No matter where you look, there's a scholarship that could be yours: at your bank, at your job or at your parent's employment. And, if you're not a whiz kid in school, relax. Some of the easiest scholarships to get are available for just being you. Here we list some of our favorite specific scholarships, but it's hardly an all-inclusive list; if you don't find something that suits you here, keep looking. There are millions of post-secondary scholarships available. If you can find one that's tailor-made for you, you're much more likely to receive the award.

Offbeat Scholarships
Here are just a few of the categories of offbeat scholarships that could help you achieve your education goals.

  1. How You Look
    There are several scholarships out there based on physical characteristics. For example, Tall Clubs International (TCI) offers $1,000 scholarships for women above 5' 10" and men above 6' 2". Their are also scholarships for little people, left-handed people and people who are twins or triplets.

Your Career AspirationsScholarships based on students' interest or potential field of study are common, particularly when that field of study is one that is less often pursued. Do you think traditional college is for the birds? Then commune with the bees. The Collin County Hobby Beekeeper's Association of North Texas offers a beekeeping seminar and textbook along with all your hiven' gear in annual scholarships. Similarly, the International Spa Association offers $2,500 scholarships for students who have completed a year of college and would like to pursue a career in spa management. And if you've ever dreamed of traveling with the circus, apply for the Ringling Brothers' Clown College scholarship, and you could get a chance to tour with the group for a year. Other examples of study-specific scholarships include students who are interested in studying mycology (spores, mold and fungus), etymology, welding and even parapsychology. Of course, most universities also have scholarships at various levels available to students who are pursuing specific degrees. Your Hobbies Many organizations provide college scholarships to students based on their hobbies. With the Dearborn Classics scholarship, you won't get money for college, but you will arrive with the coolest ride in town. Dearborn offers an undisclosed number of scholarships each year to help young people under the age of 25 pursue a classic car hobby by providing car parts scholarships, allowing them to finish rebuilding a classic car. More conventional cash scholarships are also offered by the National Rifle Association for participating in shooting or hunting clinics and by the U.S. Bowling Congress for bowlers. There are even scholarships out there for skateboarders, billiards players, surfers, golf caddies and duck callers. What You Eat There are a number of scholarships offered by the food industry or other organizations with an interest in diet. If you eschew meat, get rewarded for your vegetarianism. The Vegetarian Resource Group offers two $5,000 scholarships each year for graduating high school students who are committed to promoting vegetarianism in their community. If, however, you like a good steak now and then and are a good public speaker, you could apply for a scholarship from the National Beef Ambassador Program. And if you have a sweet tooth and are into making your own candy and confections, you might be eligible to apply for a scholarship from the American Association of Candy Technologists. Your Last Name Believe it or not, there are several scholarships out there based on your last name, particularly from individual universities. The best of these must be the Zolp scholarship at Loyola University. If this is your last name and you're also Catholic, you've hit the jackpot: this scholarship covers four years of college tuition. Your Creative Genius If you're the artistic type, there are many scholarships and contests that offer big money for what you can produce. Making a prom costume out of the duct tape could earn you $3,000, there's up to $2,000 up for grabs for a knitted creation in wool, and if you can produce a patentable invention, the National Inventors Hall of Fame might give you $25,000. There are also many scholarships for writers and musicians at the state national and school level; if you can write an original essay on "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand, you could be eligible for $10,000.

Capitalize on Your Assets
When it comes to paying for college, doing your research and thinking outside the box can really pay off. Even if you don't qualify for more typical scholarships that award students for being at the top of their class or excelling as athletes, there might just be a scholarship tailor-made for you. If you have a unique hobby or belong to a club, that's a great place to start, but there are many other organizations and groups out there that pay out scholarships based on all kinds of interests and abilities. If you think you might qualify, it can't hurt to apply. With the rising costs of education these days, paying for college can be a struggle, and it pays to capitalize on whatever assets (however unusual!) you might have.

(You don't have to apply for one of these scholarships to pay for college. Checkout these articles for other ways to pay for your education: Pay For College Without Selling A Kidney, Paying For College In An Economic Downturn, Five Ways To Fund Your College Education and College Cost Reduction Act Helps Students Meet Payments.)

Related Articles
  1. Savings

    6 Ways to Save Money on College Supplies

    Tuition and room and board are big expenses, yes, but the cost of textbooks and supplies can add up, too, unless you strategize.
  2. Credit & Loans

    Four Ways to Improve Education In America

    U.S. students place 27th in math and 20th in science out of 34 countries. The United States must reform its education system or harm future economic productivity and global trade competitiveness.
  3. Home & Auto

    Millennials Guide: 6 Routes to the Right Roommate

    Choosing the right roommate is key to not risking and ruining your credit history. Some simple precautions can save you from a financial nightmare.
  4. Personal Finance

    8 Profitable Majors For The College-Bound In 2015

    Choose your college major wisely to justify the rising cost of higher education. Here are 8 majors that lead to good jobs and high salaries.
  5. Credit & Loans

    What Does It Cost to Study Abroad in Paris?

    Housing will be your biggest budget challenge as a student in Paris, but the city offers lots of ways for students to save money, too.
  6. Savings

    Using Your 529 Savings to Study Abroad

    With studying abroad no longer cheap, families may find that a 529 plan college-savings account can fund educational travel. Tip: Read the fine print.
  7. Savings

    Which Gets Priority: Retirement or College Fund?

    On a tight budget? Wondering which to contribute to – your retirement or your kid's college fund? Here's expert help on how best to allocate your savings.
  8. Credit & Loans

    Why Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Might Be In Trouble

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are under increased scrutiny as debates continue about conservatorship, share price, and profit allocations.
  9. Credit & Loans

    Study Abroad: Budget For Brazil

    Interested in study, food and adventure in one of the fastest growing economies in the world? Check out what Brazil costs.
  10. Savings

    College Tuition vs. Investing: Is It Worth It?

    With the rising cost of college and questionable career prospects awaiting college graduates, some are wondering if a college education is still worth it.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Good Student Discount

    An auto insurance policy discount available to young drivers ...
  2. Whartonite

    A graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University ...
  3. Free Application For Federal Student ...

    The form that must be completed in order to qualify for any type ...
  4. Student Debt

    Money owed on a loan taken out to pay for educational expenses. ...
  5. Student Loan Forgiveness

    Under certain circumstances, federally backed student loans – ...
  6. Certified Commercial Investment ...

    A professional designation awarded by the Certified Commercial ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. Should I apply for student loans if I haven't finished applying for scholarships ...

    Applying for scholarships and grants should be your first plan of action when trying to pay for college, because unlike student ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can I use my IRA to pay for my college loans?

    If you are older than 59.5 and have been contributing to your IRA for more than five years, you may withdraw funds to pay ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can my IRA be used for college tuition?

    You can use your IRA to pay for college tuition even before you reach retirement age. In fact, your retirement savings can ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can I use my 401(k) to pay for my college loans?

    If you are over 59.5, or separate from your plan-sponsoring employer after age 55, you are free to use your 401(k) to pay ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the best MBA programs for corporate finance?

    Opinions vary based on which publications you consult, but the best MBA programs for a career in corporate finance are at ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. For which kind of jobs is having Magnum Cum Laude most important?

    Having a magna cum laude degree is most important for jobs in the fields of finance, management consulting and engineering. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!