For most people, going to college represents an important step in the development of a satisfying and fruitful career. However, paying for a college education is a real challenge for many potential students.
Through the website Unigo.com, many soon-to-be students have found the right scholarships to help fund the education of their dreams. The I Have a Dream Scholarship is just one of the many financial opportunities offered through Unigo. And unlike many scholarships, this one is available to both current and prospective students.
What is the I Have a Dream Scholarship?
Simply put, the I Have a Dream Scholarship from Unigo is a one-time $1,500 award gifted to one of the many applicants on Unigo.com. As we mentioned above, going to college is a dream for many, and dreams are the exact focus of this unique scholarship.
When compared to many other widely available scholarships, this amount of this particular grant is rather small. However, the easy application process and the limited number of requirements make this scholarship a good fit for many.
Because this scholarship is widely available to all types of students, competition is relatively steep. And, the fact that only one award is given per year makes this scholarship incredibly exclusive. However, as we mentioned above, the application process is simple and takes very little time to complete.
As a final note, this scholarship is unique in that it does not come with any GPA requirements. The sponsors are more concerned with the content of your application than the number of grade points you’ve accumulated. However, excellent writing skills and a desire to share your dreams are necessary for this application.
Who is Eligible for the I Have a Dream Scholarship?
Nearly anyone currently enrolled or planning to enroll in an accredited post-secondary institution of higher education can apply for this scholarship. While attending (or planning to attend) an accredited college or university is the primary requirement for this academic grant, there are two other requirements. Applicants must:
- Be at least 13 years old at the time of application
- Be a legal resident of the 50 United States of Washington, D.C.
Also, if you’re planning to apply for this scholarship before you’re enrolled in a post-secondary program, prepare to be enrolled by the fall of 2025. Other than that, anyone can apply.
What is the Application Process?
While competition for this scholarship is pretty fierce, applying for it isn’t. To submit an application and be considered for this one-of-a-kind educational grant, students only need to do two things: create an account with Unigo and write a short essay. Applicants may complete the two steps at one time on the same webpage, or finish them separately.
Creating an Account
Creating an account through Unigo.com is a straightforward process. Like many online platforms, sign-up is streamlined and simplified. You will need an email address to fill out the online form and receive various communications from Unigo. If you prefer, you can also sign up using a Facebook, Google, or Twitter account.
Unigo also gathers a few other pieces of information from users. The website then uses this additional information to match potential scholarship recipients with scholarships that will be a good match for them. Accounts are free, and users can apply for a wide array of awards with a single account.
Unigo is both well-known and trusted in the world of college-related websites. And, with a wide variety of resources available, you’ll likely get more use out of this account than just one scholarship application.
Submitting the Essay
The essay portion of this scholarship application is short and sweet. The sponsor wants to hear about your dreams. The prompt does not specify what type of vision the applicant can write about. In fact, it encourages candidates to write about anything from their “hopes for the future” to a “bizarre dream” they’ve had recently.
While the subject matter of this prompt is wide open to interpretation, the length of the essay is much more limiting. To keep responses focused and manageable, Unigo requires that submissions for the scholarship be no more than 250 words. Also, the sponsors require that you write the essay in English.
As may be expected, there are a few limitations to the “share your dreams” vibe of this academic contest. Specifically, Unigo will not accept applications that are obscene, libelous, pornographic, or “otherwise objectionable.” It’s also worth noting that once your application is submitted, the essay becomes the property of Unigo.
What Expenses Will this Scholarship Cover?
This scholarship is only designed to cover the costs associated with attending college or university. Instead of paying prize money to the recipient directly, Unigo submits payment directly to the winner’s institute of higher learning. Which expenses your scholarship covers will depend upon how your school processes scholarship payments.
While winners of the I Have a Dream Scholarship are not handed a check directly, the funds will prove to be useful for anyone attending college or university. Having access to the money provided by this grant can ease the overall burden of tuition, fees, and maybe even room and board.
Timeline for Applying
Despite having such a short application, this scholarship features a relatively long schedule. Unigo offers this educational grant every year, and its due date is usually the last day of January. Depending on when you submit your application, this means you could be waiting a while to find out if you won.
After the submission period ends in January, you can expect to be waiting for the results for a few more months. In fact, a panel of “qualified” judges reviews each application. Judges are looking for one winner that excels in creativity, writing ability, originality, and overall excellence.
According to the official rules of this scholarship, the review period for this scholarship ends by the last day of May. However, the grant’s description claims that the winner will be notified by the end of April. In either case, you can expect to be waiting three to four months after the submission period ends to find out if you won this dreamy scholarship.
After the sponsor reaches out to the winning applicant, a few more steps must be completed. Unigo asks that winners submit an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Copyright Assignment, and a Publicity/Liability Release within ten days of notification. If the applicant does not complete these vital steps, the scholarship goes to the next qualified candidate in line.
As a final note, any winner of the I Have a Dream Scholarship must provide proof of enrollment at a qualified institution of higher education. If you are not yet enrolled in a post-secondary program, this proof of registration must be submitted by a specific deadline as mentioned above.
What Schools Can the I Have a Dream Scholarship Be Used At?
As we mentioned above, the sponsor for this scholarship requires that its applicants be enrolled (or planning to enroll) in an accredited post-secondary institution of higher education. But what exactly does that mean? And, if you take the time to complete the application, will your school even qualify?
To put it just so, post-secondary institutions of higher education are just the places where learning continues after the completion of high school. Generally, people primarily think of colleges and universities. But, institutions of higher education also include seminaries, conservatories, and institutions of technology.
When it comes to accreditation, the story isn’t quite as clear. Numerous types of accreditations exist throughout the United States. And while some of them are very well respected, others are little more than a few official-sounding words strung together.
Accreditations exist to hold higher learning institutions responsible for the education they provide. It’s a type of quality control that helps to ensure that people get their money’s worth. To find out if your school is accredited, ask around and do some research. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation provides droves of information on this topic.
For this scholarship, Unigo does not specify which accreditation your school must hold. However, it’s likely that they are looking for a “legitimate” certification. In other words, they want to see that the school you’re attending is worth your time. Use the resources above to make sure you’re getting a high-quality education and that your school qualifies for this grant.
Tips for Applying
Learning about a scholarship and how to apply is only one step of the process. Now that you know about this unique opportunity, it’s time to put your writing skills to the test and throw your name into the proverbial hat. Below you’ll find a few of our best-practice tips for crafting a great application.
- Take your time when choosing what “dream” to write about.
- Use tools like an outline and rough draft to plan your essay.
- Have a mentor or trusted friend read over your essay before you submit.
- Use descriptive language, but don’t forget to be concise.
- Let your confidence shine through your writing.
Remember, this writing prompt is a short one; only 250 words. You’ll have to be creative to get your dreams fleshed out without exceeding the word count. And, keep in mind that a panel of real people will review your writing. You’ll want to make sure that your essay stands out from the hundreds of other applicants.
All in all, the competition for this particular scholarship is relatively high. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t the winner. Use the resources found throughout this article to seek out more academic opportunities and keep pressing forward.