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16 Weird But Wonderful College Scholarships

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If you’re on the hunt for college funds, there are thousands of college scholarships available based on academics, athletics, career, student need, and other general criteria. BUT, did you know that there are also some weird and unusual scholarships out there? 😱

We’ve rounded up a few of the college scholarships that make applying for money a LOT more fun (listed in order by application deadline). Plus, most of them require minimal or NO writing!

1.) Duck Tape “Stuck at Prom” Scholarship

  • Deadline: Contest begins April 2nd, 2018 and voting begins June 2nd-8th
  • Awards: $10,000 for Best Dress (one winner) + $10,000 for Best Tux (one winner), plus 2 additional prize packs valued at $100 each for both runners up
  • Who Can Apply? Students 14 years of age or older who attend a high school, home school association, or other school-sanctioned prom during the 2018 calendar year
  • Details & How to Apply: Duck Tape “Stuck at Prom” Scholarship

To be eligible for this scholarship, students are challenged to create their own prom outfits made entirely from Duck Tape, and then wear those outfits to the prom! Creations will be judged on workmanship, originality, use of colors, accessories, and use of Duck Brand Duck tape.


2.) Fifth Month Scholarship

  • Deadline: May 31st, 2018
  • Award: $1,500 (one winner annually)
  • Who Can Apply? Students 13 years or older
  • Details & How to Apply: Fifth Month Scholarship

May the fifth be with you… To enter this Fifth Month Scholarship, submit an online written response (in 250 words or less) to this scholarship topic: “May is the fifth month of the year. Write a letter to the number five explaining why five is important. Be serious or be funny.” Definitely an interesting one!

On or about August 31st, a qualified panel of judges will select one potential winner based on the criteria of writing ability (25%), creativity (25%), originality (25%), and overall excellence (25%).


3.) Flavor of the Month Scholarship

To be eligible for this sweet scholarship, just submit an online written response (in 250 words or less) to this question: “If you were an ice cream flavor, which would you be and why?”

On or about November 30th, 2018, a qualified panel of judges will select one potential winner based on the criteria of writing ability (25%), creativity (25%), originality (25%), and overall excellence (25%).


4.) Make Me Laugh Scholarship

  • Deadline: August 31st, 2018
  • Award: $1,500 (one winner)
  • Who Can Apply? Students 13 years or older
  • Details & How to Apply: Make Me Laugh Scholarship

Do you make people ROFL? Submit an online written response (in 250 words or less) to this question: “We don’t want to know why you deserve $1,500 or how great your grades are, we simply want to LOL. Describe an incident in your life, funny or embarrassing (fact or fiction), and make us laugh!”

On or about December 31st, 2018, a qualified panel of judges will select one potential winner based on the criteria of writing ability (25%), creativity (25%), originality (25%), and overall excellence (25%).


5.) Common Knowledge Scholarship(s)

  • Deadline: Quizzes run from August through December
  • Award: Award amounts range from $250 to $2,500 (various winners)
  • Who Can Apply? All U.S. high school, college, and graduate students are eligible (parents can compete, too)
  • Details & How to Apply: Common Knowledge Scholarship(s)

Like trivia? If you’re up-to-date on everything from books to movies to academic subjects, you can win anywhere from $250 to $2,500 just by taking quizzes! 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). There are no essays, no applications, and no GPA requirements. Note that quizzes run from August through December (calendar).


6.) Shout It Out Scholarship

  • Deadline: September 30th, 2018
  • Award: $1,500 (one winner)
  • Who Can Apply? Students 13 years or older
  • Details & How to Apply: Shout It Out Scholarship

Like making your voice heard or have something important to share? To be eligible for this scholarship, all you do is submit a brief online written response (in 250 words or less) to this question: “If you could say one thing to the entire world at once, what would it be and why?”

On or about January 30th, 2019, a qualified panel of judges will select one one potential winner based on the criteria of writing ability (25%), creativity (25%), originality (25%), and overall excellence (25%).


