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humor in scholarship essays

Funny Personal Statements: How to Use Humor in Your College Application

James Eimers

June 16, 2017

humor in scholarship essays

The Art of Writing Funny Personal Statements: How to Use Humor in Your College Application

When 650 words or fewer play a critical role in determining where you’ll pursue your degree, it’s hard to think of admissions essays as anything other than serious business.

With such a small space to give admissions officers a glimpse into who you are and why you’d be a great addition to a given school, it’s always tempting to paint a professional, straight-laced picture of yourself; after all, what school wouldn’t want a mature student highly focused on academic success?

Indeed, for some students, this might be a completely reasonable approach to the Common App personal statement . However, as with many things in life, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to admissions essays, and it’s important to take a step back and recall their purpose. Test scores, grades, and letters of recommendation all play an important and informative role in the application process, but none allow you to present yourself in your own words—that’s the beauty of the admissions essays.

There are as many approaches and possible answers to essay questions as there are applicants, including those with a keen sense of humor. Admissions readers count on this because, aside from assembling an incoming class that meets the academic profile of their schools, they hope to admit interesting students with diverse talents who will enrich the educational and life experience of those around them. As a result, even though it feels a bit untraditional, letting your personality—including your sense of humor—shine through your essays can be an excellent way to create a memorable application.

Although humor can go a long way to demonstrating an applicant’s creativity and personality, this doesn’t mean that the approach will work for everyone. It actually can be a common personal statement mistake to try and use humor. Funny personal statements can definitely pack a punch, but they're difficult to do well. When writing what I call a “humorous/offbeat” admissions essay, there are a few key concepts to keep in mind.

Remember that humor itself should never be the main point of the essay. It’s perfectly acceptable to make your reader smile or even laugh out loud, but only in the course of telling a story that reveals something important about yourself. In other words, ensure that you use humor only as a device to highlight or enhance the underlying substance or reflective nature of your essay. Funny personal statements are effective only in showing the personal qualities of the writer at the same time.

You should never force humor into your essays, even when attempting funny personal statements . It is an unfortunate truth of life that making others laugh does not come naturally to all of us, so the offbeat/humor essay might not be an option for everyone. Admissions essays should indicate who you really are; forced humor that falls flat will indeed leave a memorable impression, but for all the wrong reasons.

When writing funny personal statements , the peer-review process becomes even more important than it already is. Humor is subjective by nature, so before clicking “submit” on your applications, make sure that a wide variety of people in your life (friends, parents, and teachers) have read your essays. If all your readers think your essay is appropriate and lighthearted, you’ve likely composed an essay with humor that will land well with an admissions office. If not, it might be time to go back to the drawing board.

When done correctly, f unny personal statements can be extremely effective. One of the best essays I’ve ever read followed this formula: Rife with stories about fanciful white lies he had told others over the years, this student’s essay at first seemed risky. Why reveal to an admissions office the fact that you have, at times, stretched the truth?

However, the student soon made it clear that stretching the truth in his younger days was in fact an early manifestation of his larger desire to tell stories—he wanted to study creative writing and ultimately become an author. His past storytelling revealed much about his creative character and also the fact that, although he had done quite well in school, he didn’t take himself too seriously while doing so. Ultimately, the student was admitted to a number of top schools.

I’ll leave you with some final tips to review when thinking about using humor in your admissions essays:

  • Stay away from potentially controversial topics—at best, you will demonstrate a lack of self-awareness, and at worst you might personally offend the admissions reader. Again, peer review your humor before submitting!
  • The humor should be original. By writing funny personal statements , you are illustrating the fact that you are a creative student with a good sense of humor—recycling humor falls short here.
  • You can use humor in many different types of essays, but remember that the humor should be added only after you already know what story you want to tell; humor alone should never be the substance of your essay.
  • Subtle humor can often make a stronger impression than can loud, straightforward humor.

Tags : applying to college , college application essay , college admissions essay , college personal statement , Personal Statement , essay , College

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humor in scholarship essays

How to Write a Scholarship Essay

What’s covered:, why do scholarships require essays.

  • Types of scholarship essays

How to write a good scholarship essay

What about scholarships that don’t require an essay.

For many, scholarships are a critical part of paying for your college education. That’s why you want to make sure your scholarship applications receive nearly as much of your care and attention as your college applications do. Essays are a huge component of this.

Many scholarships are competitive, drawing highly qualified applicants with excellent grades and test scores. Essays are a way of differentiating students, learning more about their interests, and determining to whom the organization should give the award.

Scholarships are also born out of organizational missions, and the committee wants to see how your values align with theirs. Essays help illuminate these values. 

Types of scholarship essays 

You’ll encounter several different types of scholarship essays during your search. These are some of the most common varieties you will find.

Career and education goals

Some scholarships target people with particular career ambitions and anticipated majors. This essay prompt is common for those types of awards, as well as more general ones. To approach your essay, you should be authentic, describing your true motivations and why this professional path appeals to you. Let your passion for the industry, sector, or discipline shine through.

Life experiences/qualities/group affinity

When a scholarship targets people of particular demographics, make sure you highlight your affinity with this group in your essay. Describe how these characteristics have contributed to and in some cases shaped your journey — and will continue to do so in your future.

Connection with the institution/organization

Your connection with the institution or organization offering the scholarship often plays a large role in determining winners — so much so that they may ask you to describe why that organization is important to you in your essay. It’s important to do your homework, considering why various aspects of the institution appeal to you and why you want a scholarship from them.

Past writing sample

You may not need to write a new essay at all. The organization could ask you to submit a past writing sample instead. If this is the case, choose a piece that shows your real personality and aligns with the message and mission of the organization offering the scholarship.

