When most of us think of college scholarships, we imagine a sum of money awarded to students for their academic achievement or athletic prowess. But some scholarships are awarded for much stranger reasons – and you can even qualify for some by digging a little deeper.
While not all options work for all types of students, these weird scholarships are still worth exploring if you need the money for your education.
14 weird college scholarships you might be eligible for
1. Look fabulous at the prom
The makers of Duck Brand Duct Tape are handing out cash to the best dressed couple at a prom – if they are wearing duct tape costumes or accessories. To apply, you need to make a prom outfit using Duck brand duct tape or company-made duct tape and then take a photo. From there, you can fill out a registration form and submit your photo.
Rising: $ 10,000 for the grand prize, $ 500 for the finalists
Deadline: June 9
2. Show interest in psychic phenomena and paranormal claims
The Eileen J. Garrett Annual Scholarship is for students studying parapsychology, which includes the study of psychic and paranormal activity. This scholarship is worth $ 2,000 and requires a writing sample on the subject, a transcript, a letter indicating what the student hopes to accomplish, and three letters of recommendation. A previous scholarship recipient wrote her dissertation on near death experiences, so feel free to apply if the extraordinary interests you.
Rising: $ 2,000
Deadline: 1st of July
3. Scribble a Google homepage that kills
The Doodle for Google Scholarship allows students to create a Google homepage that will be judged by a panel of experts. The prizes include $ 30,000 in scholarship for the winner and a technical package of $ 50,000 for the winner’s school. Additional prizes include Google gear and loot.
Rising: $ 30,000 for the national winner and $ 5,000 for the national finalists
Deadline: March 5
4. Celebrate being small
Little People of America offers college scholarships to people who are shorter (usually 4 feet, 10 inches or less). You will have the best chance of qualifying if you are a member of the LPA and you or an immediate family member has a medically diagnosed form of dwarfism. Prices can range from $ 250 to $ 1,000 or more.
Rising: $ 250 to $ 1,000
Deadline: May 31st
5. Celebrate being tall
Tall Clubs International awards college scholarships to tall people, in other words, women over 5 feet 10 inches tall and men over 6 feet 2 inches tall. The scholarships are worth up to $ 1,000 each and several prizes are awarded each year.
Rising: $ 1,000
Deadline: 1st of March
6. Stop eating animals
The Vegetarian Resource Group annually offers two scholarships of $ 5,000 and a scholarship of $ 10,000 to students who do not eat animals. Applicants are judged on their compassion and dedication to the vegetarian or vegan cause.
Rising: $ 10,000 for the first prize, $ 5,000 for the two finalists
Deadline: February 20
7. Pursue health and fitness
If you are pursuing a career in health and fitness, you can apply for the Michael Moody Fitness scholarship. Requirements include excellent academic performance and participation in academic and professional activities.
Rising: $ 1,500
Deadline: August 1
8. Apply for other scholarships
Debt.com is offering a $ 500 scholarship to… apply for scholarships. All you need to do is apply for as many other scholarships as possible, then compile the application emails and write a short essay on yourself. The website distributes several scholarships throughout the year and a new winner is chosen every two months.
Rising: $ 500
Deadline: April 30
9. Live long and prosper
STARFLEET members can apply for a range of scholarships, provided they have been a member of this “Star Trek” fan organization for more than one year. Students who study engineering, technology, writing, business, the arts, and more are eligible for this scholarship. The scholarships are worth up to $ 1,000 each, depending on which scholarships you are applying for.
Rising: Up to $ 1,000
Deadline: June 15
10. Write about homeownership
Foreclosure.com offers a scholarship for students wishing to write an essay on a topic related to homeownership. For 2021, the subject of the trial is the impact of COVID-19 on foreclosures in the US housing market. The essay should be 800 to 2000 words long.
Rising: $ 2,500 for the first prize, $ 500 for the finalists
Deadline: December 15
11. Immerse yourself in Magic: The Gathering
Gamers Helping Gamers is offering a scholarship to Magic: The Gathering enthusiasts. This scholarship requires you to write an essay on a topic related to Magic: The Gathering, and you will also need to submit your FAFSA form and high school transcript. Only undergraduates and US residents are eligible, and the scholarship amount may vary.
Deadline: March, 31st
12. Search the grocery store
Planning a career in the food industry? If so, you might want to check out all of the National Grocers Association (NGA) scholarships available. Several scholarships are available, some of which are awarded to more than one student or for several semesters. For example, the Asparagus Club scholarships are available each year for a maximum of four semesters each.
Deadline: April 1
13. Support the potato industry
The National Potato Council is offering a scholarship valued at $ 10,000. Applicants are expected to pursue graduate studies and research aimed at benefiting the potato industry. Academic achievement and extracurricular activities are considered, but the main qualification requirement is a dedication to potatoes as a staple.
Rising: $ 10,000
Deadline: June 15
14. Show your sense of humor
If you have a hilarious or embarrassing story, now is the time to share it with the world and make some money from it. Unigo offers a scholarship of $ 1,500 to the student whose story is the funniest, true or false. The story must be written in 250 words or less and submitted in English. Students must be at least 14 years old to apply. You must also be currently enrolled in college or plan to enroll by fall 2026.
Rising: $ 1,500
Deadline: August 31
Other ways to get funding for college
Pay for college It may seem like an overwhelming task, but there are many resources available to facilitate the process. Here are some strategies to consider when planning your next steps:
- Fill out the Free Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application form. This form helps state and federal agencies determine what assistance you are eligible for, which may even include grants. You must also complete a FAFSA Form apply for federal student loans, which come with fixed interest rates and benefits such as deferral, forbearance, and income-based repayment plans.
- Look for work-study jobs. There are a variety of work-study programs available, which can help pay for your education as you go if you are willing to work part-time. You will need to complete the FAFSA form to see what work-study opportunities are available for your chosen college.
- Take out private student loans. While Federal Student Loans are usually the best place to start after factoring in scholarships or grants, many students are filling the void with private student loans. Student loans from a private lender can have incredibly low interest rates if you have good or excellent credit or a co-signer, so they’re worth exploring.