When an 18 year old is concerned about budgeting, you know the cost of college tuition is getting out of hand.
A new survey conducted by the Princeton Review says the No. 1 worry among college applicants is the level of debt they will take on to pay for a college degree. In 2006, the top worry was they wouldn’t get into their top choice of college.
The survey results illustrate a much larger point: The cost of a college education has ballooned the last decade to the point where even high school students are worried about it.
Tuition and fees cost $3,508 to attend a public 4-year university in 2000. The cost jumped to $9,648 in 2016-17, an increase of 275%. The price of college has risen more than double the rate of inflation.
If the same thing happened to milk, the gallon that cost $2.79 in 2000 would be on the shelf today for $7.67!
Higher college costs mean more debt. The average college graduate in 2016 had $37,172 of debt. The comes from massive amounts of student loans, but there are other ways to pay for college like scholarships and grants. In fact, they covered 34% of college costs in 2015-16.
Scholarships and grants are sometimes referred to as “gift aid,” because they don’t have to be repaid. Keep in mind that you may still need to meet requirements or benchmarks such as GPA for certain scholarships, and receiving scholarships or grants outside the government may reduce your amount of federal aid.
While the words “scholarship” and “grant” are often used interchangeably, they do have slightly different meanings: Scholarships are generally based on academic or athletic merit, while grants are intended to solve financial need.
Each year, an estimated $46 billion in grants and scholarship money is awarded by the U.S. Department of Education and the nation’s colleges and universities. In addition, about $3.3 billion in gift aid is awarded by private sources, including individuals, foundations, corporations, churches, nonprofit groups, civic societies, veteran’s groups, professional groups, service clubs, unions, chambers of commerce, associations and many other organizations.
As the price of a college education in America has soared, the ability to pay for it has diminished. Income declined every year between 2007 and 2011 for 80% of U.S. families. Thus, scholarships and grants have become an increasingly important way to pay for college.
Types of Scholarships and Grants
There are many different types of scholarships and grants available. SDylantudents – and their parents – are advised to explore the full range of possibilities. Scholarships and grants are often awarded based on merit or financial need, and can be specific to the school, the student and/or the student’s chosen major.
Merit-based aid is based on a student’s academic, artistic or athletic achievement. It also goes to students who demonstrate leadership qualities, or other abilities, such as proficiency in extracurricular activities and/or community service.
Academic scholarships are most often awarded by private organizations or by a school, and are based on high scores on standardized tests, a high grade-point average (GPA) in high school, or other forms of measurable, superior academic achievement. Some merit awards are “grade-blind” and are not tied to academic measurements, but rather to a student’s talent, ability, achievement or potential. Included in grade-blind merit aid are athletic scholarships and scholarships for artistic accomplishment.
Institutional merit aid generally makes up a small part of a college’s financial assistance budget, and awards tend to be somewhat competitive. Usually there are more applicants than available funds, and some schools provide no merit aid at all. Private merit scholarships are often awarded on the basis of submitted essays and/or other application criteria as outlined by the granting organization.
Need-based aid is aimed at students from low-income families. To qualify for this type of aid, which can be school-sponsored or privately funded, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrate a financial need that must be met in order for them to attend college.
The FAFSA uses a formula to analyze family income and assets and determine financial need and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). It compares that to the college or university’s Cost of Attendance (COA). Individual schools often require additional financial forms, such as the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile and federal tax returns, to verify financial need.
There’s nothing to lose by filling out a FAFSA, only a lot of money to be gained. Despite this fact, a study conducted by NerdWallet found that 47% of high school students didn’t complete a FAFSA in 2015, letting $2.9 billion in federal grant money go unclaimed.
Pell Grants are the nation’s largest need-based grant program and are awarded based on the FAFSA. They are funded by the government and administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Pell Grants typically go to students with a total family income of below $25,000, although students with higher family incomes still may qualify. For the 2017-18 school year, the maximum Pell Grant is $5,920.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is another government grant program for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need; it is also based on the FAFSA. Each year, schools that participate in the program receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education and must contribute 25% of the aid awarded. Per-student aid can range from $100 to $4,000.
Aid For Women
Women earn only 37% of undergraduate STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), despite making up over 57% of the college population.
In an effort to increase interest in these fields, numerous groups offer scholarships to women who pursue degrees in those fields. For example, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) awarded 230 scholarships worth a total of $750,000 in 2016. The Center for Women in Technology (CWIT) is another organization dedicated to helping women in STEM. Students that apply can receive scholarships ranging from $5,000-$20,000 per year for four years.
Single mothers can also find scholarships to help with tuition. Raise the Nation is an organization that provides scholarships and grants for single mothers. They can also help repay student loans for those who have already graduated college.
Aid For Minorities And Other Groups
Aid for minorities and other groups is awarded to students based on personal, social or demographic criteria, such as race, religion, sexual orientation, family associations, place of origin, medical history, etc.
The different types of institutional and private student-specific aid are extensive and wide-ranging. For example, some aid goes only to international students studying in the United States. Some schools offer scholarships to students with disabilities. Some pharmaceutical firms provide grants for students with certain medical conditions. There are also scholarships for students who are twins or triplets, and those who have survived cancer.
In addition, scholarships exist for students who are part of certain ethnic or religious groups or for those with ancestors from specific countries. Some aid is given only to students whose parents or relatives belong to a trade union, or have worked in a certain profession or for a particular company. Some scholarships are reserved for students whose families have some military affiliation or historic significance.
Students who are veterans of military services, or are the spouses or survivors of veterans, can qualify for college aid and tuition assistance programs administered by the Veterans Administration (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD).
Because student-specific aid is awarded by such a wide variety of groups and organizations, it’s important for students to explore every avenue of aid. Amounts can vary from a hundred dollars to several thousand dollars or more. Each scholarship likely will have its own requirements and deadline for application.
Career-specific aid is awarded to students who are planning to pursue a course of study leading to a specific career, like nursing or teaching. Some federal programs will forgive student debt – effectively acting like a retroactive grant – for students who pursue certain careers or specific types of public service after graduation.
Private and school scholarships are also available for students with more general career goals, i.e. those who intend to pursue work in specific areas, such as government service, science and mathematics, culinary arts, finance, journalism, etc.
College-specific aid is awarded by individual colleges and universities to qualified applicants based on academic and/or personal achievement in a variety of categories. Often, these awards are the product of gifts or endowments made by alumni of the school. They can result in a “full-ride” scholarship, which covers all costs for the recipient, or they can cover only a portion of expenses.
Aid for Graduate Students
Graduate students can also receive federal financial aid by filing a FAFSA. If you are employed, look into scholarships and grant opportunities offered by your employer. Companies will often pay for their employees to pursue a degree or masters. They may even increase your salary once you have the degree.
Foster Care Aid
Tuition costs can particularly burden those in foster care. It is part of the reason only 10% of foster youth graduate from college. Fortunately, there are many private organizations and state programs that are available for children who are in foster care or have been adopted.
Organizations like National Foster Parent Association (NFPA), Horatio Alger Scholarships and Foster Care to Success provide scholarships and resources for foster children. The Sponsored Scholarship Program is run by Foster Care to Success and connects foster students with donors.
How to Apply for Scholarships and Grants
Applying for need-based aid requires the submission of the FAFSA and any other financial forms requested by the college or university. Privately offered need-based aid will also generally require an applicant to supply sufficient and verifiable financial information.
Merit aid may be awarded based on a student’s initial application with no additional information required — especially if the award is for academic achievement — or it may require a special application, audition, essay or portfolio.
Athletic scholarships are awarded only by certain schools and are the result of a complex process that is governed by rules and regulations promulgated by the federal government and administrative bodies like the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
All private scholarships and grants must be applied for through the approximately 5,000 groups and organizations across the country that provide such aid. Each scholarship will have its own set of qualifying procedures, rules and deadlines.
Exploring potential sources of scholarship aid should be part of every student’s agenda. Each high school guidance office will have information about available scholarships and how to apply for them. In addition, colleges and universities provide information about their own financial aid programs via their websites and financial aid offices. Veterans seeking college aid can get information from the VA or the DoD.
Finally, there are many websites and books to educate students and parents about the thousands of scholarships and grants that can help make college more affordable. U.S. News & World Report says the best scholarship search websites are free, including Fastweb.com, Scholarships.com, CollegeBoard.com, CollegeNet.com and ScholarshipMonkey.com.
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Max Fay is a recent graduate from Florida State University's Communications School. He has written for several newspapers in the state, including the Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel, Tallahassee Democrat and Florida Times Union.June 15, 2017More From This Author
College scholarships aren’t just for people with high GPAs and great SAT scores. Some scholarship awarding organizations have decided to buck the trend of rewarding academic achievement, and instead offer scholarships based on unique talents, unorthodox interests, creativity, or just unusual circumstances. These scholarships range from simply unique, to quirky, to downright bizarre, but all of them are worth applying for if you meet the requirements, because any scholarships you get now will decrease your college payments in the long term.
You can scroll through this list, or use the links below to jump to a specific section.
Update: We’ve added 10 more weird and unique scholarships to our list! Check them out in our Honorable Mention section!
Jif Most Creative Sandwich Contest
Jif Peanut Butter holds the Jif Most Creative Sandwich Contest as a fun way to award students preparing to attend college. The award includes a scholarship worth $25,000, as well as a Jif Peanut Butter Basket worth $50.
Apply : Jif
The Wear Duck Tape to Prom Scholarship
Duck Brand products holds an annual contest to see who can make the best Prom outfit from Duck Tape. The winners receive a $5,000 scholarship.
