Wacky scholarship opportunities just might save you thousands

Not every student is tremendously gifted, athletically or academically. We don’t all have an incredible knack for community service. Aside from grants based on financial aid, receiving a substantial merit or athletic-based scholarship can be quite difficult. But fear not. For all those quirky, eccentric and wacky high school and college students, there were numerous grants offered in this past year that require nothing more than a creative spirit and an imaginative personality. Here are nine extremely unique scholarship opportunities that could end up saving you (or your parents) some serious cash.

1 – Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck at Prom Contest

Calling all artists with 20 rolls of duct tape and 50 hours to kill! Arguably the most famous scholarship contest in America, the Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck at Prom Contest has challenged prom-goers to construct a tuxedo or dress made entirely out of duct tape since 2001. And don’t worry—prom may be cancelled, but the contest isn’t! The grand prize is $10,000 for the winning tuxedo and dress, with the eight runner ups each receiving $500. Pictures of your dress or tuxedo must be submitted by July 21, 2020.

Taking 20 rolls and 50 hours to make, this elegant and refined tuxedo made by Cameron Castles was the $10,000 grand prize winner for the Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck at Prom Contest in 2019

2 – UNIGO Flavor of the Month Scholarship (UNIGO is a college research and scholarship directory foundation that offers thousands of scholarships for high school and college students.)

Ice cream and gelato lovers alike, the UNIGO Flavor of the Month Scholarship requires applicants to submit a 250 word response, explaining as intricately as possible what ice cream flavor they resonate most with and why. After a judging panel grades the applications based on a 100 point system—considering writing ability, creativity, originality and overall excellence—one winner will receive $1,500 by Nov. 1. Entries are due by July 31, 2020.

4 – Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest 

Applicants for the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest are just like any other student 13 years or older, except they practice duck calling everyday. If interested in displaying your duck-calling artistry, grab a plane ticket and head on down to Stuttgart, Arkansas on Nov. 23 to perform in front of a panel of qualified judges. The best quacker gets a whopping $4,250!

5 – Eileen J. Garrett Scholarship

Named after the legendary parapsychologist (the study of psychic phenomena) and medium Eileen J. Garrett, this grant offers $2,000 to the hottest up and coming parapsychologist. If you’ve had a near-death experience and can now talk to the dead, submit a writing sample and three letters of recommendation by July 1, detailing your paranormal abilities.  

6 – Make Me Laugh Scholarship

In 250 words or less, entries for the Make Me Laugh Scholarship must do two things: describe a funny or embarrassing incident in your life, and more importantly, make the judges laugh. Aug. 31 will be a happy day for one comedian, when UNIGO will notify the applicant, whose entry made them roll over in laughter, that they won $1,500. Applications are due by Nov. 30.

6- Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship

Walking Dead enthusiast or not, the Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship from UNIGO will give $2,000 to the applicant whose 250 word strategy for surviving a Zombie Apocalypse seems the most successful and creative. Naturally, deadlines are due Oct. 31 of this year (extra points if you dress as a zombie when applying). 

7 – I Have a Dream Scholarship

Whether an applicant writes about a hope they have to catalyze a movement to change the world, or about a particular dream they experienced a month ago, UNIGO challenges students to write a 250 word response to the question, “We want to know…what do you dream about?” The biggest dreamer will receive $1,500, providing they submit their application by Jan. 31, 2020. 

8 – STARFLEET Scholarships

Interested in the sophisticated and magical world of Star Trek? Have you been a STARFLEET member since at least June of 2019? Then you just may “live long and prosper” with an extra $1,000 in your pocket after winning the STARFLEET Scholarship. Applications – which require a two page essay, resume, three letters of recommendations, an official copy of your latest transcript and your school acceptance letter – are due June 15.

9 – Zolp Scholarship

If you happen to be one of the 89 people in the world whose last name is certified by Forebears as Zolp (yes, Zolp), then apply for Loyola Chicago’s Zolp Scholarship. All you need is proof of your surname and a devotion to the Catholic faith. Money awarded varies from Zolp to Zolp.  If only they offered this to Mandels…