Beyond Academics: Unconventional Scholarships You Didn’t Know Existed


Scholarships are an excellent way to help pay for college, but many students don’t realize that there are a lot of options out there. In fact, you might be surprised at how many scholarships you’re eligible for that aren’t related to academics or your career path. Read on to learn more about some unconventional scholarships you didn’t know existed!

Scholarships for Kids

Scholarships for Kids are not just for college, but can be used to help pay for all kinds of expenses.

  • The Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF) offers scholarships up to $2,500 per year that are awarded based on financial need and academic performance. The CSF also has a program called Scholarship America that awards over $10 million in need-based scholarships annually to qualified applicants across the country.
  • The American Association of University Women (AAUW) offers several opportunities that can help kids achieve their educational goals:
  • The Young Women’s Leadership Network awards up to $2,000 per year in grants for established leaders who want to attend conferences around the world;
  • The AAUW Educational Foundation offers internships at colleges;
  • The National Council for Research on Women provides research grants for graduate students working on women-related topics such as domestic violence prevention programs;

International Scholarships

If you’re an international student, look for scholarships that are open to international students. Many scholarships are awarded on a national level or by country of origin and require that applicants have been born in the country they wish to study in. For example, there may be an award for students from South Africa or India who want to study at an American university; if you meet this eligibility requirement and apply for this particular scholarship, your chances will increase dramatically compared with other applicants who don’t meet these requirements.

Another way that international students can increase their chances of winning a scholarship is by applying for those focused on studying abroad–especially if they already have experience doing so! If they’ve already studied abroad before (or plan on doing so), then they’ll have a better understanding of what being away from home feels like and how difficult it can be sometimes–this makes them unique among other applicants who might not understand quite as well what life will be like outside of their own borders.”

Military and Veteran Scholarships

Military and veteran scholarships are available to those who have served in the military. The benefits of these scholarships include:

  • money for school, usually up to $5,000 per year
  • no work requirement (some require you to be a full-time student)
  • flexible application dates (most will accept applications throughout the year)

Corporate and Professional Breakthrough Grants

If you’re a college student who has already been accepted and is in the process of completing your freshman year, these scholarships are perfect for you.

These grants are awarded to students who have made significant contributions to their communities through volunteer work or leadership positions.

For example, one of the most well-known corporate and professional breakthroughs scholarships is provided by Coca Cola: the Coca Cola Scholarship Program.

Community-Based Scholarships

Community-based scholarships are for people who want to give back to their community, whether it be by volunteering or working with a nonprofit organization. These scholarships can be difficult to find because they’re usually offered by local organizations and not as widely advertised on the web.

If you’re interested in finding out more about community-based scholarships, contact your school’s financial aid office and ask them if they know of any local scholarships that fit your criteria. You may also want to consider contacting a non-profit organization or local business owner whom you admire; many times these organizations will offer small amounts of money for students who work for them over the summer or during breaks from school (for example, $500).

There are a lot of options out there that you might not have thought about.

Make sure to look beyond the obvious sources. There are a lot of options out there that you might not have thought about, and even if you’re not into something like sports or music, there could still be scholarships for your passion. For example, if you love to play soccer (or any other sport), check with your local parks department or soccer league for scholarships available in your area. Don’t rely on just one source; try a few different places until you find something that fits your needs. If all else fails, don’t give up! Keep looking until something comes up–and even then keep searching because new scholarships are awarded every year!

If this sounds like too much work for something as simple as getting money for college, remember: not winning doesn’t mean losing out entirely–it just means starting over again next year!


If you’re looking for a way to fund your education, there are many options out there that you might not have thought about. We hope this list has been helpful in expanding your scholarship search beyond the traditional routes. Good luck!

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