by Jenny Sweeney
Thousands of soon-to-be students are hunting for extra financial assistance for college tuition.
Without a perfect SAT score or the ability to run a sub 4.5 forty yard dash, you might find your chances of securing a scholarship aren't looking too bright.
However, you might not realize that your odd talent or hobby may make you the perfect applicant for one of these 15 strange but real scholarships.
Has your room been compared to a sty? Are you comfortable living in a messy habitat? These aren't requirements for a scholarship, but they are attributes of the creatures you care about - pigs! If you're interested in creatures of the bovine persuasion, this is the scholarship for you; the International Boar Semen (IBS) Scholarship is available for those interested in swine management. For more information, visit www.piggene.com/IBS/ibs_home.htm.
The Next Generation of . . . Klingons
Trekkies, leave your capes, figurines, posters and other memorabilia behind. Just bring, well, yourself! Klingon Language Institute, in an effort to promote language study, awards one lucky winner a $500 Kor Memorial Scholarship-but don't worry, fluency in Klingon is not a requirement. Check out the requirements for this scholarship at: www.kli.org/scholarship/.
Think Tall Thoughts
You've got Michael Jordan's stature but you're about as agile as a water buffalo. That's okay with Tall Clubs International! Males over 6'2" and females above 5'8" are encouraged to apply.
The reward is no small (pun intended) amount either; Tall.org awards a whopping $1,000 scholarship to the winner.
Find more info at: www.tall.org.
Yo, Shorti! - ( This Scholarship May no longer exist)
For the vertically challenged, the Billy Barty Foundation offers scholarships to students of "short stature". Similarly, the Little People of America awards students - and their families - scholarships.
To join, members must be 4'10" and shorter. Scholarship amounts range from $250 to $1000. Read all the requirements at: www.lpaonline.org.
More Trans fat, please!
Say goodbye to the cabbage soup, grapefruit only, or south beach diets! The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance encourages "fat" people to apply for one of their two merit-based scholarships.
The scholarships, offered to already-existing NAAF members, awards $1,000 for first place, while the second place prize is $500. For more fat-friendly information regarding the scholarships, go to: www.naafaonline.com/naafasummit2010/objectives/scholarship.html
For the Herbivores
Calling all veggie-lovers around the world! Two health-conscious winners will be awarded $5,000 in scholarship money from the Vegetarian Resource Group. But be forewarned: unless you love your legumes, this scholarship is not for you.
Eligible applicants must not only exemplify a healthy lifestyle, but also promote vegetarianism within their community too. For more information visit: www.vrg.org.
Sk8 through School
Thanks to Tony Hawk and a few scrapes, bruises, and breaks, your skateboarding skills may have finally paid off. The Patrick Kerr Skateboard scholarship program awards four different scholarships each year.
One applicant will receive a $5,000 college scholarship and three others will receive $1,000 awards. And your mother thought skateboarding would never get you anywhere! Requirements include maintaining at least a 2.5 out of 4.0 GPA, be a graduating senior, and a United States citizen. Be sure to read all the requirements: www.skateboardscholarship.org.
Bit of the Bubbly, Please
Finally, your weakness for wine might serve another purpose-besides the pounding morning-after headache. The American Society for Enology and Viticulture (AASEV) awards multiple students for enrolling in science fields relating to the grape and wine industry.
The scholarship amount is not predetermined; it varies year to year. To read other requirements for this scholarship, go to: www.asev.org/scholarship-program.
Bowling for Dollars
Though those middle-school years of loitering around bowling alleys have ended, your talent for earning turkeys may finally be cashing in. The United States Bowling Congress (USBC) offers a range of scholarships, including the Chuck Hall Star of Tomorrow that offers a $1,500 renewable scholarship for distinguished male high school bowlers and the Alberta E. Crow Star of Tomorrow that also offers $1,500 in renewable scholarship funds for great female high school bowlers.
Read more at: www.bowl.com/scholarships
The Scholar-Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year award is given to twenty-five graduating high school seniors who have what it takes to sport the famous milk mustache; winners receive $7,500 in scholarship funds.
If that's not enough, winners receive a special ad that runs in USA Today. If that's not enough, winners receive an all-expense trip to an awards ceremony at Disney Wide World of Sports' Milk House in Orlando, FL and an induction into the Milk House Hall of Fame.
Check out applications at: www.sammy.bodybymilk.com.
Offer an Organ
You signed up to be an organ donor when you received your license. Put that heart on your ID to use! The Students for Organ Donation Youth Leadership award one or two $500 to $1,000 scholarships to full-time high school or undergraduate college students.
Successful candidates actively promote organ donation and transplantation.
More criteria to apply for this scholarship can be found at: www.studentdonor.org.
Tee It Up
You've seen them trudging up and down the greens, toting thirty pounds of iron on their backs, and offering tips to improve swings, distance and posture. Finally, they're due their recognition; Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund, founded in 1949, offers anywhere from $1,500 to $7,500 per year to caddies.
Eligible applicants must have served at least two years as caddies, helpers in the pro shop or course superintendent operations at a club in Massachusetts. Read more information: www.ouimet.org/scholarships/
Color in the Lines
Did you meticulously color in the lines of your coloring books as a child? You may have graduated from crayons to acrylics, but the concept is the same: you're an artist at heart. Established in 1983, the L. Ron Hubbard Illustrator of the Future contest awards both quarterly and annual scholarships, ranging from $1,500 to $4,000.
Read more : www.writersofthefuture.com
Hot, Hot, Hot
You've heard it, those three little words...in case of a fire: stop, drop and roll to safety. Earning a scholarship from the American Fire Sprinkler Association is almost just as easy; AFSA offers ten $2,000 scholarships per year to graduating high school seniors.
Requirements include reading an essay and taking an online (and open-book) test.
Read more about this sizzling offer on: www.afsascholarship.org.
The Arabian Horse Foundation offers an annual scholarship of $2,500 to one eligibly equine enthusiast. The scholarship, named in remembrance of William Zekan, is offered to horse lovers that demonstrate financial need, are currently either a high school senior or college freshman and can provide two letters of recommendation.
For more eligibility criteria: www.arabianhorsefoundation.org.
There are three primary ways to pay for your college education: