Hands holding multiple $100 bills.

At NYU, the majority of financial aid students receive is determined by a combination of need and merit. This means that most of our scholarship funds are dedicated to helping students whose families may not be able to afford the full cost of a college education. And while we’re proud to have dropped out of the top 20 on the list of most expensive private colleges, we understand that the cost of attending college still seems daunting. That is one reason we automatically consider you for our merit-based scholarships when you apply to NYU (just make sure you submit all of your application materials on time).

We also know that even small grants and scholarships can make a big difference. So, in addition to considering you for our scholarships, we developed a guide to help you uncover opportunities from outside organizations. But this is also a chance for you to get creative. With a little research, you might find scholarships for things you never dreamed of. If you have a special hobby, an eye for design, or something you’d like to say to the world, chances are there are scholarship opportunities out there for you. Here are five that caught our eye:

Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship: $2,000
Zombies have seized your school! Your classmates, teachers, counselors, even your principal are part of the herd of walking dead. In 250 words or fewer, describe your plan to stay alive. Where will you go? What will you bring? How will you remain on the side of the living? If you survive, you’ll have an extra $2,000 to use toward your college education.

Gamers Helping Gamers Scholarship: $5,000
Are you a fan of Magic: The Gathering? Not just a casual fan, but, like, a really, really serious fan? Then check out this opportunity. Write about your favorite and least favorite cards from the fantasy game, share how you think the game teaches lessons that translate to everyday life, and enjoy some extra help with your tuition.

Shout It Out Scholarship: $1,500
If there’s something you’ve always wanted to say to the world but haven’t had the chance, here’s your shot. This scholarship asks you to give some serious thought to what you would say and, more importantly, how it would impact others. Get loud, tell the world what’s on your mind, and earn some extra cash for college.

Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship: $5,000 or $10,000
Practicing vegetarians who have promoted vegetarianism in their high schools and communities—and have championed a peaceful world through a vegetarian diet and lifestyle—can turn their commitment, compassion, and courage into one of three scholarships. Share your dedication and get help paying for a chunk of your college costs.

Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest: $10,000
Birthdays, holidays, weddings, graduations, childbirth. There are greeting cards for everything! Display your artistic skills and create your own. Whether your preferred medium is photography, water color, or graphic design, you have the chance to turn your original artwork into additional funds for school.

A Wealth of Opportunity

With more than two million grant and scholarship opportunities available to college students, you’re bound to find one (or five) that works for you. Yes, it takes time to search for them, complete the applications, and write the essays. But when it can help reduce the cost of your college education, it’s definitely time well spent.

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Since joining NYU’s University Relations and Public Affairs Office of Marketing Communications, Nathan has been integral in helping the university strengthen its brand and share its value with the world. He enjoys uncovering and sharing the stories that hit audiences on a deeper level and guiding partners across the university toward more engaging and informative brand and storytelling experiences. Nathan has also worked as a teacher and academic counselor. He earned a BA in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.