38 Weird Scholarships for Unique Students in 2023

Are you a left-handed high school senior?  A Pokemon master?  A graduate student with a passion for tattoo removal? Believe it or not, there’s a scholarship for you.

As it turns out, there are more wacky and weird scholarships than you can imagine. And they’re here to help you make education affordable. Explore this list and find where you fit. When you’re ready, Going Merry makes applying a breeze

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Student finding weird scholarships and grants

Start your search with these 38 unique college scholarships for high school students:

1. Stuck at Prom Scholarship

Amount: Up to $10,000

Niche: Crafty prom attireGet ready to create the ultimate prom attire with duct tape! With the Stuck at Prom Scholarship, you’ll be literally stuck at prom using Duck brand duct tape to assemble your outfit. High School Juniors and Seniors will create and wear prom attire assembled with the crafting tape, then take a photo, and submit their creation for public voting. There are 4 scholarship awards in total: 2 for the Dress Category and 2 for the Tux Category.

2. Collegiate Beef Advocacy Program

Amount: $2,000

Niche: Beef advocate

Don’t start beef. Instead, advocate for it and potentially earn a college scholarship! The Collegiate Beef Advocacy Program connects high school graduates to beef industry experts to access mentorship, cattlemen and cattlewomen, to help improve leadership skills.

3. National Marbles Tournament

Amount: Varies

Niche: Mibster

Fellow mibsters – a.k.a. marble shooters – the National Marbles Tournament awards 4 college scholarships per year. The requirements? Applicants must be between the age of 7-14 and have won a local marble championship. Gamers unite in Wildwood, New Jersey for a tournament of over 1,200 marble games for this wacky college scholarship contest. 

4. Amish Descendant Scholarship Fund

Amount: $20,000 worth of scholarships

Niche: Amish lifestyle

To qualify for the Amish Descendant Scholarship Fund, students must have grown up Amish and have a family who is continuing to live an Amish lifestyle. Students must also have earned their GED or high school diploma. The ADSFund aims to help Amish and former Amish students fund their college education.

5. Getting Real About Distracted Driving

Amount: $1,000

Niche: Educate people on the dangers of distracted driving

To raise awareness for distracted driving, scholarship applicants will design an advertisement to educate people on the dangers of not paying attention behind the wheel, while including a bit of humor or irony in the ad. The Getting Real About Distracted Driving scholarship is a creative opportunity to help fund your college tuition and do some community service! (Like this scholarship? Also check out our Scholarship Bundle on safe driving.)

6. The UNIMA-USA Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Niche: Puppetry

The UNIMA-USA Scholarship awards American puppeteers who desire to study puppetry abroad. Scholarship applicants must either have professional experience in puppetry, a puppetry degree, or a demonstrated commitment to the art of puppetry in order to apply for this wacky scholarship.  

7. Foreclosure.com Scholarship

Amount: Up to $4,000

Unusual ask: Write about renting vs. owning a home

These college scholarships aim to educate the community about various topics in real estate. In order to apply to the Foreclosure.com Scholarship, simply enter the essay contest with a paper between 800 and 2,000 words about the pros and cons of renting versus owning a home. The first place winner receives a $4,000 scholarship while second and third place winners receive a $1000 scholarship.  

8. STARFLEET Scholarships

Amount: $1,000

Niche: Star Trek fans

Star Trek fans can apply for these unique STARFLEET Scholarships worth $1,000. Applicants must have been members of STARFLEET for at least one year before applying for this unusual scholarship. STARFLEET is made up of hundreds of local chapters with the aim of providing a base for Star Trek fans to interact. 

9. Gypsy Lore Society Young Scholars’ Prize

Award: $500

Weird ask: Essay on Romani culture

The Gypsy Lore Society Young Scholars’ Prize aims to promote the study of Gypsies and Travelers in Romani culture. This unique scholarship is open to both college students and graduate students alike. The award will be given to the writer of the best unpublished paper on the topic, and Gypsy Lore Society members are given priority.  

10. American Fence Association Scholarships

Award: $5000

Niche: Family involved in fence industry

The American Fence Association awards these little-known college scholarships each year at FENCETECH. Recipients must either be employed in the fence industry or be the immediate family member of an employee in the industry. Additionally, American Fence Association Scholarship applicants must have a B average GPA and have done at least 40 hours of community service. Winners do not need to be members of the AFA to qualify. 

Students on phones looking for scholarships

11. Michael Moody Fitness Scholarship

Amount: $1,500

Niche: Fitness-related career

High school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students may apply. The Michael Moody Fitness Scholarship supports students focusing on health and fitness related careers. Academic achievement and extracurricular activities are taken into applicant consideration but there is no GPA requirement.

