarship: Up to $1,800. This isn't your typical essay contest. Instead you get to write about the myth and reality of tattooing. This scholarships has first, second, and third place awards, so you have three chances to win! #Inked
  • American Board of Funeral Service Education National Scholarship Program: $2,500. You know, working with dead people really isn't that bad. It's quiet, it's consistent, and practically no other job is as stable (except maybe being a tax preparer). If you've completed at least one semester or quarter in an accredited funeral service or mortuary science program, you're eligible for this scholarship. #DeadPeople
  • American Association of Candy Technologists John Kitt Memorial Scholarship: $5,000. This sweet deal is available to college sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a food science-related major and a "demonstrated interest in confectionery technology." (We're guessing your epic love of Sour Patch Kids doesn't count.) #Candy
  • Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship: Award varies. This scholarship covers full tuition and housing and is renewable for four years, so all those days of lugging heavy bags around the links might finally pay for golf caddies everywhere. Winners must demonstrate financial need, great grades, and outstanding character...in addition to a "strong caddie record." #Caddyshack
  • Collegiate Inventors Competition: Award varies. College students, you can turn your (or your team's) original and brilliant invention into cash money! And it's actual cash money too; it's not a traditional scholarship paid to your college. As long as your idea hasn't been made or shared commercially or patented, you're eligible. #Inventions
  • Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest: $10,000. Wishing you the best in creating your own creative greeting card, to be voted on and judged by a panel of experts. Sincerely, CollegeXpress. #GreetingCards
  • Debt.com Scholarship for Aggressive Scholarship Applicants: $500. When we say "aggressive," we don't mean rude or rough. Rather, this scholarship is to award you for applying to as many other scholarships as you can...which we recommend doing anyway. You simply need to submit your confirmation emails. #MetaScholarship
  • Doodle 4 Google Scholarship: $30,000. You know your favorite part of Googling stuff is seeing if there's a fun new Google Doodle to play with that day! Well, you can be part of that and win a college scholarship by submitting a Doodle of your own to the Doodle 4 Google scholarship competition. #GoogleDoodles
  • American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship: $2,000. So, first you need to read the "Fire Sprinkler Essay." Then you take a 10-question multiple-choice test about the essay. Then you get a scholarship. Woo! (Okay, there's a basic application too, but it's not too crazy.) #FireSprinklers
  • School Band and Orchestra Magazine Scholarship: $1,000. Put down your oboe and take some time to respond to SBO Magazine's scholarship essay prompt for your shot at free money for college! Questions vary each year, like "Why did you join band, and why do you stick with it?" #Band
  • National Potato Council Scholarship: $10,000. The National Potato Council awards this hefty scholarship annually to a graduate student pursuing advanced study in agribusiness that enhances the potato industry. Mmmm... #Potatoes
  • Illuminating Engineering Society Scholarships: Awards vary. Are you dedicated to good lighting? The folks at the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America certainly are. And if you can demonstrate your skill and vision for the craft and commitment to pursuing illumination as a career, you could snag one of their scholarships. #Lights
  • Rolex European Scholarship: $25,000. Are you part mermaid? If your college studies bring you underwater at all—whether it's for research, aquatourism, photography, or even underwater welding—you might be eligible for this scholarship for "underwater-related" disciplines. #Underwater
  • Starfleet Academy Scholarships: $1,000. Starfleet, if you're unfamiliar, is a fan club run by The International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc. Trekkies attending basically any accredited technical, undergraduate, or graduate institution are eligible for this award, provided they've been Starfleet members for at least one year. #StarTrek
  • Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship: $10,000. If you think animals are friends, not food, and you advocate for them in your high school or community, you may be eligible for this award! #Vegetarian
  • National Marbles Tournament Scholarship: $2,000: "Mibsters" (aka marble shooters) between the ages of seven and 14 compete in the annual National Marbles Tournament for scholarship dollars—and for the chance to be crowned the King or Queen of Marbles (which we think is even better). #Marbles
  • UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette-USA) Scholarship: $1,000. Studying to become a puppeteer? If you're a member of the Union Internationale de la Marionnette's US chapter, are 18 years or older, and have demonstrated experience in puppetry, you might be able to snag this award. #Puppets
  • Gamers Helping Gamers Scholarship: $5,000. If you can wax poetic about your love for Magic: The Gathering (specifically, about the impact the game has had on your life and your favorite and least favorite cards) and you have financial need, you're eligible for this enchanted scholarship. #Gamers
  • Clowns of America, International Scholarship: Award varies. Planning to go to clown college...or at least a family-friendly entertainment educational program that runs for a minimum of 10 hours? You can apply for this scholarship from the Clowns of America, International. #Clowns
  • John Gatling Scholarship: $60,000. Students with the surname Gatlin or Gatling who plan to attend NC State University can take advantage of this generous alumnus' namesake scholarship. It's worth $10k a year for state residents or $15k for non-residents, and it's renewable for up to four years! #GotTheRightLastName
  • Miller Electric International WorldSkills Competition Scholarship: $40,000. Are you a would-be welder? The grand prize winner of the biannual US Weld Trial Competition is eligible for $10,000 over four years of a welding-related educational or training program. #Welding
  • Branson Shows Inspired Scholarship: $1,000. Branson, Missouri, is known for its all-American entertainment, and this ticket seller offers an annual scholarship for students inspired by those family-friendly performers like Presley's Country Jubilee, Dixie Stampede, and the Good Ole Boys. All you have to do is write an essay about "How (*Enter Your Show*) Inspired Me to Realize My Dreams." #BransonMO
