UNUSUAL AND WEIRD SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
It’s fair to argue that all scholarships are weird scholarships.
The fact is that a scholarship means that someone somewhere is willing to part with their hard-earned money to help you pay for college. Now isn’t that weird?
Unless of course we are talking about government scholarships, which, in a sense are the ultimate weird scholarships. The government often has two methods for giving you weird scholarships (normal scholarships to them). The first is to hold a mirror up to your mouth and see it your breath mists up the mirror. If it does this means you are alive and quite possibly in line for several generous scholarships.
The second method the government uses to determine your scholarship eligibility is to check your pulse. If you have one you may already have won several scholarships, especially if your family is poor. We can also call these weird scholarships.
What we usually refer to as weird scholarships are scholarships that are awarded based on unusual skills or at least something you don’t hear about every day. One example would be the $25,000 cash award one culinary institute will give in scholarship form for the best apple pie recipe. Is that really a weird scholarship? Popular wisdom says it quite certainly is a weird scholarship. We say at least it is based on merit. The apple pie champion had to earn that scholarship.
Consider the alternative. There are a plethora of groups—most notably the government—that give scholarships for just being. Just being black. Just being Hispanic. Just being poor. Just being a woman. It’s good to just be any of those things in the minds of those who award scholarships.
So if we are considering weird scholarships tell us which is weirder? Is the essay on helping Santa find the perfect real Christmas tree weird? Or is it weirder to give a ‘B’ student at an easy school a scholarship over an ‘A’ student at a hard school because the ‘B’ student has darker skin? Which is really weirder?
Maybe weird isn’t the right measurement. Maybe right is the right measurement. Is the scholarship for duck calling—definitely considered weird—the right type of scholarship to give someone who is good at duck calling? Sure, they had to duck call didn’t they? But is it right to give an academic scholarship to someone who isn’t that good academically just because their parents don’t earn a lot of money? Is that a good investment?
What other weird scholarships are available? There is a Klingon Language Institute scholarship for $500 that goes to a student studying language in college. If that $500 isn’t the cheapest form of advertising the Klingon Language Institute could create for itself then consider a slightly more lucrative scholarship from the Fragrance Research Fund.
That’s right, there is an entity called the Fragrance Research Fund and it gives out up to $50,000 to students for research in aromachology. Any volunteers?
Perhaps the most ingenious and devious of all weird scholarships is the evil genius who dreamed up the American Nudist Research Library Scholarship. Only catch is you have to live in a nudist colony.
Computer scholarships are just about everywhere these days, once again reflecting the trend where scholarships mirror what is happening in our lives and the workforce.