Unusual Scholarships: Unique Ways to Fund Your Education!

College student graduation
April 26, 2024
12 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/26/24

Have you ever wondered if there was an unusual scholarship for your specific talent or trait? Here is a list of scholarships that, though out of the ordinary, may help you find financial aid.

Student holding cash

Have you ever thought if any scholarships weren't so challenging to get? What if the requirements were atypical? After all, not everyone can get the National Merit Scholarship

At first, it might seem like wishful thinking to be awarded for your quirky talents and interests, but lo and behold, many unusual scholarships exist!

You heard that right; unusual, wacky, and odd scholarships exist. From your hair color to your lifestyle choice to your most out-of-the-ordinary hobby, scholarships are willing to award students money for college if they meet their unusual criteria. These types of financial aid are guaranteed to make you say, "I can get a scholarship for that?"

Who Can Get Unusual Scholarships?

There are several weird scholarships out there that defy convention. They offer a fascinating avenue of financial aid for students, recognizing and rewarding those who possess distinctive qualities, interests, or achievements. You may even be able to get a full ride with some unique scholarships!

These financial aid scholarships encompass a wide spectrum of eligibility criteria, offering opportunities for individuals who might not fit the traditional scholarship mold. Here are various factors that can make you eligible for these exceptional awards:

Unique Hobbies or Interests

Some scholarships celebrate students with niche hobbies, interests, or talents. For instance, there are scholarships tailored for those who excel in uncommon pursuits like duck calling, knitting, or playing obscure musical instruments.

Uncommon Demographics

Scholarships often aim to support underrepresented or minority groups in higher education. If you belong to a demographic that is traditionally underrepresented, you may qualify for scholarships dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion.

Unusual Career Goals

Unconventional career aspirations can also be rewarded. Scholarships exist for students pursuing atypical career paths, such as becoming funeral directors, pet groomers, or paranormal investigators.

Student grooming dog

Unique Personal Experiences

Some scholarships recognize individuals with unique life experiences or those who have overcome specific challenges. This category may include scholarships for individuals who have triumphed over adversity, encountered significant life events, or served in the military.

Distinctive Skills or Achievements

Exceptional skills or accomplishments in specific areas like mathematics, science, art, or writing can open doors to scholarships that acknowledge and honor excellence in these fields.

Niche Academic Pursuits

Students engaged in highly specialized academic disciplines or research areas that are not commonly pursued may find scholarship opportunities tailored to their unique academic pursuits.

Geographical Factors

Region-specific scholarships are designed to support students hailing from particular cities, states, or countries, aiming to provide assistance to individuals in specific geographic regions. These can be helpful for both local students and out-of-state students.

Family Background

Scholarships may be available based on your family background, such as being a first-generation college student or having a family member affiliated with a particular organization or profession.

female student having tea with grandmother

Community Involvement

Active involvement in community service or participation in specific organizations or clubs can make you eligible for scholarships that recognize and reward your contributions.

Uncommon Achievements in Sports or Athletics

Beyond mainstream sports, there are scholarships for individuals who excel in less common sports or athletic activities, offering recognition for their unique talents.

To embark on your quest for these scholarships, it's crucial to conduct thorough research. Utilize scholarship search engines, seek guidance from your school's financial aid office, and explore specialized scholarship websites and organizations linked to your distinctive interests or background. 

Keep in mind that scholarship eligibility criteria may evolve, so staying informed and actively seeking opportunities is key to maximizing your chances of securing these scholarships.

Scholarships for Unusual Artistic Challenges

Have a craft for art or an aspiring artist wanting a challenge? These fun scholarships have wacky competitions for students to put their artistic skills to the test.

The Junior Duck Stamp Art Competition

The Junior Duck Stamp Art Competition is a contest that allows students who participated in the Junior Duck Stamp educational program to draw, sketch, or paint a picture of a North American waterfowl species to be approved by the board. 

