• Scholarship Smarts
  • Are You Eligible for Scholarships?

Unusual Scholarships

There are hundreds of unusual scholarships looking for just the right person. Discover if that right person is you!

Not every scholarship requires great grades or impressive talents. Many scholarships have unique requirements that someone is bound to match.

The Wide World of Unusual Scholarships

There are scholarships for amateur radio operators, asthma patients, blind students, bowlers, knitters, children of veterans, choral singers, debaters, entrepreneurs, farmers, feminists, French speakers, gardeners, golfers, grandchildren of alumni, horseback riders, lesbians, band members, nudists, overweight students, tall women, water skiers, and workers at some McDonald's restaurants, just to name a couple dozen!

How to Qualify for Unusual Scholarships

Any of your unique interests and qualities could make you eligible for scholarship money. Think about your hobbies, memberships, ethnicity, heritage, hometown and county, unique physical characteristics, languages, employers, future career, and anything else that sets you apart. In general, the more local or more unique the scholarship, the better your chances are.

And don't forget your parents. Their employers, professions, military service, memberships, and even the colleges they attended may make you eligible.

Look for Scholarships That Don't Focus on Scholarship

Many scholarships require only average grades, and/or have non-academic qualifications that are relatively easy to meet, such as your religious beliefs, ethnicity, and geographic location. For example, there may be a scholarship just for students who live in your hometown!

Some scholarships are just plain wacky, such as the Duck Brand duct tape "Stuck at Prom" Scholarship Contest. But the competition for these well-known scholarships can be fierce.

Look for Scholarships That Aren't Called Scholarships

Many colleges and private groups give students cash awards that aren't technically scholarships. For instance, a student may receive an award for submitting a winning poem, essay, or live performance. Contest money is typically awarded to you in a lump sum, to be spent as you wish.

What's Next?

Begin hunting for unusual scholarships with the Scholarship Finder, which lets you search for awards based on your unique interests and qualities.

Even unusual scholarships have rules about how you can spend the money. Check out Using Scholarship Money: What's Allowed?

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