Apply : ShurTech Brands, LLC
Zildjian’s 2013 Kerope Zildjian Scholarship Competition
The Kerope Zildjian Scholarship is designed for students pursuing a four-year degree at an accredited university and awards a $5000 scholarship. Applicants also win a trip to Zildjian’s world headquarters and win completmentary cymbals. In order to qualify, students must send an audio recording playing a complex snare or four-mallet marimba solo.
Apply : Avedis Zildjian Company Inc
Western Golf Association Evans Scholars Foundation Scholarships
The Western Golf Association Evans Scholars Foundation Scholarship is designed for golf caddies around the country. The Western Golf Association who oversees the Evans Scholar Foundation also runs three large golf tournaments.
Apply : Western Golf Association Evans Scholars Foundation
Gertrude J. Deppen Scholarship Fund
The Gertrude J. Deppen Scholarship Fund is designed for students who do not habitually use tobacco, alcohol, narcotics, and are not involved in strenuous athletic contests. The applicant must have lived in Mount Caramel for 10 years and graduate from Mount Caramel Public High School as well.
Apply : Bucknell University
AMIA Scholarship Program
The AMIA Scholarship Program is for those planning on graduate school with majors in moving image studies, library or information science, archival administration, museum studies, or a related field. Selected students will then be awarded scholarships from Sony Pictures, Rick Chace Foundation, or Universal Studios.
Apply : The Association of Moving Image Archives
American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship Program
The American Fire Sprinkler Association has scholarships totalling $20,000 that are awarded to students who submit the required documents, including an essay on automatic fire sprinklers.
Apply : American Fire Sprinkler Association
NCEA’s Esthetician Scholarship
The National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors & Assocations award a number of scholarships every year. The NCEA’s Esthetician Scholarship awards esthetician students a $1,000 incentive scholarship while attending esthetic school, but students must be currently enrolled and maintain at least 80% attendance and grade average.
Apply : National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers / Distributors and Associations
Northern Tier Hardwood Association Community Forests Scholarship
Only open to students in select Pennsylvania counties, the Northern Tier Hardwood Association Scholarship awards $500 to two high school students planning on pursuing a career in forest resources or a field in the wood industry.
Apply : Northern Tier Hardwood Association
Annual Create-A-Greeting-Card $10,000 Scholarship Contest
For students with artistic flair, scrapbooking acumen, or a love for design, the Annual Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship from The Gallery Collection is a great way to get $10,000 for college. Competitors must design the front of a greeting card to be designed for business and consumer use.
Apply : The Gallery Collection
Archibald Rutledge Scholarship Program
The Archibald Rutledge Scholarship Program is for students involved in the arts and awards five scholarships at $2000 each in areas of Creative Writing, Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts. Students must submit an original piece, graduate high school in South Carolina, and go to college in South Carolina.
Apply : South Carolina State Department of Education
North American International Auto Show High School Poster Contest
The North American International Auto Show High School Poster Contest awards 16 students prizes of varying amounts, from as little as $100, to as much as $1000. The only stipulation is that a 25” x 21” poster must be submitted.
Apply : North American International Auto Show, LLC
Associated Male Choruses of America Scholarship
The Associated Male Choruses of America Scholarship awards candidates $1000-$1200 each for applicants enrolled in university music programs for the upcoming school year. Candidates must be sponsored by a member chorus of the Associated Male Choruses of America.
Apply : Associated Male Choruses of America
Shaw-Worth Memorial Scholarship
The Shaw-Worth Scholarship from the Humane Society of the United States awards $2,500 to selected high school seniors who have made significant contributions to animal protection over extended periods.
Apply : Humane Society of the United States
International Dairy•Deli•Bakery Association Scholarships
The International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association awards special scholarships to college students working at an IDDBA-member company at least 13 hours a week. The requirements include majoring in a food-related field, such as culinary arts, baking/pastry arts, or food science.
Apply : International Dairy•Deli•Bakery Association
AACT’s John Kitt Memorial Scholarship
The American Association of Candy Technologists awards a $5000 scholarship over two installments to a recipient who is a college sophomore, junior, or senior that has a demonstrated interest in confectionery technology. Evidence must be presented in the form of research projects, work experience, or formal study.
Apply : American Association of Candy Technologists
Frank J. Richter Scholarship Program
The American Association of Railroad Superintendents is open to any student in the United States or Canada. The student must be a full-time college student and have at least a 2.75 Grade Point Average. The scholarship is awarded is $1000 and preference is given to applicants enrolled in the transportation field.
Apply : American Association of Railroad Superintendents
Copyright Awareness Scholarship
Scholarhips up to $5000 are awarded by the Music Publishers Association of the United States as part of their Copyright Awareness Scholarship. Students must submit a written essay, audio or video recording, or pictoral compilation expressing why they believe copyright is so important.
