10 Unconventional Scholarships to Help Finance Your Education

scholarships, financial aid

The college scholarship for left-handed people is real. So, too, are scholarships for natural redheads. Add vegans and twins to the list of groups eligible for awards.

But there’s no need to despair if you weren’t born a southpaw or carrot top. There’s plenty of other aid out there. These days, many programs target non-traditional students. A few aim exclusively at online college students. Here are some possibilities you might not have thought of.

Scholarships Based on Situations

Ethnic Scholarships: Many organizations, such as the Association on American Indian Affairs, offer scholarship money to students with various heritages. Other organizations, such as the Entertainment Software Association Foundation, offer scholarships that target women and minorities.

NLHA Education Fund: Sponsored by the National Leased Housing Association, this scholarship is open to anyone who lives in privately owned, federally assisted low-income housing. There are four scholarships available, including the Mary Lou Manzie Memorial Scholarship aimed at non-traditional students.

Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund: Named after the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress, this scholarship is open to low-income women ages 35 and older.

Scholarships Close to Home

Job-Based Scholarships: Are you a Walmart associate? A GameStop worker? If so, your employer might pick up part of your education costs. Check with your Human Resources Department to see if your employer will help.

Civic Organizations: Many community groups and service organizations have scholarship programs. Some, such as the American Legion Auxiliary, target non-traditional students. Others, such as Soroptimist, target women. Check with groups you or family members belong to to see if there are any opportunities.

Students should thoroughly research all scholarships in which they are interested, as there may be additional eligibility requirements other than the ones referenced.

Labor Unions: If you or your spouse have been a member of a labor union for more than a year, there could be up to $4,000 available through the Union Plus Scholarship Program. Individual unions sometimes offer scholarships, too.

Perfect for Online Students

Association for Nontraditional Students in Higher Education: In order to qualify, students must go to school at least part-time and work full-time. They also must be ANTSHE members at a cost of $35 a year for students.

Online Only Scholarships: The Get Educated Online College Scholarship Program offers need- and merit-based aid for any U.S. citizen who has at least a 3.0 GPA at an accredited online college or university.

Simple Scholarships: Unigo offers scholarships ranging from $1,500 - $10,000 for only a 250-word essay. Topics range from serious issues such as challenges facing college students to lighter fare such as the zombie apocalypse. The entire application process is online.

Interest-Based Aid: There’s an amazing variety of scholarship money based on majors. Some are offered by trade organizations that want to educate their future workforce, while others are provided by professional organizations.

At Ashford University, personal advisors are assigned to every student from the beginning. Part of that process includes financial services advising, which helps students understand all of their options when it comes to funding their education. We understand that a student not stressed by finances is a student better able to concentrate on classes. Our goal is to make sure all Ashford students get the financial help they need to ease these financial worries.


Written by Ashford University staff. How_to_Pay_2

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Are you currently a licensed RN?

This program requires you to be a current licensed registered nurse. Please check out other programs to reach your education goals such as the BA in Health and Wellness.