Some of the most unusual scholarships available to students

Who says applying for scholarships is boring? There are a lot of scholarships for students that are awarded for untraditional reasons. The qualifications for these are all different, but for any student seeking financial assistance, it can be a great opportunity.

Physical features
There are a number of scholarships that are rewarded based on a student’s physical attributes. Tall Clubs International gives away $1,000 to a male over 6’2″ and a female over 5’10” every year. The Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship is a special program geared toward funding the education of left-handed students. The financial funding of this scholarship can give a student anywhere from $1,000-$1,500. Sterling College in Kansas offers a special scholarship for twin students. Each student’s tuition is discounted by 50 percent, sort of like a two-for-the-price-of-one deal.

TV and film
The Kor Memorial Scholarship is for fans of the “Star Trek” franchise and those familiar with its Klingon language. Any science fiction fan could take advantage of this $500 program and feed their outer space dreams. “The Walking Dead fans can receive academic assistance for their zombie knowledge. The Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship is a $2,000 opportunity available to any student age 13 or older. The required essay is a what-if scenario about your school being overrun by zombies, what you would do and the five items you would bring with you to stay alive.

Food and cooking
There are a number of culinary scholarships available for students, but there are some that are much more specific than others. The John Kitt Memorial Scholarship offers candy chefs $5,000 to study confectionery cooking techniques and technologies. The Jif Most Creative Sandwich Contest offers students a $25,000 fund for one recipe. Chefs can create any sandwich they want for the competition, just as long as it has 2 tablespoons of Jif Peanut Butter. The National Dairy Shrine Scholarship is for students interested in milk and dairy product marketing. These scholarships can range anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000. There is a Potato Industry Scholarship run by the National Potato Council, and it awards $5,000 to one student each year. The criteria for this scholarship is that you have an interest in agribusiness, which is used to benefit farmers.

Live entertainment
There are quite a number of scholarships made specifically for performers in niche categories of entertainment. Carnegie Mellon University gives $7,000 a year to students majoring in bagpipe performance. Union Internationale de la Marionette offers quite a unique live entertainment opportunity. For any performer specializing in marionette performance, this $1,000 scholarship can be a great program.

The Rude Goldberg Machine Contest Scholarship is one of the most unique programs available to students. This is an engineering contest that is about building a complicated machine in order to complete a simple task. In 2012, students from St. Olaf College were rewarded $4,000 for their machine that inflated and popped a balloon. The Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest is funded by Duck Tape, and it is a popular program among students. Applicants must create a unique prom outfit using Duck Tape and attend a school-sanctioned prom. Throughout this contest, it is estimated that 92,796 rolls of Duck Tape have been used and $3,000 is awarded to each year’s winner.

Applying for scholarships can be a tedious and boring process for students. Lucky for applicants, there are a number of fun scholarship programs they can apply for when funding their education. However, even fun scholarships call for universities and foundations to utilize proper scholarship management techniques to ensure smooth processes.

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