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50 Unconventional Scholarships For Students in USA
Students usually complain that the excitement of joining college subsides owing to worries and anxieties about fees. Student loans are a helpful medium. Still many students are apprehensive about these loans as they tend to be liability in the future. On the other hand, a scholarship does not have such liabilities. It provides financial assistance to the promising students and is also regarded as a formal recognition of the accomplishments which motivates the students to work all the more hard.
Financial assistance is important for most of the students especially those who are planning careers beyond the undergraduate level. The scholarship is obviously the most desirable form of financial aid for the students as it helps thousands of aspiring hearts to avoid the crippling experience of rising educational costs. If you are aspiring to study in USA, then you would be delighted to know that there are thousands of college scholarships that can help you to pay the college fees! In addition to the traditional scholarships, there are many forums, organizations and online channels which provide financial grants to the students studying in USA.
Here, we provide you such top 50 unconventional scholarships that you may not be aware of. Though they are a little unconventional, these scholarships are equally helpful to pay your rising college fees in the country.
DISCLAIMER: The rules, application, deadline and the requirements of all the scholarships mentioned herein may change, alter and even terminate as decided by the respective funding organization. All the students are requested to read the latest eligibility requirements from the respective website before applying.
Scholarships for Students
Scholarships with Multiple Deadlines
There are some scholarships which offer financial grants multiple times in a single year. It can be at the end of each semester, quarterly and even monthly. So, if you have missed the earlier deadline, you get another chance to avail the scholarship. Here are some scholarships which have multiple deadlines.
1. AfterCollege Succurro Scholarship
It is an online professional platform that works in the educational world connecting students, faculty, alumni and their prospective employers. This scholarship is available for full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students who are enrolled in an accredited program. Students belonging to any discipline can apply for it. You need to have at least 2.5 GPA score to become eligible for it.
2. AfterCollege AACN Scholarship Fund
This quarterly scholarship fund supports all the students who are seeking admission to the nursing programs. This award is provided to the bachelor, master’s and doctorate degrees in nursing. This program especially emphasizes on those pleas who aspire to become a nurse educator and hence completing an RN-to-BSN or RN-to-MSN program. The scholarship is awarded each quarter.
3. Courage to Grow
It is a monthly scholarship award which is available for high school and undergraduate college students. Only citizens of USA with a GPA score of 2.5 and better are eligible for this scholarship. All the students are required to write an essay of about 250 words describing the reasons why they are eligible for this endowment. The candidate submitting the best write-up is awarded the scholarship.
4. Jacob Frydman Scholarship Fund
One of the most esteemed organizations, Jacob Frydman Scholarship Fund awards competent students six times throughout the year. All the students who intend to get this prestigious scholarship need to write an essay of about 700 words on how they plan to invest their earned money in future. These scholarships are available in various subjects of study.
Amount: Ranges from $5000 – $10000
5. Odenza Marketing Scholarship
Citizens of USA and Canada within the age of 16 to 25 can avail this Odenza Marketing Scholarship. At the time of application, the students should have at least one complete year left for their course and they must have secured 2.5 GPA score. They need to write two essays on separate topics as given in the application page. The winner of the scholarship is announced within six weeks from the deadline.
6. Hit the Books Scholarships
Organized by CoffeeForLess.com, Hit the Books Scholarship is one of the most popular scholarships in USA. It is organized two times in a year, one in January and the other in September. All the students within the age group of 18-25 with enrollment in an accredited college or university can apply for this grant. The students need to write an essay on the topic – Importance of Education. The students may get bonus points if they can include their love for coffee in the essay.
7. CaptainU Student-Athlete Scholarship
High school and college students who take a deep interest in sports and plan to continue their passion with their four-year college course can apply for this scholarship. One winner is selected every quarter of the year and freshmen to seniors can apply for this financial grant. All the students need to be active in the social media to increase their chances of winning this scholarship.
8. org Campaign Scholarships
Students who are willing to volunteer in any of the DoSomething.org campaigns can get a chance to win its esteemed scholarship. Campaigns against ragging, bullying or other social work come under its purview. All the students are required to submit pictures of their campaign work with the other essentialities. This organization awards the best performers four times in a year.
