Award Day Essay Life Scholarship Worst

If applying to college is a nerve-wracking experience, then I’m not sure how to explain the fear and dread involved in paying for it once you get in.

But wait, it gets worse: student loans, anyone?

Before you know it, your excitement about getting into college can be totally trumped by anxiety about costs.

Luckily, there are thousands of scholarships for college students that can help you pay for school. Whether you’re in high school, college or even graduate school, you’re likely eligible for a fair amount of money.

You don’t need to get straight-A’s, be in dire financial straits or participate in a ton of extracurricular activities every day to earn a scholarship. In some cases, a special skill or interest area — like having creative ways of earning or saving money — can help you win money to use for tuition, housing or textbooks.

Here’s a list of tons of awesome scholarships to get you started on your search. Application rules and deadlines can change, so be sure to read all of the eligibility requirements on the funding organization’s website before applying.

We will be updating this list throughout the year so make sure to check back throughout the year to see if there are any new scholarship opportunities.

Happy scholarship hunting!

These organizations offer awards several times a year — during spring and fall semesters, quarterly or even monthly. Even if you’ve missed the earliest deadline this year, take a look to see if there’s another one coming up!

1. AfterCollege/AACN Scholarship Fund

This fund awards a scholarship of $2,500 each quarter to students enrolled at an American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) member institution. Awards can be used toward bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees in nursing.

The selection committee gives special consideration to students enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse educator; students completing an RN-to-BSN or RN-to-MSN program; and those enrolled in an accelerated program.

Deadlines: March 31, June 30, Sept. 30, Dec. 31

2. CollegeSTEPS Sweepstakes

Wells Fargo sponsors this award, which is open to high school students ages 14 and up, and all undergraduates. A total of 12 applicants — six high school students and six college students — are selected throughout the year via random drawing to win $5,000 each.

Deadline: None – random selection throughout the year.

3. Courage to Grow

This monthly scholarship award of $500 is available to high school juniors and seniors, and college students with a GPA of 2.5 or higher. You’ll have to submit a short essay.

Deadline: The last day of each month.

4. United States Senate Youth Program

Two high school juniors and seniors from each state, Washington, D.C. and the Department of Defense Education Activity are chosen each year for this program, which includes a $10,000 scholarship. The 104 selected students will travel to Washington, D.C. as delegates for Washington Week. Applicants must be participants in student government. A principal or teacher nomination is required.

Deadlines: Range from July to November, depending on your state.

5. “No Essay” College Scholarship

Yes, there’s a scholarship you can win without writing an essay! offers this monthly drawing, which is open to all high school and college students, as well as anyone planning to enroll in college or graduate school within 12 months.

Deadline: End of each month

6. $1,000 Local Survey Sweepstakes

Tell about your neighborhood and be entered into a monthly drawing for $1,000. Submit a new entry each month for a better chance of winning.

Deadline: End of each month

7. CaptainU Student-Athlete Scholarship

CaptainU is a site that allows student athletes to promote themselves to colleges and helps college coaches manage their recruiting efforts.

High school and junior college students who play sports and plan to attend a four-year college can apply for this $2,000 award by completing a profile and promoting themselves and CaptainU on social media.

Deadline: Quarterly

8. Campaign Scholarships

Volunteer your time for any campaigns (examples include hosting a canned food drive or sharing ways to combat bullying), and you could win up to $22,000. Submit photos of your campaign work to enter.

The only requirement is that you’re between 13 and 25 years old; if you’re not in college when you win, the organization will hold onto your prize until you head to college.

Deadline: Varies by the campaign

9. Golden Key International Honour Society Scholarships

Golden Key International Honour Society is based on three principles: academics, leadership and service. It offers more than half a million dollars in scholarships each year to its undergraduate and graduate members.

Deadline: Varies by scholarship

10. Nitro College Scholarship

To win $5,000, fill out the scholarship survey, and answer three short questions. As an added bonus, you can refer a friend for a $1,000 scholarship. If your friend includes your name on their application and wins, you get a $1,000 scholarship, as well. They have four deadlines this year.

Deadlines: March 31, June 30, Sept. 30 and Dec. 31

11. Scholarship Program

Open to any high school senior, this scholarship requires you to get a bit creative.

Following the website’s guides, create your own blog about something you’re passionate about. Then, on your new blog, post a video and talk about how you see the blogging world impacting the future of the digital age and working in America. The award is $2,500.

Deadlines: Applications are accepted year-round; winners will be chosen March 31

12. Appraisal Institute Education Trust Undergraduate Scholarship

Students who are already enrolled part time or full time toward an associate or bachelor’s degree focusing on real estate may apply for this $1,000 award. You must demonstrate academic achievement. Submit a short personal statement, two recommendations, your transcript and your resume.

Deadline: Varies based on scholarship

13.  The Festivus Scholarship

Students returning to school after a gap in their education can earn $250 by winning four rounds of quizzes on common knowledge facts. Enter by registering at the Common Knowledge Scholarship Fund and entering the fall quiz (typically begins in early September) or spring quiz (typically starts in early January).

Deadline: December and April

14. Best Reviews Design Scholarship

This scholarship accepts any candidate who are either currently studying in high school or college or can prove they are enrolled to start at a future date. To win this $2,000 scholarship, write up to 500 words on how product design can impact the world in a positive way. There are two cycles each year for this one.

Deadlines: June 1 and Dec. 1

You can apply for these scholarships from July through September.

Note: Some of the following scholarships have multiple deadlines so they may be listed in both the fall and the spring lists.

1. Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

Women who study business or are enrolled in a business-related program may apply for this scholarship through their local Zonta club, which awards 12 international scholarships of $7,000 and 32 district/region scholarships of $1,000. There’s no age limit to apply.

Deadlines: Varies by local clubs; club-level finalists must be presented to regional representatives by July 1.

2. Resume Companion Annual Scholarship Giveaway

Enter to win this $1,000 scholarship by creating a resume for a fictional character. There is no GPA requirement for this award.

Deadline: July 14

3. SportFact’s $1000 Scholarship

Love sports statistics? wants to know how you’re going to use your passion for sports data in a unique and impactful manner. Fill out this application to apply.

Deadline: July 31

4. CIA Undergraduate Scholarship Program

This is more of a program commitment than it is simply a scholarship. This opportunity is offered through the CIA and is open to any high school senior planning to attend a four-year college, or a current college student.

If selected, you’ll receive a salary of up to $18,000 per year, as well as full benefits. In exchange, you’ll work at the CIA in Washington, D.C. every summer.

Deadline: Aug. 14

5. Race Entry Scholarship

Race Entry wants to hear your reason for running in a race. The award is open to any college student. The winner will receive a $500 scholarship.

Deadline: Aug. 15

6. “You Deserve It” Scholarship Sweepstakes

Offered by ScholarshipOwl, simply create an account on the scholarship-finding website, and you’ll be entered to win this $1,000 scholarship.

The scholarship is available to any high school or college student who’s at least 16 years old.

