An undergraduate education can be a costly endeavor with few alternatives to student loans, grant applications and paying out of pocket.
However, there is a huge range of scholarships available to students even with the most unique and obscure interests. Some merely require the applicant to meet very specific, sometimes slightly odd, prerequisites.
Here are some of the wackiest college scholarships available in the U.S.:
—By Sarah Whitten, CNBC Digital News Associate
Posted 6 September 2015
It appears that duct tape really can fix anything, including your college loans.
"Stuck at Prom," a promotional scholarship contest from Duck Tape, offers high schoolers 14 and older a chance at a $10,000 prize for making an entire prom outfit out of duct tape.
Participants must enter in pairs to be considered for the grand prize and have to attend a school-sanctioned prom.
The contest, which has run for the last 15 years, awards $10,000 to each individual of the winning couple as well as $5,000 to the school that sponsored the prom. Second-place winners receive $5,000 each and third place is awarded $3,000 each.
Since its inception, more than 92,796 rolls of duct tape have been used to create 7,733 entries in the contest.
So, tell me about your zombie plan...
That's the gist of UniGo's Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship.
The online college resource guide is offering $2,000 to a student over the age of 13 who submits a 250-word or less answer to the question: "What is your zombie plan?".
UniGo is looking for a creative response which includes what applicants would do if their high school or college was suddenly overrun by the undead and what five objects they would bring to stay alive.
Do you have what it takes to survive?
Adult video website Pornhub is branching out and offering a $25,000 scholarship to a legal-age college student who enjoys making others happy.
Get your mind out of the gutter.
This scholarship opportunity is real and not aimed at someone seeking a career in adult entertainment. The company is asking applicants over 18 with a GPA of 3.2 or higher to submit an essay and a video explaining how they strive to make others happy.
"We will not seriously consider anyone if they include explicit material in the video," Cory Price, Pornhub's vice president, told CNBC. "We are not looking for that whatsoever. I want to make that abundantly clear."
The scholarship is part of Pornhub's foray into charitable initiatives through the program "PornHub Cares".
For those that have always dreamed of boldly going where no man has gone before, this scholarship is for you.
The International Star Trek Fan Association offers five annual scholarships with values of up to $1,000 each to members of their organization.
Each scholarship covers a different sector in academia including engineering, medical, business and the arts. There is even a Space Explorer's Memorial Scholarship which is given to a student whose field of study does not match up with the other four scholarships.
The 2016 application period opens in January and requires that applicants be with the organization for more than a year before applying.
While most teenagers are picking up a guitar, they should be picking up a tuba.
Players of the largest brass instrument are eligible for numerous music scholarships.
The University of Florida offers the William R. Booth Tuba Scholarship, which awards a brass playing student $100,000 who participates in the school's Gator marching band.
Similarly, the University of Arizona offers scholarships to tuba and euphonium students. Awards range from $500 annually to a full tuition scholarship.
Additionally, The Oregon Tuba Association awards an annual scholarship to tuba and euphonium students who study at the University of Oregon or at Oregon State University.
Tubists may be playing the lowest-pitched instrument in the brass family but they have a high number of scholarship opportunities.
If you're a twin, here's one more thing you can share with your other half.
There are many schools in the United States with scholarship programs designed with twins specifically in mind. Lake Erie College in Ohio, for example, offers a full tuition scholarship to a set of twins—split 50/50—who attend the school together.
And it's not the only one. Sterling College in Kansas offers a similar discount two-for-one discount for twins.
For twins seeking alternative scholarships, siblings who have attended the Twins Day Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio, three times in the last five years are eligible for a $1,000 scholarship so long as they are high school seniors.
That's all you need to apply for this scholarship. The Dairy Council of Arizona offers a $12,000 scholarship to the student with the best milk mustache.
So if you are 17 or older and have a cell phone, snap a pic of your stache for a chance at quite a bit of moolah. The second-place winner receives a hearty $8,000 and third place is awarded $8,000.
While redheads only account for 2 percent of the population, they might have a higher likelihood of getting a college scholarship.
ScholarshipRed is an organization that grants $500 to a high school student with natural red hair and a GPA above 2.5.
Applicants must provide two photographs as proof of hair color—one from childhood and one from present day—as well as create something that represents "what it means to be a redhead".
The organization accepts drawings, essays and even YouTube videos from redheaded students as entries.
Do you tower over your friends? Are people constantly telling you that you should play basketball or asking about the weather "up there"? Then this scholarship is for you.
The Tall Clubs International Foundation offers $1,000 scholarships annually to students so long as they are under 21 and are tall. The minimum height requirement for women is 5'10'' while men must be taller than 6'2''.
Everyone has a special talent and if duck-calling is yours, then you may want to head to Stuttgart, Arkansas.
The Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest is an annual event for high school seniors and is associated with the World's Champion Duck Calling Contest.
The first-place winner receives $2,000 toward their college education while second place takes home $1,000, third is awarded $750 and fourth receives $500.
Juniata College in Pennsylvania has a unique opportunity for left-handed students. Namely, $1,000 to $1,500 in cash.
The college offers the needs-based scholarship to a handful of academically successful lefties each year and continues to award the prize until they graduate.
Ambitious children between the ages of 6 and 12 who have a love of peanut butter and want to start saving for college should look no further.
The Jif "Most Creative Sandwich Contest" provides future scholars with a $25,000 college fund and a $50 Jif gift basket. The young superstar needs only to create a unique peanut butter-inspired recipe and have a parent or guardian submit an entry form.