Broken Bank

No Quirk Left behind: 7 Oddball Scholarships for Students

As a financial aid professional, you’re probably used to sharing information about Pell Grants, athletic or academic scholarships and other monetary help from the usual sources. But what about those students who aren’t particularly gifted academically or athletically, but who do have unusual talents, interests or abilities?

Maybe there’s an animal lover who wants to be a leader in promoting animal welfare, or a set of twins who want to attend college together for the price of one.

Whatever their talents or interests, somewhere out there is a scholarship for the ‘square peg’ students in your life.

Humanitarians

If your students live in New England, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) offers the Shaw-Worth Memorial Scholarship. It awards $2,500 tuition assistance to the college or university where the student will be attending. The HSUS considers having a humane attitude and desire to be of service more important than academic record or monetary need.

Foodies

For those planning on majoring in pastry culinary arts or food sciences, the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) offers a $1000 scholarship per academic year to member-employees for skill development, professional certifications and other work-related training.

Twinning

Twins can get ‘two for the price of one’ funding if they both attend Lake Erie College, of Painesville, Ohio. The full-tuition Lake Erie Twins Scholarship pays for up to 18 hours each semester and is awarded on a 50-50 basis provided both twins are students at Lake Erie and are full-time students, as well as on cumulative GPAs and SAT or ACT scores.

Filmmakers

The field of cinematography offers very well-paying jobs for those with the right training and an eye for camera work. Student filmmakers may be interested in applying for the KODAK Student Cinematography Scholarship Award, where they will be judged solely on their film-making skills. Nomination of potential candidates is done by the student’s school and includes cash prizes as well as KODAK Film Product grants for future cinematic projects.

Outside the Box

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development offers Davidson Fellows scholarships in the amounts of $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000 for extremely gifted students in the fields of Engineering, Science, Technology, Mathematics, Literature, Music or Philosophy plus an intriguing category: Outside the Box. Visit the links to learn more about application and requirements.

Top Shelf

Are any of your prospective students tall? If so, then Tall Clubs International offers up to $1,000 in annual scholarship money for students who meet height requirements (minimum height of 5’10” for women and 6”2” for men) as well as under age 21 when first beginning college in the fall.

Trivia Masters

A student who knows a little bit about everything may qualify for a scholarship from the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation. What’s noteworthy is that the awards, which can range from $250 to $2,500, aren’t limited to high schoolers and no high GPA is necessary.

Let your prospective students know that there’s more than one way to find the money for school expenses beyond what federal and state aid might bring. Keeping track of all the choices and ensuring students get the help needed isn’t easy, however. Find out about better ways to track and improve your financial aid department’s compliance rates while saving money (and your staff’s sanity) as you help students march to their own drummer.