Apply : Music Publishers Association
National Youth Education Summit
The Friends of the NRA selects 45 outstanding high school sophomores and juniors from around the country to come to Washington D.C. for a week of educational seminars and activities stressing the importance of being active in civic affairs. Additionally, those selected for this Youth Education Summit then compete for a total of $30,000 in scholarships.
Apply : Friends of NRA
Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Heineken Performing Arts Scholarship
The CBC Spouses Heineken Performing Arts Scholarship is awarded to students interested in drama, dance, opera, marching bands, and other performing arts pursuits. Applicants must also meet the other requirements stipulated on the online application page.
Apply: Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
ATIA Foundation Scholarships
The Alaska Travel Industry Association awards a number of scholarships each year to various students around Alaska, in communities of all sizes. The goal is to better invest in citizens to preserve the Alaskan tourism industry. Scholarships are awarded in increments from as little as $500 and as much as $3000.
Apply: Alaska Travel Industry
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholarships
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo awards numerous scholarships with varying requirements and sizes. Some requirements include a minimum of a 19 on the ACT, be a resident of Texas, and plan to go to college in Texas at a not-for-profit school. Most of the awards are $18,000 four year scholarships.
Apply : Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
C.A.T.S. Tall Club Scholarship Program
The Central Arizona Tall Society gives a scholarship to a girl of at least 5’10” and a boy at least 6’2″ in an award of $250. The student must live in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.
Apply : Central Arizona Tall Society
Central Florida Orchid Society Scholarship
The Central Florida Orchid Society awards an annual scholarship to students to encourage the pursuit of careers in Horticulture and the Agricultural and Life Sciences. The scholarship is $3000 and reside in a central Florida county.
Apply : Central Florida Orchid Society
Boren Awards for International Studies
The Boren Awards for International Study is awarded to students who wish to study abroad in areas typically underrepresented. The scholarships can be as large as $20,000 and are only for students attending school at an accredited university.
Apply : Boren Awards for International Studies
General CIEE Grant + Scholarship
The CIEE Study Abroad Scholarships award over $3 Million each eyar to help students with the cost of studying abroad. They require students to fill out a form entailing their special circumstances, write an essay, and also a summary of their current financial aid situation.
Apply : CIEE Study Abroad
Nordstrom Scholarship Program
The Nordstrom Cares Scholarship selects 80 students in states with a Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack store and awards them a $10,000 scholarship. The requirements include past volunteer service, community service, or extracurricular activities and a minimum of a 2.7 GPA. Recipients must also plan on applying for financial assistance in order to attend college.
Apply : Nordstrom
Marian A. Smith Costume Scholarship Award
The Marian A. Smith Costume Scholarship Award from the Southeastern Theatre Conference awards $2,000 to a student entering graduate school for costume design and/or costume technology. The student must submit a portfolio of ten samples and three to five references to be considered.
Apply : Southeastern Theatre Conference
Davidson Fellows Scholarships
The Davidson Fellows Scholarships are considered to be among the most prestegious and largest in the world. They award $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000 to students who have completed a significant piece of work before 18 in areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy, or “Outside the Box.”
Apply : Davidson Institute for Talent Development
Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest.
Stuttgart, Arkansas awards scholarships at the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest. First place wins a scholarship of $2000, second place wins $1000, 3rd receives $750, and 4th receives $500.
Apply : Stuttgart
IDC Scholarship Program
The IDC Scholarship Program from Ocean Divers awards 4 students per 3 month period to take, for free, a number of scuba diver classes and then work on environmental conservation and reef identification.
Apply : Ocean Divers
Corinne Jeannine Schillings Foundation
The Corinna Jeannine Schillings Foundation awards scholarships to help students study abroad. An award of $1000 is issued to a Silver or Gold Girl Scout who plans to study abroad and maintains at least a 3.0 GPA.
Apply : Corinne Jeannine Schillings Foundation
The Alexia Grants
The Alexia Foundation grants scholarships to students to help produce picture stories that promote the foundation’s views of world peace and cultural understanding. The undergraduate winner recieves full tuition payment for a study abroad program, along with various funds for equipment and expenses.
Apply : Alexia Foundation
ESA Foundation Scholarship Program
The Entertainment Software Association Foundation Scholarship Program gives up to 30 scholarships annually, 15 to graduating high school seniors and 15 to current college students. The award is for up to $3000 and the applicant must be a woman or minority student pursing a degree and career in computer and video game arts with a minimum 2.75 GPA.
Apply : Entertainment Software Association Foundation
The Fountainhead Essay Contest
Ayn Rand Novels, a site specializing in the writings of author and philosopher Ayn Rand, has an annual essay contest awarding between $50 and $10,000 to over 200 students who write essays on chosen topics about Rand’s well known work, The Fountainhead. While not strictly a scholarship, these contests are only open to 11th and 12th grade students, and the winnings could provide a great headstart toward paying for college.