Students will use their knowledge of waterfowl anatomy and habitat to convey a message about conservation measures across the United States. The pieces will go through a “Best of Show” section, where a panel of judges will choose the winning piece that will become the next Junior Duck Stamp.

Deadline: March 15th  

Who can apply: U.S. students who are in the Junior Duck Stamp educational program

Award amount: $200-$1000

Stamps and magnifying glass

Too Cool to Pay for School Scholarship

This scholarship is as easy as playing the lottery, if not more accessible! The Too Cool to Pay for School Scholarship helps students save money for higher education, and the process is quite simple: enter your name and other information and then 'submit.' That's all. The winner is randomly drawn, contacted directly, and announced on their page.

Deadline: September 30th

Who can apply: Current high school, college, and graduate students who are enrolled full time or planning to within 24 months

Award amount: $1000

Fire Memes Scholarship

Over the years, memes have made quite the cultural impact. They are comical ideas and behaviors communicated amongst different cultures, be it truth, humor, and ideas. The Breanden Beneschott Fire Memes Scholarship supports creative people who dream up memes to spread their ideas. 

If you wish to apply, all you have to do is submit your favorite memes, with a short caption for each, and include your Instagram profile. Then, follow the Fire Meme Scholarship on Instagram and like and comment on your favorite memes. The best submissions will be chosen by popularity and featured on Instagram.

Deadline: October 1st

Who can apply: High school and college students in need of financial aid

Award amount: $1000

Create a Greeting Card Scholarship

The Create a Greeting Card scholarship permits students to submit an original photo, art piece, or computer graphic as the front of a greeting card. Any original work can be submitted online as a .jpeg through the site's entry page. You can also submit a digital photograph of your original art piece and scan it for entry. 

The judges put 100 entries on the site every month and have users vote. The top 10 entries with the most votes from each session move upward until the final round. 

In the final round, five entry pieces with the most votes will collide with five entries the judges chose themselves, and the final winner will be picked and announced on or around May 15. The winning piece will be displayed on a greeting card and sold in the Gallery Collection's line.

Deadline: March 1st

Who can apply: High school, college, university, and home school students aged 14 or older

Award amount: $10,000 for the student, $1000 for the student’s school

Holiday greeting cards

The American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship

The American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship offers scholarships for students to talk about the importance of fire safety and sprinklers. The process is simple: submit an application, answer an 8-question exam, and the winner will be contacted and announced.

Deadline: January 1st 

Who can apply: High school seniors and graduates pursuing college or trade school education are eligible 

Award amount: $1000

Minecraft Scholarship

If you are an extreme fan of the video game Minecraft, this scholarship is for you. The Minecraft Scholarship is provided by its creator, Apex Hosting, because they believe Minecraft offers creative facets of education. 

They have partnered with many educational institutions committed to providing premium education to their students via the power of Minecraft. This scholarship is offered to students who have to write a 500-word essay on their views on Minecraft and how it has positively influenced their education and career development.

Deadline: July 31st

Who can apply: College and high school students who are U.S. citizens and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher

Award Amount: $2000

Doodle for Google Scholarship

Do you have an artistic side you think could help you in college? Look no further; the Doodle for Google Scholarship allows high school students to create a doodle out of any materials they wish. They then submit the entry form, signed by their parents, by snail mail or online as a .png or .jpeg. 

As a participant in the Google Doodle scholarship, you must also write an artist's statement where you talk about what you have made and how it represents your inner strength. These doodles are judged based on artistic merit, creativity, and theme communication by groups of children within grades K-12. 

Select participants can be chosen as State and Territory Finalists, National Finalists, and National Winner.

Deadline: March 14th

Who can apply: Current high school students, U.S. citizens, and citizens outside U.S. and Canada

Award amount: $5000 - $30,000

Student doodling in notebook

Stuck at Prom Scholarship

Want to test your artistic craft with an unusual tool? The Stuck at Prom Scholarship is one of the more extravagant ones on the list. 