Scholarships with Single Deadline
The scholarships which have a single deadline in a year are organized below. These scholarships are awarded at various times of the year. Here the list is organized according to ascending order (the opportunities of January appearing first).
9. Gates Millennium Scholars Program
One of the most famous philanthropist couple — Bill Gates and Melinda Gates —through their foundation offer 1000 scholarships to meritorious students each year. All the students be enrolled in an accredited institution in a full-time course and should have a cumulative GPA score of 3.3 to become eligible for this prestigious scholarship. The deadline of this scholarship usually falls around the middle of January. The awarded scholarships are valid throughout the winner’s college experience.
10. Proof Reading LLC Scholarship Program
If a student has a cumulative GPA score of 3.5 and enrolled in a regular full-time course in an American institution then he/she is eligible for this scholarship program. The students need to write an essay on a particular topic followed with an MLA citation and references. The organizers focus on the grammar and clarity of language and ideas. The winning students receive the endowment.
11. Society of Women Engineers Scholarship
This scholarship provides financial assistance to women students in USA who are pursuing courses in engineering, computer science and other technical fields. It offers a variety of scholarships according to the course and need of the students. Undergraduate students and post graduate students are eligible for this prestigious grant. Students who have been out of school or have taken a break in studies and wish to come back to studies can also apply for it. There are no minimum GPA requirements for the students. Normal deadline for this scholarship is between February to March (separate timeframes for graduates and freshmen).
Amount: $1000 to $15000 (some with renewal facility)
12. EDSA Minority Scholarship
The Landscape Architecture Foundation awards students who are studying in their final year of graduation or working towards a graduate program in landscape architecture. All the students need to prepare a resume, two recommendations, a 500-word essay and work samples within February 15th. A council of judges announces the winner.
13. AWS Foundation National Scholarship Program
Students who plan to pursue their careers in welding can avail scholarship from American Welding Society (AWS). The deadline of this scholarship is middle of February. They award more than 30 scholarships to the meritorious students who are pursuing two-year and four-year courses. All the students who are studying welding engineering with a GPA score of at least 2.5 can apply for this program.
Amount: $2500 or more
14. Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
American Bar Association awards 20 scholarships to the freshmen law students. The full-time as well as part-time students are eligible for this scholarship. It has an indigenous council which reviews all the applications and awards the scholarships on the basis of academic success, eagerness to overcome diversity and tenacity to excel in the profession of law. All the applications must reach them within 1st March.
15. ACS Scholars Award
The American Chemical Society offers scholarships to the Native American, African American and Hispanic students who aspire to study chemical engineering or other chemical related fields. The students studying in pre-medical or pharmacy are not eligible for this scholarship. The deadline of the scholarship is 1st March. The students need to submit two recommendations, Student Aid Report and their Standardized Test Score with their application.
Amount: $2500 for freshmen, $3000 for sophomores and $5000 for seniors
16. American Legion Auxiliary Scholarships
High school and college students who show excellent leadership skills, patriotism and service to the nation along with academic achievements, the American Legion honors them by awarding financial aid. It also encourages all the meritorious students who wish to return to school after a compelling break by awarding financial benefit to them. The deadline ends in the first day of March. Children of war veterans can avail this prestigious scholarship.
Amount: Between $2000 and $3500 annually
17. Bodie McDowell Scholarship
Bodie Mcdowell scholarship awards are given to three or more students who are studying journalism, photography, film or art. Junior and senior level students are equally eligible for this scholarship. The students are selected on the basis of their communications, examples of work and authorized letter of recommendation. Academic excellence is also considered but it is not among the top selecting criteria. The last date of application is 2nd March.
Amount: $1000 to $5000
18. Frame My Future Scholarship Contest
High school seniors and present college students can apply for this scholarship. All the applicants need to write an essay on how they wish to frame their own future. The judges select the finalists based on creativity and expertise of English. The students may also attach photographs, poems or paintings to make their work innovative. The works of the finalists are shared in the social media and the winner is chosen on the basis of public voting. All the applications need to be submitted by March.