Apply : Ayn Rand Novels
The American Academy in Rome Scholarship, titled the Rome Prize, is designed for students specializing in a variety of studies, such as Architecture, Visual Arts, Ancient Studies, and other areas. Each winner is provided with a stipend, meals, a bedroom with a private bath, and a study or studio. The stipends are $15,000 for 6 months or $27,000 for 11 months.
Apply : American Academy in Rome
United States Bowling Congress Scholarships
The United States Bowling Congress offers scholarships to many young students who have shown a passion for bowling. Leagues and member organizations of the USBC offer scholarships as well, so anyone involved in USBC activities should look into the possibility of a college scholarship.
Apply : United States Bowling Congress
Brett Ratner Tuition Grant
The Brett Ratner Tuition Grant through the New York Film Academy offers 100 scholarships for grants of up to $15,000. Students must show evidence for need of financial assistance and a personal statement on why they would like to attend the New York Film Academy.
Apply : New York Film Academy
Fund for Investigative Journalism Grants
The Fund of Investigative Journalism meets almost quarterly to review grant applications for those wishing to pursue investigative endeavors focusing on domestic issues or issues focuses on the US government. Grants average $5000 and are issued in two parts, the latter when evidence of progress is submitted.
Apply : Fund for Investigative Journalism
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
The Institute of International Education awards the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to students who have received a Pell Grant for the term they are applying for as well. Students are also not allowed to study in countries with a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning.
Apply : Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
Annual Glenn Miller Scholarship Competition
The Glenn Miller Birthplace Society, based in Clarinda, Iowa, holds an annual scholarship competition in honor of Glenn Miller. The contest is in its 37th year and awards two scholarships of $4000, $2000, and $1000, each to a one vocalist and one instrumentalist. Audition CD’s or tapes must be submitted in order to qualify.
Apply : Glenn Miller Birthplace Society
American Academy of Chefs Culinary Scholarships
The American Culinary Federation awards culinary scholarships to high school students, college students, and professional chefs looking to further their education. Requirements vary based on the scholarship applied for, but a strong passion for culinary arts goes a long way.
Apply : Aermican Culinary Federation
Robert J. Marriott’s Scholarship Grant
The Robert J. Marriott Scholarship Grant from the International Federation of Fly Fishers awards $500 to an undergraduate or graduate student majoring in biology or a similar field, such as fishery management.
Apply : International Federation of Fly Fishers
Fashion Scholarship Fund Scholarships
The Fashion Scholarship Fund awards numerous scholarships in honor of Geoffrey Beene, Jim Edleman, and others. Required application materials include a case study and personal statement.
Apply : Fashion Scholarship Fund
$2,500 “Advice to Your High School Self” Scholarship
Campus Discovery has a scholarship for $2,500 called the “Advice to Your High School Self” Scholarship. Students approaching graduation from college or recent college grads who finished an Associates or Bachelor’s Degree are eligible.
Apply : Campus Discovery
James “Rhio” O’Connor Memorial Scholarship Fund
Cancer Monthly has scholarships honoring James O’Connor, with over $10,000 in awards. All that is required is an essay on how Mr. O’Connor’s story of surviving 5 years longer than predicted is so inspiring and what you would do if faced with similar challenges.
Apply : Cancer Monthly
NDS/DMI Milk Marketing Scholarship
The National Dairy Shrine awards one $1500 and six $1000 scholarships to encourage undergraduates to pursue careers in dairy product marketing. Students must have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA.
Apply : National Dairy Shrine
Davis Law Group Scholar Athlete Program
The Davis Law Group awards $100 scholarships to two high school seniors from January to March and then invites those students to enter a Sportsmanship Essay Contest for a chance to win an additional $1000 scholarship.
Apply : Davis Law Group
Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, Inc. Founders Fund Scholarship
Theodore Gordon Flyfishers is a non-profit angling organization that promotes environmental protection, conservation, and various activities attached to activism and education. A Founders Fund Scholarship is awarded for $3,500 annually and the applicant must be planning on majoring in environmental studies, in areas such as biology, natural resource management, zoology, and other relevant fields.
Apply : Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, Inc.
Washington State Potato Foundation
The Washington State Potato Foundation awards scholarships to students who live in either Washington of Oregon and plan on pursuing a two/four year degree, with preference given to those pursuing agriculture-related fields.
Apply : Washington-Oregon Potato Conference
NPFDA Scholarship Foundation, Inc.
The National Poultry & Food Distributors Association selects students from across the country for scholarships amounting to $1500-$2000. In order to qualify, students must be college juniors or seniors at a U.S. Institution and pursuing an agriculture-related field, along with letters of recommendation, a sealed transcript, and a one-page letter describing her or his goals and aspirations.
Apply : National Poultry & Food Distributors Association
Berrien Fragos Thorn Arts Scholarships for Migrant Farmworkers
The Geneseo Migrant Center runs a scholarship to support art scholarships for migrant farm workers. This was implemented by Berrien Fragos Thorn and many $500 scholarships are issued and semi-annually, a review is done for grants up to $2,500.
