45 Weird Scholarships to Save You Money
Scholarships are one of the top options for funding college because they never need to be paid back. There are hundreds of thousands of different scholarships out there for all types of situations…even wacky and weird scholarships you never would’ve thought existed! Whether you’re left-handed, a Pokemon master, or passionate about laser tattoo removal, there’s a scholarship for you.
Why not have fun with these out-of-the-ordinary college grants and scholarships? Be sure to send in the FAFSA application before applying for weird scholarships, and then let the fun begin! If you’re unsure of how to apply for scholarships, check out our handy guide.
Start your search with these 45 weird, niche scholarships:
Niche: Illustrating Google
Another scholarship to award creative students! Students may submit a doodle illustrating the search engine name using any materials they’d like. 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). Parents and teachers must submit the student’s entry form or submit it online as an image file (.png or .jpg).
Amount: Up to $10,000
Niche: Crafty promwear
Get ready to create the ultimate promwear. You’ll be literally stuck at prom…using Duck® brand crafting tape to assembly your outfit. Students will create AND wear creative promwear assembled with the crafting tape, take a photo, and submit their creation for public voting. There are 4 scholarships in total, 2 for the Dress Category and 2 for the Tux Category.
Amount: Up to $2,000
Niche: Duck calling champ
Is duck calling your calling? The first National Duck Calling Contest took place in 1936 in Stuttgart, Arkansas. Now, the contest supports young duck callers attending college. The funds are raised in various ways, including duck call sales, duck call pins, hamburger cookouts, and donations. This scholarship is open to current high school seniors.
Niche: Pokémon Master
Yes, really! Pokémon trainers can battle in the Training Card Game Championship to earn points, and later earn scholarship awards. Previous winners have received up to $25,000 in scholarship money, which might just cover a year or two of your college tuition.
Niche: Being height-advantaged
If you’re exceptionally height-advantaged, the Tall Clubs International Foundation might just be the scholarship for you. The application calls for 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.
Amount: $1,000 to $1,500
Left-handed students at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA are eligible to apply for these left-handed scholarships. Applicants should be sophomores, juniors, or seniors who demonstrate either financial need or academic success. For more information, check out the scholarship website.
Niche: Spelling champ
If you’re a U.S. history buff at a Kansas High School, this scholarship is for you! 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.
Amount: $500 – $5,000
Niche: Amateur Radio pro
Calling all Amateur Radio professionals – the ARRL, a national association dedicated to Amateur Radio in the U.S., offers scholarship awards to support the awareness and growth of the industry. Each scholarship requires that you hold some form of an active Amateur Radio License Class. Keep an eye out for these requirements and continue doing what you love on the air.
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 awards with two $5,000 scholarships and one $10,000 scholarship.
Amount: $3,333, $5,000 and $10,000
Niche: Majoring or minoring in telecommunications
The David Letterman Scholarship is perfect for Ball State University students majoring or minoring in telecommunications. Fans of the previous talk show host can apply once they have 30 – 102 credits at the end of their Fall semester. This scholarship allows students to showcase creative achievements by explaining a telecommunications project they worked on – how they thought of the project and how they developed it.
Niche: Beef advocate
Don’t have beef with someone – become a beef advocate and earn scholarship money! This program connects leaders to beef industry experts to access mentorship, cattlemen and cattlewomen, to help improve leadership skills.
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. The tournament involves 1,200 marble games played over a period of 4 days, welcoming kids from across the U.S. to Wildwood, New Jersey.
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 scholarship money. Students are encouraged to include original art. Ages 14 and up may apply, from high school to college students.
Amount: First solo in flight training with instructor
Niche: Musician wanting to fly
This very specific scholarship is geared toward musicians who want to learn how to fly. 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.
Amount: $20,000 worth of scholarships
Niche: Amish lifestyle
To qualify for this scholarship, students must have grown up Amish, with a family who is continuing to leave 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.