Amount: $2000 for Winner/$1000 for four finalists
19. SanDisk Scholars Program
Established in the year 2012, SanDisk offers scholarships to all the students who wish to study engineering and computer science. Students who have just completed their high school or the students who have already enrolled in the courses can apply for the financial support. The scholarships are valid throughout the four years of the course. The students must have 3.0 GPA score with an application essay, evidence of financial need and substantial entrepreneur interests. The application deadline ends in the first week of March.
Amount: $2500 annually (renewable for four consecutive years)
20. Simon Youth Community Scholarship
Every year, Simon Youth Foundation awards the exceptionally talented and involved students who are studying in their school, college and trade schools. Every Simon mall located in USA felicitates one student. Only the first 3000 applications received every year are judged. So, all the students who intend to avail this scholarship must submit their application at the earliest. The deadline is March 5th.
21. AFSA National High School Essay Contest
Students who are interested in foreign policy, diplomacy and international relations between countries can apply for a scholarship at American Foreign Service Association. The winner, apart from financial grant, also gets the opportunity for a two-day trip to Washington DC to meet the Secretary of State. This whole trip is sponsored by the association. The students need to write an informative and analytical essay on a particular issue or conflict of the contemporary world providing a peaceful solution. However, students with parents working in the Foreign Service are not eligible for it.
Amount: Winners receive $2500 and the runner-up is awarded $1250
22. Lulac National Scholarship Fund
To award the outstanding talents from the underprivileged communities, the Lulac foundation have started this scholarship of providing financial aid. The scholarships are categorized into three types – National Scholastic Achievement Award (GPA score 3.5 or above), Honors Award (GPA score 3.0 to 4.0) and General Awards (to motivate the potential students). It follows a rigorous selection process to choose the best talents. The application date ends on March 31.
Amount: Between $250 and $2000 according to the scholarship
23. SuperCollege Scholarship
Any student who is currently pursuing their college degree or have plans to enroll themselves in the next 12 months can apply for this scholarship. The financial grant that will be received must be used for tuition or to buy books, computer or any other education-related expense. The students should fill up their entries properly as incomplete entries get disqualified. The winners of this scholarship are selected randomly.
24. Davis Putter Scholarship Award
College and university students who are active with the social and economic justice movements can apply for David Putter Scholarship Award. This is a forum founded in the year 1961 which rewards all the students who are working for the society to bring a positive change. The students need to submit a personal statement, two recommendations from authorized people, a transcript, evidence of financial requirement and a recent photo. The application dates are generally within January to April.
Amount: Up to $10,000
25. Tourism Cares Academic Scholarship Program
Students who pursue travel, tourism or hospitability in their undergraduate or post graduate level can apply for this Tourism Cares Scholarship program. It awards about 30 scholarships annually to the meritorious and potential students. It is a charitable and non-profit organization which works for the betterment of the tourism industry. Generally the deadline of this scholarship is kept at 1st April of the respective year.
Amount: $1000 to $4000
26. AICPA Student Scholarship Award
AICPA, the world renowned organization to evaluate the competence in Accountancy, offers scholarships to the students studying this subject. All the undergraduate and graduate level accounting students with GPA 3.0 and above can apply. Along with the academic credentials, the students must successfully demonstrate their qualities to become the leaders of the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) profession. Each year, four winners are selected and awarded this scholarship. It also provides other endowments to the meritorious students. The deadline is 1st April.
27. College Jumpstart Scholarship
The College Jumpstart Scholarship is an annual scholarship that is awarded to the meritorious students studying in schools, colleges or in non-traditional institutions. Financial need is not a pre-requisite to avail this scholarship. The organization especially cares about the objective and goals of the students expressed through a short but concise personal statement. The award can be used in any institution located in USA. The deadline of this competition is 15th April.
28. Grammarly Scholarships
Grammarly, an online grammatical and plagiarism checker, also provides scholarships to the meritorious students. Those who intend to apply for this scholarship need to prove their enrollment in a regular full-time course in an accredited institution. Dropouts, students with breaks and recent graduates cannot avail this scholarship. All the entries close by 30th April. The winner is selected at random and notified by the organization itself.
