Scholarship support not only makes attending college possible but it also helps spare graduates from excessive and debilitating debt. According to the Wall Street Journal, student debt surpassed $1 trillion nationally in 2011 and that appears to happen because even though parents still value contributing to their children’s college tuition, the amount of families that can afford to contribute has declined. Despite the fact that the country weathered the worst of the recession, many states are still reeling from the economic slump and most have made large cuts in public service funding—including higher education. As a result, public colleges and universities have increased tuition. I know what you’re probably thinking, but as someone who spent a good seven years in law school (and miraculously graduated) I can assure you that going to college is totally worth it. Your college degree will be one of the most lucrative investments you’ll ever make. And the good news doesn’t stop there. There are plenty of scholarships out there to support you financially and help you make your dreams come true. Some of them might be a little too weird and bizarre but they cover a wide variety of interests, lifestyles, and disciplines. Some of them are even willing to reward you if you’re too short or too tall. Crazy, huh? Well, to learn about even crazier ones, check out these 25 Unique Scholarships You Might Not Know Existed. By the way, these scholarships may save you money, but these 25 life hacks every college student should know will save you time, so check them out.
Two Ten Footwear Foundation Scholarship
The Two Ten Footwear Foundation awards scholarships to over four hundred students amounting to over $700,000. The scholarships come in various forms, such as those for footwear employees and also those who are studying footwear design in college. It’s all about shoes here.
American Nudist Research Library Scholarship
If the nudist in you is itching to get out and you don’t mind showing off your assets or living in a nudist colony, then this scholarship could award out with $1,000 for college.
Flavor of the Month Scholarship
The Flavor of the Month Scholarship provides students with a more relaxed opportunity to be creative. Asking students to consider what ice-cream flavor they would be and why, this scholarship allows students to take a look inward and express themselves in a fun and creative way.
US Bowling Congress Scholarship
Five male and five female USBC High School students are selected annually for the Dexter/USBC High School All-American Team and a $1,000 scholarship. As for the criterion for the scholarship? Just be a good bowler; that’s all it takes.
Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship
Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, each year the Vegetarian Resource Group awards $20,000 in scholarship money to graduating US high school students who have promoted vegetarianism in their schools and/or communities.
To win this strange scholarship offered by Loyola University (Chicago, Illinois), your last name has to be Zolp and you have to be Catholic in order to qualify. If you miss one of the previous two criteria don’t even think about it.
Zinch $1,000 Weekly Scholarship
Zinch is a resource that offers weekly scholarships to students. This might be weird indeed but at the same time a unique opportunity because it gives students multiple chances to win scholarship money on a weekly basis. Though flexible, the opportunity is also challenging, allowing students only 280 characters to answer the question of the week to win.
Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage Scholarship
When it comes to athletic scholarships, these are usually given to students who excel in popular sports such as football, soccer, basketball, baseball, tennis, swimming, and wrestling; apparently there are scholarships that award future winter Olympians too. The Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage has awarded scholarships to students for over twenty-five years and students are awarded these scholarships based on personal performance and achievements.
Excellence in Predicting the Future Award
Don’t let the name confuse you; you don’t have to be a fortune-teller to win this $400 award. All you need is an interest in economics and be good at predicting the course of the financial market (which with the way things are going in the global economy, might end up being harder than fortune-telling after all).
Fashion Scholarship Fund Scholarships
The Fashion Scholarship Fund awards numerous scholarships in honor of Geoffrey Beene, Jim Edleman, and others. Since the beginning of 2008, the FSF has been granting four Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards (now for $30,000 each) to enterprising students majoring in fashion and related disciplines (design, merchandising, finance, marketing, retailing, and liberal arts), as well as four $10,000 Geoffrey Beene National Scholarships for each of the four runners-up. Required application materials include a case study and personal statement.
Brett Ratner Tuition Grant
The Brett Ratner Tuition Grant, given through the New York Film Academy, offers one hundred scholarship grants up to $15,000. Students who are interested must show evidence of financial need and write a personal statement on why they would like to attend the New York Film Academy.
Kripalu Schools of Yoga and Ayurveda Scholarships
Kirpalu offers students who wish to pursue schooling in yoga the opportunity to apply for scholarships. Yoga scholarships are not common, so this is a unique opportunity for students to be able to pursue a passion that is oftentimes not given the regard it deserves.
Common Knowledge Challenges
If you know a lot about a lot of things then you may be eligible for a series of Common Knowledge scholarships that range from $250 to $3,000. In other words, you could win a scholarship by just being a Mr. (or Mrs.) Know It All.
Michael Jackson Scholarship
The United Negro College Fund set up the Michael Jackson Scholarship to honor the king of pop and it awards up to $4,000 to students majoring in performing arts, English, and communications.
David Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship
Students attending Ball State University could win up to $10,000 in scholarship money by submitting a variety of creative media while having as one of their main (if not THE main) inspirations David Letterman, which could help their case a lot as you probably understand from the scholarship’s name.
National Marbles Tournament Scholarship
This contest for children from eight to fourteen years old awards between $1,000 and $2,000 in scholarship money to those who are skilled in playing with marbles.
Potato Industry Scholarship
The National Potato Council annually awards one $5,000 scholarship to a graduate student pursuing agribusiness, which enhances the potato industry.
Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship
This “lefty” scholarship is awarded each year to sophomores, juniors, and seniors attending Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA. We call it “lefty” because to qualify, you must be left-handed; show financial need; and have a good GPA.
National Beef Ambassador Program
The National Beef Ambassador Program works with youth in states across the country. These Beef Ambassadors will educate consumers in their respective areas about beef and beef production. Additionally, five of these young adults are chosen to represent the National Beef Ambassador Team and educate consumers on a national level through a competition.
Tall Clubs International Scholarship
All you need to qualify for this scholarship is to be at least 6’2” if you’re a male and at least 5’10” if you’re a female, then write an essay entitled “What Being Tall Means to Me.” Yep, that’s all; we promise!
Van Valkenburg Memorial Scholarship
To win this $1,000 scholarship you have to be a descendant through birth or legal adoption of Lambert and Annetje Van Valkenburg. Nothing else, that’s it. Now, who exactly Lambert and Annetje are we don’t know but we’re pretty sure you do if you’re a descendant of them.
Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest Scholarship
This forty-year-old scholarship is in memory of Chick and Sophie Major, two “legendary” champion duck callers from Stuttgart, Kansas, and has doled out more than $60,000 to students at thirty-two different colleges in thirteen different states. So get your favorite duck call and get prepared to win some serious money.
Jif Most Creative Sandwich Contest Scholarship
Have a little chef at home between ages six and twelve? He or she may be able to turn a talent into a $25,000 college scholarship, thanks to the Jif Most Creative Sandwich Contest. Using a Jif peanut butter or Jif hazelnut spread product, contestants have to create a sandwich that will be judged on creativity, taste, visual appeal, and ease of preparation.
The Billy Barty Foundation
This scholarship is awarded to students who are very short (under 4’10”) and have proof of dwarfism. That makes the Billy Barty Foundation one of the most well known organizations around the world advocating for individuals with dwarfism.
Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship
The Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship gives students the opportunity to be creative with guess what?— zombies. This application asks students to plan ahead for an apocalypse and to be creative with their survival skills. This is the perfect scholarship opportunity for those with active imaginations who are interested in sci-fi and scare culture.