Scholarships for the Less-Than-Gifted

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David Letterman Scholarship — Ball State University's most distinguished celebrity grad, David Letterman has always supported not-so-gifted students. Grades are unimportant to the Late Night host. He wants to foster creativity. The David Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship Program gives awards of up to $10,000 to advance fertile minds. Two-time winner Rich Swingley demonstrated Letterman-worthy work with the stop-action animation of a dancing penguin that scaled a beer bottle the size of the Empire State Building. Letterman's generosity is legendary on campus. Outside an audio room that bears his name is this dedication: "To All C-Students Before Me and After Me — David Letterman."

Lefty Scholarship — It's great to be a southpaw at Pennsylvania's Juniata College. You can be awarded up to $1,000 if you are a lefty with sufficient grades. Applicants must be a junior or a senior. Winners of the Frederick and Mary Beckley Scholarhip can also be ambidextrous. The admissions office couldn't tell me much about the origins of this scholarship, but they assure me that Fred and Mary were lefties.

Goodie-Goodie Scholarship — To qualify, a student at Pennsylvania's Bucknell University must not drink, smoke, chew tobacco, take drugs or participate in "strenuous athletic contests." Joseph H. Deppen, class of 1900, donated the money for the scholarship in memory of his sister. It's unclear how they test applicants' virtue.

The Pot Scholarship — The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) gives out scholarships to students who write essays outlining a more "sensible" drug policy for the United States. Kevin Killough (pronounced like "kilo," strangely enough) received $650 last year for his essay, which suggests America follow the Dutch model of legalizing marijuana.

The Zolp Scholarships — Perhaps you or someone you know is named "Zolp." If so, this is your lucky day. The Zolp Scholarship at Loyola University in Chicago offers a four-year, full-tuition scholarship. Be prepared to present your birth certificate to the bursar's office.