Deadline: Aug. 29

7. Cappex Easy Money Scholarship

Every month, Cappex chooses a winner for its $1,000 scholarship. Any high school or college student may apply. This really is easy money — all you have to do is complete the application on the website, and you’ll be entered to win.

Deadline: Aug. 31

8. C.I.P. Scholarship

College is Power awards $1,000 to entering or continuing students in full- or part-time programs. Funds can be used for tuition, books, room and board, and other related expenses.

Deadline: Aug. 31

9. Clubs of America Scholarship

Any college student with a 3.0 GPA may apply for this $1,000 scholarship. Write an essay of at least 600 words about your career aspirations.

Deadline: Aug. 31

10. MoolahSPOT Scholarship

MoolahSPOT’s $1,000 scholarship is open to students from around the world, but your 400-word essay and application must be submitted in English. New and current college students and graduate students can apply.

Deadline: Aug. 31

11. Scholarship Detective Launch Scholarship

Free registration for and a 140-character or less statement are all you need to enter this drawing for one of two $1,000 scholarships.

Deadline: Aug. 31

12. American Hort Scholarships

HRI provides seven scholarship funds for agriculture students. You could be awarded up to $4,000, depending on which scholarships you’re eligible for.

Deadline: Sept. 8

13. Muggets Scholarship

Students who are already enrolled in vocational, undergraduate and graduate programs in horticulture and have at least a 2.25 GPA may apply for this $1,500 scholarship. Two recommendations are required.

Deadline: Sept. 8

14. Thomas “Sarge” Johnson Scholarship

These 11 scholarships are available for active USA Boxing members who have have competed in at least two sanctioned bouts in this year, as well as each of the last two calendar years. Applicants should have completed at least one semester in a college, technical or vocational school.

There are two trade school awards for $2,000 each, seven undergraduate awards for $3,000 each and two graduate awards for $2,500 each.

Deadline: Sept. 15

15. “Hit the Books” Scholarship

If you’re a college student between ages 18 to 25, you can enter to win $500 by writing a 500-word essay on why your education is important to you. You’ll score bonus points if you can work your love of coffee into your essay.

Deadlines: Jan. 31 and Sept. 30

16. Odenza Marketing Scholarship

If you have at least a 2.5 GPA, submit two short essays on given topics to be considered for a $500 scholarship. This scholarship is open to American and Canadian students ages 16 to 25.

Deadline: Sept. 30

17. SkinCare Ox: Beauty + Wellness Scholarship

SkinCare Ox wants to offer $500 in financial aid as well as a goodie basket to a young woman who strives for personal wellness and a healthier life. Applicants are asked to submit an essay (500 words maximum) about their personal journey with health and wellness.

Deadline: Sept. 30

18. Top Reveal Scholarship

Have thoughts about the smart home trend? They could win you this scholarship! Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and be enrolled in a college or university. They will be asked to write a “school caliber essay” relating to one of three smart home topics.

Deadline: Sept. 30

19. AfterCollege Succurro Scholarship

Full-time undergraduate and graduate students with at least a 2.5 GPA can apply for this $500 scholarship that chooses one winner per quarter.

Deadline: Sept. 30

You can apply for these scholarships from October through December.

1. Create Real Impact

Your creative entry about distracted driving could win you a $500 or $1,500 prize. Along with the grand prizewinner of $1,500, the committee also chooses one Spanish language winner and one American Sign Language winner.

Deadline: Oct. 6

2. NSCA Foundation Scholarship

If you’re pursuing a career in strength and conditioning, such as physical therapy, coaching, or personal training, the National Strength and Conditioning Association Foundation awards 5 different scholarships in every year.

Scholarships are worth $1,500 each and students must be current NSCA members by the application deadline.

Deadline: Oct. 15

3.  College JumpStart Scholarship

Open to anyone in grades 10 to 12 or currently enrolled in college, along with nontraditional students, the College JumpStart Scholarship offers various award amounts to students who are committed to their educations and their communities. Submit a brief personal statement about your goals and achievements to apply.

Deadlines: April 15 and Oct. 17

4. Voice of Democracy

This scholarship judges applicants by short essay told via audio in three to five minutes. The national first-place winner receives $30,000 to use at any U.S. college or vocational school; scholarships of $1,000 to $16,000 are also awarded.

Deadline: Oct. 31

5. Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation Scholarship

Coca-Cola has multiple scholarship programs, but its main scholarship offers 150 awards of $20,000 for graduating high school seniors. Applicants will be judged for their capacity to lead and serve.

Deadline: Oct. 31

6. MigVapor Essay Contest

Applicants must write an essay about “a viable solution to help smokers make a positive change in their lives” and include topics such as e-cigarettes and vaporizers. This award is open to all full-time undergraduate and graduate students over age 18.

There are three awards; you could win up to $1,900. The application cycle reopens each semester.

Deadline: Nov. 1

7. Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

U.S. students in grades 5-12 who have participated in community service in the most recent 12 months are eligible to receive a Spirit of Community Award from Prudential.

National Honorees receive a $5,000 award, a medallion, a trophy and a $5,000 grant to a charity of choice. State Honorees receive an award of $1,000, a medallion and a paid trip to Washington, D.C.

Deadline: Nov. 17

8. Unigo Education Matters Scholarship

This scholarship requires current or incoming college students to write a short response to win $5,000. You must write your response about what you would say to someone who thinks education doesn’t matter or that college is a waste of time.

Deadline: Nov. 30

9. Groza Learning Center Education Scholarship

In order to be eligible for this 1000 dollar scholarship students should write a short essay about the word redemption. They want to hear your comeback story and help students pay for higher education.

Deadline: Nov. 30

10. Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship

One student from every school can be nominated by their principal for this $1,000 scholarship for students who show a strong commitment to and involvement in community service, leadership and academics. There are also higher levels of scholarships for eligible winners.

Since the inception of the program in 2000, more than $26 million has been awarded to more than 25,000 students.

Deadline: Nov. 30

11. Lawrence A. Golding Scholarship

The American College of Sports Medicine honors one undergraduate student at its annual ACSM Health & Fitness Summit with $1,000 in scholarship money and $1,000 credit to the ACSM store for DVDs, books or wearables.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors in college who have made a significant contribution to their community in the areas of health, fitness and/or education can apply.

Deadline: End of November

12. HomeSecurityList Smart Home Scholarship

HomeSecurityList is looking for a student interested in the “smart home revolution,” which includes home automation, the internet of things and home security. This scholarship is open to accepted high school seniors or current college and trade school students.

Submit a 1,000- to 2,000-word essay on a relevant topic involving the “smart home revolution” for a chance to win this $1,000 scholarship.

Deadline: Dec. 10

13. Agora Pulse Social Media Management Scholarship

This $1,000 scholarship is for “emerging social media geniuses,” and is open to both high school and college students who have an interest in social media management. To apply, write a brief essay that talks about the best use of social media management you’ve seen.

Deadline: Dec. 15

14. Burger King McLamore Foundation Scholarship

Burger King offers scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 for high school seniors or full-time college students who graduated high school within the last three years. The Burger King Scholarship requires a 2.5 GPA, while the McLamore requires a 3.3 GPA.

