In an age where educating children is becoming more and more expensive, relief for both students and parents comes in the form of scholarships. Graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships are types of aid that help students pay for their education. Scholarships and fellowships, unlike student loans, do not need to be repaid. In usual circumstances, scholarships are granted to students who are exceptionally brilliant in their studies, or in the field of athletics or art.
However, from time to time, colleges and other private sponsors of scholarships set up scholarships with mysterious eligibility requirements. These have come to be known as the unusual scholarships for students, an example being a scholarship for left-handed students. The Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship of up to $1,000 is the only scholarship for left-handed students. This scholarship is awarded to left-handed students who will be either attending or already enrolled at the Juniata College.
Though very few in numbers, they do manage to attract a lot of attention due to the slightly offbeat nature of the scholarship.
Unusual scholarships allow a student the chance to explore a wide variety of skills, interests, characteristics and talents that could make him/her eligible for a scholarship. Scholarships in the unusual category range from grants for accordion players, asthma patients, amateur radio operators, bird watchers, bicyclists, blind students, boy scouts and girl scouts, bowlers, cartoon experts, children of veterans, choral singers, cheerleaders, debaters, entrepreneurs, farmers, French speakers, Gospel musicians, grandchildren of alumni, Huguenot descendants, never married students, overweight students, etc. This list just gives a glimpse at some of the categories, while in actual, there are much more of such unusual scholarship requirements, new ones are also being added on a regular basis.
Another unusual scholarship is the 'Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck at Prom Contest'. This contest, open to students who are US citizens, of 14 years of age or older, and who are attending a high school prom in the spring, requires the couple to wear a complete attire or accessories made from duct tape. The main prize for the contest includes a $2,500 scholarship for each member along with a $2,500 cash prize to the school that hosted the prom.
Meanwhile, to win the $7,500 Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year (SAMMY) Award, open to graduating high school senior scholar athletes, candidates need to excel in academics, athletic performance, along with leadership and community service. The Students for Organ Donation Youth Leadership Award, which awards two scholarships of $500 to $1,000 each, is available to undergraduate college students or high school students who commit to raise awareness about organ donation and transplantation.
Similarly, there are many such kinds of obscure scholarships which aid students in carrying on with their higher education. While some people might ridicule the nature of these scholarships and awards, it is worth-a-while to take note of how many students benefit from such esoteric financial aid schemes every year.
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