Monday February 4, 2013

What's Your Point?

High school seniors can produce a video on how they'll make their mark in the world, then drum up votes as they compete for $50,000 in scholarships.

Everyone's life has a point. How are you going to make a difference?

In an "American Idol" twist, high school seniors can produce an original video on how they're going to make their mark in the world — and drum up votes as they compete for a total of $50,000 in scholarships to the University of Dayton. The grand-prize winner takes home a $40,000 scholarship.

For details, "like" the University of Dayton Office of Admission and Financial Aid's Facebook page ( and check out the video contest tab. The entry deadline is March 15, with winners announced April 15.

The contest, now in its third year, is both a nod to the YouTube generation and a novel opportunity for prospective students to compete for scholarships. Last year's contest attracted 52 entries, nearly 60,000 votes — and attention from national media and, a blog that focuses on new media initiatives. While some universities now accept video essays, University of Dayton officials are not aware of any other campus that runs a social media contest for scholarships.

"This year, we're asking prospective students to tell us the huge impact they want to make with their lives," said Kevin Schultz, assistant director of University marketing and digital innovation. "How do you hope to change the world? How can a University of Dayton education help you get there?"

Entrants share their videos through Facebook, Twitter, email or word of mouth and ask for votes. A panel of judges reviews the 10 videos with the most votes to select the winners. The grand-prize winner receives $40,000 — a $10,000 scholarship annually for four years. Second- and third-place winners get $6,000 and $4,000 scholarships, respectively.

Another University of Dayton social media campaign is generating buzz. February is "I Love UD" month. Students, alumni, faculty and staff are participating in social media contests — from uploading photos for a Porch Sheet Challenge to telling the world how much they love UD on Twitter with the hashtag #iloveud. The monthlong campaign is about giving back — from random acts of kindness to gifts toward scholarships and other initiatives that help "fund a future of love" for students. For more information, see

For more information, contact Kevin Schultz at 937-229-4412 or