29. Digital Responsibility E-Waste Scholarship
To make the present generation aware and understand the impact of e-waste, Digital Responsibility has brought this special scholarship for the students. Freshmen, sophomore, seniors — students from all levels can apply for this scholarship. Age is not a bar for the students and even home schooled students are also encouraged to participate. All the applicants are required to write a tweet length message about e-waste. Top 10 applications are chosen and are asked to write an essay on e-waste. The student producing the best content and creativity is declared the winner.
30. Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship
Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship is a national scholarship program that was established in the year 1964 to award the outstanding undergraduate students. All the students must possess and exhibit their commitment towards public service. The motto of this scholarship is to develop racial, social, economic equality among the people. Students with financial need must need to provide their academic achievements, college acceptance letter, two recommendations, an essay, standardized test scores, student aid report and transcript. The deadline of this prestigious scholarship stands at 1st May, 2015.
Amount: $8000 ($2000 each year culminating in the 4th year)
31. Scholarship from Annuity.org
This is an online organization which provides scholarships to the students who write the best essays about their finances. All the students are given a topic as decided by the reviewers of this organization on which the student need to provide their opinion and views carefully demonstrated through evidence and facts. The essay should be within 1400 words with proper citations. All the students (school seniors, undergraduates and postgraduates) can apply. The entries must reach them within 1st May, the closing date of applications.
32. Nordstrom Scholarship
Nordstrom offers scholarships to the students with exceptional scholastic achievement with experience in community service. It awards 80 students who have maintained 2.7 GPA and regularly participated in different activities. The whole amount of scholarship is equally distributed for four years so that the students can enjoy the success and get benefits throughout their college life. The applications must be submitted before 1st May, 2015.
33. Horticultural Research Institute Scholarship
Enrolled students in different horticulture programs can apply for this award which requires at least 2.25 GPA. The students need to submit their personal info, transcript, resume, two letters of recommendation with the application for the scholarship. All the applications must reach within 31st May.
Amount: $1000 to $3500
34. Rocket 55 Scholarship
Rocket 55 is an organization providing digital marketing in the educational world. It provides an annual scholarship to one meritorious student who writes the best essay of about 500 words on the given topics. There are three essay topics all on the concept of digital marketing. The students who have enrolled themselves in the part-time courses can also avail this scholarship.
35. CIP Scholarship
The College in Power is a special endeavor of encouraging all the students who have just started their college life or planning to do so in the next session. To avail this scholarship, the students must be above 17 years of age. The applicant students are required to write an essay on a given topic. All the valid entries are judged by a committee. The financial grant given to the successful student must be used for educational purposes (tuition fees, buying books etc).
36. ATA Student Translation Award
American Translators Association provides a special grant to the students who successfully develop a literary or scientific translation from a foreign language. Computerized materials, dissertations and theses are unacceptable. Any graduate or an undergraduate student can apply for this scholarship if they have translated a document which was over 500 words. The application must accompany a letter of support from the faculty member who supervised the project. Along with the financial award, the students also receive a certificate from the organization.
38. Optimist Oratorical Contest
College freshmen who have good oratory skills and can talk in front of an audience standing on a podium, Optimist provides them an opportunity to speak. These contests are helped at the local and district level where the interested students need to submit their speech on a pre-assigned topic. Winners at the local level and at the district level are awarded financial endowment with medallions and trophies. This endeavor encourages the students in their future life.
Amount: $1000 to $2500
38. Copyright Awareness Scholarship
The Music Publishers Association of USA awards the students who submit an outstanding video about the protection of intellectual property and copyright awareness. Students aged from 13 to 25 can apply for this scholarship. The submitted video must not be more than 3 minutes and it should clearly depict the importance of copyright laws and its awareness. The applications must reach within 15th June.
Amount: Up to $5000
39. Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarship
As the name suggests, this scholarship is started by Jane M Klausman for women students who are studying business or any other business related program. Age is not a barrier for the meritorious students. The students need to apply through the Zonta International Foundation or clubs located near their residence. The deadline of this scholarship is July 1. The objective of this scholarship is to encourage all the female students to take business studies and become a shining name in the society by overcoming the gender barriers.
40. Mary Cone Barrie Scholarship
The Mary Cone Barrie Scholarship is launched by Destiny Solutions in the year 2008. The students attending USA or Canada institutions can apply for this scholarship. This scholarship is especially organized to help the students who wish to start their studies again after a hiatus. Students need to submit an essay, recommendation letter and proof of enrollment. All the applications must reach them by the middle of July.
41. Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship
The 9-12th grade students, college and university pupils can apply for this merit-based scholarship. The applications are taken from August to December. The winners are selected by an internal committee and their decision is based on the submitted personal statement along with the academic results of the applicant. The award should be used for tuition, boarding or any other related educational expense.
42. Second Chance Scholarship
American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) provides a second chance scholarship to the non-traditional students holding a valid GED or high school diploma. Five students are awarded this scholarship to motivate and encourage them to pursue further education. All the applications must be submitted within the last week of August. Relatives of AFSA are not eligible for this scholarship.
Amount: $1000 each
43. org Scholarship
QuestBridge National College Match is designed for all those students who have shown excellent academic excellence despite socio-economic challenges in their life. Any student studying in USA regardless of their citizenship can apply for this scholarship. It offers full tuition for four years with room and boarding facilities for the winner. Students studying in the QuestBridge partner schools are only eligible for this scholarship. All the students who intend to apply must submit two letters of recommendation, a transcript, high school counselor report and standardized test scores. All other requirements are given in the website.
Amount: Full Tuition Fees
44. ASHFoundation Graduate Scholarships
The American Speech Language Hearing Foundation provides 20 scholarships every year to the students who are studying communications sciences and disorders. From undergraduate to research students, all can apply for this scholarship. The students need to write an essay and submit it with other necessary documents. Separate scholarships are available for the students with disabilities.
45. com Scholarship
TakeLessons.com supports all the students who require financial assistance. The students need to write a short essay about 250 words on a given topic. It does not require recommendations, transcripts or any other formal authorizations. On the basis of the essay, the public chooses the best essays which moves forward to the committee as finalists. The committee finally decides the winners. The students are required to apply by September 30th. It awards three students.
Amount: Between $1000 and $5000
46. Horatio Alger Scholarship Programs
Nation’s largest need-based privately funded scholarship provider, Horatio Alger provides financial aid to the students who wish to study further ignoring their obstacles and financial difficulties. All the students who intend to apply must do so with a proper recommendations, transcript and personal essay. The students must show their determination and demonstrate their willingness to serve in different community activities, a primary requisite to get this scholarship.
Amount: $6000 to $21000
47. Intel Science Talent Search
High School seniors who have prepared their independent science research projects successfully may apply in this talent hunt organized by Society for Science organization. All the students need to submit their research report along with the necessary approvals, recommendations, transcripts and verifications. Generally, this talent search opens in the month of November. A panel of judges will review the reports and will choose 9 winners from top 40 finalists.
Amount: Top Prize – $100,000 (finalist and semi-finalists are also awarded)
48. Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a renowned private and independent foundation that awards and supports the exceptionally talented and promising students. The students who would be enrolling themselves in the college in year or sophomores and recent graduates can apply for this scholarship. Only those with GPA 3.5 and higher with financial need are eligible. It awards up to 40 scholars who clear the selection procedure. The deadline ends at 30th November.
49. com Scholarship Contest
Students who are good at writing essays have a greater chance of winning this Foreclosure.com scholarship. With the deadline of December 15th, the students need to submit an essay of about 800-2000 words on a given topic. The students who have already enrolled themselves into a specific course are eligible for this scholarship. However, freshmen who have received their ID number are also eligible for the post.
Amount: $5000 (winner) and $1000 for four runner-ups
50. Culinary Scholarship
There are many college students who aspire to work in the hospitality industry to explore their culinary skills. Niche — a hub for student reviews and rankings — provides a culinary scholarship to the students. The amount received as grant needs to be paid for in the culinary school. All the students must need to show proof of their enrollment in the accredited institution. The winner is chosen at random from the pool of applicants.
These are the 50 scholarships which are a little unconventional from the traditional financial grants available for students residing in USA and Canada. But the importance of these financial grants cannot be abated. They serve a vital purpose for all the aspiring hearts that face financial troubles. So, if you cannot crack the scholarships provided by your institution, don’t get disheartened. These financial endowments can help you to pay off the rising costs of tertiary education.
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