When School Gets Pricey, Getting Creative

When Sharon Dranko needed extra money for college, she found a scholarship in an unexpected place: Duct Tape. She won a competition by making this dress entirely out of the sticky stuff.

Like so many other students, Sharon Dranko was facing a sticky situation when it came time for college.

"My parents were only prepared to pay, like, $15,000 a year, and my school is $27,000," Dranko said.

She's now a fashion student at Kent State University and fashioned a way to get scholarship money that it's safe to say - you have to see to believe, CBS News correspondent Richard Schlesinger reports.

She got $3,000 from a company that makes duct tape, when she won a contest by using 134 rolls of the tape to make her high school prom dress. It weighs 50 pounds - and you can hear it coming. It's more fashionable than functional.

Schlesinger asked: "Can you dance in this?"

"Uh, you kind of have to move from side to side," Dranko said.

So, no slow-dancing? Dranko said it would be difficult to get close to someone else while wearing the dress.

Dranko made not just her dress but also a duct tape tuxedo for her date. He got $3,000 too.

"There are scholarships for a ton of strange things out there," she said.

For example, left-handed students can get up to $1,000. Skateboarders, up to $5,000. And at DePauw University, there's money available for any female student who can sing or play the National Anthem - with sincerity.

So students are cashing in on whatever they can.

At Southern Connecticut State University, Morgan Lehoux got money from The Tall Clubs International because she's 6 feet plus - and wrote a good essay.

Did she ever think that her height would be an advantage?

"Not really … just for basic things like grabbing things off a shelf," she said.

But it was also good for $500 toward tuition.

If nothing else, the scholarship hunt teaches valuable lessons in creativity and in the case of Sharon Dranko's duct tape dress - sticking with or sticking to a project until it pays off.

  • Richard Schlesinger
    Richard Schlesinger

    Correspondent, "48 Hours," "CBS Evening News"