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5 Strange Reasons You Could Land a Scholarship

Nov 4, 2012

Landing a scholarship is a great way to pay for your college education without having to save or take on debt that you'll carry for years after you graduate. However, many students think that a scholarship is out of their reach unless they are academic superstars.

The truth is that there are thousands of scholarships available for all types of students -- regardless of academic performance. Some are available based on factors such as religious affiliation or civic involvement. Other scholarships are awarded for reasons you might never suspect. Here are just 5 strange reasons you could land a scholarship to pay for your college education:

Being Tall

If you're a woman over 5'10" or a man over 6'2", you could get up to $1,000 from Tall Clubs International. You have to be entering your first year of college, and you have to contact a member of TCI to be sponsored.

Being Short

If, on the other hand, you are shorter than 4'10", you could also get up to $1,000 a year for your education. You'll have to supply a medical record providing your height, but other than that, there are no special requirements for this scholarship from The Billy Barty Foundation.

Being Left-Handed

Here's another $1,000 scholarship, this time for students who are left handed and who will be attending Juniata College in Huntington, PA. There are two scholarships per year offered under the Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship program. 

Being Named Van Valkenburg

Is your last name Van Valkenburg? If it is, you could get the $1,000 Van Valkenburg Memorial Scholarship. Unfortunately, just having that last name won't be enough. You'll also have to show proof of your genealogy and write an essay.

Being Good with Duct Tape

This one is more about skill than having an innate characteristic. Students can win up to $5,000 for creating a prom gown or tux out of the famed duct tape in the Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest. You'll get money for college and a cool and unique outfit for prom.

Writing an Essay

Many scholarships are available by being able to write a great essay. One at offers $6,000 in scholarships every year to three people, who share the issue about the hazards of smoking.

There are many more unusual scholarships out there that will give you money for quirky characteristics or skills that you may have. Make sure you search online scholarship databases and talk to your financial aid counselor to find all the opportunities that may be available for you.

What other strange scholarships have you come across in your research? Share your finds in the comments!

Charissa Newark is a writer and manager for, where she has recently been researching online accounting school. In her spare time, Charissa enjoys gardening and volunteering at animal shelters.

Got further questions? Catch me on twitter and DM me @529SavingsPlans or e-mail me at 529CollegePlans at Gmail.comWant to be heard? Leave a reader comment below.


  1. Scholarship is so important for those learners who couldn’t afford expensive fees '


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