7.) Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship

  • Deadline: October 31st, 2018
  • Award: $2,000 (one winner)
  • Who Can Apply? Students 13 years or older
  • Details & How to Apply: Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship

To be eligible for this odd Halloween-themed scholarship, you’ll need your braaaaiiiinnnnnnnssss (sorry, couldn’t help it) to submit a quick, online written response (in 250 words or less) to this topic: “Imagine that your high school or college has been overrun with zombies. Your math professor, the cafeteria ladies, and even your best friend have all joined the walking dead. Flesh out a plan to avoid the zombies, including where you’d hide and the top-five things you’d bring to stay alive.”

On or about February 28th, 2019, a qualified panel of judges will select one potential winner based on the criteria of writing ability (25%), creativity (25%), originality (25%), and overall excellence (25%)


8.) Top Ten List Scholarship

  • Deadline: December 31st, 2018
  • Award: $1,500 (one winner)
  • Who Can Apply? Students 13 years or older
  • Details & How to Apply: Top Ten List Scholarship

This unique Top Ten List Scholarship was inspired by David Letterman and his former top ten lists. To be eligible for this scholarship, just submit a quick online written response (in 250 words or less) to this topic: “Create a Top Ten List of the top ten reasons you should get this scholarship.” This is your chance to show them what’s truly special and different about you!

On or about April 30th, 2019, a qualified panel of judges will select one potential winner based on the criteria of writing ability (25%), creativity (25%), originality (25%), and overall excellence (25%).

 

9.) “No Essay” College Scholarship

  • Deadline:  CLOSED. Sorry, gang! Try again next February 28th, 2019
    (apply once each month; new winner selected monthly)
  • Award: $2,000 (one winner per month)
  • Who Can Apply? All high school and college students, as well as anyone looking to attend college or graduate school in the next year.
  • Details & How to Apply: No Essay Scholarship

Don’t like to write? The $2,000 “No Essay” Scholarship is an easy scholarship as there is NO essay required! The scholarship can be used to cover tuition, housing, books, or any education-related expenses. The monthly winner will be determined by random drawing and then contacted directly.


10.) Mirror Messages Scholarship

  • Deadline:  CLOSED. Sorry, gang! Try again next February 28th, 2019 
  • Award: $2,000 (one winner)
  • Who Can Apply? Students between ages 13-25
  • Details & How to Apply: Mirror Messages Scholarship

DoSomething.org launches campaigns throughout the year that challenge readers to make the world a better place – all without essays, GPA requirements, recommendations, or applications. And for each campaign you complete, you’re entered to win scholarships. The Mirror Message scholarship is geared towards spreading positivity in schools by posting encouraging notes in bathrooms.

Note that you’ll get one entry into the scholarship for every Mirror Message note you make. So if you make one note, you’ll earn one entry. If you make 500 notes, you get 500 entries…and so on.


11.)  Shower Songs Scholarship

  • Deadline: CLOSED. Sorry, gang! Try again next February 28th, 2019
  • Award: $2,000 (one winner)
  • Who Can Apply? Students between ages 13-25
  • Details & How to Apply: Shower Songs Scholarship

Love singing’ in the shower? To be eligible for consideration for this DoSomething.org Shower Songs Scholarship, all you need to do is to make a 5-minute-long shower playlist and then send it to friends so they can track their shower time – and in turn take shorter showers to help conserve water.


12.) Feeding Better Futures Scholarship

  • Deadline: CLOSED. Sorry, gang! Try again next February 28th, 2019
  • Award: $5,000 (one winner)
  • Who Can Apply? Students between ages 13-25
  • Details & How to Apply: Feeding Better Futures

Want to help build a more sustainable future? In order to participate in this $5,000 Scholarship Sweepstakes from DoSomething.org, your solution needs to address one of the four following problems: food waste, hunger relief, food accessibility (food deserts), sustainable agriculture.


13.) Sweet and Simple Scholarship

  • Deadline: CLOSED. Sorry, gang! Try again next February 28th, 2019
  • Award: $1,500 (one winner)
  • Who Can Apply? Students 13 years or older
  • Details & How to Apply: Sweet and Simple Scholarship

To be eligible for this Sweet and Simple Scholarship from Unigo (a network of helpful information for college students), submit an online written response (in 250 words or less) to this topic: “Think back and tell us about something you received as a gift and why it meant so much to you.”

