The Top 20 Weirdest Scholarships in America

Our parents and teachers have always drilled into our brains the importance of college, but they often forget one little thing; getting an education doesn’t come cheap! The cost of room and board, textbooks, food – not to mention the absurdly high cost of tuition these days. The point is that college is pricey, but there are ways to minimize the burden of college debt – whether it’s a part time job, grant or scholarship.

What many students might not know is that there are a huge number of scholarships out there that you can apply to independently (not school-dependent). Some of these scholarships are – how should we say – a little odd. We decided to compile a list of the 20 weirdest scholarships – and trust me, this list gets weird. The scholarships on our list range from slightly odd to why would anybody set this up?! However, at the end of the day, a dollar is a dollar and for a lot of students, it really doesn’t matter how they get their scholarships – every cent counts. So, what are you waiting for? Read our list of the top 20 weirdest scholarships. You might even find yourself wanting to apply to some of them!

Weirdest Scholarships

1. Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship

Imagine that your high school or college has been overrun by zombies, what would your escape plan be? Well, think about it and write that down in 250 words or less and make sure to include where you would hide to avoid being eaten to death and the five items you would use to survive. Convince the judges that your zombie-survival plan is the best and you could be awarded $2,000 towards college. Maybe it’s time to binge-watch The Walking Dead over again for inspiration.

2. Fort on Fleek Scholarship

This social media challenge, aptly titled #fortonfleek, is founded by Dorm Bedding a company that sells dorm room bedding and accessories. The challenge is to build a pillow-fort using blankets and sheets and post the photo to Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #fortonfleek, and make sure to tag the company. They outline the list of rules on their website. You’re allowed to post as many forts as you wish – allowing you multiple chances to win the $1000 prize. Also, if you tag a friend, they also have a chance to win $200.

3. I Have a Dream Scholarship

Before you go copying Martin Luther King’s infamous speech, you might want to read the requirements for this one first. This scholarship actually wants you to write about your daydreams, odd or bizarre dreams, or even the dreams you have for your future; make it good and $1,500 could be yours. Your written online response must be 250 words or less. If you’re a legal US resident and over the age of 13, you’re eligible to enter the competition. Sweet dreams!

4. Zolp Scholarship

If your last name isn’t Zolp you should probably just skip over this one since that’s the first requirement for applying (you’ll need to provide your birth certificate as proof). Weirdly specific, right? Another distinctive prerequisite; you must attend Loyola University in Chicago. If you fall into these categories you are eligible to win a cash reward; the amount varies each year based on the number of applicants. Sounds like somebody’s really trying hard to take care of their descendants here.

5. Fifth Month Scholarship

This scholarship awards $1,500 and all you have to do is write a letter in 250 words about May, or about the number five; you need to explain why this number is significant to you, and have free reign to write whatever you want. The aim is to bring awareness to the month of May, which is the fifth month. If you just happen to be born in May then there’s your inspiration, If not, well… there’s always google.

6. The Kor Memorial Scholarship

If you’re a die hard Star Trek fan, get pumped –  this scholarship is the perfect fit for you. I suggest you brush up on your Star Trek reruns for inspiration. The Klingon language institute (yes, this actually exists) wants you to share your passion for the ‘warrior’s tongue’ and you could be awarded $500 for your efforts.

The applicant who excels at implementing the most creative use for the Klingon language will be named the winner, and rule the galaxy forever (or you can just take the cash). The website provides more information for those interested.

7. Play Pokémon Scholarship

In 2014, Andrew Estrada, the Pokemon Card World Champion won a whopping $10,000 to put towards the school of his choice – let that sink in for a minute! And now it’s your turn – if you are skilled at the Pokémon Card game that is. The amount awarded each year is often determined on an event-by-event basis, and the money can be applied to school fees, supplies or books mandated for classes at a qualified educational institution that the winner attends.

The Pokemon website has a list of prerequisites for entry. Students attending university, college, high school, technical school, trade school and even elementary school can apply.

8. Stuck At Prom Scholarship

This scholarship has been in existence for 15 years and rewards 21 recipients from different high Schools. Prom-date couples are required to create unique prom outfits using duct tape and wear it to their school prom; then submit the photos to the website, and the best photos get voted on. Winners are selected from the top ten list according to votes. The first place couple wins $10,000 each, second place couple wins $5000 each and third place couple wins $3,000 each. The schools which host the proms attended by the first, second and third place winners are also awarded cash, so it’s a win-win for everyone. Just don’t be afraid of getting into a sticky situation.

9. Thumb Wars Scholarship

Not only will you be given thumb socks – to protect your thumbs during epic thumb war battles – you also have a chance to win $10,000 towards for college. Created by the Do Something organization, their newest campaign, which is explained on the site, aims to educate about the dangers of texting and driving. What that has to do with thumb wars, I don’t know. All you have to do is sign up for your free thumb socks and wait for the winner to be announced. Let the THUMB WARS begin!