Students are given the challenge to create their entire prom outfit from duct tape. You then have to wear your wacky outfit to prom for a chance to win this scholarship. 

There are ranked scholarships to win. First place wins $10,000, whether it is a dress or suit, and eight runner-ups win $500 and Duck Brand Prize packs. You must first submit an entry form to their portal and then take a minimum of one high-resolution photo of you in your Duck Tape outfit.

Deadline: June 8th

Who can apply: Current high school students who are at least 14 years of age. Can be U.S. and Canadian citizens

Award amount: $500-$10,000

Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship

For fans of the undead, the Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship will test your knowledge of the living dead. This creative scholarship requires you to write a short (250 words or less) response to this prompt: 

“Imagine your high school or college has been overrun by zombies. Your math professor, the cafeteria ladies, and even your best friend have all joined the walking dead. Flesh out a plan to avoid the zombies, including where you’d hide and the top-five things you’d bring to stay alive.”

Deadline: October 31st

Who can apply: High school or college students 14 years of age or older, U.S. residents or residents of the District of Columbia. 

Award amount: $2000

Scholarships Dealing with Food

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a chef or just think of yourself as a food lover, then check out these unique scholarships below to see if any of them fit your tastes. 

National Potato Council Scholarship

Love potatoes? The Potato LEAF Scholarship Program seeks to award the right recipient financial aid. You must be a graduate student who shows a strong interest in potato research and the potato industry. 

You should be in good academic standing, display strong leadership abilities, study in potato-related areas, and find ways to benefit the U.S. potato industry and its commercial value. Extracurricular activities are a plus, too. Write an essay talking about your interests and ideas about the potato industry and submit an application form to be considered.

Deadline: June 19th

Who can apply: Graduate students with interests in the U.S. potato industry

Award amount: $10,000

Student holding very small potatoes

John Kitt Memorial Scholarship

If you are studying food science, confectionery production, or chemical or biological science in an accredited four-year college, the John Kitt Memorial Scholarship offers one lucky applicant a scholarship. 

To be eligible for this scholarship sponsored by the American Association of Candy Technologists, you must demonstrate an interest in confectionery technology, including activities such as research projects, work experiences, and formal study.

Deadline: June 15th

Who can apply: Current college students in North America with a 3.0 GPA studying food, chemical, or biological science

Award amount: $2500

Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship

If you are a vegetarian or lead a vegetarian lifestyle, the Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship is worth looking at. They offer three scholarships to graduating U.S. high school students who promote vegetarianism and veganism in their schools and communities. 

You will be judged based on your strong commitment not to eat meat, fish, or fowl and your promotion of a peaceful world through a vegetarian lifestyle. You will be asked to provide academic transcripts, recommendations, and an essay discussing your work in addition to your application.

Deadline: February 20th

Who can apply: Current high school students graduating

Award Amount: $5000-$10,000

AES Cattlewomen Scholarship

If you are a meat lover, this scholarship is for you. The AES Cattlewomen Scholarship provides scholarships to students in Amador, El Dorado, and Sacramento counties who are planning to study Agriculture.  

Students need to write a 100-word or less vision for the future of the beef cattle industry. They also may be required to attend a personal scholarship interview

Deadline: April 1st

Who can apply: Seniors or graduates of an accredited high school, charter school, or homeschooling association in Amador, El Dorado, or Sacramento County, with a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Award Amount: Varies

NSD Milk Marketing Scholarships

Got milk? Or at least an interest in it? The National Daily Shrine offers a multitude of marketing scholarships. No matter which scholarship you wish to apply for, they all require you to show an interest in the dairy industry and provide academic transcripts. Other than that, the requirements vary depending on which one you choose.

