What do you think when you think scholarship? I think of essays discussing college accomplishments or a dedication to community service, often extremely competitive and general. But there are college scholarships for many things you would never think of, based off of strange hobbies or very specific criteria. These, I call "weird scholarships."
Weird scholarships have two advantages. For one, if you're eligible, you likely have very little competition. Two, some of them are really funny. Many of the scholarships here are scholarships that you, yes you, can apply for. Others, you may be able to apply for, if you meet the oddly specific requirements. And still others, well, they're just here for the kicks.
1. The Michigan Llama Herder Scholarship (The Michigan Llama Association Scholarship)
Yes, those words apparently go together: there's a surprisingly big llama herding community up in Michigan, so the Michigan Llama Association (MLA) created an annual, renewable scholarship for all its youth members in high school and college.
2. The Telepathy Scholarship (The Eileen J. Garrett Scholarship)
You can get paid for showing an interest in studying Parapsychology, the study of mental phenomena, such as telepathy, reincarnation and near-death experiences, which haven't yet been explained and/or proven by science.
3. The Scholarship for Catholic Students at the University of Loyal with the Last Name Zolp (The Zola Scholarship)
This one is just... oddly specific. To be eligible, you must attend Loyola University, be Catholic and have the last name Zolp. And no, if you're Catholic and attend Loyola, you can't just change your last name: the application requires a birth certificate to verify your birth name.
4. The Wine Scholarship (The American Society for Enology and Viticulture Scholarship)
Are you pursuing an education in enology (the study of wine) or viticulture (the study of grapes? Then get your brewing gear together, because this scholarship awards up to $12,500 to its winners!
5. The Duct Tape Halloween Decoration Scholarship (The Stick or Treat Contest)
Open to anyone 18 years or older, Duck Brand Duct Tape encourages college students to get in touch with their creative side by offering $1000 to the winner of their Halloween decoration contest. Just make some cool Halloween decorations with duct tape on top for a chance to win!
6. The Funeral Scholarship (The American Board of Funeral Service Education National Scholarship)
Do you study funeral service? How about mortuary science? Good! Because the American Board of Funeral Service Education is offering you up to $2,500!
7. The Not Doing Various Things Scholarship (The Alice Mcarver Ratchford Scholarship)
Do you own a car? Are you married? Are you a boy? Do you have a boyfriend? If you answered "no" to all of these questions, then congratulations! The Alice Mcarver Ratchford Scholarship's criteria explicitly states that eligible students live on campus, don't own a car and aren't romantically involved...oh, you also have to attend the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
8. The Coffee Scholarship (The CoffeeForLess.com "Hit the Books" Scholarship)
Do you love coffee and money? Of course you do! All it takes is a 500-word essay to apply to this scholarship, and the website states that more consideration is given to students who work in their love of coffee without losing sight of the essay prompt.
9. The Marbles Tournament Scholarships (The National Marbles Tournament Scholarships)
If you're just awesome at shooting marbles, then you could enter this tournament for a chance to win several scholarships.
10. The Nudist Scholarship (American Association for Nude Recreation Education Foundation Scholarship)
This one requires an affiliation with the American Association for Nude Recreation Education Foundation — there are several scholarship winners every year for young nude activists, students who try to improve opinions of nudists in American popular culture.
Do you qualify for any of these? Me neither. But on the bright side, now you know just how wide a range of scholarships there are out there. And when you get tired of being rejected from scholarships like I am, then you'll know what to look for.
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