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11 College Grants and Scholarships You’ve Never Heard Of

Think you've already found and applied to every scholarship on the planet? The list of unusual tuition awards has some that might surprise you!

When it comes to college scholarships and grants, “peak application season” is all year long. Whether you’re graduating from high school this year or are already attending college, it’s never too late to try to snag more money to help you pay for school.

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You may think you’ve already found and applied to every scholarship on the planet, but the universe of obscure college tuition awards is wide and weird. Here are 11 to get you started.

The American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship Contests

The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) scholarship program provides a helping hand to college students while spreading the word about fire sprinklers and fire safety. The program currently runs two separate scholarship contests, each of which requires only a completed application to enter—no essays or additional steps necessary.

The High School Senior College Scholarship Contest is open to seniors who will graduate with a valid high school diploma or GED equivalent. The contest awards 10 prizes of $2,000 each. Entries are accepted from early September to early April, and winning funds will be paid directly to your school. View information and links to the application.

The AFSA 2nd Chance Scholarship awards $1,000 to 5 students with the same eligibility requirements. Applications are accepted from mid April to late August. Find more information and links to the application.

The Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship

If you paid for gas and movies by caddying during high school, the Chick Evans scholarship is a perfect fit. The scholarship provides full tuition and housing to caddies who are nominated by their clubs. The Evans Scholars Foundation also maintains “Scholarship Houses” at 14 different schools, and most winners attend one of those schools, though it’s not mandatory.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate a strong caddie record, outstanding character, high academic marks, and a demonstrated financial need. Check out the application information.

The Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship

The Vegetarian Resource Group aims to spread the word about meat-free living with one $10,000 scholarship and two $5,000 awards every year. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to the meat-free lifestyle, either as vegetarians or vegans.

The application process runs until early spring for current high school seniors, usually with a deadline in late February. Along with application information, you need to submit an essay about how you’ve promoted vegetarianism in your own life, along with plenty of other veggie-focused inspiration. Find more information and the complete application process.

American Association of Candy Technologists John Kitt Memorial Scholarship

The American Association of Candy Technologists (AACT) runs a scholarship for current college sophomores, juniors, or seniors who can demonstrate an interest in confectionery technology, ideally by majoring in a food science, chemical science, biological science, or a related major. A scholarship of $5,000 is awarded in two separate disbursements. You’ll need a minimum 3.0 GPA to apply. See the application information for more details.

The Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation

If you pride yourself on “street smarts” or simply want a break from touting your academic achievements, the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation (CKSF) runs scholarship competitions based on a series of quizzes. There are no additional requirements, no applications or essays, and no minimum GPA. Simply register and take the quizzes for a chance to win awards from $250 to $2,500. Find more information.

The American Institute of CPAs Minority Scholarships

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) runs a series of scholarship programs for minority students who are pursuing CPA certification and a related degree. Award amounts are up to $5,000 in three separate individual scholarships, with a fourth award of up to $10,000. All but one of the scholarships requires a minimum 3.0 GPA. Find more information about applying.

The Gallery Collection Create-a-Greeting-Card Scholarship

The Gallery Collection runs a scholarship award program for anybody 14 years or older who’s currently attending a high school or college in the U.S. You’ll need to design a completely original front cover for a greeting card for a chance to win $10,000 for yourself and $1,000 for your school. All entries are assessed by a panel of judges to find the winner, and entries are accepted from May until March. Find more information and application instructions.

The American Welding Society Scholarship

The American Welding Society (AWS) awards a variety of scholarships, most ranging from $500 to $2,500 (and some even higher), to students studying welding engineering technology or welding engineering. Eligibility requirements and deadlines vary, so check the AWS scholarship page for details.

Fund for Investigative Journalism Grants

The Fund for Investigative Journalism awards three grants every year to journalists and prospective journalists, intended to be used to fund reporting activity that culminates in an investigative article or journalistic feature, including college newspapers. Grant amounts vary but average $5,000. Find more information about the application process.

Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation Award

The Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation (EDSF) offers multiple awards of up to $4,000 if you’re studying in a field related to the document management and graphic communication industry. Find more information and application links.

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