12. Dolphin Galleries Scholarship for the Visual & Creative Arts

Amount: $1,000

Niche: Arts major or minor

Students must pursue an arts related major or minor for their higher education in order to apply for this unique scholarship. The Dolphin Galleries Scholarship asks for the works to relate to the expression of culture in the modern age. The art will be evaluated on originality, creativity, artistic skill, and substance. International students may apply.

13. Future Designer Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Niche: Designer

College students with a flair for the arts and an interest in greeting card design are encouraged to apply to this Future Designer Scholarship. Applicants to this design-a-greeting-card scholarship will enter using original artwork. CardsDirect hints at wanting December holiday-themed works from scholarship applicants!

14. Cosmetology Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Niche: Studying cosmetology

Students studying cosmetology or any related field may apply to this Cosmetology School Scholarship sponsored by Beauty Schools Directory. Example majors are esthetics, nail technician, fashion design, electrology, and barbering.  

15. Square Cow Movers Scholarship for Community Impact

Amount: $1,000

Niche: Interested in helping the community

Students with an interest in community service are encouraged to apply to the Square Cow Movers Scholarship for Community Impact. The scholarship asks applicants to delve into explaining the important relationship between community projects and businesses in their essay contest.

16. “Be Bold” No Essay Scholarship

Amount: $25,000

Niche: Risk-takers

Bold.org believes the future of our world will be molded by earnest, determined risk-takers. If that sounds like you, the “Be Bold” No Essay Scholarship contest should be on your list. The award amount is generous and will go a long way to help offset student loans. The winning profile will demonstrate a high degree of boldness and students who apply early have a greater chance of winning!

17. Triumph Over Adversity

Amount: $1,000

Niche: Tenacious learners

Each of us face challenges in everyday life. But for those living with a disability, even daily tasks like completing homework or being a full-time student can seem impossible. The Triumph Over Adversity Scholarship seeks to award determined high school students who have either personally overcome adversity to experience academic success or aided a friend in doing so. 

18. Sarah E. Huneycutt Scholarship

Amount: $20,000

Niche: Female golfers

If you’re a female student with a GPA of 3.0 or higher who’s interested in golf, but not quite ready to play at the collegiate level, the Sarah E. Huneycutt Scholarship is an excellent opportunity to further your education and love of the game. The award adds to the college fund of one lucky recipient for four years of college or university at an accredited school in Florida. If you’re interested in exploring more scholarship programs specific to female college students, check out our comprehensive list.

19. Tiffany Green Operator Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

Niche: Music lovers

In the world of unusual scholarships, this one is just the right kind of weird – think jam sessions, music festivals, and live concerts. Funded by the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation, the Tiffany Green Operator Scholarship goes to support a student in their pursuit of a career in live entertainment. Win this essay contest by convincing the judges of your love for music and its impact on your career aspirations!

20. Heisman High School Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

Niche: Community-minded athletes

The word “Heisman” conjures images of standout collegiate football players. But the Heisman High School Scholarship has a different focus: highlighting student-athletes with notable achievements off the field and in their communities. If your financial aid package wasn’t quite enough and you’re passionate about your community, this award and other community service-focused scholarships can help put a little extra money into your college fund!

21. Two Ten Higher Education Footwear Design Scholarship

Amount: $3,000

Niche: Sneakerheads

Ever thought about turning your love of sneakers into a career? The Two Ten Higher Education Footwear Design Scholarship could make that dream a reality. This unusual scholarship goes to a student studying design with a specific focus on footwear. Applicants must submit three different designs from their portfolio, so sharpen those pencils!

22. Cleveland Browns Foundation Marion Motley Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

Niche: Football fans 

The Cleveland Browns want to support the next generation of Ohio-based sports executives and educators. If that sounds like a win to you, check out the Cleveland Browns Foundation Marion Motley Scholarship. This scholarship award supports two passionate students for four years of higher education. 

23. Greater Than Gatsby Annual Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Niche: Content creators

Jay Gatsby is an American icon. Every depiction of him in popular culture is perfectly lit, shot, and edited – just like the photographs that’ll win the Greater Than Gatsby Annual Scholarship! This scholarship program is targeted toward artistic-minded students, regardless of GPA, with dreams to pursue visual arts higher education and a career in photography or any related art form. 

24. Skin Care Ox: Beauty + Wellness Scholarship for Women

Amount: $1,000

Niche: Beauty buffs

Put your encyclopedic knowledge of face masks and eye creams to good use! The Skin Care Ox: Beauty + Wellness Scholarship for Women is a scholarship program for female students with a love for wellness and clean beauty. To be eligible for this weird scholarship, simply write a compelling essay about your commitment to a healthy lifestyle as a student. Winners receive a basket of organic beauty goodies in addition to financial aid!

25. The Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Niche: Thrill seekers

The Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship takes the cake for the most unusual scholarship! This creative essay contest asks students to imagine their school has been overrun by zombies, and then come up with a plan for survival. With no GPA requirement or letters of recommendation, applying for this scholarship money is much less scary than outrunning a hungry zombie. 