1. Understand your audience.

Scholarship committees want to see essays from students who share their organization’s values. Before you apply, you need to do some research to understand what those values are. Consider how your interests and experiences align with what the organization is looking for, and make them clear throughout your essay.

2. Show your personality.

You should also use your voice in your essay. Give the scholarship committee insight into who you are as a person — what drives you, what motivates you, and what interests you. This will allow them to understand you on a deeper level and see your words as genuine.

3. Use anecdotes and examples.

As with your college essays, you’ll bring your experiences to life by using plenty of anecdotes and examples. These will help ground your essay and make it more compelling for your audience.

You may encounter scholarships that don’t require essays. While the applications may be less time-consuming, for the most part, you will need to ensure that your GPA, test scores, and extracurriculars are strong because they will usually play a large role in assessing applicants.

While we’re on the subject of no-essay scholarships, we encourage you to enter CollegeVine’s weekly $500+ scholarship drawings . To get started, you just need to create a free account. Increase your chances of winning by referring friends, peer-reviewing essays, and more.

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humor in scholarship essays

Definition and Examples of Humorous Essays

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  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
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A humorous essay is a type of personal  or familiar essay that has the primary aim of amusing readers rather than informing or persuading them. Also called a comic essay or light essay .

Humorous essays often rely on narration and description as dominant rhetorical and  organizational strategies .

Notable writers of humorous essays in English include Dave Barry, Max Beerbohm, Robert Benchley, Ian Frazier, Garrison Keillor, Stephen Leacock, Fran Lebowitz, Dorothy Parker, David Sedaris, James Thurber, Mark Twain, and E.B. White—among countless others. (Many of these comic writers are represented in our collection of  Classic British and American Essays and Speeches .)


  • "What makes the humorous essay different from other forms of essay writing is . . . well . . . it's the humor. There must be something in it that prompts the readers to smile, chuckle, guffaw, or choke on their own laughter. In addition to organizing your material, you must search out the fun in your topic." (Gene Perret, Damn! That's Funny!: Writing Humor You Can Sell . Quill Driver Books, 2005)
  • "On the basis of a long view of the history of the humorous essay , one could, if reducing the form to its essentials, say that while it can be aphoristic , quick, and witty, it more often harks back to the 17th-century character 's slower, fuller descriptions of eccentricities and foibles—sometimes another's, sometimes the essayist 's, but usually both." (Ned Stuckey-French, "Humorous Essay." Encyclopedia of the Essay , ed. by Tracy Chevalier. Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997)
  • "Because of fewer constraints, humorous essays allow for genuine feelings of joy, anger, sorrow and delight to be expressed. In short, in Western literature the humorous essay is by and large the most ingenious type of literary essay. Every person who writes humorous essays, in addition to having a lively writing style , must first possess a unique understanding that comes from observing life." (Lin Yutang, "On Humour," 1932. Joseph C. Sample, "Contextualizing Lin Yutang's Essay 'On Humour': Introduction and Translation." Humour in Chinese Life and Letters , ed. by J.M. Davis and J. Chey. Hong Kong University Press, 2011)
  • Three Quick Tips for Composing a Humorous Essay 1. You need a story, not just jokes. If your goal is to write compelling nonfiction , the story must always come first—what is it you are meaning to show us, and why should the reader care? It is when the humor takes a backseat to the story being told that the humorous essay is most effective and the finest writing is done. 2. The humorous essay is no place to be mean or spiteful. You can probably skewer a politician or personal injury lawyer with abandon, but you should be gentle when mocking the common man. If you seem mean-spirited, if you take cheap shots, we aren't so willing to laugh. 3. The funniest people don't guffaw at their own jokes or wave big "look at how funny I am" banners over their heads. Nothing kills a joke more than the joke teller slamming a bony elbow into your ribs, winking, and shouting, 'Was that funny, or what?' Subtlety is your most effective tool. (Dinty W. Moore, Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Nonfiction . Writer's Digest Books, 2010)
  • Finding a Title for a Humorous Essay "Whenever I've written, say, a humorous essay (or what I think passes as a humorous essay), and I can't come up with any title at all that seems to fit the piece, it usually means the piece hasn't really congealed as it should have. The more I unsuccessfully cast about for a title that speaks to the point of the piece, the more I realize that maybe, just maybe, the piece doesn't have a single, clear point. Maybe it's grown too diffuse, or it rambles around over too much ground. What did I think was so funny in the first place?" (Robert Masello, Robert's Rules of Writing . Writer's Digest Books, 2005)
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How to Start a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)

humor in scholarship essays

Will Geiger is the co-founder of Scholarships360 and has a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. He is a former Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Kenyon College where he personally reviewed 10,000 admissions applications and essays. Will also managed the Kenyon College merit scholarship program and served on the financial aid appeals committee. He has also worked as an Associate Director of College Counseling at a high school in New Haven, Connecticut. Will earned his master’s in education from the University of Pennsylvania and received his undergraduate degree in history from Wake Forest University.

Learn about our editorial policies

humor in scholarship essays

Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

humor in scholarship essays

Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

How to Start a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)

As an admissions officer, I reviewed thousands of essays for students seeking admission and scholarships. The essay is one of the most important parts of the scholarship application process–a strong essay can go a long way. However, with so much competition, it is important for your scholarship essay to stand out. That’s why it’s important for you to start a scholarship essay off right!

There are some very simple things that you can do to ensure that your essay is engaging from the very first sentence. In fact, beginning your essay with an exciting opening is one of the most important things you can do, because it will immediately distinguish your essay from the others. 