Deadline: April 15th 

Who can apply: U.S. students attending schools, colleges, or universities in the U.S. and majoring in dairy or agricultural-related fields

Award amount: Varies

Glass of milk

The Asparagus Club Scholarship

It turns out eating your vegetables has its perks. The Asparagus Club Scholarship Program, founded in 1990, has provided over $850,000 in scholarships to students entering grocery retail careers.

Offering a maximum of 10 scholarships a year, the Asparagus Club requires each applicant to be enrolled in college as a full-time student with a 2.5 GPA to win a scholarship each semester or quarter. 

Along with transcripts and FAFSA approval, you must provide a letter of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement about your interest in the grocery industry and why you need financial aid.

Deadline: April 30th

Who can apply: College students majoring in business, food management, or something related to the grocery industry

Award amount: $2000 

The American Society for Enology and Viticulture Scholarships

If you are interested in wine and all of its facets, this scholarship is for you. The American Society for Enology and Viticulture Scholarships offers annual scholarships to students studying enology and viticulture or any other science that emphasizes wine and the grape industry. The ASEV offers two scholarship programs:

  1. The ASEV Traditional Scholarship is for their traditional program with no predetermined amount of money, as it varies annually. Within the Traditional Scholarship, candidates who intend to work in viticulture or enology also have the opportunity to apply for the James Wolpert Scholarship Award. 
  1. ASEV President's Award for Scholarship in Enology and Viticulture is a special scholarship awarded to two students who exceed the expectations of ASEV's Traditional Scholarship program. One scholarship goes to enology, the other to viticulture, which amounts to $12,500.

Deadline: March 1st

Who can apply: North American college students majoring in enology, viticulture, or related field. Minimum GPA requirements vary from 3.0-3.6. 

Award amount: up to $12,500

Scholarships for Uncommon Talents and Traits

If you have any unusual talent, trait, or obsession, check out these examples of scholarships that reward unique talents. 

Rodeo Enthusiast Scholarship

Are you a rodeo fanatic at heart? The Rodeo Enthusiast Scholarship, sponsored by the online buying & selling ticket service Rodeo Ticket, supports students interested in all types of rodeos who wish to pursue further education. This scholarship permits you to write a 750-1500 word essay about your favorite rodeo experience and why you enjoy rodeos so much. 

You must provide verified enrollment for college at an accredited institution within the U.S. during the fall semester of the same year you submit your essay.

Deadline: August 15th

Who can apply: High school students and first-year college students

Award amount: $500

Rodeo rider on nucking

Tall Clubs International Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship is aimed towards the "vertically gifted." The Tall Clubs International Foundation Scholarship benefits the interests of tall people, for women 5'10 and men 6'2 and over. To apply, you must check out their list of TCI clubs to find one in or near your area. 

You can check out the scholarship option and fill out the attached entry form. If there is none, you can contact them at tcifoundationscholarships@gmail.com. To be eligible for this tall people scholarship, you must be under 21 years of age, attend your first year of college or higher education, and meet the above-mentioned height requirements.

Deadline: March 1st

Who can apply: First-year college students under 21, women 5'10 and over, and men 6'2 and over

Award amount: up to $1000

Do Something Scholarships

This scholarship is for those seeking financial aid for volunteering, no matter the cause. The Do Something Scholarships are made available to young U.S. and Canadian citizens who wish to do community service and receive monetary aid for it. 

You do not have to verify enrollment in any college yet; they will hold the scholarship for you until you do. You also do not need to supply any essays, GPAs, recommendations, or applications. You can even enter multiple scholarships. All you need to do is sign up for any campaign in your area, complete it, and then upload a photo as proof of completion of the campaign. 

Winners are selected according to predetermined judging criteria and announced 3-4 weeks after the campaign closes. You will be notified via text message or email.

Deadline: Varies

Who can apply: Those aged 13 to 25 and residing in the United States (or a U.S. citizen living abroad).

