Texas A&M scholarships – the Scarpinato Grant

The Texas A&M University Scarpinato Scholarship is paying the full cost of tuition at Texas A&M University for individuals whose last name is Scarpinato, either by birth or by marriage.

In the U.S., we can find scholarships for the weirdest things. There are scholarships available for golf caddies, fly fishers, welders, lefties, and pie makers, just to mention a few.

There’s also a scholarship for pagans and one for parapsychologists, there’s even one scholarship sponsored by the fans of the bumpy-headed Star Trek aliens, Klingons.

On this page, we highlight a very lucrative scholarship available from Texas A&M University. The main requirement, but so hard to meet, is simply having the right name: Scarpinato.

This scholarship was established by a gentleman named Lee Scarpinato, A&M alumni of the class of 1934. The scholarship is for any student (undergrad, graduate. or professional) who has the last name, by birth or marriage, of Scarpinato.

The Lee Scarpinato scholarship covers all tuition and fees at Texas A&M and also includes an allotment for room & board, representing, in total, around $12,000 annually. It is assumed that the Lee Scarpinato Scholarship was awarded only five times over the years. Let’s take a closer look at how, for example, this wonderful scholarship has helped Susan Howley.

Texas A&M University-College Station is among the nation’s largest academic institutions with some 54,00 undergraduate students. The school has a relatively selective acceptance rate of around 66 percent.

Susan Howley’s example

In 1978, a young Texas woman named Susan Hawley enrolled as a freshman at Texas A&M College Sation. That same year, Susan fell totally in love with a Texas cattle and cotton farmer by the name of Joe Scarpinato Jr.

Susan and Joe got married and she dropped out of college one year later. There were times, however, that Susan considered going back to A&M but she realized that her growing family would not be able to afford that.

So one day, 18 years later, Susan received a letter at her home not so far away from College Station, Texas. The letter read that a man by the name of Lee Scarpinato had left more than one half million dollars to A&M University and that he wished that people with the same name would go to college. So the school tried to contact all persons and families who were named Scarpinato.

Well, as it turned out, that was her name. After Susan received the scholarship, she went back to college and earned her bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Leadership and Development from A&M’s Agricultural Development Department in 2002.

In 2005, Susan completed also her master’s degree in Agricultural Education and after working for several years at Reynolds & Reynolds as an Enterprise Account Executive, she currently works as an Operator at Lubrizol Specialty Products.

Later, her son Joe was accepted at A&M University College Station and he benefitted from the same scholarship. Joe earned his Bachelor of Applied Science degree (BASc) and has currently a senior position at SouthStar Bank.

But Susan, sounding a bit apologetic, admits to having some worries about the scholarship’s rules. Suppose her daughter would marry, take the name of her husband, and then would apply to A&M University? What about her children in that case? Well, if that would happen, none of her kids would be eligible for the great scholarship if they had not that magic name: Scarpinato.

Susan says that she understands the rules, though. It was old Lee Scarpinato’s money and he established this incredible and wonderful thing. It probably was Lee’s wish that everyone would be hearing the name ‘Scarpinato’ called out every time someone with that name walk across the stage.

Scholarships offer such a great opportunity for many students to pay for their college education and there are numerous scholarships available in Texas. For a few good examples of Texas scholarships, check out this post. Usually, college and university scholarships are based on talent, academic merit, leadership qualities, or financial need, but the one highlighted in this post is based on a name.

University and college scholarships will be awarded by the schools’ Scholarships and Financial Aid Departments or by academic colleges and/or departments themselves but this great scholarship is not merit-based, you just got to have the right name: Scarpinato.

More unusual & odd scholarships

As you know, college can get quite expensive. So who knows, maybe you qualify for one of these weird scholarships. Odds are, of course, that you don’t qualify for any of the unusual scholarships that are listed below, but that’s sort of the point. As said, college education comes at a cost and, just like today, finding the funds was often a challenge.

If scholarships are as bizarre as these exist, then there’s certainly a few (if not many) that you can get. Now go get ‘em. Oh, and double-check the ones below, you never know if one might be for you…

1. Duck Tape Prom Dress Scholarship – Make your prom dress out of Duck tape and you could win up to a $10,000 scholarship. This year, the total amount in awards is $20,000 in scholarships available to high school students that have made the most impressive attire from Duck Tape!

Unusual scholarships based on your height

2. If You’re Short – $250 to $1,000 for guys 6’2″ and taller and girls 5’10″ and taller. Little People of America (LPA) Free Schooling is just one of the award options available to short college-bound students. LPA is a non-profit agency offering educational, medical, and financial support.

Unusual scholarships based on your interests

3. Golf Caddies – Evans Scholars not only have a number of residences on college campuses but also give out scholarships to golf caddies. Each year, more than 1,000 Evans Scholars are offered at 18 universities nationwide. Evans Scholarships include full tuition & board awarded to golf caddies that are in financial need. Unfortunately, not one Texas college of University participates so you may have to go out-of-state.

4. Do You Speak Klingon? – Hard to believe, but if you speak Klingon then a $500 scholarship may have your name on. The KLI Academic Award is a $500 Kor Memorial Scholarship that’s available to students (both undergraduate and graduate) majoring in Linguistics or Foreign Languages that speak Klingon.

5. Knitting – Jimmy Beans Wool offers up scholarships based on items that you’ve knitted. The Beans for Brains scholarship is merit-based and targeted toward artistic post-secondary education students and is based on yarn knowledge, community service, GPA, financial need, etc. Application deadline: May 31.

6. Vegetarians – Each year, the Vegetarian Resource Group awards two $10,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors who have have been actively promoting vegetarianism in their communities and schools. Awards are paid directly to the student’s colleges.

7. Water Skiing – Each year, the U.S. Water Ski and Wake Sports Foundation awards up to six scholarships for towed water sports students. Applicants must be incoming full-time college students at a 2 or 4-year college or university. The award may be awarded up to three academic years.

8. Welding – Do you spend your time welding metal? If so, the American Welding Society has scholarships just for you. Students who are enrolled (or are about to do so) in a welding program at a trade school, community college, or a 4-year university may apply for the AWS scholarship that will be paid directly to the school.

Unusual scholarships based on your last name & ancestors

9. Harvard Has Multiple Choices – At Harvard University, students may be eligible for scholarships for only having a certain family name. The school offers scholarships to students who go by the family name of Bordon, Anderson, Downer, Baxendale, Bright, Murphy, and Pennoyer. It is quite a long trip from Texas to Harvard, but who knows… If you’ve got the right name, you may qualify!

10. Van Valkenburg – The Lambert and Annetje Van Valkenburg Memorial Scholarship is an annual award of $1,500 for the Van Valkenburgs of the world. Applicants need to submit a 500-800 word essay related to Van Valkenburg’s heritage in America.

Left-handed scholarships

Left-Handed Scholarship – Some ten percent to the U.S.population is left-handed and yes, if you are a leftie, there are several scholarships available just for you. Left-handed students are referred to as ‘southpaws’ and they are known for being highly talented in the field of, for example, arts and sports.

The best-known lefties scholarships are the ESA Foundation Scholarship, Boundless Opportunity Scholarship, MRCA Foundation Left-Handed Scholarship, Frederick & Mary F Beckley Scholarship, and the Andrew Macrina Scholarship.

Last Updated on September 12, 2020