Keep on reading to learn more about how you can nail the very first sentence and start your essay off right!

Engage the reader with the first sentence

No matter what type of essay you are writing, you will want to ensure that the very first line grabs the attention of the reader. One of the biggest mistakes that students make when starting their essay is simply restating the prompt. This is bland and boring. 

Now, you might be wondering, “how do I engage the reader with the very first line of my essay?”. The good news is that there are several ways that you can do this that are very simple to do. 

Related:  How to answer scholarship essay questions about your career goals

Begin with dialogue

First, you could begin your essay with conversation. This can be an interesting and unexpected way to start your scholarship essay. Maybe someone asked you an unexpected question? Perhaps you were having an interesting conversation with a friend or family member? Either way, dialogue can be a powerful tool to start your essay.

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Put the reader in your shoes.

Alternatively, you can choose to start your essay by placing the reader right in your shoes and show them something from your life. Appeal to the senses and show the reader what you see, hear, smell, or taste. These specific details will help your essay come to life and make it even more memorable. 

Also recommended: What’s the best scholarship essay format?

Scholarship essay introduction example

Next,  we’ll look at a specific example of how you can open up your essay. Let’s say you are applying for the Questbridge scholarship program . One of the essays that you will be asked is:

We are interested in learning more about you and the context in which you have grown up, formed your aspirations, and accomplished your academic successes. Please describe the factors and challenges that have most influenced you. How are they shaping your future aspirations?

You might be tempted to rephrase the question and start your essay with something like:

“I have grown up in a rural context and this has formed my aspirations and allowed me to accomplish academic success…”

This is generic and will not engage your reader at all. 

Instead, what if you started off your essay with something like this:

“I look outside my bedroom window and see Henry, my favorite chicken, pecking at something in the dirt.” 

Makes a big difference, right? As a reader, you are probably wondering: why does this person have chickens outside their bedroom window? Why did they name this particular chicken Henry?

See also: Here are our top writing & essay scholarships for students!

Keep the ending of your essay in mind as you write the opening

While crafting your opening, be open to ideas about how to close your essay. There is no need to stress about the ending now, but being mindful of effective ways to end an essay is always a good idea. Say you are opening your scholarship essay with Henry the chicken. Is there a way for Henry to make an impactful appearance at the end of the essay to close things out in a way that perfectly wraps everything up? The key is for the essay ending to be meaningful and memorable for the reader. 

Don’t miss: Our free scholarship search tool

If you can’t think of a “wow” scholarship essay beginning, keep writing!

Sometimes, we know what we want to say, point by point, but we are not ready to be creative when it comes to opening an essay. In that case, keep writing! There is always the option of going back and crafting an engaging opening after your essay is written. Simply write your main idea where the first paragraph would be to guide you as you write. After, go back when your creative juices are flowing, and craft the amazing opening (and closing) that your scholarship essay deserves!

Final thoughts

As shown, there are many questions that we as readers will have after reading an engaging essay opening such as the one just shared; We want to learn more about the student who is writing this essay. After all, as a writer trying to stand out in a pile of essays, that is our main goal. 

We hope that you have a better understanding of how to start a scholarship essay so you can maximize your chances of winning scholarships!

Additional resources

Scholarships360 is the go-to for all things college admissions and scholarships! Wondering how to write a 250 word essay and how to write a 500 word essay ? Curious how to write an essay about yourself ? Wow, do we have the resources to help! Additionally, check out our free scholarship search tool to help you finance your college education. Best of luck to you and your future endeavors! 

Key Takeaways

  • The first sentence of the essay is what makes the reader want to continue reading 
  • Engage the reader by appealing to the senses
  • Create a sense of wonder in your essay, making the reader want to learn more about you
  • Keep the ending of the essay in mind as you craft the beginning

Frequently asked questions about how to start a scholarship essay

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  • How to Write a Scholarship Essay | Template & Example

How to Write a Scholarship Essay | Template & Example

Published on October 11, 2021 by Kirsten Courault . Revised on May 31, 2023.

A good scholarship essay demonstrates the scholarship organization’s values while directly addressing the prompt. If you plan ahead , you can save time by writing one essay for multiple prompts with similar questions.

Table of contents

Apply for a wide variety of scholarships, make a scholarship tracker spreadsheet, tailor your essay to the organization and the prompt, write a focused and relevant personal story, scholarship essay example, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.

Scholarships are a type of student financial aid that don’t require repayment. They are awarded based on various factors, including academic merit, financial need, intended major, personal background, or activities and interests.

Like college applications, scholarship applications often require students to submit their grades, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and an essay.

A scholarship essay shares your values and qualities in the context of a specific question, such as “How does technology affect your daily life?” or “Who has had the greatest impact on your life?”

Be wary of scholarship scams

While some applications may not require an essay, be wary of scholarship scams that do the following:

  • Guarantee you scholarship money for a fee
  • Claim scholarship information is exclusive to their company
  • Ask for your bank or credit card information to hold the scholarship

Some legitimate companies do charge for releasing comprehensive scholarship lists or creating a tailored list of scholarship opportunities based on your profile.

However, you can always discover scholarship opportunities for free through your school counselor, community network, or an online search.

Many students focus on well-known, large scholarship opportunities, which are usually very competitive. To maximize your chance of success, invest time in applying for a wide variety of scholarships: national and local, as well as big and small award amounts. There are also scholarships for international students .

In addition to charitable foundation and corporate scholarships, you should consider applying for institutional scholarships at your prospective universities, which can award money based on your application’s strength, your financial situation, and your demonstrated interest in the school.

Check with your guidance counselor, local organizations, community network, or prospective schools’ financial aid offices for scholarship opportunities. It’s a good idea to start applying as early as your junior year and continue throughout your senior year.

