It is universally accepted that getting a degree is a good way to get you that job of your dreams. However, the economic reality is that going to college can be quite expensive. In fact, it can cost you anything from $2,713 per annum for community college to a whopping $27,293 per annum for a private four year college – and that is just the tuition!

So, any help at all is greatly welcomed – especially of the financial kind.

But of course, you and everybody else applying to college is looking to the same pot of money to ease the financial burden. That makes competition for the most popular scholarships......fierce, so here are some alternative options for you to consider. They might not pay all your way through school but they will definitely make your journey a whole lot more exciting:

  • Culinary Institute of America’s All-American Apple Pie Recipe Contest.

Bake a mean apple pie? Enter this contest and win $25,000 for college.

  • Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship

For promoting vegetarianism in your school and community at large, you could win up to $10,000 to go towards your degree.

  • Ayn Rand Institute

They offer a $10,000 scholarship to the student that writes the best essay on the novel “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand.

  • The Discover Card Tribute Award

These guys are giving back some of all that credit card debt. They offer scholarships of up to $25,000 and all you have to do is have a 2.75 GPA and exhibit leadership within your community in the face of adversity or challenge.

  • The Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck on Tape Contest

If you and your partner can get creative and make your prom outfits out of Duct Tape (yes, seriously!) then you could win a$6,000 scholarship to split between the two of you.

  • Tall Clubs International Student Scholarship

Get growing because if you are a girl over 5 foot 10 inches or a boy over 6 foot 2 inches, you could be eligible for this scholarship. Write an essay about what being tall means to you and you could win $1,000.

  • The David Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship

If you want to study telecommunications at Ball State University (in Muncie, IN) and can show outstanding creativity in your application then you could be entitled to a $10,000 scholarship funded by none other than David Letterman.

  • Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship

This scholarship is available exclusively for all the “lefties” out there. That is right… if you are left handed and go to Juniata College (in Huntingdon, PA) you could be eligible for one of the $1,000 scholarships awarded to two students annually.

  • Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest

Know your duck calls? You could win up to $2,000.

  • The Fragrance Research Fund

This one is for the postgraduates only. If you are a clinical psychologist completing post-graduate research in aromachology (the study of the effect of smells on human behaviour) then you could be eligible for up to $50,000. That amount is nothing to sniff at!

Do not limit your self to any one category of scholarships, they all pay the bills! Another thing to remember is that some scholarships pay specifically for distance learning degrees, while others pay for only for traditional campuses. A good place to start when figuring out how to pay for school is to consider both options. Decide first if you would like to study at an on-campus university or take college classes via the internet as a distance learning student.  

Remember, just because these scholarships are unusual does not make them less competitive so if you are going to go for one, make sure you give it your best shot!