On or about June 28th, 2018, a qualified panel of judges will select one potential winner based on the criteria of writing ability (25%), creativity (25%), originality (25%), and overall excellence (25%).


14.) Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship

  • Deadline: CLOSED. Sorry, gang! Try again next March 1, 2019
  • Award: $10,000 plus a $1,000 prize for your school (one winner)
  • Who Can Apply? Must be 14 years or older at time of entry and be enrolled in High School, College, University, or Homeschool
  • Details & How to Apply: Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship

If you have a knack for drawing, The Gallery Collection is looking for you! To be eligible for this scholarship, submit an original photo, artwork, or computer graphics for the front of a greeting card.


15.) Superpower Scholarship

  • Deadline: CLOSED. Sorry, gang! Try again next March, 2019
  • Award: $2,500 (one winner)
  • Who Can Apply? Students 13 years or older
  • Details & How to Apply: Superpower Scholarship

To be eligible for this Superpower Scholarship from Unigo, you’ll need to submit an online written response (in 250 words or less) to this question: “Which superhero or villain would you want to change places with for a day and why?”

On or about July 31st, 2018, a qualified panel of judges will select one potential winner based on the criteria of writing ability (25%), creativity (25%), originality (25%), and overall excellence (25%).


16.) High School Senior College Scholarship

  • Deadline: CLOSED. Sorry, gang! Try again next April, 2019
  • Award: $2,000 (ten winners)
  • Who Can Apply? High School Seniors who are citizens or aliens legally residing in the USA
  • Details & How to Apply: High School Senior College Scholarship

How easy is this?! To enter this scholarship from the American Fire Sprinkler Association, simply read an essay on fire sprinklers and then answer a short 8 question multiple-choice quiz about it (you can even reference the essay as you answer). Winner selection is NOT based on financial need, GPA or demographic criteria and scholarship winners are randomly selected by computer-generated drawing from among valid entries received at the conclusion of the contest period.


Other Helpful College Information:

Unigo is a great place to search for other college scholarships besides the one listed above as they have a huge database with millions of different scholarships available (it’s free to sign up!). Plus, they provide helpful college reviews, have a student loan finder, publish informative articles, and have other awesome resources that allow students to make the best decisions about college.

More from Hip2Save…

Written by Mary for Hip2Save. Mary is a proud mom to 3 kids in Austin, TX, who thrives off Jesus, running long distance, bargain shopping, warm Texas weather, a yummy latte…and a little Candy Crush from time to time. She also loves quality time with family & friends and sharing great deals with others.

Join The Discussion

Comments 53

  1. newyear2

    THANK YOU!!!!

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      You are so welcome!

  2. Dee

    Sweet !!! Thank you so much

  3. Steph-B

    Thanks just passed this on to my Youth group girls!

  4. Susan

    Sending this link to my high schooler. Thanks!!

  5. Ashley

    Thank you! My oldest is graduating this year and we have been searching for scholarships!

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      YW Ashley! Congrats to your oldest! 🎉

  6. BMore

    This is such a COOL post!!!

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      Glad you like it!

  7. SANDRA

    This comes in handy have a daughter graduating in 2019.😍😘

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      🙂

  8. Barb

    Please do post an awesome list like this every year!!! My kids are too little right now, but I have nieces that will be old enough for these in a couple years…and will really need them. These are GREAT! 🙂 THANK YOU!

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      Thanks for the feedback Barb! We’ll definitely keep that in mind! 😀

  9. wklsunflower

    My son made it all the way thru getting his masters degree degree on scholarships..We have paid a cent. Now going thru Med school on a full scholarship. Well worth the time

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      That is AMAZING!!! 😱 Thanks for sharing!

    • Maria

      Can you tell me exactly what you did? My son is going through pre-Med and money is so tight. My other son going to college in 2019 also. Please help how he managed to get scholarships.

      • Lana

        With two in college at once you will qualify for much more money.

    • Maria

      How did your son do it? Struggling to get my son through Pre-Med. Pls help. Thanks.

