Money College: Odd scholarships where GPA doesn't matter

odd scholarshipsSenior year in high school is full of stress. You're filling out college applications, studying for the semester exams and now you have to find a way to help mom and dad pay for college?

FAFSA might net you some break in tuition, but there are other ways to get help:

If you can call the most ducks in 90 seconds (using the four calls of hail, feed, comeback, and mating), you have a chance at a first prize of $2,000 from the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest.

Second place is awarded $1,000, third place will receive $750 and fourth place will receive $500. Available for high school seniors, the late Chick and Sophie Major were "legendary champion duck callers and duck calls makers." The contest is in their hometown of Stuttgart, Alabama in late autumn.

For female undergraduates studying at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, there is a renewable scholarship available with some conditions. To be awarded the Alice McArver Ratchford Scholarship, you must live on campus, hold another scholarship at the time of appointment, demonstrate financial need (AKA file FAFSA on time) and not own a car nor be married.

If people normally ask you "How's the weather up there?" and you duck to fit through a doorway, the Tall Clubs International Scholarship may be something you qualify for.

Open to males 6'2" or taller and females 5'10", you have to write an essay labeled "What Being Tall Means to Me" and you may receive $1,000.

On the opposite end of the height spectrum, if you are shorter than 4'10" and have a medical form as proof of dwarfism, you may be able to receive money from the Billy Barty Foundation. Call the Foundation at (818) 953-5410 for more information.

If you like to be in the kitchen and create tasty pies, entering the Culinary Institute of America's All-American Apple Pie Contest might be a sweet choice for you. First place is awarded $25,000, second and third place receive $15,000 and $10,000 respectively. 1-800-CULINARY has more information. If apple pie isn't your thing, they have other delectable scholarships.

If you've promoted vegetarianism in your school or community, consider the scholarship offered by the Vegetarian Resource Group. Get up to $5,000 for your beliefs and essay.

For the college sophomore, junior or senior who has demonstrated an interest in confectionary sweets and the technology used to create them, the American Association of Candy Technologists is offering a non-renewable $5,000 scholarship.

We've all heard about the idea of a last name scholarship and wrote them off as a joke. However, if you're signing checks with a last name of Gatling (or use the spelling of Gatlin), North Carolina State University is offering $9,000 for in-state students and $18,000 for those who travel across state lines.

Harvard University lists the people you need to find on your genealogy tree for consideration. Full tuition is available at Loyola University Chicago for a Catholic with the last name of Zolp; Texas A&M does the same for those answering to Scarpinato. However, I'm not sure what their policy is concerning name changes.

Depauw University alumnus Don U. Bridge created a scholarship in honor of his wife, Icy Frost. Both in the graduating class of 1917, he stipulated that the money should go to a female music student "of good character and interested in constructive activities in addition to music (and be able to sing or play the National Anthem with sincerity)."

Tylenol helps a lot of people function and they want to return the favor. The makers of one of America's oft-used, over-the-counter drugs are offering to split $250,000 between 40 students based on their leadership skills and happen to be pursuing healthcare-related fields. Ten recipients will get $10,000 for school and the remaining 30 will receive $5,000 towards their tuition.

These are only a few of the many scholarships that are available. While money for majoring in fields of study such as business or pre-law or even welding exist, there is also funding for knitting or attending the same school as your twin.

Just because you're not the head of the class doesn't mean you should miss out on these potential tuition-saving opportunities.

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