20 Unique, Unusual, and Weird Scholarships

Scholarships aren’t just for outstanding athletes and brilliant students with a 4.0 GPA. If you are talented in music, art, or certain other subjects, you can get scholarships too. Some scholarships are dedicated to helping students according to their personality, interests, and career goals. Even if your passion lies in something unique, weird, or different, there may be a scholarship for you! Weird scholarships use knowledge of things from candy to zombies! Since these aren’t mainstream scholarships, in many cases, they are the best opportunities for students. They typically don’t have as many applicants, so they will be easier for you to win. Are you interested in applying for any weird scholarships this year? Here are some weird, unique, and hard-to-find scholarships you may have never even heard of until now!

American Association of Candy Technologists Scholarship

Do you like sweets? To qualify for this $2,500 John Kitt Memorial Scholarship award, you must be a college sophomore, junior, or senior at an accredited four-year college or university and have a demonstrated interest in confectionary technology. Your demonstrated interest in confectionery technology can include many activities including but not limited to research projects, work experience, and formal study.

Submission deadline is May 15, 2024.

LEARN MORE: https://www.aactcandy.org/awards-scholarships/john-kitt-memorial-scholarship

Ayn Rand Essay Contests

Are you reading an Ayn Rand novel this school year, such as Anthem, The Fountainhead, or Atlas Shrugged? Why not enter the Ayn Rand Institute’s annual essay contest on that novel! ARI has held student essay contests on Ayn Rand’s fiction for more than thirty years, awarding over $2 million in total prize money to students around the world! This essay competition is open to 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade high school students worldwide. You can win a cash award for your short, unpublished, original essays about Ayn Rand’s themes one of these novels. Top prizes range from $2,000 to $10,000, while second and third place also receive substantial amounts. 244 total awards are given. Writing a book report has never been so lucrative! You can even request free eBooks of the selected novels through the Ayn Rand Institute. Essays are graded based on clarity and organization as well as your understanding of the novel’s philosophic themes.

Deadline to Enter: April 25, 2024.

LEARN MORE: https://aynrand.org/students/essay-contests

Beans For Brains Scholarship

Are you a fan of fiber arts? Students who enjoy the fiber arts are eligible for the Beans for Brains scholarship. They must submit a picture of a knitting, crocheting or weaving project to be considered. Other important factors include financial need, academics, community service and more. There will be four scholarships awarded, each worth $2,000. Students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher. This scholarship is open to incoming college freshmen, undergraduates, graduate students and professional school students.

LEARN MORE: https://www.jimmybeanswool.com/details/knitting/scholarshipHome.asp

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Scholarship

Are you an 11-18 year old who has a passion for saving the environment and/or the ocean? Additionally, would you like to make a statement about the impact of climate change through writing, artwork, or even dance? You might consider applying for the Ocean Awareness Art Contest! Dedicated to encouraging the next generation to get involved in ocean conservation (and environmentalism as a whole), the contest asks its applicants to create a piece of artwork that reflects an impact/aspect of the current environmental crisis and its effect on the ocean. Each year has a specific theme to focus on, with this year being climate change.

Deadline to Enter: June 10, 2024.

LEARN MORE: https://bowseat.org/programs/ocean-awareness-contest/contest-overview

Create-a-Greeting Card Scholarship

Are you over 14 years of age, enrolled in high school or college, and enjoy making original artwork? If so, the Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest may be the perfect opportunity for you! Each year, the contest awards $10,000 to the applicant who submits the best holiday, greeting, or all-around holiday card. While the top ten finalists will be decided by a public vote, the final winner will be decided by a panel of judges. The contest is offered by The Gallery Collection, the “leading business-to-business online and mail order publisher of premium quality personalized Christmas, Holiday, and Everyday greeting cards in the United States.”

Deadline is March 1, 2024.

LEARN MORE: http://homeschoolingteen.com/article/the-gallery-collection-17th-annual-create-a-greeting-card-scholarship/

Debt.com Scholarship for Aggressive Applicants

Have you already applied for several scholarships? Debt.com’s mission is to encourage Americans of all ages to fight their way to financial independence. Debt.com also wants to reward students for consistently applying to scholarships, so it’s giving out $500 to students who’ve applied for multiple awards. There is no specific amount of scholarships you need to apply for—and you don’t have to win any of them. Simply provide proof that you applied for other awards, such as a confirmation email or the product of your previous hard work. You must also include a short letter about yourself, what you have learned from applying for all those scholarships, and what your plans are. They have no specific rules because they want you to decide what to say. This scholarship is awarded every two months, so students have plenty of chances to apply.

