Unusual Scholarships

This page lists some of the more interesting, esoteric and unusual scholarships we have encountered. The scholarship for left-handed students is the one most frequently mentioned by news media, but the duct tape contest is gaining in popularity.

To find other scholarships for students with specific interests or abilities, search the FastWeb scholarship database.

Scholarship for Left-Handed Students

The only scholarship for left-handed students is the Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship of up to $1,000. This scholarship is awarded to left-handed students who will be attending Juniata College. This scholarship is only available to students who are enrolled at Juniata College.

For more information, write to Office of Student Financial Planning, Juniata College, 1700 Moore Street, Huntington, PA 16652.

Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck at Prom Contest

The Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck on Prom Contest is open to students age 14 years or older who are attending a high school prom in the spring. US citizenship is required. Entrants must enter as a couple (two individuals) and attend a high school prom wearing complete attire or accessories made from duct tape. The submission must include a color photograph of the couple together in prom attire.

The first place prize consists of a $2,500 scholarship for each member of the winning couple and a $2,500 cash prize to the school that hosted the prom. Other prizes include $1,000 for second place, $500 for third, and Duck Tape sportswear for honorable mentions. The winning couple will be selected based on a variety of criteria, including originality, workmanship, quantity of Duck Tape used, use of colors, and creative use of accessories.

The Duck Tape contest web site includes photographs of the winning costumes.

Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year (SAMMY) Award

The Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year (SAMMY) Award is open to graduating high school senior scholar athletes. Candidates must demonstrate excellence in academics, athletic performance, leadership and community service. Candidates must also be a resident of one of the 48 contiguous states or the District of Columbia. There will be one scholarship of $7,500 awarded to each of 25 regional winners.

The deadline is in early March.

The whymilk.com web site includes photographs of previous winners with their milk mustaches.

SPAACSE Scholarships

The Society of Performers, Artists, Athletes and Celebrities for Space Exploration, Inc. (SPAACSE) offers two $1,000 scholarships.

  • The SPAACSE Galaxy Music Scholarship is available to graduating high school seniors who are pursuing an interest in space music as a means of expressing the beauty and inspiration of the universe. The music submission must be recorded on either a cassette or CD and should be 4-6 minutes in length.
  • The SPAACSE Liliane Webb Art Scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors who have an interest in space art. Candidates must provide an original two-dimensional space artwork to be considered for this award. Candidates must also include a 1-2 page description of prior artistic and other school activities and awards.

Students for Organ Donation Youth Leadership Award

The Students for Organ Donation Youth Leadership Award is available to full-time high school or undergraduate college students. One or two $500 to $1,000 scholarships will be awarded.

Candidates must have made a commitment to raising awareness of organ donation and transplantation. Selection is based on effectiveness, leadership, creativity and sustainability of efforts. Applications may be based either on a report of previous events that have successfully raised organ donation awareness, or a detailed and realistic plan to raise donor awareness. (Receipt of the award is contingent upon confirmed execution of the plan.)

The deadline is May 31.

LaFontaine Aquatic Entomology Award

The LaFontaine Aquatic Entomology Award is available to graduate students conducting a research project in aquatic entomology.

The award amount is $500.

Collegiate Inventors Competition

The Collegiate Inventors Competition is open to students who have been enrolled full time in a college or university over the past 12 months. Applicants must submit an original idea, process or technology that will be judged on originality and inventiveness, as well as on its potential value to society (socially, environmentally, and economically), and on its range or scope of use. Up to four students may work together as a team, but only one prize will be awarded per entry.

The grand prize is $50,000 for the student and $10,000 for the advisor.

The web site includes information about the six 2002 winners and streaming video of the 2001 awards ceremony.

Illustrators of the Future Contest

The Illustrators of the Future Contest is open to artists from all nations. An entry consists of three black and white works illustrating a science fiction or fantasy story with no recurring theme. Entries may not have been previously published.

The award is up to $4,000. Additional information can be found on the web site.

Ayn Rand Institute Essay Contests

The Ayn Rand Institute sponsors several essay contests.

  • The Anthem Essay Contest is open to high school freshmen and sophomores. It provides annual cash awards for short, original, unpublished essays on the philosophic themes in Ayn Rand's novel, Anthem. The first prize is $2,000. There are three 2nd prizes of $500 and five 3rd prizes of $200. There are a total of 229 awards. The deadline is in mid-March.
  • The Fountainhead Essay Contest is open to high school juniors and seniors. It provides annual cash awards for short, original, unpublished essays on the philosophic themes in Ayn Rand's novel, The Fountainhead. The first prize is $10,000. There are five 2nd place prizes of $2,000 and ten 3rd place prizes of $1,000. There are a total of 244 awards. The deadline is in mid-April.
  • The Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest is open to all college students. It provides annual cash awards for short, original, unpublished essays on the philosophic themes in Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged. The first prize is $5,000. There are three 2nd prizes of $1,000 and five 3rd prizes of $400. There are a total of 49 awards. The deadline is in mid-September.

Essay topics and other information about these contests can be found at www.aynrand.org/contests.

For more information, send email to essays@aynrand.org.

Little People of America Scholarship

The Little People of America (LPA) association offers the LPA Scholarship for members of its organization. LPA is a nonprofit organization that provides information and support to people of short stature and their families. Membership is offered to people who are 4'10" or less in height. The deadline for the LPA Scholarship is April 1.

LPA was founded by Billy Barty, the 3'9" actor who starred in Rumplestiltskin and Willow. The Billy Barty Foundation also sponsors a scholarship for college students who have a medical form of dwarfism.

Tall Clubs International (TCI) Scholarship

Tall Clubs International (TCI) offers a $1,000 scholarship for tall people, the Kae Sumner Einfeldt Scholarship. Individual chapters may also offer local awards.

Women who are at least 5'10" and men who are at least 6'2" are eligible for the award. Candidates must be under 21 years old and plan to attend college in the fall.

National Make It Yourself with Wool Competition

The National Make It Yourself with Wool (NMIYWW) competition awards $2,000 and $1,000 scholarships for knitting wool garments. Winners are selected based on the appropriateness to the contestant's lifestyle, coordination of fabric/yarn with garment style and design, contestant's presentation, and creativity. For more information send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

National Make It Yourself with Wool Competition
Box 175
Lavina, MT 59046

David Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship

The David Letterman Scholarship was established by David Letterman in 1985 to provide scholarships for telecommunications students at Ball State University. The awards are intended for average students who nevertheless have a creative mind. Winners are selected primarily based on creativity. Projects may involve a variety of media, including written work, research, audio, video, graphics and film. The winner receives a $10,000 scholarship. The first runner-up receives $5,000. The second runner-up receives $3,333.

Klingon Language Institute Scholarship

The Kor Memorial Scholarship is awarded by the Klingon Language Institute to recognize and encourage scholarship in the field of language study. Familiarity with Klingon or other constructed languages is not required, but creativity is preferred. The $500 award is open to undergraduate and graduate students. Nominations must be submitted by academic department chairs and/or deans. Only one undergraduate student and one graduate student may be nominated by each department chair or dean. The deadline is June 1.

For more information, write to:
Klingon Language Institute
Kor Memorial Scholarship
PO Box 634
Flourtown, PA 19031

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