NEWARK, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ten college-bound students from communities across the U.S. are
competing for their share of $40,000 for college in Sallie Mae’s second
annual “Make College Happen Challenge,” the contest that asks high
school students to describe creatively how they plan to pay for college.
Now the public is invited to help choose the top three winners by voting
for their favorite entry at MakeCollegeHappenChallenge.com/vote.
Voting officially opens today at noon and closes on Wednesday, Feb. 22,
at 11:59 p.m. EST.
The first-place winner will receive $15,000; the second-place winner
will receive $10,000; and the third-place winner will receive $8,000.
Each of the other seven finalists will receive $1,000. Top online
vote-getters, combined with judges’ scores, will determine the top three
winners, who will be named in April.
“Voters and judges are going to have a tough time choosing among this
slate of entries because each demonstrates such conviction, confidence,
and creativity about planning for college,” said Martha Holler, senior
vice president, Sallie Mae. “It’s terrific to see these students
developing their plans for college, because, as research shows, a plan
is a critical step in helping students and families reach college, meet
the cost, and ultimately borrow less.”
More than 1,100 students, representing all 50 states and Washington,
D.C., entered the “Make College Happen Challenge,” with entries that
comprised videos, rap songs, poems, essays, and other creative forms. A
panel of judges narrowed the field to 10 finalists on the basis of
creativity, effective communication, and potential of the plan.
Here are the 10 finalists, listed in alphabetical order by home state:
Jasmine Chan of Alhambra, California
Gabriel Gaurano of San Diego, California
Sarah Wouters of Port St. Lucie, Florida
Madison Stano of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Amy Wieland of West Des Moines, Iowa
Benjamin Trimpi of Greenville, North Carolina
Vincent Marchi of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Blake Takushi of Sugarland, Texas
Adriena Pew of Shaw Island, Washington
Amy Wisegarver of Sammamish, Washington
Again, to vote for these exceptional student entries, visit MakeCollegeHappenChallenge.com/vote
beginning today through Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Sallie Mae conducts the “Make College Happen Challenge” in partnership
Kids For Kids, a national organization that provides free
educational resources for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
“We are proud to partner with Sallie Mae again for this project, and we
want to commend each of the ‘Make College Happen Challenge’ finalists
for their creative efforts to address this critical issue facing many
college-bound students,” said Norman Goldstein, CEO and founder, By Kids
For Kids. “Providing young people with the skills they need for their
future success and helping them achieve the dream of a college education
is integral to our mission.”
Sallie Mae offers a number of free planning-for-college tools, including
Planning Calculator and Scholarship
Search by Sallie Mae. The company recommends students and families
follow its 1-2-3 approach to paying for college: first, maximize money
that does not need to be repaid, such as scholarships and grants;
second, explore federal student loans; and, third, consider a
responsible private education loan.
For complete contest rules, visit MakeCollegeHappenChallenge.com/rules.
About By Kids For Kids
By Kids For Kids® (BKFK) is an agency that empowers youth
invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship. BKFK provides a unique
platform for kids and teens to develop and showcase their ideas,
inventions, and entrepreneurship. The company provides free educational
resources, including curricula and challenges that promote social
change, product innovation, and entrepreneurial endeavors. Learn more: www.bkfk.com.
About Sallie Mae
Sallie Mae (Nasdaq: SLM) is the nation’s saving, planning, and paying
for college company. Whether college is a long way off or just around
the corner, Sallie Mae offers products that promote responsible personal
finance, including private education loans, Upromise rewards,
scholarship search, college financial planning tools, and online retail
banking. Learn more at SallieMae.com.
Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are
not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.