Recent Post

How to Build Meaningful Alumni Affinity Groups

It's 2020. We expect our inboxes to be personalized at every level. Not only should the sender know our name, they should know who our favorite sports...
  • Erin Pearson
    January 27, 2020 4:39:19 PM EST . 5 min read

26 College Scholarships You've Never Heard Of

College is expensive, so a scholarship can make a big difference in the cost of your education. Competition is fierce for the best-known college scholarships, but there are hundreds of obscure funds and competitions that will make paying for college easy. Reduce your debt even further by choosing a college major wisely and getting a high return on your investment. Here is a selection of financial aid links and available scholarships for high school seniors, college undergrads, graduate students and even college bound scholarships for middle-schoolers. 


Save even more with these totally worth-it college student discounts.


1. I Have A Dream Scholarship

Award amount: $1,500

Deadline: January 31, 2018

Eligibility: Any student 13 or older with a dream

This is a college scholarship for people with the most interesting dreams. The applicant must answer this question in 250 words or less, "What do you dream about?" The definition of dream is broad and covers everything from unusual dreams at night to ambitious dreams of the future. 

2. Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship

Award amount: $5,000 and $10,000

Deadline: February 20, 2018

Eligibility: High school seniors

High school seniors who work to promote vegetarianism within their communities are rewarded with college scholarship money. Students are required to demonstrate their contribution to a more peaceful world through a vegetarian lifestyle.

3. Tall Clubs International Scholarship

Award amount: $1,000

Deadline: March 1, 2018

Eligibility: Tall, first-year students under 21

This scholarship has a height requirement: 5' 10" for women and 6' 2" for men. Students under 21 entering their first year of college can apply through their local club. 

4. Superpower Scholarship

Award amount: $2,500

Deadline: March 31, 2018

Eligibility: Any student 13 or older with superpowers

This is a college scholarship for students with superpowers, or at least those who can answer this question in 250 words or less, "Which superhero or villain would you want to change places with for a day and why?" 

5. Inspire Our Future Scholarship

Award amount: $500

Deadline: April 1, 2018

Eligibility: Students of education or child development

Applicants must write 500-700 words about what inspires them as teachers. They must demonstrate how they maintain inspiration in the classroom, or if they aren't teaching yet, how they plan to. Find the official application here.

6. American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship

Award amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 1, 2018

Eligibility: High school seniors

The American Fire Sprinkler Association makes applying for this scholarship easy — no essay required. Simply take a short course on sprinklers, provide your personal information and enter the contest. Winners are chosen at random.

7. John Gatling Grant

Award amount: $10,000 and $15,000

Deadline: April 1, 2018

Eligibility: Anyone whose surname is Gatlin or Gatling

This family name-based grant was established by Raleigh businessman, John Gatling, and is available to any college student attending North Carolina State University. Additional requirements are listed on the website. Out-of-state students are awarded $15,000.

8. ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Scholarship Program

Award amount: $3,000

Deadline: April 26, 2018

Eligibility: Women or minorities in computer or video-game related studies

The Entertaiment Software Association Foundation supports women and minorities pursuing careers in computers or video game arts by awarding 30 scholarships every year to enrolling or enrolled undergrad students.

9. Asparagus Club Scholarship

Award amount: up to $8,000

Deadline: April 30, 2018

Eligibility: Full-time students with a minimum 2.5 GPA

The Asparagus Club, a division of the Natural Grocers Association, offers this scholarship to anyone earning a degree in business, food management or any other qualification leading to a career in the retail grocery industry. Recipients are awarded $2,000 per semester for up to four semesters.

10. Ayn Rand Institute Essay Contest

Award amount: $10,000, $2,000 and $1,000

Deadline: May 15, 2018

Eligibility: 11th and 12th graders

Entrants must write an essay on Rand's book, "The Fountainhead." Winners are selected based on the student's ability to argue their viewpoint on one of three topics in a logical, original way. 

11. Association of Moving Image Archivists Scholarships

Award amount: $4,000

Deadline: May 15, 2018

Eligibility: Graduate-level student with a minimum 3.0 GPA

This association rewards students who are passionate about the preservation of moving images. Three scholarship options are designed for varying purposes: The first is to advance women in the field, the second is to promote practical research training and the third is to preserve heritage in a broad sense.

Steppingblocks is your Digital Career Counselor.

12. Comedy Defensive Driving Scholarship

Award amount: $1,000

Deadline: May 31, 2018

Eligibility: Students at accredited universities

To enter, applicants must create an advertisement about the dangers of distracted driving. Humor is encouraged, and all forms of ads are accepted including PSAs, commercials, music and billboards. 