Choose the right scholarships for you

Choose scholarships with missions and essay topics that match your background, experiences, and interests. If the scholarship topic is meaningful to you, it will be easier for you to write an authentic and compelling essay.

Don’t shy away from applying for local scholarships with small dollar amounts. Even a few hundred dollars can help you pay for books.

Local scholarships may be more tailored to your community, background, and activities, so they’re likely more relevant to you. Fewer students apply for these scholarships, so you have less competition and a higher chance of success.

Some places to look for local scholarships include

  • Civic organizations, such as the Rotary Club, Lions Club, etc.
  • Your church, mosque, synagogue, or place of worship
  • Community groups, such as the YMCA
  • Ethnicity-based organizations
  • Your local library or local small businesses
  • Organizations related to your intended major
  • Your city or town
  • Your school district
  • Unions, such as SEIU, the Teamsters, CWA, etc.
  • Your employer or your parents’ employers
  • Banks, credit unions, and local financial institutions

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

While researching scholarship opportunities, create a scholarship tracker spreadsheet to keep track of the following:

  • Scholarship amounts
  • Required application materials

You can use our free Google Sheets template to track your scholarship applications.

Scholarship application tracker template

You can also include scholarship essay prompts in your college essay tracker sheet . By grouping or color-code overlapping essay prompts, you can plan to write a single essay for multiple scholarships. Sometimes, you can also reuse or adapt your main college essay .

Even if you’re adapting another essay, it’s important to make sure your essay directly addresses the prompt, stays within the word count limit , and demonstrates the organization’s values. The scholarship committee will be able to tell if you reuse an essay that doesn’t quite respond to the prompt, so be sure to tailor it to the questions asked.

Research each organization

Before writing, research the scholarship organization’s mission and reason for awarding the scholarship. Learning more about the organization can help you select an appropriate topic and relevant story.

While you should tailor your essay to the organization’s values, maintain your authentic voice. Never use false or exaggerated stories. If the organization’s values don’t align with yours or you can’t brainstorm a relevant story for the scholarship, continue searching for other scholarship opportunities to find a more appropriate one for you.

After researching the organization, identify a specific personal experience that embodies its values and exemplifies why you will be a successful student.

Choose a story with the following criteria:

  • Responds to the prompt
  • Demonstrates the organization’s values
  • Includes an authentic story
  • Focuses on you and your experience, not someone else’s

A good scholarship essay is not

  • A resume of your achievements
  • A lengthy opinion piece about the essay topic
  • An essay featuring a negative tone that puts down others

If appropriate, you can briefly address how the scholarship money will help you achieve your educational goals. You should also end with a brief thank-you.

Take a look at the full essay example below. Hover over the underlined parts to read explanations of why they work.

Prompt: Describe how working for Chelsea’s Chicken restaurant has developed leadership skills that will help you succeed in college. Give specific examples of leadership characteristics that you have exhibited during your employment with us.

As a nervous 16-year-old, I walked into Chelsea’s Chicken for my first day of work determined to make enough money to put gas in my car and buy pizza on the weekends. My only previous job was mowing my neighbors’ lawns when they were on vacation, so I had no idea what to expect. I was a bit intimidated by my new responsibilities, especially handling money and helping disgruntled customers.

However, it didn’t take me long to learn my way around the cash register and successfully address customer complaints. One day, Roger, the store manager, asked me if I wanted to join Chelsea’s Chicken Leadership Training Initiative. He said he saw leadership potential in me because of my attitude with the customers and my enthusiasm for learning new job responsibilities. It surprised me because I had never thought of myself as a leader, but I quickly agreed, and Roger handed me a three-ring binder that was thicker than my math and science textbooks put together! He told me to take it home and read over it during the following week.

In that binder, I discovered that being a leader means taking the initiative, especially when the job is undesirable. One week later, I got to practice that idea when a little kid threw up in the bathroom and missed the toilet. It smelled terrible, but I stepped forward and told Roger that I would clean it up. My coworkers thought I was crazy, but I started to believe in my leadership potential.

That night as we closed the store, Roger pulled me aside in the parking lot and told me that he could tell that I had been studying the manual. He wanted to give me more responsibility, along with a dollar-per-hour pay raise. I was surprised because I had been working there for only a couple of months, but his encouragement helped me make a connection: good leadership helps other people, and it often is rewarded. I was determined to experience more of both.

Within a month, I was ready to take the Team Leader exam, which mattered because I would receive a promotion and a much bigger raise if I passed. But, when I got to work, two of the scheduled team members had called in sick. We were noticeably short-handed, and our customers weren’t happy about it.

I walked back to the lockers, put on my vest and hat, and took my place behind an open register. Customers immediately moved into my line to place their orders. Roger looked at me with surprise and asked, “Did you forget that you’re testing tonight?” I responded, “No, sir—but what’s the use of taking a leadership test if you aren’t going to lead in real life?” Roger smiled at me and nodded.

He stayed late that night after we closed so that I could leave early and still take the test. I noticed that Roger was always staying late, helping employees learn new skills. His example taught me that leaders take the initiative to develop other leaders. He gave me a clear picture of what shared leadership looks like, making room for others to grow and excel. When I asked him where he learned to do that, he said, “From the same leadership manual I gave you!”

Chelsea’s Chicken has offered me so much more than a paycheck. Because of Roger’s example, I have learned to take the initiative to care for my family and friends, such as being the first to do the dishes without my mom asking or volunteering to pick up my friend for our SAT prep course. Now, as I prepare to enter college, I have confidence in my leadership ability. I know I’m signing up for a challenging major—Biology, Pre-Med—yet I also know that Chelsea’s Chicken has helped me to develop the perseverance required to complete my studies successfully.

If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Academic writing

  • Writing process
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  • Passive voice
  • Paraphrasing


  • How to end an email
  • Ms, mrs, miss
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A scholarship essay requires you to demonstrate your values and qualities while answering the prompt’s specific question.

After researching the scholarship organization, identify a personal experience that embodies its values and exemplifies how you will be a successful student.

Invest time in applying for various scholarships , especially local ones with small dollar amounts, which are likely easier to win and more reflective of your background and interests. It will be easier for you to write an authentic and compelling essay if the scholarship topic is meaningful to you.

You can find scholarships through your school counselor, community network, or an internet search.

You can start applying for scholarships as early as your junior year. Continue applying throughout your senior year.

Yes, but make sure your essay directly addresses the prompt, respects the word count , and demonstrates the organization’s values.

If you plan ahead, you can save time by writing one scholarship essay for multiple prompts with similar questions. In a scholarship tracker spreadsheet, you can group or color-code overlapping essay prompts; then, write a single essay for multiple scholarships. Sometimes, you can even reuse or adapt your main college essay .

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10 Winning Scholarship Essay Examples From Real Students

Make your application shine.

Only at the ice rink could I be myself; the feeling of the cold rink breeze embracing me, the ripping sound of blades touching the ice, even the occasional ice burning my skin as I fell—these were my few constants.

Writing a scholarship essay can be intimidating. The competition is fierce and the stakes are high, so students are bound to feel the pressure. It may be helpful, therefore, to look at essays that were successful. What did those students do to impress the committee? These scholarship essay examples will give you a better idea of how to make an application shine! 

Tips for Writing a Scholarship Essay

We’ve put together a whole guide for how to write a scholarship essay , so if you haven’t read it already, definitely give it a look! In addition, here are some quick tips to help students get started. 

Carefully read the rules

The last thing you need is to be disqualified from winning a scholarship because you didn’t do the right thing. 

Start early

Don’t wait until the last minute to start researching and applying for scholarships. Give yourself plenty of time to work through the process. 

Get to know the provider

Think of the scholarship provider as your target audience. You want to tailor your essay to impress them, so do your research. What kinds of candidates are they looking for? What causes do they support? Dig deep for the information you need!

Think about who you are, what you want to say, and how to appeal to the scholarship committee. Write everything down and then choose the best ideas. 

The scholarship committee will be reviewing many applications. How can you make yours unforgettable? Highlight your strongest assets, share hard lessons if they showcase your growth as a person and/or student, and be honest. Never lie in a scholarship essay!

Be professional

Consider this the most important academic paper you’ve ever written. Don’t use slang or casual language. Submit a properly formatted essay that’s been well-edited and proofread by multiple people.

One last tip

Don’t reuse scholarship essays! Yes, it’s time-consuming, but students need to put the same effort into every application. Use the same process and it will get faster and easier every time!

Scholarship Essay Examples

Afc visionary scholarship essay by nicole kuznetsov.

Award Amount: $5,000

Essay prompt: Why do you want to go to college? Why is it important to you?

Why it was successful: The  beauty of this essay is that it’s well-organized and simple. Nicole Kuznetsov chose to outline her story by using chronology and provided a clean, concise story following a linear path.

As a child, my life had structure. Coloring books had lines, letters took on very specific shapes, and a system of rules governed everything from board games to the classroom.

North Coast Section Foundation Scholarship Essay by Christine Fung

Award Amount: $1,000

Why it was successful: Christine Fung masterfully shared how her upbringing instilled strong values, a love for education, and a passion for medicine .

The more involved I became, the more I learned as a leader and as a person.

The Bill Browning Scholarship Essay by Gabby DeMott

Award Amount: $10,000

Essay prompt: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Why it was successful: Gabby DeMott shared her experiences with personal growth and overcoming fears in Germany. She also appealed to the very human feeling of wanting to belong in a way that was inspiring. 

Never have I felt so accepted while being an outsider, so proud of a country that isn’t even mine, so part of something I didn’t really belong to.

Life Happens Scholarship Essay by Emily Trader

Award Amount: $15,000

Essay prompt: How has the death of a parent or guardian impacted your life financially and emotionally? Be sure to describe how the loss of your parent/guardian impacted your college plans, and explain how the lack of adequate (or any) life insurance coverage has impacted your family’s financial situation.

Why it was successful: Emily Trader fully addressed the prompt in honest, beautiful detail. She knew her audience and tailored her essay to appeal to them while telling her compelling story. 

If this devastating experience has taught me anything, it is this: financial planning for these situations is absolutely invaluable.

Change a Life Foundation Scholarship Essay by Isabella Mendez-Figueroa

Essay prompt: Please explain how your experience volunteering and participating in community service has shaped your perspective on humanity. Elaborate on how these experiences have influenced your future ambitions and career choice.

Why it was successful: Isabella Mendez-Figueroa shared an empowering story about her parents overcoming financial adversity so that she and her sister could be the first in their family to go to college. 

As I’ve grown I’ve learned to fight my own monsters but I now also battle the ones that frighten my parents, the monsters of a world that they weren’t born into.

Giva Scholarship Essay by Joseph Lee

Essay prompt: Who is (or what makes) a good doctor?

Why it was successful: Joseph Lee offered a captivating , personal story that was essentially a list of things that make someone a good doctor without it feeling boring or calculated. 

