4 Personal Attributes That Can Earn You a Scholarship
By: Brianna Bleiwas
“Wait, there’s a scholarship for that?”
If you’ve ever searched for college scholarships, you’ve probably seen an award for a specific, unique personal attribute. There is no limit to what can earn you a scholarship nowadays – you just have to know what’s out there!
Below are some self-identifiers that may be your ticket to college aid, plus some scholarships for the upcoming school year that you may be eligible for. To the best of our ability, we made sure these scholarships are open to any qualifying person in the United States. Less competitive contests are available based on your state, county, or the college you’re attending. Also, keep in mind that undergraduate students and high school seniors will have an easier time finding scholarships they are eligible for than graduate students.
Your Family History
Every family has a unique story to tell, and organizations will give you money based on your relatives’ accomplishments and ancestry. Relatives of war veterans will have the easiest time finding scholarships, but don’t get discouraged if your relatives have never served.
- Spouse or child of US Army (active or retired)
- Child of a Vietnam veteran
- Family of a WWII veteran
- Family of a Purple Heart recipient
- Grandchild of an Italian or Italian-American
- Polish or Polish-American descent
- Descendants of those who signed the Declaration of Independence
- Native American and Alaskan Native
If someone in your immediately family is affiliated with an organization, check out their website to see if they offer scholarships to members’ families. Organizations that might offer scholarships include those based on careers, nationality, religion, or community service.
The activities you do for fun could be your ticket to a scholarship! These scholarships encourage you to showcase your musical talents, crafting abilities, and more:
- Make it With Wool Contest
- Magic The Gathering
- Create a cover for a greeting card
- Guitar player scholarships
- Crossword puzzle hobbyists
There are also a few scholarships for students who play recreational sports:
Of course, you will have better luck finding a sports scholarship if you are looking to be recruited by a university. Check out your school’s student athletics page to discover institution-specific awards for the sport you play.
Your Physical Attributes
For these scholarships, genetics are your best friend. You can earn college aid simply by existing! Do you meet the criteria for these awards?
Other physical traits, such as being left-handed or having a certain eye color can help you score funds for college. Race-based scholarships will be easier to find than others.
Certain organizations want to help disadvantaged students pay for college. Examples of hardships that may make you eligible for aid include the loss of a loved one, medical and mental health conditions, and being a single parent.
- Mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, etc.)
- Single mothers
- Wheelchair users and those with other mobility issues
- Suffered an accident (car crash, slip-and-fall, work-related injury, etc.)
For more scholarships specific to your individual hardship, search for memorial foundations and other non-profit organizations that might be offering financial assistance for college students.
Nowadays, there’s a scholarship for just about everything. The things that make you unique are the same things that can help you pay for college. Be sure to search for scholarships ASAP to avoid missing the deadlines!