Unusual Ways to Pay For Your College

Unusual Ways to Pay For Your College

Mariella Schermerhorn, Editor

As seniors around the U.S. are preparing for their upcoming adventure to college, they are confronted with the massive expense that college may be . Thousands of dollars each year are spent by individuals at college who only want to pursue their passions, and this amount may seem intimidating to high school seniors applying to college. According to US News, the average student loan debt is around $29,927, and high expenses are the number one cause for college dropouts. However many seniors aren’t told about the hundreds of scholarships that may be available to them in their search for financial aid.

Some scholarships, like merit scholarships, are awarded for academic achievement. However, there are more unique scholarships out there that are awarded to those who may have been simply born with red hair or are just naturally tall. According to the TCI Foundation, The Tall Clubs International Scholarship is for those who meet the height requirements. For women, they must be at least 5’10, and men must reach the height of 6’2. This might be baffling to others, as scholarships are seen to be an arduous process, with many other requirements to be able to even be eligible for the money. However, this $1,000 scholarship just simply requires you to be tall. While some people are obviously not going to meet the basic requirements, those who meet them are able to get a large portion of money for something unique about them. While there would be an application process, as many scholarships require, a little time would grant you a possible reduction in your future college tuition.

“I’m nervous for college,” Megan Fellet, a senior, started. “The cost is taunting, and there’s no guarantee I’m gonna be able to pay for it. However, scholarships allow me to prepare for the cost.” 

While you aren’t guaranteed the money, there are hundreds of scholarships out there that you could take the time to apply to, and it may grant you more than enough money. All that’s required is your time and dedication. You can even have fun with some of them. For example, earlier this year a scholarship was launched called the Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship, in which you write a small essay (250 words!) about your plan if your school gets overrun by zombies. While it may be hard to fit an entire plan in just 250 words, it’s also an opportunity to have fun while applying for a $2,000 scholarship. It doesn’t take long, as the essay is barely even two paragraphs long, and the deadline is extended until October 31, 2022, which is more than enough time to plan your deadly escape from zombies. 

There are so many funny and unique scholarships out there, and some even relating to some eccentric hobbies you may have, puppeteering being one of the many unique hobbies. When Rylie Cupp, a senior, was asked about her experience researching a puppeteering scholarship, she stated, “The UNIMA-USA Scholarship is a scholarship that funds American Puppeteers in order to study abroad. I wasn’t aware of the wide variety of scholarships there are available.” 

What isn’t widely talked about in high school is how your individual hobbies and interests may fuel your tuition in the future. While Cupp isn’t necessarily a puppeteer, it made her reflect on how her actual interests, such as writing, may be able to help her apply to unique scholarships.  

According to Scholarships.com, a website notorious for finding scholarships for seniors, there are thousands of scholarships that are unique to individuals. For example, one of the most unique scholarships includes Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest, in which high school seniors can compete with their best duck call. Or there’s the National Potato council scholarship, in which $10,000 is given to the student who helps research anything that’ll help the potato industry. How about the Stuck At Prom Scholarship where $10,000 is awarded to someone who makes a prom outfit entirely out of duct tape! There are so many options for those who are willing to look. 

Every individual is worthy of having their college paid for, no matter how poor or wealthy their upbringing may be. What isn’t talked about enough as seniors are preparing for their future are the many, many scholarships and institutions wanting to be able to fuel your passions. No one should have to stress or worry about their finances, as education should be open to anyone who wishes to pursue it. Your individuality is what marks the future of not only this country but for the world.