The Twelve Coolest College Scholarships

Do you feel sick to your stomach when you think about college tuition costs? Not to worry - higher education might not be as inaccessible as you think. Dozens of scholarships are available out there for uniquely qualified students. Read on for a list of 12 of the most interesting college scholarships around.

The J.D. Salinger Award

This scholarship is offered to creative writers by Ursinus College outside Philadelphia. Best known as the author of the classic teen-angst novel Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger attended Ursinus for only one semester in the fall of 1938 before dropping out. Still, the school is proud of its link to the author, and each year it awards a $30,000 scholarship to a student displaying unusual talent in writing. The best part? Winners get to live in Salinger's dorm room.

Asparagus Club Scholarship

While this may sound like a scholarship for lovers of asparagus, it's actually available to students who want to pursue careers in the grocery industry. The scholarship is sponsored in part by the National Grocers Association and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Students need to be pursuing degrees in business, food management or a related area and must be in their junior or senior year of college or in graduate school. The award is $1,500 per semester for four semesters as long as you maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher.

The Michigan Llama Association/Llamafest Annual Scholarship

Yes, you read that right. If your parents are members of the Michigan Llama Association, a group that sounds like a Monty Python joke but actually exists, you're eligible to apply for a scholarship that can be applied towards your education at Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. You'll need to be interested in working with llamas to apply for this scholarship.

The National Gay Pilot's Association Scholarship

Do you have a private pilot certificate? Are you active in the LBGT community? This scholarship may be for you. If you qualify, you can earn a one-year scholarship of $3,000 to be applied to an aviation training program at a college or flight school. The association also awards the David M. Charlebois scholarship to exceptional students.

Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation

Do you know a little about a lot of different topics? Do you like quizzes? If so, you might want to check out this foundation, which offers scholarships to the winner of competitions that test competitors' knowledge of academics, movies, websites and 'common knowledge'. Awards vary from $250 to $2,500 and are available to high school, college and graduate students.

The Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest

If you can call ducks and you're short on cash for college, a change of holiday travel plans might be in order. Each Thanksgiving, the town of Stuttgart, Arkansas, invites talented high school seniors to join the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial competition, where one-time scholarship prizes of $2,000, $1,000, $750 and $500 are awarded to the best callers. Fortunately, the award can be used for any field of study - after all, there aren't any majors in duck calling.

The National Beef Ambassador Scholarships

Ah, beef...does it really need advertising? Apparently so, because the American National CattleWomen, an advocacy group, awards annual scholarships to well-qualified young people who show promise as future spokespeople for the beef business. Winners will make appearances throughout the U.S. for the one year that they serve as National Beef Ambassadors. Among other requirements, applicants are required to make a short presentation about cattle and must be involved in some way with the industry.

The Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship

On the opposite side of the coin, let's say you're not involved with beef at all, don't eat beef, and in fact want others to understand that eating beef is bad. Well, you're in luck, because there's a scholarship just for you. The Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship is for meat-eschewing high school seniors who have worked to develop awareness of vegetarianism in their communities. The group awards $5,000 one-time gifts to two lucky, vegetable-munching students each year.

The Zolp Scholarship

Even though it reads like a sound effect in the old Batman television series ('Bam! Smark! Zolp! Watch out, Robin!'), this is actually a scholarship for a well-regarded Chicago school, Loyola University. Students who have the last name Zolp on their birth and confirmation certificates are eligible for a scholarship upon acceptance to the university. The amount of your scholarship depends on available funds. Students must also be practicing Catholics. Hey, everything's got a price.

The National Make it with Wool Contest

Some of these scholarships are pretty self-explanatory, aren't they? People who've knitted garments from at least 60% wool can submit photographs of their creations and join the running for scholarship awards that range from $2,000 for junior and senior-grade winners to $1,000 for best mohair piece. Sponsors include the Mohair Council of America and the American Sheep Industry Women.

Tall Club International Scholarships

Do you find yourself scrunched into schoolroom desks that seem far too small for someone of your stature? If so, the Kae Sumner Einfeldt Scholarship might be sized just right for you. Women 5'10' and over and men at least 6'2' who are younger than 21 can apply through a local branch of the Tall Clubs International. Applicants must be starting their first year in college and need to contact a local chapter for application details. The one-time awards are for up to $1,000.

The Kor Memorial Scholarship

Kaplah! If you're a language buff looking for a little extra research funding, the Klingon Language Institute offers a yearly, one-time scholarship of $500 to students pursuing degrees in a language-related field. Fortunately, you don't actually have to know Klingon, because, well, Klingon isn't actually a real language. Unsurprisingly, however, a high level of 'creativity' is looked upon with favor.

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