Amount: $1000-$2000

Student volunteers cleaning up trash in field

Colgate-Palmolive Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Scholarship

Colgate believes that everybody has the right to live a life of healthy, bright smiles, and their programs show that. The Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures minority scholarships offer financial rewards to minority groups that do not get enough recognition in dental hygiene programs. 

Aside from being part of a minority group, you must be enrolled in an accredited dental hygiene program in the U.S., having completed at least one year in the dental hygiene curriculum. You can also apply when you're in the middle of completing your first year.

Deadline: February (no set date)

Who can apply: First-year dental program students of African American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American descent.

Award amount: $1000-$2000

American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest

If you have a talent for public speaking, you can get a cash reward for it. The American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest is offered to students attending any college or university in the U.S. to participate in a contest where they give a speech about the given topic. 

Each year, the topic varies, and only three finalists receive the top three cash rewards. You can find more details about the contest on their website. First place wins $25,000, second place $22,500, and third place receives $20,000. Each state winner who participated in the first round wins a $2,000 scholarship. 

Winners will be eligible to receive their scholarships immediately and must use the cash reward within eight years, with the exception of those on religious missions or military duty. Winners can also join the Youth Champion delegation of the American Legion.

Deadline: Varies

Who can apply: Current high school students in the U.S.

Award amount: $2000-$25000

Kermit and Mickey Schafer Foundation Scholarship

The University of Miami offers a variety of scholarships. One of the most prominent is the Kermit and Mickey Schafer Foundation Scholarship. Not much is known about it other than it is to help students with financial obstacles they may have while studying Broadcasting, Motion Picture, and Video Film in Comedy. 

Applicants must display relevant and rigorous coursework, a strong GPA, impressive test scores, and leadership skills. 

Deadline: Varies

Who can apply: UofM students majoring in Broadcasting or Motion Picture and Comedy

Award amount: Varies

film student holding clapper board

Alice McArver Ratchford Scholarship

The Alice McArver Ratchford Scholarship was made in memory of the late Mrs. Audrey Ratchford Wagner of Charlotte, North Carolina. She was a North Carolina College for Women alumna after receiving her bachelor of arts degree in 1925. Aimed towards women, this scholarship is renewable and has three to five awards offered annually. 

An applicant must apply for FAFSA, display financial need, and write an essay that discusses a meaningful event, experience, or accomplishment that shaped the applicant's way of life, beliefs, and aspirations.

Deadline: March 1st

Who can apply: Female college students at the North Carolina College for Women

Award amount: $1000

The Twin/Triplet Dorm Room Waiver

Are you and your twin or triplets seeking financial aid? The Northeastern Oklahoma College offers to cover the costs of semi-private room expenses for each twin or triplet who attends the school together. Available for both fall and spring semesters, you and your siblings can fill out the applications here.

Deadline: Varies

Who can apply: Twin and triplet students at NEO

Award amount: up to $800

Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest

This scholarship is ideal for bird callers. The Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest is an opportunity for high schools to compete for college scholarships. You must provide a copy of your high school transcript along with a government-issued ID to register. 

The contest is self-explanatory; you have to show your best duck call. You will have 90 seconds to use four calls: hail, feed, comeback, and mating. The best caller will receive the $2,000 scholarship, the second runner will receive $1000, the third will get $750, and the fourth will be awarded $500. These awards are offered annually and are non-renewable.

Deadline: November 25th

Who can apply: Current high school students residing in the U.S.

Award amount: $500-$2,000


Prom Pics Contest

If there's one thing more fun than prom, it is a fact you can win money for being the most fashionable prom-goer. Savvi Formalwear offers a scholarship reward for those who wore the best dresses and suits for prom season. These awards are categorized by promposal, dance, dinner, and after-prom photos. Just submit your photos and hope for the best!

