Obscure scholarships often left unclaimed

Obscure scholarships often left unclaimed. Yes, you read that right! While we’re all aware of the mainstream scholarships, there are many that fall under the radar, unnoticed and unapplied for. In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of unclaimed scholarships and provide insights on how to take advantage of these hidden gems.

Introduction: The Curious Case of Unclaimed Scholarships

The academic landscape is riddled with scholarship opportunities. From athletic scholarships to academic excellence awards, there seems to be something for everyone. Yet, an astounding 70% of these opportunities go unclaimed every year! This begs the question: Why?

The Enigma Behind Unclaimed Scholarships

Many scholarships, particularly the lesser-known ones, have specific requirements that may cater to a limited audience. This exclusivity often results in a smaller applicant pool, or in some cases, none at all. Additionally, certain scholarships, despite being legitimate, go unnoticed because they offer a lower value or aren’t fully funded. Moreover, the cumbersome application process of some scholarships deters potential applicants.

Unlocking the Treasure Trove: Finding Obscure Scholarships

If the mainstream scholarships seem out of reach, or you’re just looking to explore unique opportunities, here’s a detailed list of 15 obscure scholarships often left unclaimed:

  1. Raven Bursaries
    Offered by the University of Northern British Columbia, this $2,000 award supports first-time students demonstrating academic excellence and financial need.
  2. Toronto Regional Real Estate Board’s (TREBB) Past President’s Scholarship
    Initiated in 2007, TREBB annually awards $15,000 split among four Grade 12 graduates.
  3. Check Your (Re)flex Scholarship Awards Contest
    Sponsored by the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC), this unique scholarship requires playing a reflex-testing video game.
  4. Canadian College and University Fair – $3,500 Prize Draw
    Attend the fair, interact, ask questions, and stand a chance to win a semester’s tuition.
  5. Electrical Industry Scholarships
    A whopping $130,000 is up for grabs, distributed over 52 scholarships sponsored by the Electro-Federation Canada.

… and the list goes on with treasures like the TELUS Innovation Scholarship, the De Beers Group Scholarships for Canadian Women, and the Laurier Scholars Program.

Steps to Claiming these Scholarships

  1. Research: Use scholarship search engines, university websites, and other trusted resources.
  2. Understand the Criteria: Each scholarship has unique requirements – make sure you fit the bill.
  3. Apply Early: Beat the deadlines and ensure all documents are submitted correctly.
  4. Seek Guidance: Talk to your school’s guidance counselor or academic advisor for more tailored advice.

In Conclusion

While it might be tempting to only aim for the well-known scholarships, there’s a vast world of obscure scholarships often left unclaimed. By keeping an open mind and casting a wide net, students have the potential to secure funding in the most unexpected places.


How much money in scholarships goes unclaimed?
According to Forbes, roughly $100 Million in scholarship funds remains unclaimed annually.

Why do so many scholarships go unclaimed?
Several factors contribute to scholarships going unclaimed. These include strict eligibility criteria, a lack of publicity or awareness about the scholarship, or a cumbersome application process.

Are there specific websites that focus on obscure scholarships?
Yes, there are websites such as Niche, Cappex, and ScholarshipOwl that list a variety of scholarships, including lesser-known ones. Additionally, local community websites or school counselor databases might have information on more obscure scholarships specific to your region.

How can I increase my chances of securing an obscure scholarship?
First, ensure you meet all the eligibility requirements. Tailor your application, essay, or other required materials specifically for that scholarship. Demonstrating genuine interest and understanding of the scholarship’s purpose can also boost your chances.

Do obscure scholarships have less competition?
Generally, yes. Obscure scholarships are lesser-known, and therefore often receive fewer applications than mainstream scholarships. However, their specific criteria might make them more competitive among the eligible applicants.

Is the value of obscure scholarships lower than mainstream ones?
Not necessarily. While some obscure scholarships might offer smaller awards, others can offer substantial amounts. It’s always worth checking the scholarship details to determine its worth.

Can international students apply for obscure scholarships in another country?
It depends on the scholarship’s eligibility criteria. Some might be reserved for domestic students, while others may be open to international students. Always check the terms and conditions of each scholarship.

How often are new scholarships created?
New scholarships can be established annually, depending on philanthropists, organizations, universities, and other stakeholders. It’s essential to regularly check scholarship databases, college financial aid offices, and related organizations to stay updated on new opportunities.

Can I apply for multiple obscure scholarships?
Absolutely! You can apply for as many scholarships as you’re eligible for. In fact, applying to multiple scholarships increases your chances of securing financial aid.

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