I learned such lessons in the purest manner possible, by being a patient myself, and will use them to guide me in all future patient encounters, as I strive to be a

New York University College of Arts and Science Scholarship by Ana

Award amount: $39,500 

Essay prompt: Explain something that made a big impact in your life.

Why it was successful: Ana discussed how early experiences w ith learning difficult things has contributed to her passion for teaching and supporting students. 

Only at the ice rink could I be myself; the feeling of the cold rink breeze embracing me, the ripping sound of blades touching the ice, even the occasional ice burning my skin as I fell—these were my few constants.

The Fund for Education Abroad Rainbow Scholarship Essay  by Steven Fisher

Award amount: $7,500

Essay prompt: The Fund for Education Abroad is committed to diversifying education abroad by providing funding to students who are typically under-represented in study abroad. Please describe how you and/or your plans for study abroad could be viewed as under-represented.

Why it was successful: Steven Fisher’s powerful essay   connected his realizations about his own sexual identity with embracing the beautiful diversity found all around the world. 

My growth as a person was exponential. I rewrote so many areas of my life where I didn’t do things I wanted because of social conditioning.

Women’s World Banking Founder’s Scholarship Essay by Rosaisha Ozoria

Essay prompt: Write about your hopes for the future of women and girls worldwide.

Why it was successful: Rosaisha Ozoria   focused on a very specific topic , financial literacy for Hispanic women, and emphasized its importance and relevance to her own life. 

This is a tremendous goal, but for me, it is an opportunity to make a difference – in my neighborhood and for my Spanish community.

The Millennium Gates Last Dollar Scholarship Essay by Famyrah Lafortune

Award amount: $3,500

Essay prompt: Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” —Nelson Mandela Describe a change you would like to make in the world. Tell us about how you would plan to make that change, and what obstacles you might encounter along the way.

Why it was successful: Famyrah Lafortune starts with a strong statement about ending racial inequality and then details the steps she’ll take to make it happen. 

By raising awareness of racial disparities that occur everywhere, I might encourage a new wave of change in our country ...

Do you have any great scholarship essay examples? Share them below!

Plus, check out  the ultimate guide to college scholarships, want more suggestions be sure to subscribe to our newsletters ..

Need money for college? These scholarship essay examples will help your application stand out over the competition!

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60+ College Essay Prompts From Actual 2023-2024 Applications

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, complete list: weird scholarships you can win (updated).

Financial Aid


You may have thought that scholarships were only for those who had great grades or were top athletes. Well, think again! There are a lot of organizations willing to give you some college cash in recognition of your interesting habits, unusual attributes, or willingness to do something a little bit quirky!

Here's a complete collection of the best weird, unusual scholarships we could find. The good news is they're often a lot easier to apply to than other scholarships.

Why Do These Weird Scholarships Exist?

These scholarships mostly come from three main sources:

Special Interest Groups and Clubs

These organizations are very passionate about certain topics—like asparagus or Star Trek—and they love to see students who share those passions. By offering these crazy scholarships, they're encouraging students to actively stay involved in these areas of interest.

People Who Want to Help People Just Like Them

You'll notice a number of unique scholarships based on last name or physical features. These tend to be from people or groups who feel they are special for some reason, and want to share the wealth with others who are lucky enough to have the same trait.

Quirky Companies Out for a Laugh

Some of the most unusual scholarships are from companies that are just looking to have a good time, and they want to share the love with students who get their sense of humor and are willing to do something a little daring.

So even if you didn't think you were the scholarship-winning type of student, remember that there are scholarship opportunities out there for almost anyone, including...

Scholarships for People With Interesting Physical Attributes


The Scholarship for Redheads

This scholarship is awarded to a natural red-head who is a junior or senior in high school with a GPA of 2.5+. You have to submit two photos to prove the authenticity of your gingery locks, and also create a creative piece—can be an essay, picture, or video, that tells what it means to you to be a red head.

The deadline is in early April, and the prize is a one-time award of $500.

The Tall Club Scholarship

The Tall Club Scholarship is awarded to exceptionally tall high school seniors. If you are female and over 5'10", or male and over 6'2", this scholarship could be for you! Apply through your local Tall Club (there are 53 branches nationwide). You'll have to provide transcripts and test scores, letters of recommendation, details about extracurricular activities and awards, a photo and an essay. Awards vary by chapter but are up to $1,000. The deadline is March 1.

The Left-Handed Scholarship

If you're left-handed, you're in luck! The Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania is for you. The college selects a left-handed student with a top academic record to receive the award which ranges from $1,000-$1,500. Grades and financial circumstance are also taken into consideration.


Scholarships for People Who Have Prepared for the End of the World (or Want to Save the World)

Zombie apocalypse scholarship.

If you've spent time thinking over how you would fare if the world were overrun by the walking dead, then the Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship is for you! Students aged 14 and older can apply by writing a 250 word essay about what would happen if their school were overrun by zombies.

The deadline is October 31, and the award is $2,000.

Superpower Scholarship

The Superpower Scholarship awards $2,500 to a student who, in 250 words or less, best answers the question, "Which superhero or villain would you want to change places with for a day and why?" You have to be 14 years of age or older to apply. The deadline is March 31st.

Scholarships for People Who…Sound Like a Duck

Chick and sophie major duck calling contest.

High school seniors are eligible to compete for this scholarship in Stuttgart, Arkansas every fall. The student best able to woo ducks will be awarded $2,000. There are also prizes for second place ($1,000), third place ($750), and fourth place ($500). The deadline is December 31, 2022

Scholarships for People Who Love Sweets, or Want to Be Sweets


American Association of Candy Technologists John Kitt Memorial Scholarship

College sophomores, juniors, and seniors who love candy so much that they want to study it should apply for this scholarship. You'll need to be majoring in food, chemistry, or biological sciences with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and have shown an interest in candy technology through a project or research.

