scholarships: beyond gpa and test scores

Posted : October 13, 2009
Last Updated : June 17, 2014

scholarships: beyond gpa and test scores

Not all scholarships specifically pertain to academics or financial need. If you have an obscure interest, talent, or physical attribute, you may be eligible for some interesting scholarships.

Physical Characteristics

  • Tall Clubs International Scholarship. Do you tower over your peers? If so, you may be eligible to apply for a TCI scholarship. The height requirement minimums for this award are 5'10" for females and 6'2" for males. Scholarship awards are $1,000 each. Check out for scholarship requirements and procedures.
  • Little People of America Scholarship. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you are 4'10" or under, you may qualify for a LPA scholarship. The LPA association awards scholarship assistance of $250-$1000 to eligible members and their families. Visit for more information about this scholarship award.
  • National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program. If you are legally blind in both eyes and meet other requirements, you could be eligible for the NFB scholarship. The NFB gives thirty scholarship awards each year to recognize achievement by blind scholars. Go to for more information and to apply for this scholarship.

Essay Contests

  • Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go College Scholarship Program. This scholarship is for the high school senior who understands the limitless possibilities that education can offer and who can effectively articulate this in a creative format. The requirements for this scholarship varies from year to year. In previous years, applicants have had to write an essay, write a letter, or submit original artwork. While the scholarship was not offered for the 2013-2014 school year, you should check often to see if it will be offered for the 2014-2015 school year and to find out the specific guidelines and requirements.
  • National Peace Essay Contest. Are world peace and the growth of freedom and justice important to you? If so, you may be interested in entering the National Peace Essay Contest. The scholarship can be awarded up to a total of 53 winners. Visit for the essay topic and contest rules.
  • John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest. Which U.S. elected public official do you think has demonstrated political courage? Describe and analyze the decisions, actions, and risks of the person you choose, and you could receive a $10,000 scholarship award. A second place winner receives a $1,000 cash award, and up to five finalists receive a $500 cash award. Check out for more details.

Extracurricular Activities

  • Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship. If you are a vegetarian student (you do not eat meat, fowl, or fish) who has promoted vegetarianism in your school or community, then you should apply for this scholarship. One award of $10,000 and two awards of $5,000 will be given. Visit for scholarship entry rules.
  • Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest. If you have a creative mind or you just want to have some fun, then this scholarship contest is for you! Contest participants must enter as a couple and attend their high school prom wearing complete attire or accessories made from duct tape. Each individual member of the First Place winning couple will receive a cash scholarship of $10,000. The Second Place winning couple will receive $5,000 each, and the Third Place winning couple will receive $3,000 each. Each individual member of the Runners Up winning couples will receive a cash prize of $500. This contest is available each spring. Please visit for more information.
  • McDonald's USA National Employee Scholarship Program. Work at McDonald's? Be sure to apply for this scholarship. Each academic year, the McDonald's National Employee Scholarship Program selects one outstanding student-employee applicant from each state and the District of Columbia. Winners receive a $2,500 scholarship. In addition, three student-employees who show the highest commitment to school, work, and community service are named "McScholar of the Year" and are each awarded a $5,000 scholarship. Visit for eligibility requirements.

Random Drawings

  • eCampusTours $1,000 Scholarship Giveaway. By filling out an online registration form or sending your information via mail, you can enter into the Scholarship Giveaway from Two winners are selected in a random drawing, and each will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Register now for your chance to win.
  • College Toolkit Scholarship Contest. also runs random $1,000 scholarship contests. All high school and college students are eligible to participate. Visit for more information.
  • Christian College Scholarship Drawing. The Christian Connector, Inc. provides four different scholarships per year to be used at eligible Christian colleges. Enter online at for your chance to win a $2,500 undergrad scholarship or a $1,000 graduate scholarship.
  • American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship Program. To be eligible for this scholarship, just read an essay about fire sprinklers and take an "open-book" multiple choice test. Each question that you answer correctly will enter you into a drawing for one of ten $2,000 scholarships. If you answer all ten questions correctly, then you will have ten chances to win. Check out to read the essay and take the online quiz.

Even if none of these scholarships apply or appeal to you, the moral of this story is that with a little creative investigating, you may find money for college in unexpected places. Your grades and test scores might not put you at the head of the class, but that doesn't mean that your other unique qualities aren't appreciated. There are reputable scholarship resources all over the Internet--you just have to look!


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