5 Scholarships You’ve Likely Never Heard of Before

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College is an investment in your future. Higher education helps to position young adults to get better jobs and make more money. The problem, however, is that college can be quite expensive.

Many students applying to college (or who are already in college) need help paying for tuition. While student loans are an option, you may spend several years after you graduate paying them back. Scholarships can help to lessen the financial burden of a college education without having to repay the money you receive.

There are plenty of well-known scholarships out there. These scholarships typically have numerous applicants, which means the odds of being selected are low. Or perhaps you don’t meet the criteria. While there are plenty of well-known scholarships, there are also several that you’ve likely never heard of before.

American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship

If essays aren’t your thing, the American Fire Sprinkler Association offers a scholarship that doesn’t require any writing. Instead, the association aims to increase awareness for the benefits of automatic fire sprinklers. High school students who are heading into college can take an 8-question quiz on fire sprinklers.

Winners are chosen at random. The American Fire Sprinkler Association awards 10 individuals $2,000, which are paid directly to the college selected by the student.

Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship

Are you a vegetarian or vegan? If so, you can apply for the Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship. High school seniors who are working to promote empathy and peaceful living can win one of three scholarship prizes (two $5,000 scholarships and one $10,000 scholarship).

In addition to filling out the application, you need to write an essay demonstrating how you promote vegetarianism or veganism, what challenges you have faced, what successes you have achieved, the lessons you have learned, and how you plan to continue promoting vegetarianism or veganism in the future. These are just a few of the points that need to be addressed.

Gap Year Scholarship

Ever thought of taking a year off between high school and college? You can apply for gap year scholarships with Global Citizen Year. Global Citizen Year is a program that enables students to take that year to travel to one of several destinations. While the total cost of the program is just over $32,000, you can apply for merit and need-based scholarships. Need-based scholarships can cover either half of the tuition or the full cost. Merit-based scholarships range from $5,000 to $15,000.

Gamers Helping Gamers Scholarship

If you love Magic: The Gathering, you can apply for the Gamers Helping Gamers Scholarship. Applicants are required to submit their high school transcript, a FASFA form, and a personal statement. In the personal statement, you need to address your experience with Magic, what role the game has played in your life, and what lessons can be learned from Magic that can help with real-life problems. You also need to explain your favorite and least favorite cards or mechanics. Two winners receive non-renewable $5,000 scholarships.

Entertainment Software Association Foundation Scholarship

The video game industry is primarily made up of men. Men aren’t the only ones who like playing (or designing) games, though. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation created a scholarship meant to help women and minorities pursue a career in computers or video game arts.

The foundation offers up to 30 $3,000 scholarships for full-time undergraduate study at accredited four-year schools. Half are awarded to high school students (who have already been accepted into a program) and the other half is awarded to current college students. Applicants must be women or minorities and must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher to qualify.

There are plenty of scholarships out there. Some are very well-known while others fly under the radar. These are just a few of the lesser-known scholarships available to college (or soon-to-be college students). With a little bit of research, you’re sure to find scholarships that are perfect for you.

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