One student will win a scholarship of $5,000, paid in two installments. The deadline has yet to be announced for 2023-2024, but will likely be in April 2023. 

Flavor of the Month Scholarship

The Flavor of the Month Scholarship is open to students aged 14+ who write a 250-word essay that answers the question, "If you were an ice cream flavor, which would you be and why?"

The prize is $1,500 and the deadline is July 31st.

Scholarships for People Who REALLY Love Star Trek


Starfleet Scholarship Program

Trekkies are in luck when looking for college funding. The Starfleet Scholarship Program awards up to $1,000 scholarships to students (senior year of high school or above) who have been Starfleet members for at least a year prior to applying. Applications are open January 1st to June 30th of each year.

Scholarships for People Who Have a Lucky Last Name


John Gatling Grant Program

This scholarship at North Carolina State University awards $10,000 to in-state students and $15,000 to out-of-state students who are lucky enough to be born with the last name "Gatling" or "Gatlin". You need to be able to show proof that you were born with the name, and the application is turned it at the same time you apply for financial aid. The next application deadline is February 15th.

Charles Downer Scholarship Fund

This scholarship gives students attending Harvard and who have the last name "Downer" a chance to get some money. Preference is given to students who are descendants of Joseph or Robert Downer of Wiltshire, England or descendants of Harvard graduates of the class of 1889. Award amount and submission date varies.

Leavenworth Scholarship

The Leavenworth Scholarship at Hamilton College in New York is for—you guessed it—students with the last name "Leavenworth." The award amount isn't specified, and applications are accepted through the school.

Zolp Scholarship

Catholic students attending Loyola University Chicago with the last name Zolp are in for a treat—they are eligible to win money if they file their birth certificate along with their applications. Award amount varies depending on availability of funds and the number of applicants. The deadline is March 1st.

Scholarships for People Who Have a Sense of Humor About Fashion


Stuck at Prom

The Stuck at Prom contest rewards students who create entire prom outfits from Duck Tape, and then wear them to a school-organized prom. Applicants must submit photos of their handiwork—which is usually quite impressive! One student in each category, dress or tux, gets a full scholarship for themselves, plus one individual grand prize winner gets a bonus. Every year there are 21 winners. Keep in mind that this contest is not open to students in Maryland, Quebec, Vermont, or Colorado. First place is $10,000 and 8 runners up get $500. The individual bonus is $500. The contest period typically ends in June.

Scholarships for People Who Are Lazy and Sober

The deppen scholarship and the voris auten scholarship.

Do you stay away from drugs and alcohol? Do you also stay away from physical activity? If so, Bucknell University in Pennsylvania offers two endowed scholarships to students who fit that description and have also lived in Mount Carmel, PA for ten years and attended a Mount Carmel public high school. This scholarship is awarded by the scholarship committee after you've been admitted to Bucknell University.

Scholarships for People Who Love to Write Essays

Ayn rand scholarships.

If you want to get some practice writing essays on really long books, never fear! Short essays (of around 1,000 words on Ayn Rand's really long books can make you eligible to win some serious cash. Different topics are available depending on grade level, and awards vary. This year, the fund expects to give out over 230 prizes totaling $70,000. The deadline for this scholarship is April 28, 2022. 

Scholarships for People Who Hate to Write Essays


No Essay Scholarship

The No Essay Scholarship claims to be the easiest scholarship out there—no tedious essay writing here! College students (or prospective college students) simply need to enter their details online for a chance to win $2,000. A new winner is chosen every month, and you can re-apply as much as you like!

Scholarships for People Who Are Gay Pilots


National Gay Pilots Association

The National Gay Pilots Association gives LGBT students and allies who are interested in professional aviation a chance to help cover some college costs. Students should be at least 18 years old, have a private pilot license, have accomplishments in aviation, and have contributed to the LGBT community. Students must also be an NGPA member at the time of application. Scholarship amounts vary, and there are multiple submission windows throughout the year. 

Scholarships for People Who Are Passionate About Specific Kinds of Food

Vegetarian resource group.

Students who are committed to promoting a peaceful world through a vegetarian lifestyle can win up to $10,000 for school from the Vegetarian Resource Group. You'll have to write an essay about your experience being vegetarian and promoting it within your community, and at least three letters of recommendation. One award of $10,000 will be given, as well as two $5,000 prizes. The deadline is February 20, 2023.

Beef Industry Scholarship

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Beef Industry Scholarship awards ten $1,500 scholarships every year to high school seniors or undergrads who are pursuing careers in the beef industry. You'll have to have demonstrated a commitment to the beef industry, write an essay about solving a problem in the beef industry, and have two letters of recommendation from professionals in the beef industry. And if your love affair with beef is long-lasting, you can re-apply every year!

Asparagus Club Scholarship

The National Grocers Association awards this scholarship to college juniors and seniors who are pursuing careers in the grocery industry. Scholarships are $2,000 per semester and can be renewed for up to four semesters if a 2.5+ GPA is maintained. Five scholarships are awarded per year.

Scholarships for People Who Like to Make Others Laugh


Make Me Laugh Scholarship

This scholarship for you budding comedians out there. Students over the age of 14 can apply for a $1,500 scholarship by telling a funny or embarrassing story (real or made up) in 250 words or less that makes the judges laugh out loud. Deadline is August 31st. 

Scholarships for People Who Love Golf But Don't Play It

Western golf association evans scholars foundation.