      • wklsunflower

        we applied for every local scholarship he could, he had bright futures scholarship..he graduated college with his AA before he even finished HS.. He won so much he banked it for grad school, didnt pay a sent..And when he started med school this past Aug. he joined the navy(they pay 100% of everything) in return you give them 4 years as a Navy dr.

      • wklsunflower

        We had a a list of scholarships in local area, we applied for all ,even the small amt. ones.. Guidance counselor should have a list too..he they can do any college while in HS (for us it was pd for)…In college he got scholarships ..the Airforce and Navy have full rides for Medical..

  10. Amy

    There are so many scholarships available. It really pays to do your research. When I was applying for them years ago I randomly found one for left handed people. I was super excited haha

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      Haha – yes there are TONS out there!

  11. S

    A girl a grade above me won the duct tape scholarship for making her prom dress and his tux out of duct tape!

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      No way! That’s so awesome!

  12. Mrs. B

    I hear there is even one for short people. 🙄. Thanks for posting. My daughter also graduates in 2019 and she actually already won 3rd place in a photo/essay contest. These are awesome and so much fun looking. How creative for those who are not good at writing! Thanks so much Hip2Save for this post. 😄

  13. Laura

    Thanks! My son is graduating in May. Does anyone recommend any specific scholarship search engines that they have used & actually received scholarship money from them?

  14. Lily

    As someone who went through the college scholarship application fairly recently and applied to a number of scholarships on this list and outside, I just wanted to share some lessons I’ve learned so that you guys can avoid the same mistakes! Notice that many of these “fun” or “easy” scholarships have only 1 award but tens of thousands of students applying, so your chances of realistically getting the scholarship are slim to none. You should totally apply if you are doing it for fun, but if you are seriously in need of scholarships, you should spend your time and effort applying to scholarships where you would have a better chance (or get a part-time job to save up money and gain experience, OR study/invest more in extracurriculars so that you can qualify for more awards). A good rule of thumb is that the less you have to do for application, the harder it probably will be to get the actual scholarship. Some good scholarships (many awardees, large sums of money) I’d recommend are the Coca-Cola Scholars, Burger King, Ronald McDonald House, AXA Achievement, and state/college-specific scholarships. Lastly, remember to start your scholarship applications early! A number of great scholarships have deadlines in the Fall of your senior year of high school and are less competitive because many students have not started applying for scholarships yet.

    • Ruth

      Thank you, Lily! This info is o helpful!!

    • Sarah

      I came here just to say this as well. When I was in high school I saw tons of articles like this one about national scholarships with easy or creative applications and I applied daily for months! But it was a complete waste of my time and I should have focused more on local scholarships that were relevant to me and where I wanted to go. I would advise looking into scholarships at parent/family member’s company, scholarship applications at the college or specific school you applied for or are enrolled in, in-state academic awards/grants, local scholarships funded by community organizations or memorial funds (guidance counselors can provide information), and very specific scholarships or programs related to your major of interest. It’s the same strategy you use when entering raffles or contests; how many people are entering and what are my chances? If the answer is unrealistic then pass!

  15. Simplegurl77

    These are great!!! Thanks!!!

  16. Kay

    Are there hours over the summer as well?

  17. Shannon

    This is awesome!! I have no idea how we’re going to pay for school. My kid has a 4.0gpa but is that enough for a full ride scholarship?

    • Becky

      No…lots of kids have a 4.0. They need a wide variety of extra curricular activities, leadership, volunteer work, high ACT/SAT scores, awards, letters of recommendation from teachers, awesome essays…

      • Shannon

        Thanks! I’ll definitely make sure he has all that stuff. Entering high school next year!

  18. Lana

    I am a Mom of five. Four of ours went on a full tuition scholarship. All these things are fun but you can’t go to school on these. The only way is to work, work, work and study, study, study when you are in high school. Choose Latin over Spanish and high level sciences and math classes. Apply early decision because those are the ones that get the money. Private schools give the scholarships. State schools not so much. Call he admin office and ask what they are looking for on the transcript. They will tell you so do it when your kids are freshmen so you can load up the transcript with what they are looking for. The SAT score carries more weight than anything else so take it many times and don’t report the score until they are comfortable. You have to take the high level math classes to ace the SAT. One of ours made a near perfect score and full tuition scholarship offers came from so many schools that he was just throwing away the letters like junk mail. His full scholarship was worth $200K.