Deadline: Dec. 15

15. Seo and Content Marketing Scholarship

Open to high school and college students, this $1,000 scholarship requires a passion for marketing. Write a short essay about the best use of content marketing you’ve seen — they’re looking for the “next generation of marketing leaders.”

Deadline: Dec. 15

16. Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Scholarship

For high school seniors entering a four-year, accredited U.S. college or university, Foot Locker awards $20,000 scholarships to 20 students each year.

Students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, be a member in good standing of a high school sports team or be involved in an after-school sport.

Deadline: End of December

17. $500 Culinary Scholarship

High school students interested in culinary school, along with current culinary students, can enter to win this $500 award from

Deadline: Dec. 31

18. $500 Nursing Scholarship

Future and current nursing students can apply for this $500 scholarship from

Deadline: Dec. 31

19. Community College Scholarship offers $500 to current and anticipated community college students.

Deadline: Dec. 31

20. Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship

This $1,000 scholarship is a merit-based award open to incoming and current college or graduate students. Applicants must submit a 250-word essay.

Deadline: Dec. 31

21. Luigi Wewege Foundation Scholarship

Luigi Wewege is offering a $1500 scholarship towards academic tuition fees. The applicant would fill out the application linked and write a short essay about how retail banking would change in the next 25 years.

Deadline: Dec. 31

22. Unigo $10K Scholarship

Surprise! You’ve just been elected president. What’s your first tweet? Answer the question, and you could win a $10,000 scholarship. You must enroll in college no later than fall 2023.

Deadline: Dec. 31

You should apply for these scholarships from January through March.

1. Princeton Prize in Race Relations

This cash prize of $1,000 is awarded to students in grades 9-12 who’ve used community service to significantly encourage positive race relations during the past 12 months.

Winners also receive an all-expenses paid trip to Princeton University for its symposium on race. One prize is awarded in each of the 27 regions in which the organization operates.

Deadline: January

2. Triple-Impact Competitor Scholarship

The Positive Coaching Alliance awards high-school juniors $1,000-$2,000 scholarships based on their essays about improving themselves, their teammates and the game.

Students must reside in the U.S. and play for a high school team or in club sports. The organization awards a minimum of 62 scholarships every year.

Deadline: Jan. 1

3. The Annual CGTrader Scholarship

CGTrader is the largest 3D model marketplace. They are giving away a total of 3 scholarships: one $1,500 for a first person window and two $500 scholarships. In order to apply potential winners need to write an essay about “using games for social good and playful learning”.

Deadline: Jan. 15

4. Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarships

The Ronald McDonald House Charities offers a handful of scholarships open to high school seniors. To be eligible, you just have to live in an area where there is a participating RMHC chapter.

Deadline: Jan. 17

5.  Redfin Scholarship

To win this $2,500 scholarship write up to 800 words on the given prompt, which focuses on affordable housing. The scholarship is open to high school seniors, as well as college freshman, sophomores and juniors with a 3.0 GPA.

Deadline: Jan. 31

6. Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship Award

Minority high school students may apply for awards of up to $28,000 over four years to attend college. Scholarships also come with mentoring, leadership development and internship opportunities. The foundation awards about 60 scholarships per year.

Deadline: Feb. 15

7. AWS Foundation National Scholarship Program

The American Welding Society offers more than 30 scholarships to students in the U.S. and Canada who plan to pursue careers in welding. Awards tend to be for $2,500 or more, and many are open to students in attending a four-year college.

Students can create a single profile online through AWS to be matched with scholarship options.

Deadline: Feb. 15

8. Society of Women Engineers Scholarships

By completing a single application, women in engineering, engineering technology or computer science in the U.S. or Mexico can apply for a host of scholarships from SWE. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. Awards range from about $1,000 to $20,000.

Deadline: Feb. 15 for sophomores and higher

9.  Wear Action Scholarship

Do you use technology to help you stay fit? Write an essay about it to win this $500 scholarship. Any high school or college student with a 3.0 GPA is eligible. To apply, you must write at least 700 words on how fitness gadgets can impact your life for the better.

Deadline: Feb. 28

10. Frame My Future Scholarship Contest

To win this scholarship, high school seniors or current college students can submit a piece of art, such as a photograph, collage, poem, painting or other creative piece, along with a 500-word essay about your professional goals.

A panel of judges will select 24 finalists. Students who submit the top five entries, determined by public vote, will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Deadline: March 1

11. American Legion Auxiliary Scholarship for Non-Traditional Students

The American Legion Auxiliary offers five scholarships of $2,000 each year to students returning to school after an interruption or adults who are starting higher education later in life.

Deadline: March 1

12. Life Lessons Scholarship Program

Applicants for this scholarship must submit an essay or short video about how losing a parent during childhood impacted their lives. Eighteen scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 will be awarded.

Deadline: March 1

13. Headphone Selection Scholarship Program

Open to any high school or college student, this $500 essay scholarship requires you to write up to 1,000 words on “The Effect of Sound on Productivity.” The scholarship seeks essays demonstrating well-crafted research and analysis.  

Deadline: March 1

14. Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund

Entering first-year law students can apply for this award from the American Bar Association. Full-time and part-time students are eligible; 20 winners receive $15,000 over their three years of law school.

Deadline: March 2

15. Bodie McDowell Scholarship

Junior and senior undergraduates and graduate students studying outdoor communications or journalism may apply. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000, and there are three or more awards given each year.

Deadline: March 2

16. Veterans United Foundation Scholarship

Children or surviving spouses of a deceased service member or veteran of the US Military may apply. To get the scholarship you need to submit a typed essay explaining how losing your spouse or parent has affected you and what you hope to pursue.

Deadline: March 30

17. Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

This $10,000 scholarship goes to a student active in the social and economic justice movements. Submit a personal statement, two recommendations, a transcript, evidence of financial need and a photo.

Deadline: March 31

You should apply for these scholarships from April through June.

1. The Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship

This $8,000 award from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund was originally created to help African-American students integrate into formerly segregated schools in the South and to increase their presence in the legal profession.

Any undergraduate student showing financial need, academic achievement and a commitment to public service is eligible to apply.

Deadline: April 1

2. College Success Scholarship is offering $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors to apply to tuition. Applicants are required to fill out this application and write about why getting a college degree will help them achieve their goals.

Deadline: April 1

3. Michael Crossland Humanitarian Scholarship

The Golden Key International Honour Society awards its members around the world multiple scholarships, but this $1,000 award is specifically for U.S. students who serve children in need through breaking down barriers in education, sports or assisting families in need.

Deadline: April 1

4. CIA Undergraduate Scholarship Program

This is more of a program commitment than it is simply a scholarship. This opportunity is offered through the CIA and is open to any high school senior planning to attend a four-year college, or a current college student.

If selected, you’ll receive a salary of up to $18,000 per year, as well as full benefits. In exchange, you’ll work at the CIA in Washington, D.C. every summer.

Deadline: August 14

5. Signet Essay Contest

Signet Classics awards five scholarships of $1,000 to high school juniors and seniors. Applicants must write an essay about the year’s chosen literary classic from a list of provided topics; teachers then submit the essays to Signet.

