There’s some weirdly specific scholarships available

Who qualifies for these things?

In the tumultuous sea of student debt and university tuitions, there’s one lifeline that every college-goer tries desperately to grab ahold of: scholarships.

Almost everyone knows the general idea, but some of the specifics of some pretty sizable scholarships can get a bit weird.

For a pretty mild example, let’s take a look at the American Fire Sprinkler Association’s scholarship. Most scholarships select their winners based on certain criteria: academic excellence, family background, physical traits, etc. It’s just some sort of baseline to consider who should be awarded the scholarship and who shouldn’t.

But the AFSA has decided that that’s too selective, and instead awards money to people through blind luck. Any interested students that are able to fill out the application are put into consideration for $1,000, and the winner is chosen completely at random.

And I know what you’re thinking. That’s not too strange is it? It’s just like a lottery but for students.

Well, why don’t we move on and take a look at the Flying Musician Association’s Solo Program Scholarship. We’d love to elaborate on this one, but we think you can get the gist of it from the name alone.

It’s a scholarship for musicians who are interested in the pursuit of aviation. Getting selected for this scholarship means a shortcut to getting your pilot’s license, which is pretty cool.

We’re down for that. We’re just stuck on where the musician part comes into this. Maybe we’re just being picky, but this entire thing feels a bit too specific.

We’re sure there’s a ton of musicians out there who would love to be pilots, and to all of you out there, we have only respect in our hearts. But with all due respect, we’re just gonna play my instrument on the ground.

In all honesty this next one’s not even that strange. We just think the name is pretty funny.

It’s known as the American Association of Candy Technologists’ (AACT’s) John Kitt Memorial Scholarship. The actual scholarship is pretty normal. It just awards money to college students who are in a food science adjacent field and who have demonstrated an interest in confectionery technology.
We just think that the American Association of Candy Technologists sounds like something straight out of Willy Wonka and thought that it was worth the mention.

Maybe you don’t have unique interests that qualify you for the aforementioned scholarships. Maybe you find yourself towering over everyone else. In that case, consider applying for the Tall Clubs International Foundation’s scholarship.

Male applicants must be 6-foot-2 or taller, and women must be 5-foot-10 or taller. There are some other requirements too, including recommendations from teachers, essays, and good grades.

Are you a Jewish orphan studying aeronautical engineering at UCLA? Probably not, since nobody has ever qualified for the Malcolm R. Stacey scholarship that awards those who meet that description. At least, not under the original terms. The school changed the criteria in 1987 to make it easier to obtain. Now, any Jewish students at UCLA demonstrating financial need can qualify for the scholarship.

Now for another scholarship based on something you can’t control: the John Gatling Grant at North Carolina State University. Applicants for this grant must have the last name “Gatling” or “Gatlin.” And before you run to court to change your name, know that even that won’t qualify you for this grant. You have to submit an official copy of your birth certificate to prove your Gatling-ness.

Do none of these scholarships apply to you yet? Well here’s one for you, as long as you’re part of the 10 percent of people who prefer their left hand, or you’re willing to spend the summer learning to write left-handedly. The Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship at Juniata College is awarded to qualifying left-handed sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Sadly, this award is not actually available anymore. It disappeared from Juniata College’s website, making it impossible to apply.

While this next one won’t apply to any Cal High students, it’s still worth mentioning. The Gertrude J. Deppen Scholarship at Bucknell University is awarded to “graduates of Mount Carmel Public High School, who are not habitual users of tobacco, intoxicating liquor and narcotics, and who do not participate in strenuous athletic contests,” according to the university’s website.

Scholarships for sports might be the most common type of scholarship out there, but this is the only anti-sports scholarship that we’ve heard of, so it just had to make our weird list.