Apply : National PASS Center
Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships
The Poetry Foundation supports five $15,000 scholarships to young poets through a national competition also sponsored by The Poetry Foundation. Applicants must be at least 21 years old, no older than 31, and follow the guidelines on the website.
Apply : Poetry Foundation
F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship
The F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship is given preference to students in Northeastern Pennsylvania and aims to support artists with exceptional talent in the fine arts. The award is $15,000 and a detailed explanation must be given for how the funds will be used.
Apply : Waverly Community House
Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage Scholarship
The Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage has awarded scholarships to students for over 25 years and students are awarded these scholarships based on personal performance and achievements.
Apply : Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage
Krylon Clear Choice Art Scholarship
Krylon, a company specializing in art products, awards five $1,000 Krylon Clear Choice Art Scholarships. Additionally, each school will receive a gift package worth $500 of art products. Applicants must submit a portfolio of 3-6 images of artwork on CD.
Apply : Krylon
Two Ten Footwear Foundation
The Two Ten Footwear Foundation awards scholarships to over 400 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.
Apply : Two Ten Footwear Foundation
Screen Actors Guild Scholarship
The Screen Actors Guild Foundation created the John L. Dales Scholarship Fund in 1973 and helps aid Screen Actors Guild members’ children with educational funds to attend college.
Apply : Screen Actors Guild
Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship Award
The ICDD has awarded 181 scholarships since 1991. It’s an award to support the education and research program of promising graduate students in crystallography-related fields.
Apply : Ludo Frevel Crystallography
Chuck Allen Snowboard Scholarship Award
The United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association has a Chuck Allen Snowboard Scholarship Award. The Scholarship is typically used for academic endeavors, but is also allowed to be used for club or organizational equipment.
Apply : United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association
The Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarships
The Vegetarian Resource Group has two $5,000 Scholarships that it gives out annually. Applications will be judged on students ability to demonstrate compassion, courage, and a strong commitment to world peace through a vegetarian lifestyle.
Apply : The Vegetarian Resource Group
KODAK Student Scholarship Program
The Kodak Student Scholarship Program gives a Student Cinematography and Student Scholarship Award each year to students who can demonstrate exceptional skills in the relevant field. Students can be awarded as much as $9,000.
Apply : KODAK
Slam What You Will Scholarship
PowerPoetry.org has a “Slam What You Will” Contest, which awards a $1,000 scholarship to the winner. Rules include becoming a member of the poetry community and submitting a poem.
Apply : Power Poetry
DutchCrafters Amish Furniture Heritage Scholarship
DutchCrafters founded The DutchCrafters Amish Furniture Heritage Scholarship in 2011 and each year provides five students with $500 scholarships over two disbursements of $250. Students must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and currently be a high school senior applying to college in the fall.
Apply : DutchCrafters
The Astrid Thalheimer Memorial Vocal Scholarship
The Astrid Thalheimer Memorial Vocal Scholarship, dedicated to the founder of The A Cappella Singers who established the group in 1963. The scholarship awards $500 to a woman preparing to graduate from high school and major in either vocal performance or music education with a concentration on vocals.
Apply : The A Cappella Singers
American Water Ski Educational Foundation Water Ski Hall of Fame/ Museum Scholarships
The American Water Ski Educational Foundation started awarding scholarships in 1983 to students currently enrolled in their sophomore, junior, or senior year of college. Students must write an essay of 500 words, include two letters of reference, work/school records, along with community activities.
Apply : American Water Ski Educational Foundation Water Ski Hall of Fame/ Museum
WJA Scholarships & Grants
The Women’s Jewelery Association awards scholarships each year in amounts ranging from $500 to $7000. There are three separate categories students may qualify in and each applicant must submit an essay detailing why they believe they deserve the award.
Apply : Women’s Jewelry Association
Oregon Space Grant Consortium Scholarship Program
The Oregon NASA Space Consortium Scholarship Program gives $4000 scholarships to students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math. The intention is to promote the advancement of the space program while rewarding academic excellence.
Apply : Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium
James Beard is remembered for his commitment to advancing culinary arts and the James Beard Foundation serves to carry on his legacy by awarding a large number of scholarships to students seeking careers in culinary arts, be it at a culinary institution or a university.
Apply : James Beard Foundation
Alan H. Conklin Business Aviation Management Scholarship
The National Business Aviation Association established, in conjunction with Conklin & de Decker, the Alan H. Conklin Business Aviation Management Scholarship, an annual $5000 award to an undergraduate student who is enrolled in an aviation management program.
Apply : National Business Aviation Association
National Council of Destination Organizations Graduate Scholarship
The Ronald H. Brown Memorial Scholarship awards a $3000 scholarship to a minority undergraduate who is focused on a career in the travel industry.
