It’s no secret that college is increasingly expensive, and that when you’re applying to schools, financial aid is probably going to be in your plans. Seventy percent of college students pay for their attendance with scholarships, loans, or a combination of both.
But if you think you’ve got to be an uncommonly brilliant student to qualify for a scholarship, think again. There are scholarships available based on where you live, what your last name is, and how short or tall you are. There are also scholarships for lefties, for puppeteers, for duck callers, for rodeo riders, and for bowlers. And if you’re a pair of twins or a set of triplets, there are scholarships available for you, too.
When you’re researching scholarships look everywhere! Here’s a list that might surprise you:
Are You Into the Environment?
The Thomas Pratte Memorial Scholarship of $2000 is given by the Surfrider Foundation to an undergrad interested in the environmental science of coastal areas who intends to study natural resources, community planning, environmental sciences, marine affairs, or oceanography.
Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, Inc. Founders Fund Scholarship. This organization that promotes conservation and protection of the environment gives a $3,500 scholarship to someone who will be majoring in environmental studies, natural resource management, zoology, biology, or another relevant field.
Is Food and Drink Your Thing?
The Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarships are given to applicants based on their ability to actively demonstrate courage, compassion, and a commitment to peace in the world based on their lifestyles as vegetarians. Two $5000 scholarships are given annually.
The John Kitt Memorial Scholarship of $5000 is given by the American Association of Candy Technologies to students majoring in food science, chemical science, biological science, or a related area who can demonstrate their interest in the technology of confections.
The National Beef Ambassador Program Scholarship is given to the winner of a national public speaking contest on the subject of – what else? – beef and beef production.
The Milk Marketing Scholarship is a $1,500 award for students who plan to pursue careers in marketing of dairy products.
The Asparagus Club Scholarship of $2000 is awarded to students pursuing degrees in business, food management, or another relevant field leading to a career in the grocery industry.
The American Society for Enology and Viticulture awards numerous scholarships to students who plan to study winemaking, grape cultivation, or a science basic to the wine and grape industry. Dollar amounts vary from year to year, sort of like vintage wines.
Are You Community-Minded?
The Nordstrom Cares Scholarship fund gives $10,000 scholarships to 80 students who live in states where there are Nordstrom stores and have participated in extracurricular activities or volunteer service.
The Students for Organ Donation Youth Leadership Award is a $1000 scholarship for a student committed to raising public awareness of organ donation and transplantation.
The Toyota Teen Video Challenge awards $15,000, $10,000, and $7500 prizes to students who submit winning short videos about safe teen driving.
DoSomething.org gives a $5,000 scholarship for coming up with the best can recycling drive.
The Hollister Co. Anti-Bullying Scholarship of $2500 administered by the National Society of High School Scholars Foundation is given to outstanding students who have academically persevered while experiencing bullying and to those who have led anti-bullying efforts in their schools and communities.
Are You Creative?
The Davidson Fellows Scholarship awards from $10,00 to $50,000 to students under 18 who have completed a significant work of art in philosophy, music, literature, mathematics, engineering, technology, or science.
The Collegiate Inventors Competition awards a $10,000 scholarship to an undergrad for the pursuit of new processes, ideas, and technological innovations.
The Illustrators of the Future Contest awards $4000 scholarships based on entries of illustrations of fantasy or science fiction.
The Create-a-Greeting Card Scholarship of $10,000 is given to students based on submission of a holiday, get-well, or birthday greeting card.
The Frame My Future Scholarship is an award of $1000 given to the student with the winning original image — photograph, drawing, painting, or graphic design — and accompanying 500 words on “this is how I frame my future.”
The Make Me Laugh Scholarship is a $1500 award to the winning applicant who makes the judges laugh with a 250-word essay on a funny or embarrassing incident in his or her life.
The Kor Memorial Scholarship from the Klingon Language Council (no kidding!) is $500 given to students who excel at implementing creative uses for Star Trek’s Klingon language.
If Nothing Else Fits, Try This!
The Duck Brand Stuck at Prom Scholarship is a $10,000 award for each of up to ten couples who create their prom outfits entirely out of duct tape. Entry is by photograph of you and your date.
Information on tons more traditional and unusual scholarships are available at a range of websites online, and your school counselor can help you locate others that might be just right for you.