Deadline: April 14

6. The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes

Each year the Barron Prize honors 15 young leaders, ages 8 to 18, who’ve made a significant positive impact to people and the environment.

Students must reside in the U.S. or Canada and be currently working on an inspiring service project, or have done so in the most recent 12 months to be eligible for this $5,000 award

Deadline: April 15

7.  College JumpStart Scholarship

Open to anyone in grades 10 to 12 or currently enrolled in college, along with nontraditional students, the College JumpStart Scholarship offers various award amounts to students who are committed to their educations and their communities.

Submit a brief personal statement about your goals and achievements to apply.

Deadlines: April 15 and October 17

8. NDS Sophomore Merit Scholarship

The National Dairy Shrine also offers a scholarship for college sophomores pursuing a career in the dairy industry. First prize gets $1,500, and three runners-up get $1,000 each. Leadership, activities and academic performance are evaluated.

Deadline: April 15

9. NDS Junior Merit Scholarship

Undergraduates in their junior year who plan to work in the dairy industry may apply for this award, which has a first prize of $1,500 and three runner-up awards of $1,000 each. Leadership, activities, and academic performance are evaluated.

Deadline: April 15

10. ASHA Youth Scholarships

Exceptional high school students who are involved with American saddlebred horses, may apply. Academic success, financial need, community service and recommendations are considered. Awards amounts vary; a second award of $2,500 is available from the American Saddlebred Association of Alabama.

Deadline: April 30

11. Digital Responsibility E-Waste Scholarship

Write a tweet-length statement about electronic waste recycling to enter this $1,000 contest. The top 10 finalists will be asked to write a 500- to 1000-word essay.

Deadline: April 30

12. American Floral Endowment

AFE provides over 20 scholarships annually to undergraduate and graduate students majoring in floriculture and horticulture. Award amounts vary by scholarship.

Deadline: May 1

13. Paradigm Challenge

For the chance to win up to $100,000, the Paradigm Challenge encourages youth to use STEM skills and collaboration to come up with an original idea. Anyone ages 4 to 18 can enter this competition.

There are 91 prizes awarded ranging from $200 to $100,000.

Deadline: May 1

14. Society of Women Engineers Scholarships

By completing a single application, women in engineering, engineering technology or computer science in the U.S. or Mexico can apply for a host of scholarships from SWE. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. Awards range from about $1,000 to $20,000.

Deadline: May 1 for incoming freshmen

15. Dr. Troy Dreiling Scholarship

If leadership is your strong suit this $1,000 scholarship is for you. Applicants are required to explain how they have exemplified leadership both in and out of school in a 500 word essay.

Deadline: May 1

16. Optimist International Oratorical Contest

Would you engage with an audience from the podium? Winning speakers at the local level can earn scholarships of $2,500, $1,500 or $1,000 at the district level.

Local club competition dates vary, but districts must submit their winner lists to Optimist International by May 15.

Deadline: May 15

17. Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

For this scholarship, respond to one of three essay prompts on Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” The contest is open to all students, from high school seniors to grad students. There are 84 winners, with prizes ranging from $50 to $20,000.

Deadline: May 15

18. PRSA Diversity Multicultural Scholarship

The Public Relations Student Society of America gives two awards of $1,500 to minority communications students. Applicants must be full-time students with at least junior status and a 3.0 GPA. PRSSA membership is not required, but applicants must submit a transcript, letter of recommendation and two-page essay on diversity in the public relations industry.

Deadline: May 26

19. Leavitt Machinery Scholarship

Leavitt Machinery’s $500 essay scholarship is open to any currently enrolled students and those expecting to attend college in the fall of 2017.

You must have a 3.0 GPA and respond to an essay prompt about how safety procedures prevented an injury in a situation either you or someone you know was involved in.

Deadline: May 31

20. Chely Wright LIKEME Scholarship

LIKEME is an organization that provides resources for LGBT teens and their communities. This $500 award is open to graduating high school seniors who’ve advocated for LGBT issues through community service and who demonstrate a commitment to the future of the LGBT community.

Deadline: May 31

21. Best Reviews Design Scholarship

This scholarship accepts any candidate who are either currently studying in high school or college or can prove they are enrolled to start at a future date. To win this $2,000 scholarship, write up to 500 words on how product design can impact the world in a positive way. There are two cycles each year for this one.

Deadlines: June 1 and December 1

22. Global Lift Equipment Scholarship

Open to any student with a 2.5 GPA, this scholarship is seriously unique: You apply by writing a 2,000-word essay from the viewpoint of an inanimate object that you choose from the website. The website says to think about the assignment like the Disney movie “Cars,” except it’s a short story about the company’s used equipment. Win $500 for your creative story.

Deadline: June 2

23. American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation Awards

The American-Scandinavian Foundation offers a $2,500 award and a $2,000 award for outstanding translations of Scandinavian works by authors born before 1800.

Deadline: June 15

24. BigSun Scholarship

High school seniors and college students can apply for BigSun Athletics’ BigSun Scholarship.

Students must be engaged in a sport of any kind and apply with an essay describing how their participation in high school sports influenced them.

Deadline: June 19

25. Lift Parts Express Scholarship

The $500 scholarship is open to students ages of 16 to 21 with a 3.0 GPA. You’re required to write an essay about how you plan to pay for college and the job you expect to have once you graduate.

Deadline: June 30

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder. 

Editorial assistant Haley Gonzalez contributed research to this post. 

Header graphics created by Kristy Gaunt, Illustrative Designer at The Penny Hoarder.

If you need help paying for school, there are plenty of college scholarships out there. In fact, we’ve already covered 100 of them. But we’re all about the unusual and out-of-the-ordinary here, so we wanted to dig deeper. And in doing so, we discovered some pretty… unique  opportunities you might have missed in your more traditional searches.

Some of these scholarships reward you for thinking outside the box, some reward you for falling into ridiculously narrow categories, others are just plain strange. All of them are worth checking out.

So if you’re on the hunt for funds to help you pay for college, take a look at these 100 weird scholarships — they’re strange, wacky and oddly specific.

Creative Scholarships

Book learning isn’t everything — flex your creative muscles for these scholarships.

1. Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship

Come up with the best survival plan should a zombie apocalypse hit your high school or college, and you could win $2,000.

Deadline: October 31, 2015

2. Duck Brand Duct Tape “Stuck at Prom” Scholarship Contest

Make your prom attire (by yourself, or with your date) entirely out of duct tape and you could win $500 to $5,000. Creations will be judged on “workmanship, originality, use of colors, accessories” and, of course, use of Duck Brand duct tape.

Deadline: Annually on May 23

3. Make It With Wool Competition

Make a garment from 100% wool or a wool blend and model it in a photo for a chance to advance to the National Competition, where scholarship awards range from $1,000 to $2,000. (Note: There is an entry fee of $12.)

No deadline is mentioned on the website. For more information, send your question along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

National Make It With Wool Competition
Mary Roediger
PO Box 123
Albany, OH 45710
[email protected]

4. Beans for Brains Scholarship

For knitters in particular, Jimmy Beans Wool gives five scholarships each year in the amount of $3,200 apiece.