  • Discover Scholarship Award: $5,000. "No purchase or student loan necessary to enter or win." That's what we like to see! Not only is this scholarship contest super easy to enter, but you can earn up to three bonus entries when you share it via social media. #Discover
  • Rodeo Enthusiast Scholarship: $500. Applicants must be currently enrolled at an accredited US university and write an essay describing their experience with attending or interest in rodeo. #Cowboy
  • Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship: $2,000. Quick: the streets are full of the undead (bummer). What's your plan?! If you can convince the scholarship judges you're ready to survive a zombie fallout, you could win enough money to stock your underground shelter for at least a few months. #Zombies
  • DoSomething's Easy Scholarships: Amount varies. Okay, this isn't just one scholarship. But these awards come and go fast, so you need to keep an eye on them! Luckily, they're so weird and fun (and generous) you won't have trouble jumping on the opportunities. Past awards include things like writing a rap for your favorite teacher, designing finger puppets, and giving your friends homemade coupon books. Plus, these scholarship raise awareness of important issues like teacher appreciation, texting while driving, and supporting friends with depression. #Easy
  • The Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Left Handed Scholarship: $1,500. Only one college in the world (that we know of) offers a scholarship for left-handed students: Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. Other scholarship requirements include academic excellence and involvement. #Lefty
  • Lake Erie College Twins Scholarship: Award varies. Twins (and families of twins), this is the college tuition two-fer you've been looking for. It's a full tuition scholarship awarded 50/50 if both twin students are enrolled full-time. #Twins
  • Zolp Scholarship: Award varies. All you have to be is a Catholic student with the last name of Zolp attending Loyola University Chicago to qualify. #GotTheRightLastName
  • The Asparagus Club Scholarship: $2,000. You don't have to love asparagus to join the venerable Asparagus Club or to win one of its biannual scholarships. But you do need to be an upperclassman or grad student studying to become an independent grocer. #Groceries
  • Pokémon World Championship Scholarship: Award varies. And you thought you wanted to play in the Pokémon World Championship just for the lifetime prestige and bragging rights. You can also go home with a scholarship that's good until your 28th birthday or 10 years from the day you win. #GottaCatchEmAll
  • Sheep Heritage Foundation Memorial Scholarship $3,000. The American Sheep Industry Association awards this scholarship to graduate students in sheep-related studies that advance the lamb and wool industry. Mary had a little scholarship... #Sheep
  • Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest: $2,000. Can you quack with the best of them? Can you speak to the mallards? Take your skills to this classic contest, named for legendary duck callers and duck call makers. #DuckCalling
  • Fifth Month Scholarship: $1,500. What does the number five mean to you? Tell Unigo why it's important in 250 words or fewer to win this easy award. You may want to talk about the fifth month of the year (May) because they're big fans! #NumberFive
  • Flavor of the Month Scholarship: $1,500. "If you were an ice cream flavor, which would you be and why?" You can scoop up another scholarship from Unigo by answering that prompt in a short and sweet 250-word essay. #IceCream
  • Superpower Scholarship: $2,500. Have you ever thought about what super hero or villain you would be if you could swap places with one? Well, you can win money just by writing a short essay response about it! #WithGreatPower
  • American Association for Nude Recreation Education Foundation: Award varies. Let it all hang out and apply to this scholarship if you have nudist experience (#nojudgment) and concern for nudist issues like skin cancer, body image, nudist art and literature, and the tiny issue of just getting public acceptance of nudism. #Nudists
  • Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck on Prom Contest: $10,000. You knew duct tape was useful around the house, but you'll be shocked to see just how pretty it can be! All it takes is a little creativity, an eye for fashion, and upwards of 50 rolls of duct tape and 100 hours of time. No bigs. #DuctTapeProm
  • New Mexico Manufactured Housing Association Scholarship: $1,500. Do you live in New Mexico and call a mobile or manufactured home, erm, home? Then you're eligible for this scholarship! #MobileHomes
  • American Society for Enology and Viticulture Scholarship: Award varies. Winemaking is a lucrative, unique, and deeeeelicious business. Students studying the wine and grape industries are eligible for this annual award. #Wine
  • Society of Vacuum Coaters Foundation Scholarship: $5,000. This award can fund your venerable vacuum coating technology studies at an accredited technical, vocational, two-year, undergraduate, or graduate school. #VacuumCoatingIsAThing
  • Tall Clubs International Scholarship: $1,000. Serving the (financial) needs of "exceptionally tall people," Tall Clubs International awards its scholarships to students who meet its minimum height requirements: 5' 10" (178 cm) for women and 6' 2" (188 cm) for men. #Tall
  • Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry William L. Cullison Scholarship: $4,000. If you get more excited about the Amazon.com box than the goodies inside it, this might be the scholarship for you. It's for incoming college juniors in an academic path related to the pulp, paper, corrugated, and converting industries. #Paper
  • The Ukulele Festival Hawaii College Scholarship Program: $2,000. Students living in Hawai'i can win this scholarship just by having a passion for the ukulele, possessing strong character, and providing meaningful community service. #UkeLove
  • Make Me Laugh Scholarship: $1,500. All this odd scholarship requires is a 250-word essay describing an incident in your life, funny or embarrassing (fact or fiction). #Embarrassing
  • Shout It Out Scholarship: $1,500. "If you could say one thing to the entire world at once, what would it be and why?" Provided you can say it in 250 words or fewer, you could snag this straightforward scholarship. #ShoutingButNotReally
  • Dickey’s Barbecue Scholarship: $1,000. Dickey’s is passionate about legit Texas barbecue and helping fund college tuition for three lucky students. This scholarship is achievement based and requires a two-page essay on how you plan to give back to your community. #BBQforAll
  • CollegeXpress Monthly Mini Scholarships: Awards vary. CX offers easy no-essay scholarship opportunities every month for registered users! All you have to do is create a free account and answer one question—stuff like “What’s your favorite color?” or “Who’s the best college mascot?”#SuperEasy
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