Deadline: Varies

Who can apply: U.S. high school seniors attending prom

Award amount: $250

National Little Britches Rodeo Association Wrangler Academic Scholarship

These scholarships are for rodeo lovers. The National Little Britches Rodeo Association offers several scholarships for students who meet the criteria. Most scholarships are for participation in rodeo events, but their Wrangler scholarships are awarded for academic achievement. 

The NLBRA provides a $2000 reward to two students, a boy and a girl, and four awards valued at $1,000 each to high school seniors who have competed for three years as an NLBRA member.

Deadline: Varies

Who can apply: High school seniors who have been NLBRA members for three years

Award Amount: $1000-2000

Clowns of America, International Scholarship

The Clowns of America Scholarship is a scholarship provided by the Clowns of America International. If you are enrolled in your college’s family entertainment and educational programs, this scholarship may interest you. 

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must be involved in short programs that run for a minimum of 10 hours, while longer programs must run for at least 30 hours. The money must go toward the request program during the requested year, or it will be forfeited. This scholarship does not cover commute, food, or merchandise.

Deadline: Varies

Who can apply: U.S. college students majoring in family entertainment programs

Award amount: $1000

Clown at carnival

Jack Oakie Comedy Scholarship

Jack Oakie was an American Hollywood vaudeville actor, having done over 120 films and created a name in the comedy world. The Jack Oakie Comedy Scholarship offers many scholarships for those interested in acting, film, or directing. 

You will have to attend a Jack Oakie event to be eligible for the scholarship. You must also be a current student at the College of the Canyons and have completed a COC Visual or Performing Arts course within the past 12 months. 

To apply, you will have to watch a Jack & Victoria Oakie film and submit a one-page typed critical review of the film. 

Deadline: November 14th

Who can apply: Acting, Performing Arts, and Film students of the College of the Canyons

Award Amount: $1,000 - $2,000

If you possess other notable skills or talents, or have any notable achievements, you can check out our merit-based scholarship finder tool to discover hundreds more scholarships that you might qualify for! 

Rarely-Known Scholarships

These crazy scholarships are even lesser-known than the ones listed above. Usually, they are offered to small college campuses with unique requirements.

The Carnegie Mellon Bagpipe Scholarship

Carnegie Mellon offers a scholarship to its incoming first-year students majoring in Bagpipes. You must be talented academically and artistically and show little to no need-based financial aid, seeing as this is a rare scholarship (some years, they do not offer it at all). Winners are notified in their financial aid award letter.

Deadline: Varies

Who can apply: Freshman Carnegie Mellon Bagpipe majors

Award amount: Varies

High school student playing bagpipes

The Loyola University Zolp Scholarship

The Loyola University Zolp Scholarship is aimed at students seeking admission to this Catholic university. The eligibility is pure chance; your last name has to be Zolp. You will be asked to provide a birth certificate and a baptismal confirmation certificate confirming that your last name is Zolp. You must also be admitted into Loyola by February 1.

Deadline: March 1st 

Who can apply: Prospective Catholic students whose last name is Zolp

Award amount: $10,000 to $25,000

The Starfleet Academy Scholarships

Offered by the Star Trek Fan Association, this is the perfect scholarship for Star Trek fans. The Starfleet Academy Scholarship Program offers a monetary award to members of the Starfleet Fan Association who have been with them for at least one year. These scholarships are named after Star Trek characters and guest stars and are sponsored by the real-life actors of each character.

Deadline: June 15th

Who can apply: Star Trek Fan Association members

Award Amount: Varies

The John Gatling Scholarship

This is another scholarship awarded to those with namesake luck. The John Gatling Scholarship is reserved for students who have the last name of Gatlin or Gatling. The names must have the same spelling as well. 

In addition, you must be a full-time student at NC State University pursuing an undergraduate degree and have satisfactory academic standing, along with a 2.0 GPA. Provide a copy of your birth certificate confirming your namesake.