This year’s deadline has passed, so check back later for the next year’s deadline.

5. Wholesale Halloween Costumes Scholarship

Several times a year, runs a $500 scholarship contest based on a specific assignment. The current assignment — to create a meme using a product image from their site — ends August 12, 2015.

Deadline: Varies (check back each month for new contests).

6. Ursinus College Creative Writing Award

Live in JD Salinger’s dorm room for your first year and get a $32,000 scholarship renewable all four years of school. Winners demonstrate a Holden Caulfield “it” factor — namely, “an unusual perspective… quirky brilliance… a voice not necessarily the kind that can be measured by conventional standards.”

This year’s deadline has passed, so check back later for the next year’s deadline.

7. David Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship

The late-night funny man established this award at his alma mater, Ball State University, for students who display noteworthy creativity in a project in the telecommunications vein (film, audio, video, graphics, etc.). It’s noteworthy in that grades aren’t a factor. Winner receives $10,000, second-place gets $5,000 and third-place gets $3,333.

This year’s deadline has passed, so check back later for the next year’s deadline.

8. Fifth Month Scholarship

Earn $1,500 by writing a letter to the number five. Yep, you read that right: writing a letter to the number five. Doesn’t get much weirder than that.

This year’s deadline has passed, so check back later for the next year’s deadline.

9. Flavor of the Month Scholarship

Describe what ice cream flavor you would be, and why, for a shot at this $1,500 award.

Deadline: July 31, 2015

10. Superpower Scholarship

Win $2,500 if you have the best answer to the question, “Which superhero or villain would you want to change places with for a day and why?”

Deadline: March 31, 2016

11. Make Me Laugh Scholarship

Class clowns, jokers and anyone with a funny story (real or made up) to tell: You’ve got a shot at $1,500 simply for sharing. Whatever makes the sponsor LOL the hardest is the winner.

Deadline: August 31, 2015

12. I Have a Dream Scholarship

Bizarre dreams, daydreams, dreams for your future… Write the best essay on any kind of dream, and it could net you $1,500.

Deadline: January 31, 2016

13. Sweet and Simple Scholarship

“Big things come in small packages” is the theme of this essay contest, which asks you to write a piece describing a seemingly small gift or gesture that left a lasting impact on you. The winner gets $1,500.

Deadline: February 29, 2016

14. Shout It Out Scholarship

The question: “If you could say one thing to the entire world at once, what would it be and why?” Say it best in 250 words or less, and you can win $1,500.

Deadline: September 30, 2015

15. Junior Duck Stamp Program

This art contest sponsored by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service awards scholarships ranging from $200 to $1,000 for creating a duck stamp design that adheres to a rather extensive list of criteria, including: Ducks must be shown in their natural habitat, feather colors must be appropriate to the season in which they are depicted, and duck featured must be on their roster of eligible species. (Don’t you even think of drawing a mute swan!)

This year’s deadline has passed, so check back later for the next year’s deadline.

16. Jif’s Most Creative Sandwich Contest

Want to get a jumpstart on your kid’s college fund? If they’re between the ages of 6 and 12 and can make coolest sandwich using Jif peanut butter, they could win a $25,000 college fund. (Runners-up each receive a $2,500 college fund).

This year’s deadline has passed, so check back later for the next year’s deadline.

17. 10 Things You Love About You Scholarship

Boasting about your extracurricular activities and GPA on scholarship applications can get boring. How about, instead, you simply list out the 10 things that make you awesome? There are no rules on what you can list, so put on your creativity cap and start bragging.

Deadline: March 31, 2016

18. Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship

Ever picked up a Hallmark card and thought, “I could do better”? Then sharpen your colored pencils, pick up your camera or fire up your graphic design software and submit your best design for a chance to win $10,000 for yourself (and $1,000 for your school).

This year’s deadline has passed, so check back later for the next year’s deadline.

19. The Penny Hoarder’s “Frugal Student Contest”

We offer a scholarship worth $2,000 to the student with the best essay on an interesting or unique thing they’ve done to make or save extra money. Let’s hear your stories!

Deadline: December 31, 2015

Demographically Based Scholarships

Get money just for being born with one of these traits.

20. Little People of America Scholarships

This nonprofit, which supports those with dwarfism, offers scholarships ranging from $250 to $1,000+ to members diagnosed with dwarfism and their families. (Preference is given to LPA members and their families, but non-members with dwarfism can also qualify.)

Deadline: Annually on April 22.

21. Talls International Club Scholarship

If you’re “vertically gifted” and a member of TCI, you can apply for this $1,000 scholarship. You must be at least 5’10” (if you’re female) or 6’2” (if you’re male), under the age of 19 and entering your first year of college.

The deadline for the Fall 2015 scholarship has passed, so check back later for the next deadline.

22. C.A.T.S. Tall Club Scholarship

If you’re a tall graduating high school senior living in the Phoenix Metropolitan area, you can also win $250 from the Central Arizona Tall Society. See your local high school’s guidance department for information on application process and deadlines, which are provided directly to Phoenix Metropolitan area high schools.

23. Scholarships for Twins and Multiples

Plenty of schools and organizations offer scholarships for twins and other “multiples,” whether they attend the same school or go their own separate ways. Check out two great lists of opportunities here and here.

24. Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Left-Handed Scholarship

Sophomores, juniors and seniors at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA have a chance at $1,000 to $1,500 if they can demonstrate academic success, financial need and the fact that they’re left-handed.

Deadline is not mentioned on school’s website. Contact John Wall at [email protected] or (814) 641-3132 for more information.

25. ScholarshipRed

High school juniors or seniors who are natural redheads (or strawberry blonds) can earn $500 by submitting a photo of themselves from childhood and present-day and “creating something that represents what it means to be Redhead.”

This year’s deadline has passed, so check back later for the next year’s deadline.

26. Respshop College Scholarship

If you or someone you love has a sleep disorder, you can win $1,500 (or one of four $500 runners-up awards) for writing an essay about how it affects your life, their life and/or how CPAP therapy has helped.

Deadline: January 31, 2016

Hobby- and Interest-Related Scholarships

Convert that secret (or not-so-secret) passion of yours into some serious cash.

27. STARFLEET Academy Scholarships

Attention, Trekkies: Every year, STARFLEET (a fan club run by The International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc.) offers scholarships to students in five areas: engineering; medical/veterinarian; business/languages studies/education; arts and misc. Winners receive $1,000.

Deadline: Annually in June

28. Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship

Graduating high school seniors who are passionate about vegetarianism and have worked to promote it in their schools and communities can win $5,000 to $10,000. Submissions will be judged on “having shown compassion, courage and a strong commitment to promoting a peaceful world through a vegetarian diet/lifestyle.”

Deadline: February 20, 2016

29. National Beef Ambassador Program

The NBAP believes “today’s youth are bombarded with anti-beef messages,” so they’re out to create “passionate advocates for the beef community.” Students ages 16 to 20 can compete to demonstrate their passion for beef in the NBAP’s national public speaking competition, and Senior Division winners are eligible to receive a scholarship of $1,000 (for first place), $750 (for second place) or $500 (for third place).

