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Scholarship Friday: Elks Most Valuable Student, NRA Essay Competition, International Student Essay Competition

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Happy Friday, scholarship seekers! It’s been a long week here, and I’m doing a little snoopy dance that the weekend if finally upon us! How has your week been? Have you made any progress on your college scholarship applications? As the weather turns colder we are heading into prime scholarship deadline season, so be sure to clear a few hours every week to work on your applications. After all, the best way to pay for college is with some free money, right?!

This week, I have three great scholarship opportunities for you, including two essay competitions plus a $15,000 MVS (Most Valuable Student) competition from the Elks National Foundation. I hope you find something here than will help you to pay for college!

To learn more about college scholarships, please visit the Financial Aid Finder’s scholarship section, with practical articles on everything from completing the scholarship application process to writing your scholarship essays.

1. Most Valuable Student Competition: Up to $60,000 ($15,000 per year for 4 years)

The Elks National Foundation will award 500 four-year scholarships to the highest-rated applicants in this year’s competition. The competition, which judges scholarship, leadership, and financial need, is open to any high school senior who is a U.S. citizen and planning to enroll full time in an accredited college or university for next fall. Male and female students compete separately. Membership in the Elks is not required. Applicants will first be judged by local, district and then state committees. National finalists will be notified by February 1st, at which point they must submit a secondary application, including an essay and their student aid report. The 500 national winners will be notified by the date stated on their website. Scholarships will range from $1,000 to $15,000 per year for four years, based on financial need. See website for the first-round application deadline. Applications must be submitted to the Lodge closest to your permanent address.

2. The NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund Essay Contest: Up to $1,000

The NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund (NRACRDF) is sponsoring its annual essay contest celebrating the Second Amendment as an integral part of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This year’s theme is:

The Second Amendment to the Constitution: Why it is important to our nation.

Applicants must submit an essay of approximately 1,000 words, which will be judged on originality, scholarship (including works cited) and presentation (including grammar and spelling). A statement from a teacher or parent declaring that the paper is your original work must be included as well. The competition is open to students in K-12th grades, although essays will be judged in two categories: Senior (10th – 12th grade) and Junior (9th grade and below). Each category will award separate prizes. First prize is a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bonds. Second prize is $600, 3rd prize is $2,000 and Honorable Mention receives $100. Essays must be sent to the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fun in Fairfax, VA (click the above link for address and additional information). The entry deadline is listed on their website.

3. Culture of Enterprise Project Essay Contest (Note – 4/2/13 – This scholarship no longer offered)

The Culture of Enterprise Project is sponsoring its annual international student essay on the topic

Can Character and Communities Survive in an Age of Globalization?

Intended to encourage reflection on the relationship between free enterprise and cultural mores, this top dollar contest awards a $10,000 scholarship to the first place winner.  Essays must be between 2,500 and 3,000 and must be double spaced. Eligible applicants must be full-time undergraduate students enrolled at an accredited U.S. college or university. The application deadline is available on their website.

Good luck with your scholarship applications this week!

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