30 Unusual Scholarships for All Your Special Talents
1. Hi, I'm Paige, welcome to the salon, this is mental_floss on YouTube, and did you know that if you attend Juniata College in Pennsylvania, you can get a scholarship for being left-handed? The Beckley Scholarship gives between $1,000 and $1,500 to the left-handed student with the best grades each year. According to a former director of student financial planning, the school doesn't even check whether applicants are left-handed—very trusting. And that's the first of many weird scholarships I'm gonna tell you about today.
2. The Society of Vacuum Coaters Foundation gives out a scholarship each year to people entering or already participating in a course of study related to vacuum coating technology at an accredited institution. Vacuum coating, by the way, is when a thin coating is distributed onto something in a low-pressure vacuum.
3. You can apply for the Chick Evans Caddy Scholarship if you've been a golf caddy for two years or longer.
4. The Gilbert Roller Fund provides up to $10,000 for a person with an interest in the parapsychological, like seances or poltergeist activity.
5. Only graduate students are eligible for the National Potato Council Scholarship. It gives out $10,000 annually to someone who is conducting research for the benefit of the potato industry. Does my quest for the best french fry count?
6. The website ScholarshipExperts.com runs some interesting essay contests for scholarships. The Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship gives $2,000 to the person who writes the best plan to survive a zombie apocalypse, and the Fifth Month Scholarship is for $1,500 and it's given to the person who writes the best essay about the number five.
7. At Carnegie Mellon, there's a $7,000 scholarship for a bagpipe student, which subsidizes kilts.
8. The SAMMY Program gave scholarships to student athletes up until 2012. SAMMY stands for Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year, so the athletes had to be milk drinkers.
9. The winners of the National Marbles Tournament receive scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000. You must be between ages 8 and 14 years old to enter the tournament.
10. Each year, the Michigan Llama Association gives a scholarship to a member of the association, or the child of a member.
11. The Top Turkey Scholarship Contest is held by the Culinary Institute of America. The winner gets $10,000 for writing the best recipe for Thanksgiving leftovers.
12. Speaking of birds, the Chick and Sophie Major Duck Calling Memorial Contest gives out a scholarship to—you guessed it—the person with the best duck call.
13. The Starfleet Academy, a.k.a. the International Star Trek Fan Association, gives out annual scholarships for things like engineering, medicine, business, and the arts.
14. At the University of North Carolina Greensboro, the Alice McCarver Ratchford Scholarship requires you to be a single female living on campus without a car.
15. The National Grocer's Association gives out an Asparagus Club Scholarship to an undergrad or graduate student who's studying something like business or food management with the intent of a career in the grocery industry.
16. If your last name is Zolp, you're Catholic, and you attend Loyola University Chicago, you're eligible for the Zolp Scholarship—and something tells me you'll be the only one applying.
17. To win the $20,000 American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship, you must answer a multiple choice quiz on fire sprinklers.
18. The Bob Gurnsey Scholarship Awards are given out to excellent paintball players.
19. The National Make It With Wool contest gives out three scholarships every year, between $1,000 and $2,000. The winners sewed the best garments out of wool.
20. In order to qualify for the Tall Club's International Scholarship, men have to be at least 6'2, and women must be over 5'10.
21. Zinch.com gives out a weekly $1,000 scholarship. They give out different prompts each week, and applicants must answer in two to three sentences.
22. The National Gay Pilots' Association gives out scholarships. You must be an aspiring pilot who has contributed to the LGBT community.
23. Duck brand provides $10,000 of college funds for the student who makes the best duct tape prom dress. The contest is called "Stuck At Prom."
24. Speaking of ducks, the first-place winner in the Junior Duck stamp contest wins a $1,000 scholarship. The contest involves drawing a 9 x 12-inch North American duck, swan, or goose.
25. Wholesale Halloween Costumes has a $500 scholarship contest. Every year it changes, but recently, it was a pumpkin carving contest.
26. There are multiple foundations that give out scholarships to young skateboarders, like the Go Skateboarding Foundation.
27. In 2004, the National Christmas Tree Association held a scholarship contest called "Help Santa Find the Perfect Real Christmas Tree." The winner got $10,000 for her family's Christmas tree in North Carolina.
28. Lake Erie College has a twins scholarship that allows two twins to attend the school for the tuition cost of one. The school claims that this eases the financial burden of parents with twins, who would otherwise have to pay at least half a million dollars in tuition. I feel like they're rounding up.
29. There's an FBI Common Knowledge Scholarship for $250. To win, you take a quiz that tests how much you know about the FBI.
30. Finally, I return to the salon to tell you that the winner of the annual Jif's Most Creative Sandwich contest receives a $25,000 college fund. The most recent winner created the "Crunchy Creamy Dreamy Finger Sandwich," including lady fingers, heavy cream, thin pretzels, mascarpone cheese, and, of course, Jif peanut butter.