    • Megan Grandemange

      That’s not necessarily true, I got full ride scholarship offers for 3 different state universities…which were the only 3 schools I applied to.🤷‍♀️ I agree that SAT/ACT scores play a big part though, a combination of high gpa and SAT/ACT score is very necessary to get full ride scholarships along with a variety of extra curriculars and other things. I took the ACT every year of high school, and it got progressively better each time and I had a very high score by my senior year, though my highest ACT math score actually came my freshman year, not after taking a ton of higher level math classes.

  19. Jennifer

    Thank you so much for this post. Paying for post secondary education for my teenager is a big worry.

  20. Lee

    I agree with a previous comment that private schools give more scholarships. My daughter was in the top 5 of her class and her best offers were from the private schools. She took both the SAT and the ACT and those helped. (Check both tests bc the SAT just went through a huge change and standards changed) Every school was interested in her academics but she got most of her feedback and interest for extra curricular activities—sports captain, community service groups, class officer, etc. All of it was hard work for her and us. Have one graduating high school next year so we are starting it all again😬

  21. Amie

    Really interesting post!

  22. Sandy

    Love this post! Would appreciate other college/scholarship posts in the future. Thanks for considering!

  23. ResseCup

    Thank you!!! My daughter is a sophomore in college and we are currently on a scholarship hunt. Less student loans=better life💙

  24. Brittney

    THIS is the kind of saving I love seeing on H2S! Thank you!!

  25. JA

    This is a real eye opener for me that 13 year olds can apply for scholarships. Very interesting. Thanks!

  26. Gravy

    Both my girls fit almost all these. Thank you so much!!!!!!

  27. T

    These are great! For a laugh notice the grammar error on the mirror sticky note: “Your passed does not determine your future.” 🤣🤣

  28. Belle

    How awesome!

  29. Jodi

    I am a tenured professor at a community college and the best advice I can give you is to check out your local community college. Your child’s high school may have duel enrollment where your child can attend community college and gain both college credit and high school credit. Not only does it look good on your child’s college application, the high school pays for the course (as long as your child passes), and in the end your child leaves high school with college credit. A bonus, scholarship money that your child is eligible to apply for once they leave community college and move on to their college/university.

  30. MrsFelix1004

    Please check out Folds of Honor if you have military ties because it pays for college and private school for grades K-12 as well. I received $4500 for college last year and it is such a blessing to win a scholarship. My number one frustration when it comes to some military scholarships is they are only open to wounded warriors from over seas and my husband was injured state side in a plane accident. There are a lot of options to help if you a have military ties. Also look in Homes For Hero’s if you are buying or selling a home and work in military, law enforcement, teacher etc.

  31. Betsy

    Here in MN we have Post Secondary Education Options where high school juniors and seniors (sophomores in some cases) can attend local colleges/universities for FREE. This is a huge money saver for lots of people. Kids can get their general out of the way most times if you take the course at an accredited school the credits transfer if you want to go to a different school once you graduate high school. I don’t know about other states, but it’s worth looking into.

    Another way to get college credit is through taking klep tests or through taking AP tests for college credit. Not all schools will take the credit, but if the school you want to attend does it will save you thousands.

    • Sharon

      Only if you go to a public school does this apply. 🙁 my daughter goes to private and they won’t allow this

  32. DJ

    Thanks for the heads up! I shared the posts with my children and others. These scholarships will definitely help the students who are recipients.

  33. Sarah

    My eldest got next to no scholarships (even though he is amazingly bright and talented — but he DID get a fully paid doctorate). My next got a full ride from PARTICIPATING (not winning, just participating) in our local science fair, and our next oldest got a $20K per year scholarship for science fair participation (we are hoping that it gets kicked up to a full ride as well). My point is keep trying, keep participating… it is possible to get merit based aid, even if you don’t qualify for need based aid (and we have 8 kids, so I don’t know what kind of world these financial aid officers live in who think we don’t have “need”).

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