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Some of the Weirdest College Scholarship Opportunities

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  • Mycological Society of America Scholarships: Up to $10,000. Awards are available to undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals in various specialties who've pursued Mycology, the study of fungi—aka a delicious pizza topping. #Mushrooms
  • Clowns of America, International Education Scholarship: Awards vary. 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 Clowns of America, International. #Clowns
  • John Gatling Grant: Up to $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 North Carolina residents or $15k for non-residents, and it's renewable for up to four years! #GotTheRightLastName
  • Starfleet Academy Scholarships: $1,000. If you're unfamiliar, Starfleet is a fan club run by the International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc. Trekkies attending any accredited technical, undergraduate, or graduate institution are eligible for this award, provided they've been Starfleet members for at least one year. #StarTrek
  • Tattoo Journal Ink Scholarship: Up to $1,800. This isn't your typical essay contest; instead, you get to write about the myths and realities of tattooing. First, second, and third place are awarded, so you have three chances to win! #Inked
  • Doodle for Google Scholarship: $55,000. 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. The winner's school will also win a $50,000 technology grant. #Doodling
  • American Association for Nude Recreation Education Foundation: Up to $1,500. Let it all hang out and apply for this scholarship if you have nudist experience (no judgment) 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
  • 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
  • The Gertrude J. Deppen Scholarship: Awards vary. Available at Bucknell University, this scholarship is offered to students who are graduates of Mount Carmel Public High School and residents of Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, for at least 10 years. Recipients must also honor the memory of the scholarship's namesake by abstaining from drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and "strenuous athletic contests." (The same requirements apply for the Voris Auten Scholarship Fund.) #StraightAndNarrow
  • Illuminating Engineering Society Illumination Awards: Awards vary. Are you dedicated to good lighting? The folks at the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America certainly are. 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
  • Our World–Underwater Scholarship: Up to $30,000. Are you part mermaid? If your college studies bring you underwater—whether it’s for research aqua-tourism, photography, or even underwater welding—you may be eligible for this scholarship awarded to scholars in “underwater-related” disciplines. #UndertheSea
  • School Band and Orchestra Magazine Scholarship: $1,000. Students in grades K–12: Put down your instruments and take some time to enter SBO+ Magazine's essay contest! Prompts vary each year; this application cycle asks you to write about a music teacher who's changed your life in 250 words or fewer. Ten scholarships are available, and checks are mailed directly to recipients. #BandGeeks
  • Tall Clubs International Scholarship: $1,000. Serving the (financial) needs of "exceptionally tall people," Tall Clubs International awards scholarships to high school seniors who meet the minimum height requirements: 5' 10" (178 cm) for women and 6' 2" (188 cm) for men in stocking feet. Membership in a local club is not required. #Tall
  • Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry Scholarships: Awards vary. If you get more excited about the Amazon box than the goodies inside it, this might be the scholarship program for you. Undergrad and graduate students pursuing academic paths related to the pulp, paper, engineering, corrugated, and converting industries have multiple awards to choose from, all with deadlines in February. #Paper
  • The Ukulele Festival Hawaii College Scholarship Program: $2,000. High school seniors who are residents of Hawai'i and accepted to an accredited college or university can win this scholarship just by having a passion for the ukulele, possessing strong character, and providing meaningful community service. #UkeLove
  • Western Golf Association Evans Scholarship: Awards vary. 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. Applicants must have financial need, great grades, and outstanding character...in addition to a "strong caddie record." #Caddyshack
  • American Association of Candy Technologists John Kitt Memorial Scholarship: $2,500. 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.) #IWantCandy
  • American Board of Funeral Service Education National Scholarship Program: Up to $2,500. You know, working with corpses 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 Society for Enology and Viticulture Scholarships: Up to $12,500. Winemaking is a lucrative, unique, and deeeeelicious business (if you're 21 or older, of course). Students pursuing the wine and grape industries are eligible for these annual awards, with multiple opportunities to win. #Wine
  • American Welding Society Foundation Scholarships: Awards vary. Are you a would-be welder or current welding educator? Multiple scholarship opportunities are available for professionals and students (both US and international) attending trade schools, community colleges, and four-year universities for welding-related educational and training programs. #Welding
  • Debt.com Scholarship for Aggressive Scholarship Applicants: $500. When we say "aggressive," we don't mean rude or rough. Rather, this scholarship awards you for applying for as many other scholarships as you can...which we recommend doing anyway. You simply need to submit your confirmation emails. #AllTheScholarships
  • Discover® Student Loans Scholarship Award Sweepstakes: $5,000. "NO PURCHASE OR LOAN NECESSARY." That's what we like to see! Not only is this contest super easy to enter, but you can earn bonus entries when you share it via social media. #Discover
  • DoSomething's Easy Scholarships: Awards vary. Okay, this isn't just one scholarship, but these opportunities 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 scholarships raise awareness of important issues like teacher appreciation, texting while driving, and supporting friends with depression. #EasyPeasy
  • Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck on Prom Contest: Up to $15,000. 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 plus ~100 hours of your time to win this contest for high schoolers. (NBD!) Prizes are awarded for first place Tux and Dress, plus eight runners-up. #DuctTapeProm
  • 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
  • Collegiate Inventors Competition: Awards vary. College students, you can turn your (or your team's) original and brilliant invention into cash money! And it's actual cash too—not a traditional scholarship paid to your school. As long as your idea hasn't been made or shared commercially or patented, you're eligible. #Eureka
  • The Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Left-Handed Scholarship: Up to $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. #Lefties
  • Lake Erie College Twins Scholarship: Half tuition for each student. Twins (and families of twins), this is the scholarship two-fer you've been looking for. It's a full tuition scholarship awarded 50/50 if both twins are enrolled at Lake Erie College full-time. #Twins
  • Zolp Scholarship: Awards vary. All you have to be is a Catholic student with the last name of Zolp attending Loyola University Chicago to qualify. #AnotherRightLastName
  • Asparagus Club Scholarships: $1,000+. 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 graduate student studying to become an independent grocer. #Groceries
  • National Marbles Tournament Scholarship: $2,000. "Mibsters" (aka marble shooters) between the ages of seven and 14 can 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). #MarbleRoyalty
  • Potato LEAF Scholarship: $10,000. The National Potato Council awards this hefty scholarship annually to a graduate student with a strong interest in research that will directly benefit the potato industry. Mmmm... #Potatoes
  • Play! Pokémon Scholarships: Awards vary. And you thought playing Pokémon was just for fun and bragging rights. You could also go home with a scholarship that's good until your 28th birthday or 10 years from the day you win a Play! Pokémon Event. Scholarships are paid directly to recipients and can be used for tuition and fees or books, supplies, and equipment required for educational courses at qualified institutions. #GottaCatchEmAll
  • Quality Comix Scholarship Program: $1,000. Comic book lovers enrolled in undergrad and graduate programs have a great opportunity to earn money for college by writing a super-short essay on how a character has influenced their views on current events or the impact of comic book art on society. That’s the only thing you have to do—there’s no GPA requirement or application form! #ComicBooks
  • Rodeo Enthusiast Essay Contest: $500. Any college student can apply for this scholarship, even if it's your first rodeo. Applicants must be currently enrolled at an accredited US university for the fall semester and write an essay describing their experience attending or interest in rodeo. #YeeHaw
  • 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... #BahBah
  • Stromberg’s Chicken Scholarship: $1,000. Undergrads, graduate students, and high school seniors pursuing Agricultural Studies or related fields can apply for this award by writing a 500-word essay on the benefits and challenges of backyard chicken farming, the role of chickens in sustainable living, or the benefits of integrating chickens into home garden ecosystems. #Cluck
  • Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest: Up to $5,000. Can you quack with the best of them? Can you speak to the mallards? Take your skills to this classic contest for high school seniors, named for legendary duck callers and duck call makers. First through fourth place are awarded each year. #Quack!
  • Society of Vacuum Coaters Foundation Scholarship: Up to $5,000. This award can fund your venerable vacuum coating technology studies at an accredited technical, vocational, two-year, undergraduate, or graduate school. Three or more scholarships are awarded each year! #VacuumCoatingIsAThing
  • 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! #Five
  • 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. #WeAllScream
  • Make Me Laugh Scholarship: $1,500. Applying for scholarships isn't always so serious! All this contest requires is a 250-word essay describing an incident in your life, funny or embarrassing, fact or fiction. #Haha
  • 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
  • Superpower Scholarship: $2,500. Have you ever thought about what superhero or villain you would be if you could swap places with one? Well, you can win money by writing a short essay response about it! #WithGreatPower
  • 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
  • UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette-USA) Scholarship: $1,500. 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 pull some strings to win this award. #Puppets
  • Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarships: Up to $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 these awards! High school seniors who show compassion, courage, and a strong commitment to promoting a peaceful world through a vegetarian diet or lifestyle should apply. #Veggies
  • Collegiate Beef Advocacy Program Scholarship: $2,000. Calling all beef lovers! The Collegiate Beef Advocacy Program aims to develop beef advocates and leaders for the cattle industry. Participants will receive the scholarship upon completion of their year of service. #WherestheBeef
  • CollegeXpress Easy Monthly 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 (or log back in) and answer one question—stuff like “What’s your favorite color?” or “Who’s the best college mascot?” #SuperEasy

Want more information on how this list was compiled? Find out more about where our Lists & Rankings come from.

About This List

Before you give up on the idea of winning any scholarships, take a look at this list of the weirdest opportunities out there. With awards as quirky 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 March 2024.

PS: Please note that scholarship deadlines, amounts, requirements, and URLs change all the time (and sometimes very quickly!). We do our best to keep these listings up-to-date, but always double-check any scholarship you're interested in before applying.

PPS: You can search for even more scholarships right here on CollegeXpress!

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