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Unique Scholarships for College Students
Unusual Weird Scholarships 2022 & Awards You Didn’t Know Existed
There are countless Weird Scholarships 2022 out there designed to reward athleticism, a high GPA, or community engagement, but what about all the students who do not fall into these categories? Are they supposed to work through college without financial support? Of course not! Here’s your chance to finally cash in on the quirky, weird, and unique traits that make you your own person: someone who is entirely their own. Stressed about finding these scholarships? Not to worry, because we’ve already done the work for you and gathered the top unique and unusual scholarships for the 2022 school year. Check below and apply for your funding today.
Wacky Scholarship Spotlight
So what does a wacky scholarship look like, and what makes it so unique? Well, these scholarships seek to reward unique student traits that may have otherwise gone overlooked. Check below for a few examples of strange scholarships that have been popular over the last few years.
Want to look so fresh for prom that you can’t unstick yourself from your date? The Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck at Prom Contest has your name on it.
Amount: $100 runner up; $10,000 grand prize
They call it paranoia; you call it being prepared. Anyone who’s eager to fight off the living dead should jump at this Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship – if your doomsday bunker has internet, that is.
34 Unique Scholarships to Help Pay for School
Are you an amateur ice sculptor or a potato enthusiast? Or do you maybe enjoy writing musical theater numbers, or learning about Romani lore in your free time? Below is our full compiled list of 34 different scholarship programs that can earn you money based on your personal interests. So put down your Magic: The Gathering cards and turn off Star Trek, because it’s time to put some money in your pocket.
How to Improve Your Chances of Landing a Weird Scholarship
While it’s good to have a selection of scholarships to choose from, it can also be beneficial to hear from qualified individuals working in the financial aid field. We interviewed Abril Hunt, a financial aid expert, to get some tips on how students can give themselves the best shot at receiving academic funding.
1. Don’t Be Deterred by Typical Scholarship Requirements
This is your time to shine! Yes, many scholarships focus on funding individuals who exhibit specific talents or academic prowess or are geared towards students who are in need of funding, but that shouldn’t prevent you from applying for financial backing. “For example, it’s not uncommon to see scholarships targeted to recent high school graduates,” says expert Abril Hunt. “However, it’s important to note that recent high school graduates only represent about 15% of all college students… “weird” scholarships are great for everyone involved!”
2. Apply for Everything
The benefit of these unique scholarships is that without strict GPA requirements, meeting the minimum application requirements can be a bit easier. “Scholarships are free money,” says Hunt. “If you meet the basic eligibility requirements, go for it…Even if it’s for a small amount, say $500, and you spend three hours completing the application, you were just paid $166/hr for your efforts.”
3. Know How to Search
While we’ve put in a lot of work to find some unique scholarships for our students, we also recognize that you may not fall into the niches found on this list. Fear not, because you still have plenty of options. “I start all the students I work with out on Google,” says Hunt. “I have them write down personal interests, clothing brands, foods, companies, hobbies, talents, or skills and then add the word scholarship to their search. In my 20+ years of higher education experience, I’ve seen some really cool scholarships appear.”
4. Consider Applying for Scholarships That Don’t Match Your Skills
The beauty of unique scholarships is in their flexibility and low applicant pool. Hunt says, “It’s also important to remember that lesser-known means less competition. Would you rather have a one in a thousand odds or one in a hundred?” The fact that there are fewer students applying for these financial opportunities puts you in the unique position to try for scholarships that might not entirely match your interests or experience. “When I was in school,” Hunt continues, “I received a scholarship from the American Quarter Horse Association, and I didn’t even own a horse!”
5. Watch Out for Scams
Just because these scholarships are quirky doesn’t mean some of them might be too good to be true, and it’s important to keep your eye out for red flags. “If a request for money is made by phone, the operation is probably fraudulent. Beware of telephone numbers with a 900 area code. A dishonest operation might put pressure on an applicant by saying that awards are on a first-come, first-served basis. Fraudulent operations may also claim endorsements by groups with names similar to well-known private or government organizations. For instance, the Better Business Bureau and government agencies do not endorse businesses.”
6. Make Sure You Align Scholarships with Financial Aid
Students who are applying for unique scholarships may also be receiving some other forms of financial coverage provided directly through their school. Outside scholarships can affect this funding, so it’s important to stay in touch with your school’s financial aid office. Hunt says, “A school cannot refuse outside resources. They do, however, have to account for scholarships in the student’s total financial aid package. So, if a student brings in several outside scholarships, and their aid exceeds their cost of attendance, a student might see a reduction in non-need-based aid like unsubsidized loans.”