Target These 10 Unique Scholarships in 2014

Scholarship America

Taking a holiday break from work or school provides a great opportunity to start the upcoming year refreshed. If you're in high school or college, the break can also help re-energize you when it comes to applying for scholarships.

In addition to finding some scholarship trends for 2014, The Scholarship Coach is ringing in the new year with 10 diverse awards - ranging from large and established to small but meaningful - in order to help revitalize your scholarship search.

1. For STEM students: The Scholarship Coach has covered technology and STEM scholarships in the past, but there's another award to add to those lists.

The Intertek Scholarship Program is a brand new program for 2014. Intertek is offering a two-for-one deal to five aspiring engineers.

Winners will receive an award of up to $10,000 as well as an internship at an office of the global quality assurance and certification company. You'll want to apply soon, as the deadline is Jan. 17.

[Check out these scholarships for technology students.]

2. For the artistically inclined: The Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest gives you a chance to exercise your artistic skills. Applicants must submit an original artwork greeting card design by Jan. 15 for a chance to win $10,000, plus an additional $1,000 for your college or high school!

3. For the social media savvy: The Toyota Teen Driver Video Challenge is offering $15,000, $10,000 and $7,500 to the top three winners submitting video public service announcements on teen driving safety.

Once you create a video, upload it to YouTube for a chance to have it reviewed by contest judges. Ten finalists will get a chance to compete for the top prizes. Applications are due by March 13.

4. For minority students: If you are seeking a good-through-graduation scholarship program, check out the Gates Millennium Scholars Program. This prestigious program selects 1,000 scholars nationwide and requires nomination by an educator.

Students who are African-American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian-American and Pacific Islander or Hispanic-American are eligible to apply by Jan. 15.

[Consider using these alternative scholarship search engines.]

5. For those with unique skills: Another good-through-graduation scholarship program comes from the Posse Foundation. The foundation seeks nominations each spring for top-notch public high school juniors "who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes."

The 10 selected Posse Scholars receive precollege, on-campus and career training.

6. For the altruist: If volunteerism is in your veins, consider applying for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. If you're in grades 5 through 12, you can apply through a participating school or local organization.

The deadline for 2014 awards has passed, but be on the lookout for future deadlines. The last application cycle opened in September.

7. For the working student: Being employed while in school not only helps pay college bills, it can also bolster your resume. It's even more beneficial if your company offers employee scholarships.

The Walmart Associate Scholarship , for example, offers up to $16,000 to selected employees. There are several 2014 application dates and the next deadline is March 3.

[Find scholarships for in-demand degrees.]

8. For the environmentalist: The Sara Shallenberger Brown GCA National Parks Conservation Scholarship supports a unique field training program related to America's national parks.

Undergraduates ages 19 and 20 can apply by Feb. 15 for an Apprentice Crew Leader Program, which includes training, transportation and a $750 stipend for a three-week stint. The award is distributed by the Garden Club of America, which offers merit-based scholarships covering specialties from desert studies to urban forestry.

9. For the student trying to stay in college: The Scholarship America Dream Award is a multi-year, performance-based scholarship fund targeted toward getting college students to finish their degree. If you're in at least your second year of postsecondary study, you could be eligible to apply.

The renewable scholarship provides between $5,000 to $15,000 annually, with an additional $1,000 added to the award each year until graduation. While the inaugural application period is closed, the program will open again in the fall.

10. For students who have beaten the odds: If you've overcome adversity, check out the Horatio Alger Association Scholarship. The program awards high school seniors who have shown integrity and perseverance despite hard times.

Students in Idaho, Louisiana and Montana still have a chance to enter. Applications from those states will reopen from Jan. 15 to April 15.

Carissa Chang joined Scholarship America in 2013. She is an alumna of Taylor University and a former scholarship recipient.