Apply : U.S. Travel Association
George Bock Charitable Trust
Little People of America focuses on awarding scholarships to students who have been diagnosed with dwarfism and are currently part of Little People of America. Additionally, scholarships are awarded to the children of those diagnosed with dwarfism and range from $250-$1000.
Apply : Little People of America
Boyd N. Lyon Scholarship
The Boyd N. Lyon Scholarship was founded by The Ocean Foundation in conjuction with The Boyd Lyon Sea Turtle Fund. It was designed for Masters or PhD students to apply and the award is $2500.
Apply : The Ocean Foundation
The Eileen J. Garrett Scholarship
The Parapsychology Foundation founded a scholarship in memory of Eileen J. Garrett and is for undergraduate and graduate students who are currently pursuing an academic path for a career in parapsychology. The scholarship is for $3000.
Apply : Parapsychology Foundation, Inc.
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Wildlife Leadership Awards
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Wildlife Leadership Awards to juniors and seniors in college who have a proven record in leadership and a passion for wildlife conservation. The scholarship is for $2000 and includes a one-year membership to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Apply : Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation
Printing Industries of America began The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation in order to assist undergraduate women and men who are interested in graphic communication careers.
Apply : Printing Industries of America
The David Letterman Scholarship
Ball State University founded The David Letterman Scholarship in honor of late night television host David Letterman. It is designed for juniors in college who are currently majoring or minoring in telecommunications. The amount of each scholarship varies, based on the creativity the scholarship committee feels was achieved.
Apply : Ball State University
American Society for Enology and Viticulture Scholarship Program
The American Society for Enology and Viticulture Scholarship Program is for students currently enrolled in a four-year program at an accredited university in North America. The minimum grade point average is 3.0 for undergraduates and 3.2 for graduate students. The applicant must also currently be enrolled in enology or viticulture, or in a curriculum emphasizing a science basic to wine and the grape industry. Students recieve a quarterly or per-semester stipend.
Apply : American Society for Enology and Viticulture
National Potato Council Scholarship
The National Potato Council Scholarship awards a scholarship each year for $10,000 to a graduate student who is currently conducting research to benefit the potato industry.
Apply : National Potato Council
Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation Scholarships
The Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation was started in 1999 to support the next generation of Document Management and Graphic Communication Professionals. A minimum of 40 scholarships are available per year and are awarded in amounts ranging from $1000-$5000.
Apply : Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation
Billy Welu Scholarship
The Professional Bowlers Assocation awards The Billy Welu Scholarship annually to male and female bowlers whose extraordinary qualities, partnered with competing in bowling events, show that they are fantastic recipients of the $1,000.
Apply : Professional Bowlers Association
Michael Jackson Scholarship
The United Negro College Fund set up a Michael Jackson Scholarship to honor the late performer and it awards up to $4000 to students majoring in ther performing arts, English, or communications.
Apply : United Negro College Fund, Inc.
American Quarterhorse Association Foundation Scholarships
The American Quarterhorse Assocation Foundation Scholarships are awarded to students who have underlined academic achievement, financial need, and very importantly, involvement in the American Quarter Horse Foundation. The amount of the scholarship is announced annually.
Apply : American Quarterhorse Association
CFJS Scholarship Program
The Central Florida Jazz Society awards three scholarships per year, amounting to $3000. Students must submit a written recommendation, along with a recording of an improvised chorus.
Apply : Central Florida Jazz Society
Students Rising Above
The Julia Burke Foundation awards the Students Rising Above Scholarship to help low-income, first-generation students who need more than a tuition check to successfully graduate from college. SRA provides one-on-one advice, along with academic support to help students not be restrained by any financial setbacks.
Apply : Julia Burke Foundation
The Kor Memorial Scholarship
The Klingon Language Foundation awards students who are able to implement a creative use for the fictional Star Trek language of Klingon. Winners recieve a $500 scholarship.
Apply : The Klingon Language Institute
Optimist International Scholarships
The Optimist International Scholarships are earned by students who win essay contests on a number of topics, typically promoting self-worth and confidence in youth. Awards range from a medallion to $2500.
Apply : Optimist International
Harlequin Floors’ Annual Dance Scholarship
Each year, American Harlequin awards four $250 scholarships through the Harlequin Floors’ Dance Scholarship. The goal of the program is to promote better opportunities for dancers.
Apply : American Harlequin
Design Sponge Scholarship
Design Sponge’s Annual Scholarship aims to support the growing next generation of artists and designers through an implementation of up to $10,500 in scholarships.
Apply : Design Sponge
Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Foundation
The Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Foundation works with students with exemplary vocal talents to equip them with the resources needed to succeed as a professional vocalist.
Apply : Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Foundation
Wendy Jackson Hall Memorial Scholarship
The Wendy Jackson Hall Memorial Scholarship commemorates beloved animator Wendy Jackson Hall and helps students who can demonstrate financial need, while simultaneously having been accepted into an arts program from an accredited university. The scholarship is a two-year, $10,000 award.
