Academic and athletic scholarships? Information on those may be easier to find. But don’t let your search for scholarship information end with those.
There are a whole lot of scholarships out there for all kinds of students. And some of them may be ones you can earn if you qualify, even if you’re not valedictorian.
Here are some of the off-the-beaten-path options in your scholarship hunt. Let these inspire you to find ones that are up your alley.
Scholarship for Students with Braces
Gill Orthodontics of Evansville, Indiana, offers two $1,000 scholarships each year for current and former patients[i]. Winners are chosen based on academics, extracurricular and community involvement, and a short essay. A recent essay theme was, “Imagine you have to wear a costume for a year of your life. What would you pick and why?”
Follow Your Interests
Are you into crafts, writing, the arts or a hobby? There may be scholarships for you. The John Lennon Scholarship, named for the late Beatle, awards scholarships for students who submit music compositions[ii]. Beans for Brains is a scholarship for students who know how to knit, sew or crochet[iii].
Social Media and Scholarships
Some scholarships involve being online or into social media. The University of Iowa once awarded a graduate business scholarship for best Twitter essay. Hey, you try writing an essay in 140 characters or less[iv]. USDish is offering a $1,000 scholarship for the best response (300-500 words) on its Facebook page to the question, “Which TV character would you want as a college roommate?” [v]
Duct Tape Scholarship
Are you known for your style and creativity? This may be a scholarship opportunity for you. ShurTech, the makers of Duck Brand duct tape, holds an annual Stuck at Prom scholarship contest for high school students who create their prom outfits out of duct tape[vi]. First prize is a $5,000 scholarship. As a bonus, the school that hosts the prom where the winning outfits were worn also gets $5,000. There are also $3,000 second prizes, $2,000 third prizes, $500 runners-up prizes, and $125 awards for categories such as best purse and corsage.
Your parents and grandparents may be the key to getting some scholarships.
If your parents or grandparents graduated from or were faculty at a college, you may be eligible for legacy scholarships. There are also scholarships for descendants of military veterans. One scholarship, from United Daughters of the Confederacy, is for descendants of veterans who fought for the South in the Civil War[vii]. Your local American Legion may be a good source of information about possible scholarships, and may be sponsoring scholarships as well[viii].
Are your parents or grandparents involved in civic or service clubs? National organizations such as the Elks Club[ix], and local chapters of groups like Kiwanis and League of Women Voters may offer scholarships.
If your parents or grandparents work for a corporation or are union members, you may be eligible for scholarships. Corporations including Lowe’s[x] and unions such as the United Food and Commercial Workers International[xi] have scholarships.
Where your family comes from may also qualify you for a scholarship. Organizations such as Ancient Order of Hibernians[xii] (for people of Irish descent), United Negro College Fund[xiii], and the National Italian American Foundation[xiv] offer scholarships.