It’s not very often when a college offers a completely free four-year scholarship without any strings attached; not even premiere athletes are guaranteed such an offer at today’s universities. What comes as even more of a shock it that in this instance it is not the football jock or the high school valedictorian who is receiving a free ride to the University of New Haven Business School; that honor goes to any freshman who happens to have a great entrepreneurial idea. This radical idea is called the Dean’s Scholarship Challenge and it is already making national headlines for its ingenuity.
UNH’s Sweet Free College Offer
In a nutshell, the Dean’s Scholarship Challenge was developed by the new dean at UNH, Larry Flanagan. In case the name rings a bell to those of you in business circles, he was the MasterCard executive that penned the “Priceless” campaign that has been so popular over the past several years. His newest goal is to motivate the college’s current freshmen to think outside the box and come up with a business idea so fantastic that it simply blows him away- “Bowl me over with your entrepreneurial idea and win free tuition for your undergraduate degree.” What’s the value of such a prize? A degree from UNH averages a whopping $120,000.
How the Contest Works
This campaign started a few months back on Facebook and the rules are pretty straightforward. Those interested in submitting an idea simply has to create a Facebook page about the concept and present it in a manner that will catch Flanagan’s attention. College executives and faculty members will then select the stand-out entries and award four undergraduate scholarships to the winners. Twenty iPads are also up for grabs in this contest as well as fifty $250 gift cards to the campus bookstore.
“The kids are definitely interested, but when I get to the full-tuition part, it’s the parents’ eyes that really light up,” Flanagan said when asked about the program.
Other UNH Giveaways
This was certainly not Flanagan’s only idea for motivating the campus’s students to strive for greatness in business; although it is the largest and most unique contest ever held on the 50+ year old campus. The University of New Haven has also recently given away several other iPads and similar prizes for students who submitted exceptional business plans. In fact, many of them are even competing with their ideas on a national level.
“It even goes past winning the iPad or getting the prizes and tangible things,” said Gary Crawford III, a freshman business major who attends UNH . “It’s giving us an opportunity to actually succeed and start working on stuff that’ll actually be our life and our businesses when we get out of school.”