College Scholarship: The Paradigm Challenge

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Do you have an idea that could change the world? The Paradigm Challenge provides a forum for developing and sharing your plan — and gives you the opportunity to win $100,000 toward college expenses.

 

Curious about how to apply for this award and what the competition involves? Read on to learn about the requirements and more.

The Paradigm Challenge: Overview and How to Participate

Open to people ages 4-18, The Paradigm Challenge gives students the chance to collaborate to solve real-world problems in the designated Challenge Project categories: home fires, waste reduction, personal health, food security, and biodiversity. Every two years, the Paradigm Challenge announces new Challenge Project categories. Past prize projects have included one that developed “The Fire Mitt” to promote fire safety and another that created NOHBO shampoo balls to reduce plastic waste.

 

Students in each age category (4-8, 9-13, and 14-18) submit projects and compete to win the top prize of $100,000 toward their college education. (Awards range from $200-$100,000.) In some cases, Project Paradigm also offers support to winning teams to help them implement their ideas.

 

To participate, students should register during the designated registration period (May 2, 2019–May 1, 2021). The competition is open to students from all over the world, except those from U.S.-sanctioned countries. Students must have an adult sponsor and may enter as teams with other participants.

 

Entries must include team information, a brief statement of the idea, the Challenge Project category and explanation, responses to questions concerning the team’s participation, and any additional materials. These submissions will be judged on the following criteria: efficacy, feasibility, originality, presentation, and collaboration.

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Tips on Applying for Scholarships

Applying for scholarships can be overwhelming, but the reward is often well worth the effort. You should start looking for opportunities early in high school; you can even find awards, like The Paradigm Challenge, that have entry categories for students not yet in high school.

 

Research what’s out there. Many different scholarships exist to acknowledge and reward a wide variety of niches, talents, interests, and identities. Search for scholarships aimed at your particular strengths and attributes to identify potential fits; then, narrow down the pool of scholarships you intend to apply for from there.

 

Stay organized. Once you’ve assembled your scholarship application list, review the rules and deadlines carefully, keeping track through whatever system works best for you. Remember, you’ll also have college applications and high school course work to contend with during your senior year, so it’s crucial to stay on top of your scholarship deadlines.

 

Polish your submission. Many scholarship applications include creative components, such as a project or essay. These elements of your submission can be critical to showcasing your strengths and making a good impression on the scholarship committee. To maximize this opportunity, leave time to proofread your work carefully—and ask someone else to review it, too.

 

Need more advice? Check out Helpful Scholarship Resources and Tips.

 

If you’ve started working on your college applications and are looking for help, CollegeVine’s Applications Program could be the answer. We’ll work with you on your scholarship applications, college application themes, college list, and more to increase your chances of getting accepted to your dream college.

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.