The Most Unusual College Scholarships

Without scholarships, many students would never be able to afford the rising cost of college.

High school seniors will devote their entire last year trying to get as many scholarships as possible in order to afford the school of their dreams.

This process is not fun, and very time consuming.

With all the serious scholarships out there it can be a breath of fresh air to earn some money for college while having fun, using your creativity, and avoiding 1,500 word essays. In fact, there’s a fun, out-of-box scholarship for every type of student.

Many of these are tournaments or contents, which when you think about it, every typical scholarship is. The person who writes the best essay is going to “win” the financial aid.

The Most Unusual College Scholarships | Supplement your financial aid with some of these great scholarships! Use your special skills to get some extra money for your college education. Click through to read the scholarships!

For the Athlete

Now of course everyone knows you can get scholarships for the sports you play in high school. The football star, the basketball MVP, they can all get scholarships by agreeing to play for the college that is awarding them money.

What if you enjoy a more casual sport, and don’t intend to play at the collegiate level?

Time to start bowling! (Sorry, bumpers aren’t allowed)

The best part is that ANYONE can play (meaning there’s no qualifying events, and you don’t have to represent a school). You can have mixed gender teams, and this particular scholarship gave out more than $100,000 in the last school year to the tournament winners!

If bowling is your sport of choice, check out the bowling tournament scholarship.

The worst thing that can happen is you end up bowling with friends!

For the Foodie

What if I told you a sandwich could get you a $25,000 scholarship?

Did you just get hungry for some dough?

There exists a “Most Creative Sandwich Contest.”

This one is for all the students who are giving cooking advice to the lunch ladies, who already cook for themselves, and know that their food talents are worth something.

In this case, a scholarship.

A little creativity in plating can go a long way, as surprisingly, tasting is not part of the judging criteria. You make the sandwich, take a couple beauty shots of it, and send it in with the recipe.

Just because this sounds fun, don’t think it’s going to be easy.

This is going to take some serious creative brain power, just check out previous winners. That aside, if you’re anything like me, I would prefer to spend hours on something I can eat AND get money for, rather than typing up an essay about how much I love food. Which would end up turning into a novel anyway…

The Most Unusual College Scholarships | Supplement your financial aid with some of these great scholarships! Use your special skills to get some extra money for your college education. Click through to read the scholarships!

For the Fashionista

Your high school senior prom. It’s the apex of your high school journey. Why not ruin it with loads of duct tape?

The “Stuck at Prom Scholarship” asks you to do just that.

Only the students who apply immerse themselves in their own creativity and end up making their prom experience truly unique.

Many show up wearing some truly knock out dresses and suits. If fashion is your flavor, especially if you’re looking into the industry as part of your pursuit of higher education, this scholarship comes highly recommended. Simply make the outfits (you can even go stag), take and submit pictures, and let the voting begin!

Figuring out how one is supposed to get in and out of theses prom clothes may need more creativity than was needed to make the outfits in the first place.

For the Geek

Most of the geeks out there have fantasized about the zombie apocalypse. Would you survive? Who is the first friend you would sacrifice? Who did Negan end up killing in the season finale of The Walking Dead?!

If you have asked any of these questions in your life, you’re going to love this scholarship.

While the money awarded is small, it doesn’t require a lot of effort to apply. In 250 words or less you have to describe how you would avoid zombies during the apocalypse, and the five things you would bring for survival.

The setting?

Your high school, of course.

If you know you would be the last one standing, don’t hesitate to apply for this scholarship. With the writing requirement being so short, the undead themselves may be applying as well.

For the Artist

There are tons of scholarships for artists, whether your medium is the written word, vocals or you know how to tickle the ivories.

The one that all artists may be able to truly express themselves through is the “Doodle for Google” scholarship. If you ever use the Internet, which I assume you do if you’re reading this, you may notice that Google switches up their logo from time to time to celebrate certain people, months or events.

The Doodle for Google scholarship lets you design the new Google logo.

Each year has its own theme, last year being “What makes me . . . me.” In short you reimagine the Google logo using whatever materials you want to use, abide by the year’s theme, and then submit it for judging. The only rules are it has to spell Google.

Not only do you get $30,000 for winning, your Google logo will be displayed on Google for an entire day. Now there’s something to hang on the fridge.

Paying for College

Scholarships shouldn’t be taken likely.

For some, it is their only opportunity at pursuing a higher education. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun while doing it. You don’t have to stick to the 1,500 word essays, and the resume submitting and all the stuff that can quickly lead to burnout.

Remember that there are some unique opportunities for financial aid that can fit anyone’s interest. This is just a short list. Do some research, get some financial aid, and have some fun!


Linus Minick is a freelance writer and blogger. He lives in the beautiful state of Idaho, where he enjoys the outdoors, cooking and playing video games. He is a graduate of The College Of Idaho and is currently living in Boise. 

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  • Samantha Tetrault
    May 6, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Thanks for this post! I remember in high school everyone rushing to apply for the craziest scholarships. I think I once spent thirty minutes taking a quiz about fire safety in order to be eligible for a scholarship sponsored by a smoke detector company! It seems crazy now, but scholarships are so important!

    • Tori
      May 7, 2016 at 11:27 am

      I actually remember that one! There are so many scholarship opportunities out there – you just have to take some time to find them 🙂

  • Manda
    October 26, 2016 at 4:26 am

    Wow these are great! Thanks for sharing some of the cool ideas!

  • Monica Matthews,
    November 12, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Great post! Sharing with my followers and site members. 🙂

    • Tori
      November 15, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Monica!