The competition will be held September 25-26, 2015 in Denver, CO. To learn more, contact your local CattleWomen’s association or the NBAP Manager at 303-850-3440 or [email protected]

30. AANR Foundation Scholarship

If you have an AANR (American Association for Nude Recreation) affiliation or have had an AANR “experience” (we’ll let you decide what that constitutes), you can apply for a scholarship of around $1,000. Winners may be eligible for future fund renewal.

Deadline: Annually on May 31

31. ARRL Foundation Scholarships

If you have an amateur radio license, there’s a plethora of scholarships available to you. Check out the full listing here for further details.

32. Student Services Rodeo Scholarship

This is just one of the rodeo-related scholarships available at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, TX. (And in general — check out some others below.) Award amount varies for this and other scholarships; check out this page for the full listing.

33. MSU Rodeo Club Scholarships

Members of Michigan State’s Rodeo Club can earn anywhere from $250 to an undisclosed amount covering travel, lodging and tuition depending on their status with the club (non-rider, National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association team member, etc.).

Deadlines vary based on scholarship type.

34. San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo Scholarship

Participants in the above event who are a) residents of Texas and b) planning to attend a Texas college or vocational school are eligible for $1,000 in renewable funds.

Deadline: Annually on April 1

35. Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Scholarships

More for the Texas cattle-wranglin’ folk. There’s a host of scholarships available here, with awards ranging from $9,000 (over two years) to $18,000 (over four years).

Deadlines vary by scholarship.

36. United States Bowling Congress Earl Anthony Memorial Scholarship

Five USBC Youth members each year have the chance to win $5,000 apiece from this scholarship in honor of legendary pro bowler Earl Anthony.

Deadline: December 1, 2015

37. Billy Weilu Scholarship

This scholarship awards $1,000 to an amateur bowler “who combines outstanding bowling talents with academic excellence.”

Deadline: Annually on June 15

38. USA Boxing Scholarships

Active USA Boxing members have several scholarships to choose from, including the Gene Rabbitt Scholarship (for female athletes) and the Michael Nunnally Scholarship (for athletes pursuing a degree in Elementary or Secondary Education). Amounts are not disclosed on the USA Boxing website.

Deadline: Annually on July 15

39. Easton/NFAA Scholarship

If Katniss Everdeen got you interested in archery and you’re a member of the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) or NAA/USA Archery, you could win a scholarship ranging from $100 to $20,000.

Deadline: Annually on December 31

40. United States Chess Federation Scholarships

Schools in various states offer scholarships for chess champions. You can check out the full list here.

41. National Marbles Tournament Scholarships

“Mibsters,” if you win this marble shooting tournament, there’s more than national honors up for grabs. The “King and Queen of Marbles” each get a $2,000 scholarship, and the boy and girl named best in sportsmanship each get $1,000. We say “boy and girl” because entrants must be between the ages of 8 and 14.

The 2015 tournament has passed, so check back later for the dates of the 2016 tournament.

42. Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship

It pays to be a caddie! Sponsored by the Western Golf Association, this scholarship covers full tuition plus room and board, preferably at one of the 14 universities across the U.S. that have an Evans Scholarship Chapter House.

Deadline: September 30, 2015

43. Chick and Sophie Marie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest

Graduating high school seniors who they can muster up a good old-fashioned duck call have a shot at $2,000 (for first place), $1,000 (for second place), $750 (for third place) or $500 (for fourth place). Quack, quack!

Deadline: November 28, 2015

44. Harness Tracks of America Scholarship Fund

Harness track racing is where the jockey steers from a little cart pulled behind the horse, and if you’re involved in it (or have a parent involved in it), you’re eligible for a scholarship ranging from $1,500 to $5,000. Giddyup!

Deadline: July 10, 2015

45. American Quarter Horse Association Scholarship

Youth AQHA members have quite a few scholarship options to apply to — and by quite a few, we mean pages’ and pages’ worth. Check out this list, with awards ranging from $500 to a whopping $35,000.

Deadline: Annually on December 1

46. Pokemon World Championship Scholarship

And your parents used to scold you for all the time you spent playing! Compete in the 2015 Pokemon World Championship from August 21-23, 2015 in Boston, MA for a chance to win a share of the $500,000 in scholarships up for grabs.

Qualify for your chance to make it to the World Championship by competing in tournaments here.

Industry- or Career-Specific Scholarships

If you (or your family) are involved in an unusual industry, there could be money in it for you.

47. National Potato Council Scholarship

Grad students “conducting research for the benefit of the potato industry” can win $10,000 to support their studies.

This year’s deadline has passed, so check back later for the next year’s deadline.

48. Asparagus Club Scholarship

Full-time college juniors, seniors and grad students pursuing a degree leading to a career in the grocery industry can win one of 10 of these awards. Scholarships offer $2,000 per semester for a max of four consecutive semesters.

Deadline: Annually on April 30

49. Michigan Llama Association Scholarship

If you or your parents are members of the MLA, you may be eligible for one of two $1,000 scholarships, which are renewable up to three times. Members of the Michigan alpaca community, don’t fret: you can also become an MLA member.

Deadline: Annually on May 1

50. Sheep Heritage Foundation Memorial Scholarship

Grad students involved in “sheep and/or wool research” (animal science, agriculture economics, veterinary medicine, etc.) can earn $2,500 towards their studies.

This year’s deadline has passed, so check back later for the next year’s deadline.

51. National Dairy Shrine Scholarships

Llamas and sheep not your thing? How about cows? NDS offers a plethora of scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 to students majoring in the dairy industry or other agriculture-related fields.

Annual application window is March 1 to April 15.

52. Berrien Fragos Thorn Arts Scholarship for Migrant Farmworkers

If you’re a migrant farmworker who dreams of developing your talents as an artist (in disciplines ranging from visual art to poetry to crafts), you could receive a grant up to $2,500. You must be at least 16 and do not need to be enrolled in school to apply.

Deadline: Annually on June 1 and November 1

53. American Society for Enology and Viticulture Scholarship

Whether you’re interested in becoming a winemaker or a vineyard manager, the ASEV has funds you could qualify for. (Award amounts vary per year and are not predetermined.)

Deadline: Annually on March 1

54. Parapsychological Association Research Endowment

Calling all Egon Spenglers and Fox Mulders: if you’re studying parapsychological phenomena (telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, etc.), you can apply for this $2,000 to $5,000 endowment.

This year’s deadline has passed, so check back later for the next year’s deadline.

55. Eileen J. Garrett Scholarship

This parapsychology award gives $3,000 to an undergrad or grad student studying anything from telepathy to near-death experiences to reincarnation.

Deadline: Annually on July 15

56. The Gilbert Roller Fund Parapsychological Phenomena Research Scholarship

If you’re interested in spooky phenomena on a larger scale, this scholarship supports research  “into macroscopic psychokinetic phenomena such as those reported in sitter-groups, séances, and poltergeist activity, and/or theoretical approaches to help explain the nature of such large-scale effects.” One or more winners may be selected, with the total grant(s) given per year not to exceed $10,000. You’ll receive 90% of your award upfront and 10% once you’ve reported back on the results of your investigation.

