25 Bizarre Scholarships

Photo (cc) by fsteele770

When the average undergraduate student earns their degree at a four-year school, they’ll need to earn more than $22,000 to pay off their student debt, says FinAid.org.

But just one source of college scholarships – the free Fastweb scholarship database – lists 1.5 million scholarships worth $3.4 billion. If that money were used, it would be enough to pay off the entire debt of 150,000 students. Unfortunately, it’s not.

Part of the reason some scholarships go untapped is that some are so weirdly specific that almost nobody qualifies. Everybody knows there are scholarships for minorities and volunteerism and for writing essays, but how many people are lucky enough to be born to a Catholic family named Zolp? If you were, congrats: Your mere existence could entitle you to a free ride at Loyola University in Chicago.

To hear about this and some other bizarre scholarships, watch the video below. Then read on to learn about even more strange opportunities offered by quirky philanthropists.

Some of these scholarships are worth only $500 – not enough to pay for even one class. But every bit counts, especially if the alternative is a high-interest student loan that will take years to pay off. Apply for everything you might qualify for, and there’s no telling how much you might end up with…

The bottom line? There’s a scholarship opportunity for everyone, so don’t assume you can’t find one. Apply for every opportunity where you meet the basic criteria or even come close – many scholarships have an order of preference, and if nobody else applies you may win by default. And don’t forget that scholarships aren’t the only way to lower the cost of college: check out 6 Tips to Pay Less for a College Degree.

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