Hobby Scholarships

Not all scholarships are academic or sports-based. In fact, you can earn some scholarship money based on your hobbies! That’s right, the things you do for fun in your free time can help you pay for college. Here are some hobby scholarships to check out.

Scholastic Art & Writing Portfolio Awards

Interested in pottery? There are pottery-related hobby scholarships out there

Flickr user henry…

Amount: $1,000; $10,000

Deadline: TBD for 2021 (Opens September 2020)

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are all about inspiring creativity. As such, they have two portfolio-based scholarships—the Silver Medal and Gold Medal, $1,000 and $10,000 respectively.

Artists can submit a portfolio of 8 distinct works that have one cohesive idea. The works can be from multiple mediums or just one. Photography, sculpture, paintings, sketches, and much more are welcome.

Writers can also submit 8 works that display their versatility. Like the art portfolio, those 8 samples should be unified by a single theme. 24,000 words total is the maximum (not including the writer’s statement). Poems, essays, flash fiction, short stories, and novel excerpts and more are viable options.

Gamers Helping Gamers Scholarship

Interested in gaming? There are gaming-related hobby scholarships available

Flickr user Max Mayorov

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: March 31

Play games, raise money for charity, earn a scholarship. What’s better than that. Lovers of the card game Magic: the Gathering can apply to this great scholarship by submitting an essay that answers a few questions about their involvement with the game, including: What’s your favorite Magic card or mechanic and why? and What lessons can we learn from Magic to help solve real-world problems?

To apply, students must submit their answers, a high school transcript, a completed FAFSA form, and be enrolled in college.

Make it With Wool Competition

Colorful yarns in a basket.

Flickr user needfire

Amount: $1,000; $2,000

Deadline: Varies

Enjoy sewing? This competition awards students who make and model their own clothing items. (Though there is a Made for Others option if you don’t want to be the one wearing). Contestants can make one-piece garments, two-pieces, or ensembles—including dresses, coats, jackets, capes, jumpers, shirts, skirts, pants, and more.

Students must first win their district or state contest to become eligible for the national competition. The main pieces must be made of at least 60% wool.

Junior Duck Stamp Contest

Wood Duck.

Flickr user Frank Vassen

Amount: Varies

Deadline: March 15

This interesting opportunity combines a few different hobbies: bird-watching, painting, and stamp collecting. Created to encourage the education about and conservation for water birds, this long-standing competition encourages students to paint a certain waterfowl and submit it for the chance of turning it into a $5 official federal stamp!

K-12 students are eligible to apply. There’s one entry per participant, and the painting must be of a pre-approved bird. Students must first win the state-level competition to be considered for Best in Show. Different states have different deadlines, so pay attention.

Want to find more hobby scholarships? In that case, look through the internet and scholarship databases. Or, talk to your high school counselor or college’s financial aid office. Generally, there are plenty of hobby scholarships out there. And there’s no such thing as applying for too many scholarships.

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