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2017-2018 Essay Scholarship Contest
The 4th Annual Kansas Financial Scholars Essay Scholarship Contest is underway! The Kansas Securities Commissioner (KSC), the Kansas Bank Commissioner (OSBC) and the Kansas Insurance Department are partnering to award five scholarships in the amount of $2500, $2000, $1500, $1000, and $500 to five eligible Kansas Seniors. Up to four $250 honorable mention awards will also be issued. To be eligible for a scholarship, essays must be submitted by the deadline of Tuesday, March 27, 2018.

The competition is open to any public, private or homeschooled Kansas high school Senior who meets the following two qualifications:
1) The Senior must be planning to attend a Kansas technical school, college or university. (Not attending a KS school of higher learning will constitute forfeiture of the award.)
2) The Senior must have enrolled in and completed at least one KSC or OSBC sponsored program (EverFi Financial Literacy,The Stock Market Game, or Personal Finance Challengeduring their high school career. Successful completion of a sponsored course by April 20th is required.

Teacher Prizes:
Two teacher prizes will be awarded. The teacher of the first place student winner will receive a $150 gift card to the teacher supply store of his or her choice. The teacher who is credited with the most valid entries submitted will receive a $100 gift card.

What: About the Essay

Essay Part 1
In 1-2 pages:
Write an essay on one of the following financial challenges:

A. Picture what your life could look like twenty years from now. Write about some of the decisions you will need to make regarding your topic of choice (selections below), and how making wise financial decisions early could put you in a better place at that time.

  • Topic Selections:  
    • Savings/Budgets
    • Banking, Credit and Loans
    • Investing/Saving for Retirement and Insurance

Incorporate some of the following thoughts into your essay: What is your profession and how much are you making? Do you have a spouse or children? Where are you living? Are you still paying off student loans? What does the world around you look like?

B. Discuss a real-life event that you or a friend or family member has experienced that made a significant impact on your view of money management. How has that experience affected your approach to managing your own money?

Essay Part 2: Real-world Application
Accompanying Part 1, provide 3-6 pages of analysis (800-1500 words) showing how you will apply what you learned (or wrote about) to your life as you prepare for higher education. Please incorporate at least two of the following into your analysis:
• Comparison of the cost of various types of higher education (i.e. technical college, community college, 4-year college, private vs. public school, in-state vs. out-of-state schools, etc.)
• The positive and negative aspects of getting a loan for higher education versus paying your way through college
• The earning potential of your chosen degree/major or career, and the average debt load and pay-off time the average graduate in that field will face upon completing higher education. Consider also: job availability and demand, and jobs graduates are actually acquiring with your chosen degree.

Other Requirements:

• Style: Op-ed (MLA or APA accepted)
• Format: Word document
• Entries must be in English and typed in 12-point font and double-spaced.
• The financial challenge portion should not exceed 500 words.
• The personal application and analysis portion should be between 800 and 1500 words.
Citation from credible sources is encouraged and expected.
• A completed Entry Form must accompany each essay submission. Words on Entry Form will not count toward the total word count. The Entry Form may be typed or neatly handwritten.

Essays will be judged based on the following criteria:

Understanding of and Adherence to Essay Requirements Student demonstrates financial knowledge and conveys the importance of financial literacy; student accurately makes connections between Essay Part 1 (topic section) to Essay Part 2 (analysis bullet points)  30 Points
Word choice, Punctuation and Spelling Student displays wide vocabulary range and good word choice; proper grammar is displayed with little to no grammatical errors (please have a parent or teacher proofread your essay before submitting) 30 Points
Personal Expression, Fluency and Supporting Evidence Student uses personality in their writing; essays are organized with clear introduction, sentences/paragraphs flow smoothly; credible sources are used to support information given; essay highlights a positive theme 40 Points

The scholarship contest opens January 8, 2018
Essays are due Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 11:59PM CST.

Announcement of Winners & Award Date:
The winning essays will be announced on or before Thursday, April 20, 2018 via the KSC Facebook page and OSBC Facebook page. Scholarships will be awarded at the 2018 Financial Scholars Awards Ceremony in Topeka, KS on Monday, April 30, 2018Students are expected to attend the Ceremony unless they have a sufficient reason they cannot attend. Honorable Mention awardees are welcome to attend the Ceremony, but may choose to have their award mailed to their home address.

Entry forms and essays should be merged into a single Word document attachment and emailed by the deadline to . Please save the document as <School_StudentFirstLastName>, i.e. RiverSideHigh_JohnBrown. Please list the document in this same format in the email subject line. 


Who to contact for questions?
Shannon Santschi, Director of Investor Education


*Students may complete EverFi individually if the program is not offered in a classroom setting or in a class that the student is taking. EverFi contains 9 learning modules and takes approximately 6-8 hours total to complete.

2016-17 Essay Contest
Click here to see who last year's winners were and to read the winning essay!