Deadline: February 15th

Who can apply: First-year NC State students whose last name is Gatlin or Gatling

Award amount: Varies

The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is for all the junior golf caddies out there. The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund is offered to candidates who have worked as golf caddies for at least two years and can provide recommendation letters from a golf club chairman or member as well as from a college counselor. 

Unless otherwise noted, you will submit three essays discussing your experience as a golf caddy. You must be required to enroll as a full-time college student. High school seniors can also apply.

Deadline: December 1st for new applicants, June 30th for reapplicants

Who can apply: High school seniors and college students who have the right experience in golf caddying

Award amount: Varies

High school student playing golf

Student Organ Donation Advocates 

The Student Organ Donation Advocates offers a variety of Advocacy Scholarships for 

college students from all over the United States who are enthusiastic about advocating for organ donation. 

Deadline: Varies

Who can apply: Prospective college students

Award amount: Varies

The Parapsychology Foundation - Eileen J. Garrett Scholarship

One of the more unknown scholarships is the Eileen J. Garrett Scholarship. This award is for you if you are interested in the paranormal and unexplained and how the human brain responds to such phenomena. Named after its department's founder, this annual scholarship is awarded to a student who wishes to study the science of parapsychology. 

You must demonstrate a strong interest in parapsychology by writing a short piece about a subject that will be given. You will also be prompted to provide a copy of your academic transcript and three letters of recommendation, along with a statement of what you wish to accomplish in your studies. 

Deadline: July 1st

Who can apply: high school students hoping to study parapsychology in an accredited college or university

Award amount: $2000

The Ukulele Festival Hawaii College Scholarship Program

Funded by the Ukulele Festival Hawaii, the Ukulele Festival Hawaii College Scholarship Program gives Hawaiian students a chance to win financial aid by promoting Hawaii’s art and culture and helping convey the message that the ukulele is an instrument of virtuous quality. 

You must write a one-page essay about what the ukulele means to you, your volunteer activities, career goals, and financial need. You’ll also need to include two letters of recommendation. 

In addition to being Hawaiian and having a strong passion for the ukulele, students must be accepted into an accredited college or university, have good character, and provide services to their community.

Deadline: April 30th

Who can apply: Hawaiian high school students 

Award amount: $2000

High school student playing the Ukulele

Fifth Month Scholarship

What does the number five mean to you? That is what this one organization wants to know. Wanting to tell the public the importance of the number five, the Fifth Month Scholarship offers money to students willing to write a prompt (250 words or less) about why the number five is significant to them. 

Your answer can be humorous or serious, just as long as it's original. Winners are notified by email or regular mail.

Deadline: May 31st

Who can apply: U.S. students aged 14 years or older 

Award amount: $1500 

National Marbles Tournament

The National Marbles Tournament is a competition in which applicants must be part of a marble team that won first place at a local marble tournament, allowing them to compete in the National Marbles Tournament that is held every summer in New Jersey. The national tournament runs for four days, consisting of over 1200 games.

Deadline: July 31st

Who can apply: Kids aged 7-14 and are U.S. citizens

Award amount: $2000 

Rube Goldberg Machine Scholarship Contest

Inspired by cartoonist Rube Goldberg, this scholarship is offered to incoming and first-year students of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. 

This nationwide contest permits students to design a machine that displays a complex process to complete a simple task in 20 or more steps. Some examples would be screwing in a light bulb or making a cup of coffee. 

Deadline: Varies

Who can apply: MSOE college freshmen

Award amount: $1000

Getting Real About Distracted Driving

Person texting while driving

Distracted driving is a real issue that needs to be recognized in society. Getting Real About Distracted Driving offers a contest for U.S. high school students entering college to design an advertisement that catches the attention of and educates the public about the dangers of distracted driving. 

The point is to convince audiences that a clear call to action must be taken to teach people not to drink and drive, text and drive, eat and drive, and many fall victim to many other distractions. You can either focus on distracting driving as a whole or talk about a specific type of distracted driving, just as long as the message is clear. 

