Calling All Losers: Sub Pop Announces College Scholarships

Paul Bergen/Redferns
Nirvana - Dave Grohl, Kurt Coabin, Krist Novoselic

Sometimes losers can be winners. 

Sub Pop Records, the Seattle label which helped launch such seminal bands as Nirvana and Soundgarden, is calling on graduating high school “losers” and “art-enthused misfits” to apply for its college scholarships. 

The label is reaching out to youths “involved and/or interested in music and/or the creative arts in some way,” and there’s no requirement for the recipients to pursue an education in the arts. However, only residents of Washington or Oregon can apply.

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All applicants must be graduating seniors en route to full-time enrollment at an accredited university or college and there’s a total of $15,000 in grant cash up for grabs: one for $7,000, one for $5,000 and one for $3,000.

Those interested are required to submit an essay (one page or less), using a combination of questions as a guide. “What does being a Sub Pop ‘Loser’ mean to you?,” is one such theme. 

The deadline for applications is March 20 and winners will be announced April 12. All details can be found at

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Sub Pop earned its own reputation at the vanguard of the "grunge" movement. Through the late '80s and the '90s, Jonathan Poneman and his co-founder Bruce Pavitt enjoyed hit after hit with album releases from the likes of Nirvana, Soundgarden, TAD and Mudhoney

Since then, the label has helped launch the careers of The Shins, CSS, Band Of Horses, Fleet Foxes, the Postal Service and Wolf Parade, among others.


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