NEXT DEADLINE: January 15, 2024 – and the next round opens same day! One entry will be selected each cycle based on the quality of the essay.

LEARN MORE: https://www.debt.com/our-story/scholarships

Gatling Grant

Are you planning to enroll in North Carolina State University? Is/was your surname at birth Gatling or Gatlin? The Gatling Grant was established by alumnus John Gatling, a Raleigh businessman, to fund educational opportunities for students born with the last name Gatlin or Gatling. You must provide a copy of your birth certificate confirming your surname at birth as Gatlin or Gatling. No other spelling is acceptable.

DEADLINE: June 1, 2024.

LEARN MORE: https://ncsu.academicworks.com/opportunities/158885

Global Lift Equipment Scholarship

Do you like machines and creative writing? To enter this contest, students must write a short story from the point of view of an inanimate object. The object must be one of the forklifts, scissor lifts, loaders, boom lifts or attachments listed on the Global Lift Equipment website. You must include realistic details that accurately portray the machine’s purpose, size, color, and life span. (This will require some research, and most of the machines can be used in various settings for a variety of different tasks.) The object must be the main character, and you must have at least two characters in the story. The main objective of the story should be to write an entertaining, compelling read that is suitable for people of all ages. Stories with an interesting twist always make for fun reading. Think of it like the movie Cars, except in the form of a short story about used lift equipment (not cars). The winner will receive $500. The maximum word count is 2,000 words. The story must be told in the first-person.

LEARN MORE: https://www.usedforkliftcalifornia.com/forklifts/2879/jlg_telehandlers_california.php

Hood College Legacy Scholarship

Is your parent, sibling, or grandparent a Hood College graduate? Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, awards $1,000 to full-time students whose parent, sibling or grandparent received a Hood bachelor’s or master’s degree. Hood College offers rolling admission but it is recommended that you apply prior to March 1.

LEARN MORE: https://www.hood.edu/admission-aid/financial-aid/scholarships/first-year-student-scholarships

Little People of America Scholarship

Are you a short person? Little People of America, Inc., is a nonprofit organization that provides support and information to people of short stature, 4’10” or shorter in height. Their short stature is generally caused by one of the more than 400 medical conditions known as dwarfism. The LPA scholarship committee offers educational scholarships to prospective and current students attending college or vocational school in the United States. Awards can range from $250 to $1000 (sometimes more).

The application cycle for the 2024-24 academic year will open in February 2024.

LEARN MORE: https://www.lpaonline.org/college-scholarship-applications

Minecraft Scholarship

Are you a high school or college student with a love for Minecraft? If so, it’s time to put your passion to good use and apply for the Minecraft Scholarship! Each year, the scholarship offers $2,000 to one applicant who best writes about how Minecraft can positively influence one’s education and career development. The scholarship is offered by Apex Hosting, a Minecraft server provider dedicated to supporting both new and experienced server administrators.

Application Deadline: July 31, 2024.

LEARN MORE: https://apexminecrafthosting.com/minecraft-scholarship

Potato LEAF Scholarship Program

Do you like potatoes? Each year, the National Potato Council awards one $10,000 academic scholarship to a graduate student with strong interest in research that can directly benefit the potato industry. Research focus may include basic research or applied research that improves potato production efficiency, addresses pest management and disease issues, increases consumer benefits from potato consumption and or produces knowledge related to advancing the competitiveness of the U. S. potato industry.

LEARN MORE: https://www.nationalpotatocouncil.org/events/scholarship-program

Puppetry Scholarship Program

Do you have a passion for puppetry? Furthermore, do you dream of expanding your horizons and studying puppetry outside the U.S.? If so, consider applying for the UNIMA-USA Puppetry Scholarship! The UNIMA-USA scholarship program is intended to help cover tuition fees for American puppeteers who wish to study puppetry outside the U.S. Applicants should be puppeteers who have some professional experience, who have a university degree in puppetry, or who can otherwise demonstrate a serious commitment to the art form. Bear in mind that you do not have to be a college graduate or graduate student to apply for this scholarship, so long as you show serious commitment to puppetry. Applicants must also be members of UNIMA-USA.

