Quirky scholarships help fund studies in topics ranging from accounting to zombie apocalypse.

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Graduate school isn’t cheap, but it’s a chance to narrow down your interests and specialize in a program leading to a future professional path.

These scholarships and tuition breaks available to graduate students help defray costs of tuition, room and board, and other fees, so there’s more money for beer — or rather, books. Some are available to a wide range of students, while others may seem a bit unusual.


College savings add up. Four recipients of the AICPA/Accountemps Student Scholarship Award will receive up to $10,000 towards a graduate-level degree in an accounting or accounting-related major, including tuition, room and board and more. Applicants must be planning to pursue the CPA licensure.

Danish ties

Have a Danish background? The Northwest Danish Association scholarship ranges from $500 to $1,000, and is intended for Oregon and Washington residents with a Danish connection and involved in the Danish community.


Those still captivated by things that go can apply for the Helene M. Overly Scholarship from the Women’s Transportation Seminar Portland Chapter. It offers one $3,500 scholarship to a female applicant accepted to or enrolled in a graduate degree program in a transportation-related field such as engineering, planning, finance or logistics, with plans to pursue a transportation-related career.


Got your eye on a career in potatoes? The Washington State Potato Foundation presents multiple scholarships ranging from $1000 to $5000 for those pursuing careers in agriculture, with an emphasis on the Washington-Oregon growing region.

Jane Austen

One college/grad student essay winner can receive $1,000 from the Jane Austen Society of North America – Puget Sound Region. The essay must offer on original insights and genuine voice on the annual topics. This year: “What are the potential routes for improvement of social status in ‘Emma’ and how are they similar and different in your world today?”

Exploring a WICHE

If you want to study locally, WICHE’s Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) offers tuition reciprocity between Western states, making programs available at the resident rate to grad students and residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.


Not pulling your strings here, but American puppeteers (with some professional experience or a university degree in puppetry) wishing to study the fine art of marionettes with a recognized professional program outside the U.S. can apply for the UNIMA-USA $1,000 scholarship program.

Interior, furniture design

For students focusing on residential upholstered or wood furniture design, the International Furnishings and Design Association offers the $3,000 Ruth Clark scholarship, while the $2,000 Vercille Voss IFDA Graduate Student Scholarship is meant for graduate students focused on interior design.

Mystery writing

Whodunit? You. The Helen McCloy/MWA Scholarship for Mystery Writing awards two scholarships for up to $500 apiece for serious aspiring mystery writers wishing to improve their writing skills. The scholarship helps pay for writing workshops, seminars or university-level writing program tuition and fees.


The rainy Northwest is fertile ground for mushrooms, and graduate students in mycology (mushroom studies) can apply for awards up to $2,000 from the Mycological Society of America. Applicants are evaluated on their promise as a mycologist, among other criteria, and must be Ph.D. candidates.


Every year, up to 15 students committed to osteopathy can win one of Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation’s scholarships, ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 for graduate coursework in health and medical sciences or osteopathy, primarily rewarded to Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon or Washington residents.

Zombie apocalypse

Yes, you read that right. Put together the winning 250-word plan to survive a zombie apocalypse, including where you’d hide and the top five things you’d bring to stay alive,and you’ll be the proud recipient of the $2,000 Unigo Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship.