Looking Out for Bizarre Scholarship Opportunities

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PANAMA CITY - You don't have to be a valedictorian, a star athlete or a class president to get a scholarship.

With hard work, dedication and a little bit of research students can get the money they need for college.

The cost of tuition in Florida has increased 60% over the last 5 years.

As the cost of college continues to skyrocket, more students are getting creative about finding ways to foot the bill.

Brian Hague, a senior at Florida State University Panama City Campus has the secrets that led him to $10,000 dollars in free money for college.

Hague, said, "It's really a matter of find your niche and applying for scholarships that meet that niche."

At FSU-PC nearly 300 students apply for scholarships each semester.

FSU-PC's Financial Aid Advisor, Kathryn Morgan said, "Students say, 'I'm an engineer student or I'm business or I'm in education,' and they get the mindset that that's the only place is for business education or engineering, but it's so much more than that."

Officials say there are hundreds of scholarship opportunities most people don't even know exist.

Marybeth Loveingood the Director of Development at FSU-PC said "You can pretty much find a scholarship for anything."

The Klingon Language Institute is offering students $500 for their work in fields of language.

You don't have to be fluent in the Trekkie language, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

As part of the Tall Clubs International scholarships and the Billy Barty Foundation you can qualify for a scholarship if you're super tall or short.

If you’re a male 6’ 2” or taller, or a female 5’ 10” or taller, you just may qualify for the $1,000 scholarship.

The Billy Barty Foundation scholarship is awarded to students who are under 4’ 10” and have proof of dwarfism.

One lucky couple could win $3,000 bucks in scholarship money for creating prom outfits made entirely out of duct tape.

Morgan says while these scholarships sound a little bizarre it doesn't hurt to apply.

"Don't second guess yourself and think, 'Oh well I don't quite qualify,' send it in any way. You might be the only one who sends it in and if you beat 4 of the 5 criteria then you got it."

"They do sound fairly ridiculous, but at the same time people are out there funding these scholarships because they want to support that particular group of people and that's what's great," Hague said.
The financial aid adviser also says get organized.

Buy a planner and write down all the deadlines to ensure you apply on time.

Officials say just like anything else, when applying for the free money, don't give out more personal information than you have to.