This year’s deadline has passed, so check back later for the next year’s deadline.

57. Marian Madison Gypsy Lore Society Young Scholar’s Prize in Romani Studies

If you’ve ever watched TLC’s My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, you know who Romanies and Travelers are — but do you know enough to write a scholarly paper suitable to be published in the journal Romani Studies? If so, you could win a $500 award and publication in said journal.

Deadline: October 30, 2015

58. Mycology Society of America

If your studies focus on fungi, the MSA offers a number of awards. Check out the full listing here.

Deadlines vary by scholarship.

59. Rolex Scholarship

Nope, it’s not for watchmaking — this one’s for students interested in a career “in an underwater-related discipline” (diving, research, tourism, photography, etc.). Awards are given in three regions — North America, Europe and Australia — and the North American award is worth $25,000.

Deadline: December 31, 2015

60. Robert J. Marriott Scholarship

If fishery management — “cold or warm waters, fresh water or salt” — is your calling, the International Federation of Fly Fishers has $500 that could have your name on it. You’ll need to get yourself nominated, though, so start your campaigning now.

Deadline for nominations: Annually on April 1

61. Union Internationale de la Marionnette – USA Scholarship

This scholarship provides $1,000 for UNIMA-USA members “to study with a recognized puppetry professional or professional program outside of the United States, or to attend an international puppetry festival.”

Deadline: December 1, 2015

62. Southeastern Turfgrass Conference Scholarship

If you’re studying a branch of turf management (Commercial Turf Management, Golf Turf Management, etc.) at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA and you’re entering your sophomore year, you could win some money for it.

Deadline and award amount are not disclosed on school’s website. Contact ABAC at 1-800-733-3653 for more information.

63. Concrete Industry Management Scholarships

If you’re planning on attending Middle Tennessee State University to study Concrete Industry Management, you’ve got a plethora of potential scholarships to apply for. Check out this page for deadlines and details for each.

64. American Welding Society Scholarships

AWS offers several scholarships to students interested in pursuing a career in welding. Check out their page for deadlines and details for each.

65. American Fence Association Scholarships

If you’re studying for (or your parents currently have) a career in the “fence, deck, railing and perimeter security industry,” you can apply for funds from the AFA. (The amount and number of awards each year depends on funding.)

This year’s deadline has passed, so check back later for the next year’s deadline.

66. Northern Tier Hardwood Association Scholarship

How’s this one for specific: The NTHA is offering two $500 scholarships to students majoring in forest management, forest products “or a closely related field” who also happen to have graduated from or lived in one of a handful of counties in Pennsylvania. We’re guessing the competition’s not terribly stiff for this one.

Deadline: June 1, 2015

67. National Opera Association Scholarly Paper Competition

Like to write about opera? Don’t really care about opera, but like the sound of $500 toward your educational expenses? Then try your hand at this essay contest, which is open to anyone who submits an essay of no more than 3,000 words on “an operatic subject” (history of the genre, critical theory, analysis of stagecraft or costuming, etc.).

Deadline: October 1, 2015

68. National Gay Pilots Association Scholarships

If you’ve earned your private pilot certificate and are actively involved in supporting the LGBT community (regardless of how you identify your personal sexual orientation), you could win anywhere from $3,000 (standard scholarship) to $6,000 (for “one truly exceptional candidate”).

This year’s deadline has passed, so check back later for the next year’s deadline.

69. Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship Award

Grad students pursuing research in the field of crystallography (if you don’t know what that means, you’re not one of them) can win $2,500 towards their studies if they and their research show promise.

Deadline: Annually on October 21

70. Society of Vacuum Coaters Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship can be used for tuition, room and board and “travel to appropriate conferences” for students studying vacuum coating technology at an accredited institution. The SVC usually gives three or more scholarships each year, but it reserves the right to determine the amounts and types of awards based on factors like available funds and quality of applications submitted.

Deadline: December 1, 2015

71. ITSA Scholarship

Students pursuing a postgraduate degree in “thermal spray processes (plasma, flame, arc, HVOF) or materials” can apply for this $2,000 from the International Thermal Spray Association. Up to three awards may be awarded per year.

Annual application window is May 1 to July 15.

72. NACE Foundation Scholarships

Students studying for a career in the corrosion industry have a shot at several scholarships and can win more than one (up to a total of $10,000 per student in any given year).

Annual application window is September 1 to January 1.

73. North American Cartographic Information Society Competitions

Yep, cartography still exists, and cartography students can win $500 in the NACIS’s Student Map and Poster Competition or Dynamic Map Competition.

Deadline: September 11, 2015

74. Alice Madden Barton Cosmetology School Scholarship

Sponsored by Great Clips but usable at any cosmetology or barbering school, the scholarships awarded each year by this program varies in amount and number (and is not disclosed on the site).

Deadline: Annually on June 30 and December 31

75. American Board of Funeral Service Education National Scholarship

If you’re enrolled in funeral service or mortuary science programs, you could earn $500 to $2,500.

Deadline: Annually on March 1 and September 1

76. TAPPI Scholarships

Our world may be going more and more digital, but there’s still a need for paper. The Technological Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry supports students preparing for careers in these industries by offering several scholarships, including the William L. Cullison Scholarship (worth up to $4,000 a year) and Technical Division scholarships (worth $1,000 – $4,000).

Deadlines: Annually on May 1 (for Cullison Scholarship) and on February 15 (for Technical Division scholarships)

77. American Association of Candy Technologists’ John Kitt Memorial Scholarship

College sophomores, junior and seniors with an interest in “confectionary technology” (the most delicious kind of technology) may apply for this $5,000 scholarship, which is awarded in two $2,500 installments — one for each semester of the school year.

Deadline: April 1, 2016

Company-Centric Scholarships

Why pay for a market research study or ad company consultation when you can ask students to talk up your company for free, and you only have to pay one of them?

78. Ortho Scholar Scholarships

Orthodontists need answers to real-world problems like how to get more patient referrals, positive online reviews and social media exposure — and they’re willing to pay you to help them. Ortho Scholar will give you $1,000 (partially funded by orthodontic practices across the U.S.) if you can come up with the best solution to these problems — regardless of your major.

Deadline: Annually on March 31

79. STS Travel “I Have a Plan!” Scholarship

Student travel company STS Travel wants to know how they can better reach today’s college student. Create a YouTube video of no longer than five minutes that outlines your marketing plan for them and you could win a $1,000 scholarship.

Deadline: November 20, 2015

80. “Why Buy Custom Furniture?” Scholarship

We’re not sure if they’re trying to conduct market research or get ad campaign ideas, but whatever the motive, online marketplace will award a $1,000 scholarship to the student who composes the best essay answering the question, “Why buy custom furniture?”

Deadline: December 15, 2015

81. “Why Buy Custom Jewelry?” Scholarship

Same as the above, but this time the question centers around custom jewelry.

