11. For Polyglot Spock Fans

You didn’t think there would only be one source of Trekkie scholarships, did you? The Klingon Language Institute offers an annual $500 scholarship for students pursuing language studies. Fluency in Klingon or other constructed languages isn’t a requirement. However, the Institute favours “creative and innovative” applicants, so an essay of intent, written in Klingon, couldn’t hurt. Primarily, the institute is looking for innovative language studies – so an interest in language evolution and its influences might be more desirable than, say, Latin studies.

12. For Duck Callers

Each November in Stuttgart, Arkansas, high school seniors compete to win up to $2000 in scholarships at the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest. No essays, no creative applications, no letters of reference. Straight-up quality duck calls. The contest has been running since 1974, with scholarship funds raised year-round by the community.

13. For Those Who Bear Arms

The National Rifle Association offers a few scholarships to its junior members. Their Outstanding Achievement Youth Award gives up to $5000 annually. Applicants must complete a set of core requirements (including a 1000-word essay, “What the Shooting Sports has Taught Me”) and choose from elective requirements, which range from visiting firearms museums to joining wildlife conservation programs.

14. For Proud Meat-Eaters

The National Beef Ambassador Program awards scholarships and cash prizes at its annual Beef Ambassador public speaking contest. Candidates are chosen based on their presentations, and interviews. Winners are trained to educate the public about beef nutrition and industry misconceptions. There’s even an ambassador workshop, “Telling the Beef Production Story.”

15. For Fire Safety Enthusiasts

The American Fire Safety Association runs a pretty generous annual scholarship in which the recipients are chosen at random. Applicants simply go online, read an essay about automatic fire sprinklers, and answer a 10-point comprehension quiz. Students get one ballot in the draw for each correct answer. The winner receives $20,000, with $5000 for runners up. If anything, reading a fire safety essay for financial incentive may reduce the number of preventable dorm room fires.

16. For Twins

If you and your sibling are hoping to attend the same school, there’s a handful of colleges offering monetary incentives. Wilson College in Pennsylvania awards first-come, first-served 45% tuition discounts on full-time enrolled twins and triplets (here’s the catch: it’s an all-girls school). Lake Erie College in Ohio offers 50% tuition cuts to twins enrolled in full-time courses. In effect, two for the price of one.

17. For The “Large And Lovely”

The New England chapter of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance offers a minimum of two $500 scholarships annually to overweight high school seniors. Along with transcripts, applicants must send a photograph, a biography, and an essay about ideas for furthering fat acceptance in America. Oddly, candidates must be single.

18. For Clothing Abstainers

The American Nudist Research Library gives an annual $1000 scholarship to a high school senior or recent graduate with a minimum 3-year membership of a nudist organization. Applicants must write an essay about nudist culture. No word on whether the scholarship check is donated by mail, by online transfer, or, ahem, in the flesh.

19. For Bloggers

CollegeScholarships.org offers a $10,000 scholarship to student bloggers. The application essay is framed by questions such as, “What is the most powerful social change that you have seen come out of blogging?” Cool stuff, though competition is likely to be fierce.

20. For Cheese Enthusiasts

Sadly, a lifelong commitment to cheese-eating doesn’t qualify you for this award. The North Central Cheese Industry Scholarships are awarded to students who study food science and demonstrate an interest in dairy technology. That interest could be shown through research projects or work experience in the dairy industry. These scholarships are offered at the University of Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota, and South Dakota State University.


Would you consider applying for any of these scholarships? Have you ever earned a scholarship that was out of the ordinary? Share your experience and thoughts in the comments below.