13. National Potato Council Scholarship

Award amount: $10,000

Deadline: June 15, 2018

Eligibility: A graduate-level student in a potato-related area of study

The National Potato Council awards this scholarship each year to one student who is doing research that will benefit the potato industry. The award is based on academic achievement, leadership abilities and research in the field.

14. Tylenol Future Care Scholarship

Award amount: $5,000 and $10,000

Deadline: June 30, 2018

Eligibility: Graduate and undergraduate students of healthcare

The makers of Tylenol support students pursuing degrees in healthcare by awarding $250,000 annually in scholarship funds. Selections are based on college GPA, academic records, community involvement and essay content.

15. IP Video Contest Scholarship

Award amount: $5,000

Deadline: July 1, 2018

Eligibility: Students 13 and up

The sponsors of this scholarship promote the importance of the patent system and the value of trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Entrants must create a video no more than 60 seconds in length conveying how patents have personally impacted their life. 

16. BankMobile Financial Literacy Scholarship

Award amount: $1,500

Deadline: July 19, 2018

Eligibility: College students with a minimum 3.0 GPA

This is an essay contest on the importance of financial literacy. Selections are judged based on the applicant's ability to demonstrate how finance affects life and career. More points are awarded to those who can communicate their direct role of financial empowerment in the community.

17. Flavor of the Month Scholarship

Award amount: $1,500

Deadline: July 31, 2018

Eligibility: Students 13 or older

The sweetest college scholarship is for applicants who can answer this question in 250 words or less, "If you were an ice cream flavor, which would you be and why?" July is National Ice Cream Month, so celebrate with free money for school. 

18. Make Me Laugh Scholarship

Award amount: $1,500

Deadline: August 31, 2018

Eligibility: Students 13 or older

Judges of this scholarship want to laugh. Applicants should tell a funny story (fact or fiction) in 250 words or less for a chance at $1,500 in scholarship funds paid directly to an accredited post-secondary school. 

19. Clubs of America Scholarship

Award amount: $1,000

Deadline: August 31, 2018

Eligibility: College students with a minimum 3.0 GPA

In at least 600 words answer the question, "Where will you see yourself in 10 years?" Applicants must clearly convey their career aspirations and how their current education contributes to these goals. 

20. Craft Research Fund Grants

Award amount: $15,000

Deadline: September 17, 2018

Eligibility: Open to curators, researchers, independent scholars and graduate students

The purpose of the Craft Research Fund Grant is to support research in craft theory and history and to explore the relationship between art, design and culture.

21. Shout It Out Scholarship

Award amount: $1,500

Deadline: September 30, 2018

Eligibility: Students 13 or older

This is a college scholarship for people with something on their mind. The applicant must answer this question in 250 words or less, "If you could say one thing to the entire world at once, what would it be and why?"

22. Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship

Award amount: $2,500

Deadline: October 18, 2018

Eligibility: Students studying a crystallography-related discipline

Applicants must submit a summary of their research, which judges will evaluate based on impact, originality, efficacy of approach and relationship to crystallography.

23. Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship

Award amount: $2,000

Deadline: October 31, 2018

Eligibility: Students 13 or older

In 250 words or less, applicants must describe a plan for survival if the zombie apocalypse broke out at school. Essays must include hiding places and top five things to stay alive.

24. Churchill Scholarship

Award amount: A year of master's study at Cambridge University, England

Deadline: November 1, 2018

Eligibility: U.S. undergrads in senior year of college

Sir Winston Churchill set up this scholarship to foster scientific relations between the U.S. and U.K. Recipients of this award get the benefit of expanding their network to an international level and conducting research in a well-established institution. 

25. CME Beef Industry Scholarship

Award amount: $1,500

Deadline: November 15, 2018

Eligibility: High school seniors and college undergrads

The National Cattlemen's Foundation supports youth in the beef industry by awarding scholarship money to students who can demonstrate their commitment to this community through volunteer work, internships and projects.

26. Chick and Sophie Major Duck Calling Scholarship

Award amount: $1,000 and $2,000

Deadline: November 25, 2018

Eligibility: High school seniors

This scholarship is open to any high school senior who can travel to Stuttgart, Arkansas to present their best duck call at the World’s Champion Duck Calling Contest


What is Steppingblocks?

Research your future career with real-world stats about your major, your interests, and your job title. Turn billions of data-points into actionable insights about your future with a few simple clicks. Watch the video to find out how.

Related Articles

How to Build Meaningful Alumni Affinity Groups

It's 2020. We expect our inboxes to be personalized at every level. Not onl...

Read More

Office Envy: In-Demand Skills at Trending Employer...

85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven't been invented yet.

Read More

5 Unpopular (But Highly Relevant) Tech Skills

It's easy to stuff a resume with keywords detectable by Applicant Tracking ...

Read More