LEARN MORE: https://www.unima-usa.org/about-scholarships

Rubincam Youth Award

Are you interested in your family’s history and genealogy? If so, consider applying for the Rubincam Youth Award! The Rubincam Youth Award is open to middle and high school students who submit an appropriately prepared genealogy. The scholarship is offered by the National Genealogical Society, a genealogical interest group founded in 1903 in Washington, D.C. They were the first national genealogical organization and have long paved the way in the field of genealogy. The Rubincam Youth Award honors Milton Rubincam, a passionate genealogist with many years of service contributing to the National Genealogical Society and the field of genealogy. To honor his legacy, this award aims to encourage and recognize our youth as the next generation of family historians. Each year, the scholarship awards a $500 cash prize to one (1) high school student and a $250 cash prize to one (1) middle school student. It also includes a plaque and a one-year NGS membership.

LEARN MORE: https://www.ngsgenealogy.org/competitions/rubincam-youth-award

Stop the Bleed Scholarships

Do you want to be a front-line health worker or does your parent or guardian work on the front lines? Stop the Bleed is a national initiative that teaches people how to stop bleeding during an emergency situation. To apply for the Stop the Bleed scholarship, students must write a 250 to 500 word essay or create a one to two minute video about one of three prompts related to the Stop the Bleed campaign. The first-place winner will receive a $2,000 scholarship, the second-place winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship and the third-place winner will receive a $500 scholarship. Stop the Bleed also offers students whose parents are front-line workers the opportunity to apply for the Front Line Families Scholarship, which offers a $1,000 award. Applicants must submit a short essay or video describing their parent’s or guardian’s work on the front lines. In order to be eligible for the National Scholarships, you must be a student attending high school in the United States and its territories. Homeschooled students who would otherwise be attending high school are also eligible.

The next program period begins in Spring 2024.

LEARN MORE: https://stopthebleedproject.org/scholarship-program

Stuck at Prom Scholarship

Do you like creative fashion? Fashion-conscious teens can apply for the Stuck at Prom scholarship, which requires that students create a dress or tux from Duck Brand duct tape to wear at prom. The grand prize winner in the dress and tux categories will each receive $10,000, while four runners-up in each category will receive $500 each. Students must submit high-resolution photos showing off their creation along with a written essay or video. While all high school grades are eligible for this award, students in Maryland, Tennessee, Colorado, Vermont, Nebraska or North Dakota are not eligible.

LEARN MORE: https://www.duckbrand.com/stuck-at-prom

The Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship

Are you vegetarian? The Vegetarian Resource Group each year will award $30,000 in college scholarship money to graduating U.S. high school students who have promoted vegetarianism in their schools and/or communities. Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or fowl. Vegans are vegetarians who do not use other animal products such as dairy or eggs. One award of $10,000 and four awards of $5,000 will be given. Entries may only be sent by students graduating from high school in SPRING 2024. Applications are judged on your ability to actively demonstrate courage, compassion and a commitment to peace in the world through your lifestyle as a vegetarian.

Deadline is FEBRUARY 20, 2024.

LEARN MORE: https://www.vrg.org/student/scholar.htm

Vegan Teens Are the Future Scholarship

Are you vegan? Students passionate about veganism can apply for this scholarship, which offers awards up to $1,000. To apply, you must be a high school junior or senior and have been a vegan for at least a year. Applicants must write a 300- to 600-word essay about why the vegan movement is important and how you will use your college education to further the vegan cause.

LEARN MORE: https://www.vtfuture.org

Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Foundation

Do you work as a golf caddy? The Evans Scholarship is a full tuition and housing college scholarship for high-achieving caddies with limited financial means. Only high school seniors or college freshmen who have worked as golf caddies for at least two years can apply. They must also have a strong academic record and demonstrated financial need. Students must also attend a qualifying college in their state to qualify for this scholarship program. The list of colleges can be found here. While the requirements for this award are strict, applying could pay off big time. Winners receive a four-year scholarship that covers all tuition and housing costs.

LEARN MORE: https://wgaesf.org/a-life-changing-opportunity/applying-evans-scholarship

Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship

Are you a zombie fanatic? This scholarship is offered by Unigo in hopes of helping some creative, zombie-obsessed students pay off some of their postsecondary education. Each year, this scholarship awards $2,000 to the applicant who, in 250 words or less, best describes their escape plan if there were a zombie outbreak at their school.

LEARN MORE: http://homeschoolingteen.com/article/zombie-apocalypse-scholarship

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