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Official 2019 Essay Scholarship Contest Page
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2019 Essay Scholarship Contest
Kansas High School seniors are invited to participate in The 5th Annual Kansas Financial Scholars Essay Scholarship Contest! The Kansas Securities Commissioner (KSC), the Kansas Bank Commissioner (OSBC) and the Kansas Insurance Department are partnering to award five scholarships to five eligible Kansas high school seniors. Awards are as follows:

First place: $3,000
Second place: $2,000
Third place: $1,000 
Fourth place: $1,000
Fifth place: $1,000 

To be eligible for a scholarship, essays must be submitted on or before the deadline: 11:59 p.m. CST, Monday, April 1, 2019. 


The competition is open to any public, private or home schooled Kansas high school Senior who meets the following two qualifications:

1) The Senior must be planning to attend a Kansas technical school, trade 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 of the following approved* financial literacy courses during their high school career: EverFi Financial LiteracyThe Stock Market Game, MoneySkill, Foundations in Personal Finance (Dave Ramsey), Banzai, the Personal Finance Challenge or the High School Financial Planning Program (NEFE) during their high school career. IF a certificate of completion is available, students should email it with their essay submission. Successful completion of a sponsored course by April 12th is required.

*By request and upon review, other courses may gain approval as eligible for participation in the contest. Interested teachers should prepare a syllabus of their course and contact Dana Branam at 785.296.1783 prior to their students' submissions.

If you/your class is not enrolled in an approved program but would like to enroll for free today and be eligible for this year's Essay Scholarship Contest, call 785.296.3307.

Teacher Prizes:
Two teacher prizes will be awarded. The teacher of the first place student winner will receive a $150 gift card to use for educational purchases. The teacher who is credited with the greatest number of **quality entries submitted will also receive a $150 gift card to use for educational purchases.

**Quality means that the essay meets the appropriate length and submission requirements, and that proper grammar is displayed throughout the paper.

What: About the Essay

Essay Part 1

In two pages or less, discuss a real-life event that you, a friend or family member has experienced that made a significant impact on your view of smart money management.

How has this experience affected your approach to managing your own money for the next five years, or until you graduate from college?  Take into account the following: savings/budgets, banking, credit and loans, investing/saving for the future and purchasing insurance. 

Essay Part 2: Real-world Application

A. Interview one to two persons who are already active in the field/career to which you aspire.

We suggest asking the following questions during your interview. Do not limit your questions to our
suggestions. You should come up with more questions of your own.

1) What drew you to the field/business/industry you are in right now?
2) How easy/difficult has it been to advance in this field?

B. Provide a 3 to 6-page analysis (800-1500 words) of how you will apply what you learned from  
      the interview, what you wrote about in Part 1, and what you learned from your financial literacy  
      course to your own life as you prepare for the future. 

Incorporate at least two of the following into your analysis (cite sources): 

A simple Excel chart comparing the cost of various types of higher education (i.e. technical college, community college, 4-year college, private vs. public school, or the choice of a school in Kansas vs. out-of-state school, etc.) 
The positive and negative aspects of getting a loan for higher education versus paying your way through college (through scholarships, working during school, or finding more affordable educational options, etc.)
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. 


• Style: Op-ed (MLA or APA accepted)
• Format: Word document
• Entries must be in English and typed in 12-point font and double-spaced. 
• Essay Part 1 should not exceed 500 words.
• The interview, personal application and analysis portion should be between 800 and 1500 words. 
• Citation from credible sources is 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. 

Please save the document as <School_FirstNameLastName> i.e. RiverSideHigh_JohnBrown.       

Please list the document in this same format in the email subject line.   

If possible, entry forms and essays should be merged into 
a single Word document attachment and emailed by the deadline to:

IF a certification of completion is available, please attach it with your submission.


Essays will be accepted from Jan. 15, 2019 until 11:59 p.m. CST, Monday, April 1, 2019
Judge’s clock is the official time keeper. 

Essayists are strongly encouraged to have someone (a teacher, parent, adult or peer) review their essay before submission. 

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 connects experiences in Essays Part 1 and Part 2, and describes their personal significance or value. 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. 30 Points
Personal Expression, Fluency and Supporting Evidence Student uses personality in their writing; essays are organized with clear introduction, body and conclusion; sentences/paragraphs flow smoothly; credible sources are used to support information; essay highlights a positive theme 40 Points

Announcement of Winners & Award Date:
The winning essays will be announced on or before Tuesday, April 23, 2019 via KSC (@Kansas.Securities), OSBC (@ksosbc) and KID (@KansasInsuranceDepartment) Facebook Pages. 
Scholarships will be awarded at the 2019 Financial Scholars Awards Luncheon in Topeka, Kansas on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Scholarship recipients are expected to be in attendance at the ceremony unless they have a sufficient reason for not attending. 

Legal Terms: 
By submitting an entry to the competition, entrants acknowledge that all submissions may be posted on the Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner (KSC), the Office of the State Bank Commissioner (OSBC) and the Kansas Insurance Department’s (KID) websites or their social media outlets, as well as the website for viewing by the general public. Entrants also grant in perpetuity, a nonexclusive license to edit, publish, display, duplicate or otherwise use the submission, and photographs and video of the participants in connection with this contest, for the Sponsors (OSBC, KSC and KID) and their Designees in their sole discretion whatsoever and without further notice or compensation.


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