Apply : Wendy Jackson Hall Memorial Scholarship
2013 Women Divers Hall of Fame Scholarships and Training Grants
The Women Divers Hall of Fame has annual scholarships specifically for undergradate and gradate women who work in Marine Conservation. Graduate students receieve $2000 and undergrduate students recieve $1000.
Apply : Women Divers Hall of Fame
AICPA Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students
The American Institute of CPA’s Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students awards $5000 to undergraduate minority students currently on the academic course to become CPA’s.
Apply : American Institute of CPAs
WSC Scholars Program
The World Sport Chicago Scholars Program awards students $20,000 over their 4 years in college, in increments of $5000. The students must live in Chicago, attend school in Chicago, and have participated in summer Olympic or Paralympic events for two out of the last three years.
Apply : World Sport Chicago
American Fence Association Scholarship
The American Fence Association provides scholarships for the children of families in the fence industry. The student must have a minimum GPA of a 3.0, work or have parents who work in the fence industry, and have contributed 40 hours of documented community service over the past 4 years. The scholarship is for $1,500.
Apply : American Fence Association
National Gay Pilots Association Scholarships
The National Gay Pilots Association awards scholarships to members of the LGBT community who have a desire to pursue a flight education.
Apply : National Gay Pilots Association
Foreclosure.com Scholarship Program
Foreclosure.com holds an annual scholarship contest in which students are given a hypothetical scenario that they must write an essay detailing how they would navigate the particular situation.
Apply : Foreclosure.com
P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund
Each year P.E.O. awards an International Peace Scholarship to help women pursue graduate degrees in college. The scholarship is worth $10,000 and has particular restrictions barring early doctoral candidates from the award.
Apply : P.E.O. Sisterhood
Alma S. Adams Scholarships
Legacy for Health founded the Alma S. Adams Scholarships, named after the founding Legacy for Health Board Member of the same name. The scholarship awards $5000 to two individuals and the foundation typcially aims to award those students whose ethnicity or income status make them targeted by the tobacco industry disproportionately.
Apply : Legacy for Health
National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Scholarships
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Scholarships and students must submit a film or video production they completed or a script if they’re writers. A short essay must be submitted, along with a statement of financial need, and the most recent transcript.
Apply : National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
In our search, we discovered so many unique scholarship resources that we found it difficult to limit it to only a handful. We’ve gathered 10 more of the most unique scholarships imaginable. The additional resources we’ve researched offer more opportunities for students to apply for scholarships. College is expensive, so you shouldn’t limit your efforts in earning a scholarship to just a few places!
- Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship – The Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship gives students the opportunity to be creative with the latest trend: 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 take interest in scare-culture.
- Flavor of the Month Scholarship – The Flavor of the Month Scholarship provides students with a more light-hearted opportunity to be creative. Asking students to consider what ice cream flavor they would be, and why, allows for students to take an inward look at themselves and express themselves in a creative and fun way.
- Sally Beauty Supports Cosmetologists – Sally Beauty Supply is a cosmetology store that is now giving back to their community. Catering to those who wish to pursue a career in cosmetology, the beauty supply chain will be offering chances for students to write personal essays to be considered.
- Writers of the Future Contest/Illustrators of the Future Contest – The Writers and Illustrators of the Future scholarship opportunity is available for all those who have an imaginative mind. Asking students to showcase their talents in short novel and science-fiction writing, this scholarship opportunity is open to a wide range of applicants.
- Kripalu Schools of Yoga and Ayurveda – Kirpalu is offering 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 often times not given the regard it deserves.
- SVC Foundation Scholarship – This interesting scholarship opportunity is concentrated on vacuum technology. This scholarship is ideal for individuals who have a passion for technical and mechanical assemblies of vacuums, which can also provide healpful experience in other fields in the future.
- The Usha Teacher Training Scholarship – Yoga is becoming increasingly popular in current society, yet it does not receive the proper funding. This scholarship opportunity provides students with a passion for yoga an opportunity to apply and be rewarded with the funds needed to attend comprehensive yoga training programs.
- TCI Scholarship Award – Are you tall? If your answer is ‘yes,” then this is the perfect scholarship for you. Catered to women and men who are above average height, this scholarship offers first-year college students, (under age 21) the opportunity to win money to help pay for school.
- Zinch $1000 Weekly Scholarship – Zinch is a resource that offers weekly scholarships to students. This is an excellent opportunity because it gives students multiple chances to win a scholarship. Though flexible, the opportunity is also challenging, offering students only 280 characters to answer the question of the week to win a scholarship.
- The James Alan Cox Foundation for Student Photojournalists – This scholarship opportunity is aimed at aiding students who have particular interest in photojournalism. Students can receive money for college, as well as technical supplies, should they be awarded the scholarship. It is the perfect opportunity for students who want to pursue a growing field, but do not necessarily have the monetary freedom to do so.
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