Weird Scholarships That Pay Off

Weird scholarships can help you out if your grades or athletic skills aren't quite college scholarship material. The following scholarships have less to do with academics and more with other talents, physical attributes or other unusual criteria.

Odd Talents

  • A duck calling scholarship is available for those who can call ducks, and it's run under the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest.
  • Illustrators of science fiction and fantasy can win $4,000 through the L. Ron Hubbard Illustrators of the Future Contest. A series of qualifying illustration submissions will get the financially challenged student closer to the Grand Prize.
  • Fly fishermen can earn $500 toward college with the LaFontaine Aquatic Entomology Scholarship, awarded to grad students who want to study aquatic entomology via the Federation of Fly Fishers.

Physical Attributes

  • After years of trying to find desks that accommodate your left-handedness, you can finally get something for being a lefty. The Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship for Left-Handed Students offers a $1,000 scholarship to Juniata College in Pennsylvania.
  • The tall and the short can also qualify for scholarships. The Tall Clubs International Scholarship awards $1,000 to the winning essay writer (over 5'10" for women and 6'2" for men). The Little People of America will give a variety of scholarships to those either with dwarfism or those with diagnosed family members.
  • If you are a talented student diagnosed with asthma, you have a shot at a scholarship. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology awards $1,000 to an asthma sufferer who excels in academics and community service.

Weird Criteria

  • Make potatoes your life's work, and you can be the recipient of the Potato Industry Scholarship of $2,000.
  • Bake your way to a scholarship with the Culinary Institute of America's All-American Apple Pie Recipe Contest, where the winning recipe maker gets $25,000 for college. Even second and third place get scholarships.
  • Use duct tape and your flair for fashion to win a $3,000 scholarship by constructing a prom dress and tux entirely out of duct tape. Send in a picture to the Duck Brand Duct Tape "Stuck at the Prom" Web site (click here for details), and get the most votes to win. 
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