There is a reason that this picture of ducks is here.
If you have a weird last name, love candy and are left-handed, then your non-4.0 GPA might not matter much when it comes to scoring free college money.
Here are seven of the strangest, non-academic scholarships in existence.
1. Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship
It’s not so much a question of if the zombie apocalypse happens, but more of when it happens. And if you’re like me, you sometimes ponder escape strategies in a variety of situations. Well, why not get money for that?
ScholarshipExperts.com is offering college students a $1,000 scholarship for writing the best zombie-escape plan. In the essay, you must answer where you would run in the event of a zombie outbreak at your school and what five items you would take to ensure survival. It must not exceed 250 words. The deadline is Nov. 30.
Even if you don’t intend to apply, I still suggest mapping out an escape plan or at least choosing a zombie-proof campus.
2. Stuck at Prom
If your inner-punk-rocker never died, then you’ll love this scholarship, since it asks you to rebel at what’s allegedly one of the most important events of your life: prom.
The Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest requires you and your date to accessorize those prom outfits with duct tape and wear it to the dance. The couple with the best outfit wins $5,000. Second place wins $3,000 and third place wins $2,000. The seven remaining runner-ups still score $500. Deadlines are in June each year.
I now regret my entire prom experience.
3. Zolp Scholarship
Before I tell you what this scholarship is about, I must warn you that they check your birth and confirmation certificates and that committing identity theft is frowned upon in our culture. With that being said, the Zolp Scholarship is a full-ride scholarship given to Catholic students at Loyola University in Chicago with the last name Zolp.
Surprisingly, there are several name-based scholarships out there, at schools ranging from North Carolina State University to Harvard. And if you don’t attend any of those schools and have the last name Van Valckenburg, then you too can land a scholarship.
4. Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest
It is how it sounds: A duck calling competition among high school seniors for scholarship money.
If you’ve ever been duck hunting, then you know that duck calling consists of blowing a duck-sounding instrument to draw ducks near. And that such competitions are judged by how well you use that instrument. This competition is no different.
This contest is in Arkansas in November, so hurry up and sharpen those duck calling skills. First place wins $2,000, second place $1,000, third place $750 and fourth place $500.
5. Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarships
This scholarship is probably not for you. Unless of course you attend Juniata College in Pennsylvania, have above a 3.39 GPA and are left-handed.
And yes, they check for left-handed proof via the personal references you give them. Which I guess you could get your references to lie but then you’d have to pretend to be left-handed throughout your college years and that’d be annoying.
Oh, the hassle us right-handed folks go through.
6. Culinary Institute of America’s All-American Apple Pie Recipe contest
I would lose this one, since it’s based around baking pies and not eating them. But if you’re great at baking apple pies and want to attend the Culinary Institute of America, then submit your recipe and you can either win $25,000 (first place), $15,000 (second place), $10,000 (third place) or nothing (me and everyone else who loses).
Since there’s going to be trial and error as you perfect your culinary school pie skills, I’m available for testing all your pies. My contact information is not hard to find.
7. AACT John Kitt Memorial Scholarship
I’m addicted to candy but the only way I can prove it is to show you my bank statement. Can you prove your candy interest better than I can? Then you may be able to land a scholarship.
The American Association of Candy Technologists (AACT) awards a $5,000 scholarship to college students (sophomore, junior or senior) who have at least a 3.0 at an accredited college and are majoring in food science, chemistry, biology or a related field. And of course, you must have a demonstrated interest in confectionery technology (aka, candy making), such as research projects or work experience. Deadline is in mid-April.
There are hundreds of other non-traditional scholarships available including ones for tall people, bagpipe players, fire safety buffs, milk drinkers and knitters. Perhaps nowhere will your quirky and unique personality suit you better than when you go looking for money to pay for college.
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