The more creative it is, the better. Your advertisement can take the form of any media ad, billboard, commercial, radio ad, or PSA. Two winners are chosen to receive the reward.

Deadline: December 31

Who can apply: U.S. high school seniors and college freshmen

Award amount: $2000 ($1000 for each winner)

Are Unusual College Scholarships Worth Pursuing?

Ultimately, any scholarship is worth pursuing; it's money that you can easily obtain based on your credentials and skills. Not all scholarships require people with high GPAs and amazing test scores. 

There can be scholarships based on a talent you have, a rare trait, or even hobbies you partake in. You have nothing to lose as long as you meet the requirements and believe you would be a good applicant!


After reading such an exhaustive list, there can still be some concerns you may be having. Here are some general questions that will offer you the best information.

1. Would Any of These Scholarships Look at My Academic Transcripts?

Yes. Unless otherwise noted by the site's guidelines, you should have your academic transcripts ready if they request them.

2. Can I Apply to More Than One of These Scholarships?

Of course, you can. The more scholarships you are eligible for, the better chances you have of winning at least one of them.

3. What if the Scholarship I Want Has Requirements I Can't Fulfill?

If you think you have a chance at an exception, you can contact the scholarship organization and talk about your situation if they permit it. If it is something out of your control, you should look at other scholarships.

4. What Are My Chances of Receiving the Scholarship I Apply To?

It all depends on the requirements and your ability in any skills these scholarships require. If it requires artistic skill, make sure you are interested in art and have an impressive portfolio. If it is merit-based, be sure to have great academic standing, and so on. 

5. Would Any of My Dream Schools Accept Any of These Types of Scholarships?

They may be unusual, but unless a specific college or university offers them, your post-secondary institution will likely be able to accept them. However, this may not apply to certain schools, such as Ivy League schools. If you’re uncertain, you can contact either the organization hosting the scholarship or your dream school to make sure. 

6. What if the Scholarship I Win Doesn't Offer Enough Money?

If it was the only scholarship you won, every amount helps, even in the littlest bit. You can still apply for FAFSA and many other scholarships or financial aid if you feel the scholarship you won was not enough. 

8. Can I Get a Scholarship for Being Left Handed?

There are currently no active scholarships for left-handed individuals. However, in the past, the Andrew Macrina Scholarship Fund, the James River Church Left-Handed Scholarship, and the Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship offered scholarships for being left-handed. They’re unfortunately not active now. 

9. Are There Scholarships for People Who Love Dogs?

Yes, there are scholarships for dog lovers, often related to animal welfare or careers in the canine industry. Examples include the Lancaster Kennel Club Veterinary Medicine Scholarships, the Pawsible Puppy Raiser Academic Scholarship, and more.

10. What Is the Most Unique Scholarship?

The most unique scholarship might be the Stuck at Prom Scholarship, which rewards students who create and wear prom attire entirely made of duct tape. However, deciding which scholarship is the "most unique" is definitely subjective! 

11. How to Find Uncommon Scholarships?

To find uncommon scholarships, use scholarship websites, consult your school's financial aid office, explore local resources, research niche interests, join scholarship-focused social media groups, and ask advisors for guidance.

12. Can I Get a Scholarship for Having Anxiety?

Yes, you can get a scholarship for having anxiety. There are a number of scholarships for individuals with mental health issues, such as The Andrew Q. Peschard Memorial Scholarship, The Quell Foundation Fighter Scholarship, and the JED Student Voice of Mental Health Award, among others. 

Final Thoughts

Scholarships are for more than just students in high academic standing, athletes, cheerleaders, and other mainstream stereotypes. No matter how unique and quirky they are, your unique talents can help you stand out in a crowd and get just as much recognition in college awards as in academic abilities. 

Remember, if you have an unusual talent or trait, there can be an equally unusual scholarship to be put to use. Good luck!

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