26. American Association for Nude Recreation Education Foundation

Amount: $1,500

Niche: Nudists

If nude recreation – like swimming, hiking, or playing volleyball – is important to your mental health and wellbeing, check out this unique scholarship from the American Association for Nude Recreation Education Foundation. This scholarship contest rewards those with previous experience with the American Association for Nude Recreation.

27. American Association of Candy Technologist’s John Kitt Memorial Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Niche: Dessert people

Talk about a delicious deal! The American Association of Candy Technologists’ John Kitt Memorial Scholarship rewards college students who are studying food science with an extra-sweet $5,000 scholarship. The scholarship money is paid in two installments throughout one school year. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in order to be eligible for this financial aid. 

28. The Asparagus Club Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Niche: Veggie vendors

If you envision a career selling asparagus at the farmers market or your local independent grocer, the Asparagus Club Scholarship can put some extra cash into your college fund. This award is open to students from college sophomores up to graduate students with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and above. 

Students chatting about weird college grants and scholarships

29. American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Niche: Lucky students 

This scholarship opportunity requires nothing but luck and an intention to enroll in college. The American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship is chosen entirely at random and regardless of financial need or GPA. The AFSA has two competitions – one directed at high school seniors entering college and another for anyone of any age seeking a second chance at higher education after receiving their GED or high school diploma equivalent. 

30. National Potato Council Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

Niche: Spud Lovers

Sponsored by the Potato Leadership, Education and Advancement Foundation, the National Potato Council Scholarship is a great target for graduate students with a focus on agricultural studies. Ideal candidates for this award will be conducting research that benefits the potato industry. The winner will be chosen based on a combination of criteria including academic achievement and areas of study related to the potato industry. 

31. Doodle 4 Google Scholarship

Amount: $30,000

Niche: Illustrating Google

The Doodle for Google Scholarship is an award for artistic high school students who may submit a doodle illustrating the name “Google” using any materials. Students must also include a doodle description – an artist statement explaining the doodle and how it represents something that inspires the student. Doodles will be judged based on artistic merit, creativity, and theme communication (how well the student expresses the theme in the artwork and written statement). 

32. Tall Clubs International Foundation Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Niche: Tall people 

If you’re exceptionally height-advantaged, the Tall Clubs International Foundation Scholarship could be the scholarship for you. The application calls for high school students, either men and women under 21, who are entering their freshman year of college. The minimum height requirements for membership in Tall Clubs International is 5’ 10” for women and 6’ 2” for men. There’s no financial need or GPA requirement.

33. “Yes for Liberty” Constitution Bee Scholarship

Amount: $3,500

Niche: History Buff

If you’re a U.S. history buff at a Kansas High School, the “Yes for Liberty” Constitution Bee Scholarship is worth a look. Scholarship applicants will go through a four-part round of questions about the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, Founding Documents, and Federalist Papers. Applicants will run through true and false questions, and work through a series of multiple-choice questions. The final three scholarship awards will be determined by an oral presentation.

34. Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship

Amount: $5,000 – $10,000

Niche: Vegetarianism

Vegetarians and supporters alike – this group wants to know how you promote vegetarianism in your high school or community. An anonymous donor sponsors the Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship contest with two different award amounts: two $5,000 prizes and one $10,000 prize.

35. Create-a-Greeting-Card

Amount: $10,000, plus $1,000 for your school

Niche: Greeting card creator

Show off your design skills by creating your own greeting card and submitting it to win the Create-a-Greeting-Card Scholarship. Students are encouraged to include original art to apply to this scholarship contest. Ages 14 and up may enter, from high school to college students.

36. Flying Musicians Association Solo Program

Amount: First solo in flight training with instructor

Niche: Musicians wanting to fly

This very specific scholarship program is geared toward musicians who want to learn how to fly. Through the Flying Musicians Association Solo Program high school juniors and seniors in good standing must be nominated by their music director. FMA will then sponsor the student’s first solo in flight training with a participating flight school, or with a flight instructor who is FAA-certified.

37. Alpine Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Niche: Interest in Alpine culture

Students interested in studying Alpine culture in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and surrounding areas, are encouraged to apply for the Alpine Scholarship. Scholarship provider Minnesota Krampus, a nonprofit organization, promotes cultural traditions of St. Nikolaus and his Krampus. College students from any major may apply as long as their major supports the study of topics that involve the Alps and its people, including language, history, politics, music, and folklore.

38. BMW/SAE Engineering Scholarship

Amount: $1500

Niche: Engineering aficionados

Across the globe, BMW is synonymous with luxury, technology, and innovation. To foster the next generation of trailblazers, BMW encourages interested high school students to apply for the BMW/SAE Engineering Scholarship. The ideal awardee will demonstrate an extracurricular interest in the fields of engineering, technology, or math and an intention to pursue a degree in one of those subjects. 

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