Scholarships are financial aid awards to help students pay for their education. Every year, scholarships in the US — up to over US$7.4 billion — are awarded by private bodies. They usually come from a variety of sources, from organisations to charities to government agencies. They can also come from unlikelier sources. Below we take a look at some of the most unusual and unique scholarships in the US:
Michael Jackson Scholarship
He might be dead, but his spirit lives on. Michael Jackson’s estate has partnered with UNCF — the United Negro College Fund — which funds scholarships for Black students. This is a scholarship that offers financial support to students who are pursuing degrees in social science and communication arts (i.e., courses that cover writing, speaking, reading, and so forth).
Interested candidates must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 to apply. This scholarship provides up to US$4,000, but this depends on the financial need of the individual that needs to be verified by their uni.
Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship
This awards US$20,000 to graduating high school students who are green advocates. They must show compassion, courage and commitment to promoting a peaceful world through vegetarianism. The first recipient gets an award of US$10,000 and the second and third candidates both get an award of US$5,000 each.
Courageous Persuaders Award
The Courageous Persuaders competition is all about creativity for the greater good. This award encourages high school students to create a 30-second television commercial on the dangers of underage drinking and texting while driving. Middle school classrooms review and judge the videos to help determine the winner.
The grand prize? Seeing your commercial on TV, but not before you have hands-on experience with professional video editors and video producers to make your work fit to broadcast. The winner will also walk away with a scholarship worth US$3,000.
Founded in 1990, this programme has funded over US$850,000 to recipients in pursuit of a career in the independent retail grocery industry. You must score a minimum GPA of 2.5 each semester and apply to relevant programmes such as business or food management. The Asparagus Club awards 10 scholarships per year, and each one is valued at US$2,000 per semester.
Doodle for Google Scholarship
If you live to doodle and you’re still in kindergarten to grade 12, you can enter this competition. This year, the contest theme is “I Am Strong Because …” and winners will have their art displayed on Google for a day.
The national winner will receive a US$30,000 college scholarship, a US$50,000 technology package for your school or non-profit and cool Google merch and hardware to show off to your friends. National finalists will have their art on the Doodle for Google gallery, receive a US$5,000 college scholarship and Google merch. Not too shabby for second place!