As seniors prepare to graduate and move onto college, many are looking to receive money via scholarships. The price of attending a four year college nowadays is alarmingly high, ranging from $22,958 for public and $31,231 for private, and that’s why many students turn to scholarships for financial support.
There are hundreds of thousands scholarships available to high school students, some of the most common types include academic, athletic, and local scholarships. There is almost a scholarship for any category you could think of, including ethnicity, ancestry, and even the color of your hair.
According to Matilda Plumb (‘16) the significant amount of scholarships aren’t well known among the student body. “Actually I had no idea myself, if you look at the emails sent out by the school they help a lot,” Plumb said. Seniors looking for scholarships often don’t realize the number of scholarships that are available to them.
There are many local scholarships from private and non-private funders. Many of the scholarships are given in memory of people who have passed, some examples are the Lambesis, Linda S. memorial scholarship, Roberts, Connor “Cheech” memorial scholarship, and Jackson, Jamie P. memorial. American Legion also gives out various scholarships to students, and BFA gives out it’s own education scholarship.
Asides from the typical scholarships mentioned above, there are a ton of odd scholarships that students often overlook. Barbara Fraser shared some of the unusual ones she knew of; “There’s one for being left handed, being Anglo American, one for making a duck tape prom dress, one for having red hair, one for being tall or short, and even ones for loving Ghost Hunters or Star Wars,” Fraser said.
There is roughly $3.3 billion in private funding into scholarships each year, and this funding includes much more than the usual scholarships listed above. There is a scholarship given for duck calling, for being a vegetable lover, for creating a story that will make someone else laugh, for writing about the zombie apocalypse, for being a twin, for being the average student, and even one for being a pokemon fan.
There is another odd form of scholarships that have recently become more known and they include taking very short multiple choice tests. There are websites online that now give out scholarships for taking a simple test, some of the test subjects include common knowledge and fire sprinkler knowledge.
Scholarships are a great way to receive money for college, but students often don’t apply for the odd scholarships. “Well I think that kids only look locally. They aren’t aware of the scholarships out there,” Fraser said. If more students are encouraged to look into scholarships that fit their characteristics, hobbies, ethnicity, etc. then they will have a better shot at getting as much money as possible. Weird scholarships aren’t often advertised, and because of this it’s likelier for a student to receive one.
Planning for college and the expenses it brings, can be a stressful and scary task but with scholarships it can relieve some of that worry. Seniors who plan on attending college are pushed to apply for scholarships, and with even more determination more and more students will find themselves receiving money from the oddest of places.
Reaching out to teachers and parents for help on researching scholarships that you qualify for is a good first step as there are so many scholarships out there. Seventy percent of college graduates have at least $30,000 of debt according to Jillian Berman, scholarships reduce the amount of loans a student has to take out. Free money is never a bad thing and so students need to start focusing on their future and applying to more opportunities even if they’re weird ones. The price of college will keep on going up, and with it students should put in the extra mile and look high and low for cool and rewarding opportunities such as unusual scholarships.