Niche: Educate people on the dangers of distracted driving
To raise awareness for distracted driving, students will design an advertisement to educate people on the dangers, while including a bit of humor or irony in the ad. This is a creative opportunity where students can create a billboard, commercial, radio ad, or poster to name a few mediums. Students will also aim to convince people not to text and drive, drink and drive, eat and drive, or get caught up in any other distraction while driving in their message. (Like this scholarship? Also check out our scholarship MerryApp on safe driving.)
Niche: Interest in Alpine culture
Students interested in studying Alpine culture in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and surrounding areas are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. Scholarship provider Minnesota Krampus, a nonprofit organization, promotes cultural traditions of St. Nikolaus and his Krampus. 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, folklore, and more.
Niche: Learning at camp
Summer camp is more than just obstacle courses and scheduled study times. This scholarship promotes skill-developing camps so students can learn in a range of areas outside the traditional public-school setting. These areas include computer networking and coding, robotics, athletics, music, animation, education, and more.
Niche: Foster child in New Hampshire
Foster children in New Hampshire are encouraged to apply for this scholarship honoring the scholarship provider’s mother, Jennifer. She became a foster child after her father passed away, and her teenage mother wasn’t able to give her the care she needed. Jennifer continued her education regardless of the challenges, and now her daughters want to give students an educational opportunity.
Niche: Red hair
A scholarship for natural redheads, celebrating intelligence and creativity. This unique scholarship promotes academics with an emphasis on creating role models.
Niche: Educating people on the dangers of underage drinking
Students will create a 30-second or longer commercial with a message focused on the dangers of underage drinking -or- the dangers of texting while driving. Scholarship applicants may submit separate videos in both categories, with a target audience of middle school classrooms. The winning commercial will be aired on T.V. or featured on the Courageous Persuaders website. Check out their website for a full list of scholarship opportunities.
UNIMA-USA awards these unique scholarships to American puppeteers who desire to study puppetry abroad. Applicants must either have professional experience in puppetry, a puppetry degree, or a demonstrated commitment to the art of puppetry. For deadlines and more info, check out the scholarship website.
Niche: Mystery writing
Students with a knack for mystery writing can apply for this $500 scholarship. The writing can be in the form of fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, or play scripts. Candidates should not have received monetary compensation for mystery or crime writing in the past to qualify. For more info, check out the scholarship website.
Amount: 50% of tuition
Twins who attend Lake Erie College have the opportunity to attend for the price of one student. These unusual scholarships cover 50% of each twin’s tuition. For more information, head over to the scholarship website.
Amount: $20,000 ($5,000 per year)
Niche: Magic: The Gathering fan/player
Some of the top Magic: The Gathering players in the world put together a scholarship fund for talented players hoping to attend college. The intention is to find highly intelligent students that could benefit from extra engagement. If that sounds like you, check out the scholarship website for more information.
Amount: Up to $2,500
Unusual ask: Write about renting vs. owning a home
These unusual scholarships aim to educate the community about various topics in real estate. In order to apply, simply write an essay between 800 and 2,000 words about the pros and cons of renting versus owning a home. The first-place winner receives a $2,500 scholarship while second- and third- place winners receive a $500 scholarship. For more information, visit the scholarship website.
Niche: Star Trek fan
Star Trek fans can apply for these unique scholarships worth $1,000. Applicants must have been members of STARFLEET for at least one year before applying. STARFLEET is made up of hundreds of local chapters with the aim of providing a base for Star Trek fans to interact. For more information, check out the scholarship website.
Niche: Creative writer
These weird scholarships are perfect for aspiring writers. Students must be attending Ursinus College in Pennsylvania and have a love for creative writing. The committee looks for an “unusual perspective, for quirky brilliance, for a voice, not necessarily the kind that can be measured by conventional standards.” The application consists of 10 double-spaced pages of creative fiction and the winner spends the year living in the former dorm room of J.D. Salinger. For more information, check out the scholarship website.
Amount: Full Tuition + Room & Board
Niche: Former/current golf caddie
Who knew that being a golf caddie could pay your college tuition? These weird scholarships award full tuition and room and board to students who have demonstrated a strong record as a golf caddie, good grades, outstanding character, and financial need. Winners live in Evans Scholarship Houses at participating universities. For more information, visit the scholarship website.
Weird ask: Essay on Romani culture
The Gypsy Lore Society aims to promote the study of Gypsies and Travelers in Romani culture. This $500 award is given to the writer of the best unpublished paper on the topic and Gypsy Lore Society members are given priority. For deadlines and more info, check out the scholarship website.
Niche: Family involved in fence industry
The American Fence Association awards these little-known 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, applicants must have a B average and have done at least 40 hours of community service. Winners do not need to be members of the AFA to qualify. For more info, check out the scholarship website.
Weird ask: Essay on laser tattoo removal
These weird scholarships are perfect for those interested in laser tattoo removal. Candidates must have an emphasis in nursing, medicine, natural or applied sciences, or engineering in their studies. The application consists of writing an essay on the societal impact of laser tattoo removal and including the scholarship provider’s name in the body of the essay.
Niche: Scholarship applicants
The great thing about this scholarship is that it motivates students to apply for as many scholarships as possible! In order to apply, students must send email confirmations of other scholarships they’ve applied for as well as write a short personal summary. For more information, check out the scholarship website.
34. Zolp Scholarship
Niche: Catholics with last name Zolp
Perhaps one of the least competitive awards on this list of weird scholarships, this award is only open to Catholic students with the last name Zolp who are attending Loyola University Chicago. The application requires both a birth certificate and a baptism confirmation. For deadlines and more info, check out the scholarship website.
Niche: UNC females who don’t own cars and haven’t won other scholarships
While most scholarships focus on what students do have, this one focuses on what they don’t have. Applicants must be female students at the University of North Carolina who live on-campus, don’t own a car, are single, and have not received any other scholarships. For more details, check out the scholarship website.
Niche: Fitness-related career
High school seniors, undergraduates, and graduates may apply. The fitness scholarship supports students focusing on health and fitness related careers. Academic achievement and extracurricular activities are taken into applicant consideration.
Niche: Automotive major
Students of a trade or vocational school, 2 or 4 year university, accredited community college or other automotive higher education institution. Students interested in an automotive degree or certification are encouraged to apply.
Niche: Foreign language
Any students studying a foreign language may apply. Students with experience or a desire to study abroad are encouraged to apply. This scholarship asks for an explanation of the applicant’s personal language learning experience and thoughts on international study.
Niche: Novelist (current, curious, or aspiring)
Any creative writing students from the US, Canada, and Australia may apply. This scholarship is meant to encourage and help nurture the next generation of creative writers. The sample chapter should be from original novel applicants are currently writing, or have written and did not finish.
Niche: Arts major or minor
Students must pursue an arts related major or minor. The 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.
Students with an interest in designing a card are encouraged to apply. CardsDirect does hint at wanting December holiday themed works from applicants!
Niche: Studying field related to arboriculture
Students must study arboriculture, forestry, urban forestry, horticulture, plant pathology, botany, or other related field. The scholarship asks applicants to describe future aspirations.
Niche: Studying cosmetology
Students studying cosmetology or any related field may apply. Example majors are esthetics, nail technician, fashion design, electrology, and barbering. More examples can be found on the scholarship page.
Niche: Interested in helping the community
Students with an interest in community impact are encouraged to apply. The scholarship asks applicants to delve into explaining the important relationship between community projects and businesses.
Niche: Saving time
Any college student willing to create a free account may apply. This popular scholarship is most likely the “easy” scholarship you hoped to find. This article is about niches, the scholarship provider is Niche, and NO ESSAY (you can check out more No Essay scholarships here). We think it fits well in our list of “niche” scholarships!
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