Are you an aspiring film director or a small-time producer of YouTube hits? Do you spend your spare time drafting storyboards or videotaping interviews?
If you have the time and talent, you can turn a videography hobby into real scholarship money. Along with colleges and employers, scholarship contests are embracing new technologies and outlets for student creativity. Some video contests may ask for a promotional video for a product (usually their product) or they might be looking for a public service announcement promoting an important idea or event.
Locally, the Credit Union Foundation of MD & DC sponsors a college scholarship awards program that supports both an essay component and a video challenge. College-bound credit union members are challenged to create a 60-second advertisement for a credit union “wanting to reach out to college-aged students.”
Like a scholarship essay, a scholarship video will take time and some effort to create. But keep in mind that a good scholarship video may make a cool addition to an arts portfolio if you are considering a film or video major.
Here are five more competitions for budding filmmakers:
- AFA Teens Video Competition: This contest provides an opportunity for teens to reflect on why Alzheimer’s disease is becoming an issue that is important in their lives as well as those around them. Videos, along with an application and 200-word autobiography must be submitted by December 1, 2011. Details are provided on the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America website.
- Viral Video Scholarship Contest: This contest was created as a community service project to help educate the public on safe driving practices by awarding a scholarship based on a public service announcement video. All entries must be received by March 31, 2012, and must be uploaded onto YouTube or Vimeo with “DLG Viral Video Contest” in the title.
- Get Green Video Contest: Planet Connect and Staples want high school students to demonstrate in a 30- to 120-second video how science, technology, engineering or math could be used to help make cities or towns greener and more sustainable for 21st century living. The deadline to enter is 3 pm EST on December 8, 2011. Additional details and entry instructions are provided on the Planet Connect website.
- Courageous Persuaders Video Scholarship Competition: Students are asked to create a TV commercial targeted to middle school students to warn them against the dangers of underage drinking. The grand prize-winning commercial will be broadcast on TV and the team that created it will work with Pluto Post and the Detroit Auto Dealers Education Foundation to upgrade their spot for the air. Open to all high school students, the Courageous Persuaders entry deadline is February 9, 2012. Note that production values in this contest are less important than “ideas.”
- Dr. Pepper Million Dollar Giveaway: Students must upload online or at a sponsored event an original video demonstrating why they deserve to win tuition. Videos will be judged on the appropriateness to theme of college football and tuition, and they must include some reference to Dr. Pepper. There are several different deadlines corresponding to different events, with December 31st the latest date for consideration.