9 Obscure Scholarships Often Left Unclaimed

There have been different myths regarding scholarships that have made some people not go for awards that were exclusively created for them, thereby making those scholarships unclaimed. Yes, that’s how it all starts, a lot of people always think that scholarships are meant for high school students, high school seniors about to enter college, or the applicants need to show so certain level of financial needs before they can apply.

These are all myths that have left approximately $100 million worth of scholarships to go unawarded. And, according to National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA), the number of scholarships awarded has increased by over 45% in the last 10 years.

So you see there are always provisions for scholarships, and they are increasing so to help you reduce your student loans, and even pursue your dream degree. So, in this article, we’ll be listing obscure scholarships often left unclaimed, but first let’s know if there are any scholarship that really goes unclaimed, or if it is just a myth.

Are there Scholarships Nobody Applies for?

The simple answer is, yes there are lots of scholarships that people don’t apply for or are not eligible for. The shocking truth is, even though student loan debt has reached billions of dollars, still in 2019-2020 approximately $9.5 billion in Pell Grants went unclaimed.

There is money provided to help you pay for your tuition, and some of them don’t even require you to be a straight-A or even have a 4.0 GPA.

See this video of Marisa Rose on how she got 12 scholarships even though she wasn’t a straight-A student.

Facts About Unclaimed Scholarships

No 1. Fact: There are billions of dollars worth of scholarships available in the United States, imagine adding other countries like Canada, Australia, and the UK.

No 2. Fact: $100 million worth of scholarships go unawarded annually

No 3. Fact: You must not be a straight-A student to receive scholarships.

How to find unclaimed scholarships

There is no one straightforward answer to this, you can even invent your own tactics.

Ask the Financial Aid Office

Most financial aid advisors know a tonne of scholarships available out there that the internet might not discover, they are the ones to give you the best options.

Apply for all Scholarships

Yes, research and apply for any scholarship you could think of, you literally don’t know which one will award you based on your qualities. Sometimes even the ones you least expected to get something out of might be the ones to award you that money.

The beauty of it is that you don’t need to pay a dime to apply for any scholarship and flee from any organization telling you otherwise.

Do your research

We can’t provide all the obscure scholarships often left unclaimed, but you need to do your homework to see scholarships you’re eligible for and just apply. The best way to go about it is to create a powerful essay that you can simply adjust for other scholarship applications.

Now let’s go ahead to list some of these bizarre scholarships often left unclaimed.

obscure scholarships often left unclaimed

Obscure Scholarships Often Left Unclaimed

Due to the fact that most unclaimed scholarships are because of their unpopularity, and their low value, so you should expect the scholarships we will list here to be the ones most people don’t even recognize.

1. Pell Grants

As we mentioned earlier, lots of students missed the opportunity to take advantage of this need-based federal financial aid provided by the U.S. Department of Education. The scholarship is aimed at low-income students to help them pay for their fees.

To apply, you first need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

2. Green Circle Salons – “Environmental Beauty” Scholarship

This is one of the obscure scholarships often left unclaimed, and one major reason people don’t recognize this scholarship or they recognize it but just ignore it is that it is exclusively for barbering and cosmetology students. The Green Circle Salons award 5 of these scholarships to winners worth $4,000 each.

Two of the scholarships are awarded during the summer, whereas the remaining 3 are awarded during the Fall. The scholarship was created to promote their movement to empower salons and beauty professionals to offset their carbon emissions and recover up to 95% of their beauty waste.

3. The Jerry Alexander Gorman Foundation “The Passion to Succeed” Student Scholarship

This is another unclaimed scholarship exclusively for barbering, and nail technology students. Also, one of the reasons this scholarship goes unclaimed is because of the unpopularity and the category it’s meant for.

But, the award is not that bad, 6 winners will receive $3,300 each, 3 (three) will receive theirs during the Summer and the remaining 3 will receive them during the Fall.

Actually, the scholarship was created in memory of Jerry Alexander Gorman for his passion for the professional beauty industry, and how he turned this passion into reality.

4. What’s Your Dream Scholarship

This is a very simple scholarship worth $1,500 where you need to share your dreams to be eligible. They are interested in your dream to have a successful future, which I believe most of us – perhaps all of us – dreamt about.

Or your dream is that extraordinary goal you want to achieve, or it could even be that bizarre dream you had while sleeping.  

5. Tall Clubs International Foundation Academic Scholarship

This is one of the obscure scholarships often left unclaimed that is meant for tall students. I believe this must be weird to hear that tall students have a specific kind of scholarship. Well, welcome to the world of weird scholarships that exist on our planet.

This scholarship is worth $1,000 and it was created in memory of Kae Sumner-Einfeldt, Virginia Linquist-Winker, Robert Rader, and Carolyn Goldstein. And for you to be eligible, you need to Meet the minimum height requirements for membership in Tall Clubs International and be under the age of 21.

6. Boston Beanstalks Tall Club Scholarship

This is another scholarship for tall students that has been unclaimed for some time due to their requirements, and probably the low value. It is worth $500, and it’s awarded to graduating seniors who want to pursue an undergraduate degree in an accredited university/college in Boston. 

Applicants have to meet the minimum height requirement of 5’10” for women and 6’2”.

7. Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship

Weird, right? This scholarship was created to test your imagination, especially if you’re a fan of horror movies. To be eligible for this scholarship you need to narrate your plan to avoid the zombies, where you’d hide, and the top-five things you’d bring to stay alive.

So the winner of this contest will be awarded $2,000, you need to be a minimum of 14 years old, and must be a legal U.S. resident.

8. American Board of Funeral Service Education scholarship

This is one of the bizarre scholarships often left unclaimed that is meant for students enrolled in funeral service or mortuary science programs to assist them in obtaining their professional education. The scholarship is awarded to 5 recipients, and each of them receives between $1,500 to $2,500.

9. Superpower Scholarship

This is one of the obscure scholarships often left unclaimed, but no, you don’t have to have a superpower to be eligible, perhaps if you have a superpower, I don’t believe you’ll be reading this article.

All you need to do is tell a story about how you would use your superpowers for good, or bad, even if it was just for the day. And, the scholarship is worth $2,500


There are other unclaimed scholarships we might not mention here (because we don’t know about them), and some schools, departments, and organizations, provide scholarships that are not properly promoted. So, you can still do simple searches on Google or even from your school’s financial aid portal.

Obscure Scholarships Often Left Unclaimed – FAQs

How Much Money in Scholarships Goes Unclaimed?

According to Forbes, $100 Million in Scholarships goes unawarded.

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