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.
- 1. Stuck at Prom Scholarship
- 2. Collegiate Beef Advocacy Program
- 3. National Marbles Tournament
- 4. Amish Descendant Scholarship Fund
- 5. Getting Real About Distracted Driving
- 6. The UNIMA-USA Scholarship
- 7. Foreclosure.com Scholarship
- 8. STARFLEET Scholarships
- 9. Gypsy Lore Society Young Scholars’ Prize
- 10. American Fence Association Scholarships
- 11. Michael Moody Fitness Scholarship
- 12. Dolphin Galleries Scholarship for the Visual & Creative Arts
- 13. Future Designer Scholarship
- 14. Cosmetology Scholarship
- 15. Square Cow Movers Scholarship for Community Impact
- 16. “Be Bold” No Essay Scholarship
- 17. Triumph Over Adversity
- 18. Sarah E. Huneycutt Scholarship
- 19. Tiffany Green Operator Scholarship
- 20. Heisman High School Scholarship
- 21. Two Ten Higher Education Footwear Design Scholarship
- 22. Cleveland Browns Foundation Marion Motley Scholarship
- 23. Greater Than Gatsby Annual Scholarship
- 24. Skin Care Ox: Beauty + Wellness Scholarship for Women
- 25. The Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship
- 26. American Association for Nude Recreation Education Foundation
- 27. American Association of Candy Technologist’s John Kitt Memorial Scholarship
- 28. The Asparagus Club Scholarship
- 29. American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship
- 30. National Potato Council Scholarship
- 31. Doodle 4 Google Scholarship
- 32. Tall Clubs International Foundation Scholarship
- 33. “Yes for Liberty” Constitution Bee Scholarship
- 34. Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship
- 35. Create-a-Greeting-Card
- 36. Flying Musicians Association Solo Program
- 37. Alpine Scholarship
- 38. BMW/SAE Engineering Scholarship
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
11. Michael Moody Fitness Scholarship
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
29. American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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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