Deadline: December 15, 2015

82. GoodCall Scholarship

A company that provides data to help people make life decisions wants to know one important decision you made in your life, and what sort of information you relied on to reach that decision. Best answer gets $2,500.

Deadline: December 31, 2015

83. The “Branson Show Inspired” Scholarship

If you’ve seen a performance in Branson, MO (or can “research and use your creativity” to imagine you have), has $1,000 up for grabs for the person who writes the best essay titled, “How (*Enter Your Show*) Inspired Me to Realize My Dreams.”

Deadline: Annually on October 15

84. Brilliance Scholarship

Designers, artists and girls who’ve been dreaming about their weddings since they were five: Think you’ve got what it takes to create a standout diamond ring? Then enter this contest sponsored by an online diamond jewelry retailer. Best design wins $1,5000.

Deadline: August 1, 2015

85. The SweatBlock “Social Confidence” Scholarship

Don’t be embarrassed by excessive perspiration… write an essay about it and you could get $2,000.

Deadline: Annually on July 15

86. “Hit the Books” Scholarship

Write an essay on the importance of education in your life (bonus points for “finding a creative way to include your passion for coffee within your essay without losing sight of the primary topic”) and you could win $500 to put towards books and other educational materials.

Deadline: Annually on January 31 and September 30

87. New Look Laser Tattoo Removal Scholarship

The New Look Laser Tattoo Removal clinic in Houston, TX awards $1,000 twice a year for the best essay posted on a website, blog or online forum about “the societal impact of laser tattoo removal.” Oh, and you have to link to their clinic’s website and mention their tattoo removal guide in the essay. So basically, it’s a really well-paid sponsored post. (But hey, $1,000 is still $1,000.)

Deadline: Annually on June 30 and November 30

Scholarships for Doing Something or Knowing Something Unique

Stand up, stand out and make money.

88. Scholarships offer campaigns throughout the year that challenge you to make the world a better place, and for each one you complete, you’re entered to win scholarships that range from $3,000 to $10,000. Completing any campaign also earns you an entry towards their Seasonal Scholarships worth $10,000.

Deadlines: Vary by campaign; check site for details and new campaigns posted regularly.

89. Thumb Wars Scholarship

One of’s current campaigns, this one requires you to sign up for two free pairs of “Thumb Socks” — one for you, and one for a friend (with whom you’re expected to share some information on the dangers of texting and driving). You’ll be entered to win a $10,000 scholarship, but at the minimum, you’ll have some cool attire for thumb wrestling competitions.

Deadline: August 31, 2015

90. Backseat Advisor Scholarship

Also sponsored by, this campaign asks you to send texts to three friends on the dangers of texting and driving (you can choose “fun, dramatic or factual” texts). Do so and you have a chance to win $5,000.

Deadline: August 31, 2015

91. Hiram College Hal Reichle Scholarship

Generosity, volunteerism and community involvement are at the heart of this scholarship, which is sponsored by a “world-wide secret society” encouraging everyone to “embrace all humanity” with the virtues of “compassion, creativity, persistence and sacrifice.”

In keeping with the theme of secrecy and random acts of kindness, there is no application for this scholarship; Hiram College juniors are nominated for it via an involved selection process. The amount of the award is unknown, and in years where they don’t find a fitting recipient, they don’t give out an award.

92. College Completer Scholarship

DeVry University wants to help out those looking to complete their bachelor’s or associate’s degree (at DeVry, of course), and it’s offering this merit-based scholarship of $18,000 to transfer students looking to do so.

Deadline: July 6, 2015

93. Scholarship for Aggressive Scholarships Applicants

Persistence pays off. Send confirmation of every scholarship you’ve applied to (whether you received it or not) and an essay about who you are and what your application experience has been like, and you could win $500.

Scholarships will be awarded every quarter. This quarter’s deadline has passed, so check back shortly for next quarter’s deadline.

94. Common Knowledge Scholarships

This one’s for the trivia buffs. If you’re well-versed in everything from books to movies to academic subjects, you can win anywhere from $250 to $2,500. You can win a total of $5,000 from taking more than one quiz, and parents can even compete on behalf of their kids (but they have their own special quizzes to keep things fair).

Quizzes currently run from August through December.

95. American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarships

What’s cooler than an open-book test? An open-book test that earns you a chance to win a scholarship. Simply read an essay on fire sprinklers, then answer a short multiple-choice questionnaire about it (you can reference the essay as you answer). Each correct answer earns you a chance to win one of 10 $2,000 scholarships.

This year’s deadline has passed, so check back later for the next year’s deadline.

Just Plain Strange

’Nuff said.

96. Zolp Scholarship

How’s this for specific: To qualify for this scholarship, you must attend Loyola University Chicago, be a baptised or confirmed Catholic and have the legal last name Zolp. Scholarship amounts “will vary depending upon fund availability and the number of eligible recipients.” Given the strict requirements for this one, we’re guessing there aren’t many eligible recipients (and there are likely plenty of funds available as a result).

Deadline: Applicant must be admitted to Loyola University Chicago by February 1, 2016.

97. John Gatling Grant Program

Not a Zolp? If you’re a first-time undergraduate student applying to North Carolina State University and you were born with the last name Gatling (or Gatlin, though no other spelling is allowed), you’re eligible for this scholarship, the amount of which varies each year depending on funding.

Deadline: You must apply to NC State by January 15, complete the FAFSA by March 1 and be accepted by NC state no later than March 30 of the year in which you need the scholarship.

98. “No Essay” Scholarship

It doesn’t get much easier than this. Enter your basic information and you’re eligible for a $2,000 scholarship selected by random drawing. Scholarships are awarded once a month and you can enter every month for a new chance.

99. Gertrude J. Deppen Scholarship Fund

Have you lived a life of relative leisure? Have you abstained from illegal substances while other kids were out partying? Are you a couch potato? Then have we got a scholarship for you!

This Bucknell University award is for students who have lived in Mount Carmel, PA for 10 years, are graduates of Mount Carmel Public High School and “who are not habitual users of tobacco, intoxicating liquor, and narcotics, and who do not participate in strenuous athletic contests.” Oddly specific, but when you’re funding a scholarship, I suppose you get to choose whatever requirements you like.

Deadline and award amount are not mentioned on school’s website. Contact Bucknell’s Financial Aid Office at 570-577-1331 for more information.

100. Alice Mcarver Ratchford Scholarship

What if you’re a female student living a relatively simple life? This University of North Carolina, Greensboro award is for female undergrads who live on campus, don’t own a car and are currently single (and agree to remain single for the duration of the scholarship). They also must have no other scholarships in conjunction with this one.

Deadline and award amount are not mentioned on school’s website. Contact UNCG’s Financial Aid Office at 336-334-5702 for more information.

Your Turn: Would you apply for any of these unusual scholarships? Which one(s)?

Kelly Gurnett is a freelance blogger, writer and editor who runs the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits, where she documents her attempts to rid her life of the things that don’t matter and focus more on the things that do. Follow her on Twitter @CordeliaCallsIt.


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