10. Duck Calling Scholarship

The Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling scholarship, awards over $4,000 to first, second, third and fourth place duck callers. The contest is open to high school seniors and in its 38 year history has awarded over $60,000 to students attending 32 different colleges. Contestants must provide ID along with their high school transcript in order to qualify for entry, and
of course they will have to show off their best duck calling skills; participants have 90 seconds to use four calls: hail, feed, comeback and mating.

11. Make Me Laugh Scholarship

Calling all class clowns – finally you can get a prize for not taking anything seriously – who’s got the last laugh now, teachers? The Make Me Laugh Scholarship offers $1500 for describing an unusual incident in your life (fact or fiction) that will make the judges laugh. Be as creative as possible and you could be LOL-ing your way to the bank. For the first time, being a clown pays off (literally)! To apply you must be a legal resident of the US and you must be at least 13 years old.

12. Flavor of the Month Scholarship

Every year in July, as an ode to National Ice Cream month, this scholarship opens up. Applicants are required to submit a maximum 250 word essay telling the judges what ice cream flavor they would be and why. You must be 13 years or older to apply and be enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution. The prize is $1500 – not bad for a few hours spent thinking about ice cream.

13. Ten Things You Love About You Scholarship

Calling all narcissists! Now you can be awarded for simply bragging about what makes you awesome. I can only imagine the millions of entries that pour in yearly. If you think you’re the best thing since sliced bread, prove it by entering this unique scholarship inspired by David Letterman’s top ten lists (we miss you Dave!).

Convince the judges of your utter awesomeness with a snazzy top ten list and you’ll be rewarded with $1,500. Feel free to be as creative as possible – there are literally no rules!

14. Beans For Brains Scholarship

Despite the name, this scholarship is not actually awarded for being stupid. This scholarship is actually for knitters. It also applies to quilters, crocheters, and so on. Each year the Jimmy Beans wool store offers six scholarships to both US and international students. Graduating high school seniors, graduates and undergraduates in any course of study are welcome to apply. You are required to submit a knitting, crocheting, or sewing project and if you are chosen, you’ll be awarded $3200! Other requirements for entry are listed here.

15. Paintball Scholarship

Getting awarded for playing paintball? Yes please! This scholarship was created by the National Collegiate Paintball Association (NCPA) to encourage higher education among young paintball players. The scholarship is open to high school seniors who play paintball – to have a chance to win, you must also show confirmation that you’re involved in promoting paintball in your community (e.g. Organizing charity paintball events, awareness campaigns etc.)

You must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and show proof that you’ve been accepted to an accredited college. The winner is awarded $500 tht goes towards college costs.

16. Tall Clubs International Scholarship

Shaquille O’Neal would’ve definitely qualified for this one, but since he’s not eligible (there’s an age limit), you definitely stand a chance – as long as you stand tall enough. Males must be over 6 feet 2 inches tall, and females must be at least 5 feet 10 inches tall; it actually sounds like a modeling contest or something, but I digress. To be awarded the $1000 prize for the Tall Clubs Scholarship you must be entering your freshman year in college and be under 21 years old at the time of applying.

17. Scholarship Red

It’s usually the battle of blonds vs brunettes, but what about the redheads? They often get overlooked – but not anymore thanks to Scholarship Red. Founded by a fellow red head, this yearly scholarship is open only to ginger-haired students (strawberry blonds are welcome to apply as well) who are juniors or seniors in high school and are applying to an accredited college. You can earn $500 towards your college fund by creating something that expresses how you feel about being a redhead. The medium is up to you – it can be anything you choose – a video, an essay, a poem – just be creative! The Scholarship Red site has a list of other requirements as well.

Oh, and if you’re thinking about buying a bottle of red hair dye, don’t bother; you also have to include a picture from childhood and one of your present self to prove that you’re a natural red-head.

18. National Gay Pilot’s Association Scholarship

Aspiring aviators who can validate their involvement in the LGBT community are eligible to enter. The scholarship awards up to $6,000 per recipient and the money must be used to recompense tuition or advanced flight training at an accredited college or university.

19. Golf Caddy scholarship

You don’t have to be Tiger Woods to make big bucks on the golf course – you just need to be a caddy to be eligible for this scholarship. The New Jersey State Golf Association has provided over 11 million dollars in college scholarships to 2800 caddies since 1947 as noted on their website. The final selection is based on financial need, academic performance, and length and quality of service as a caddie. For the 2015-2016 school year, eligible caddies (over 200 of them) will receive more than $845,000 in cash in total. These scholarships are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study.

20. No Essay Scholarship

This might very well be the easiest $2,000 you’ve ever made – it does require a bit of luck though. The scholarship is open to anyone planning to attend university within 12 months. All you have to do is visit this page register for a free account and wait for the random drawing. If you don’t win on your first try the scholarship is available each month so pick a four leaf clover, rub a rabbit’s foot and keep your fingers crossed!

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