If you are dedicated to the art of being a golf caddie, you are in luck. The Western Golf Association Evans Scholars Foundation gives out hundreds of full-ride scholarships to students who can show a record of successful and regular caddying throughout high school (spanning at least two years). You should also have strong academics and a good ACT score, and be able to demonstrate financial need. The scholarships are available at 18 colleges across the country that have scholarship houses—winners are expected to be active members in the house. Applications are due October 15th.

Scholarships for People Just Love Applying for Scholarships

Scholarship for aggressive scholarship applicants. sponsors this scholarship. The main idea? They want to award students who have shown persistence and courage in applying for all the free college money that is out there. All you have to do is apply for loads of scholarships (past winners have applied for over 30 each—and don't worry, you don't have to win them!) and send copies of the submission receipts, along with a letter saying a bit about yourself, your goals, and how you felt doing all those applications. You can win $500. The best part? They choose a new winner every 2 months, so you have a lot of chances to try for this one!

What's Next?

If you want to apply to some great scholarships not listed above, check out our guides to the National Merit Scholarship , McDonald's Scholarship , and Tylenol Scholarship .

Did you know that sometimes getting a scholarship is as easy as applying to your school of choice? Check out this list of schools that automatically offer scholarships based on grades and test scores .

Need a letter of recommendation for a scholarship? Here's how to get one .

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

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Mary Ann holds a BA in Classics and Russian from the University of Notre Dame, and an MA from University College London. She has years of tutoring experience and is also passionate about travel and learning languages.

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Gender and Humor: International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (review)

Profile image of Rachel E . Blackburn, Ph.D., M.F.A.

2017, Studies in American Humor

Review of the anthology, Gender and Humor: International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Related Papers

Mostafa Abedinifard

humor in scholarship essays

Jessica Milner Davis

Philosophy Compass

Over the past decades humor studies has formed an unprecedented interdisciplinary consolidation, connected with a consolidation in philosophy of humor scholarship. In this essay I focus specifically on feminist philosophy of humor as an area of study that highlights relationships between humor, language, subjectivity, power, embodiment, instability, affect, and resistance, introducing several of its key themes while mapping out tensions that can be productive for further research. I first cover feminist theories of humor as instability and then move to feminist theories of humor as generative of social relationships. Though I diagnose several tensions between these approaches that require further elaboration and discussion, I conclude that feminist philosophy of humor is a crucial area of humor research that focuses on systematic oppression, political engagement, embodiment, and affective ties.

Kathryn Kein

kirana bunga

Andrea Greenbaum

Gender: Laughter, hg. v. Bettina Papenburg. Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA.

Bettina Papenburg

Gender: Laughter, part of the Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks series on gender, examines the significance of laughter in gender and sexuality studies. The volume presents laughter as an affective force that reverberates in and between bodies, shatters social hierarchies, and enables and reveals relations between and among people. Multiple interconnections between gender and laughter generate a number of pressing questions: How does laughter arise? How does laughter create community? How and whom does laughter exclude? What practices of inclusion and exclusion are effected through laughter, and what does this reveal about society at large? How can laughter function as a strategy of resistance? What does laughter subvert? What is the role of bodies, sense perception, and affect in generating laughter? How does laughter challenge and transform corporeal boundaries? What does laughter make palpable? What feelings does laughter generate and transform? The twenty-five chapters in this volume explore these questions and related concerns in five thematic parts: Gender and Genre; The Carnivalesque and the Grotesque; Tonalities of Laughter; Performance and Artifice; and Materialities. An introduction, numerous engaging illustrations, a glossary of key terms, and a comprehensive index provide additional context and assistance to students, instructors, and general readers. The Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks series on gender presents an exceptional opportunity for many people, especially undergraduate students, to become more familiar with the usefulness and pleasure of "doing gender and sexuality studies." The introductory volume along with subsequent volumes on Animals, God, Laughter, Love, Matter, Nature, Space, Time, and War offer a conceptual approach that encourages a thoroughly cross-, trans-, and interdisciplinary exploration of so-called universal themes. A variety of sexually, racially, and gender-sensitive critical perspectives are employed to investigate foundational questions addressed by feminist scholars and scientists. Chapters in each volume are newly commissioned and hence based on fresh and topical research and debates from fields such as philosophy, anthropology, literature, art, music, social sciences, (old and new) media, history, science, religion, and others. Both individually and as a series, the handbooks constitute a resolutely interdisciplinary project in the sense given to the term by Roland Barthes: "In order to do interdisciplinary work, it is not enough to take a 'subject' (a theme) and to arrange two or three sciences around it. Interdisciplinary study consists in creating a new object, which belongs to no one."

In this dissertation, I read gender humor through the lens of masculinities studies and critical humor studies to contribute to gender studies and humor studies. I engage two crucial problems and propose solutions and possibilities for redress. The first problem concerns the state of the concept of ridicule—as a form/aspect of humor—within gender-related debates and specifically ridicule’s place in challenging and enforcing gender hegemony. In such discussions, ridicule and humor are frequently mentioned as insidious social control strategies through which certain forms of masculinity and femininity are abjected. Despite their recognizing such role of ridicule, however, the above debates never grant the role any theoretical significance. Critically reviewing the related literature, I draw on Michael Billig’s theory of ridicule as a universal reinforcer of the social order to argue that ridicule, as occurring in mainstream gender humor, plays a panoptical role in enforcing inequitable gender relations. As a pervasive disciplinary tool, gendered ridicule causes self-regulation in social agents who then wish to consent to the cultural ascendancy of certain modes of gender performance and the subordination of certain other forms of performing gender. By connecting this fearful consent to debates in gender studies about the role of abjection in the creation of gendered subjectivities, I also hypothesize that ridicule occupies a necessary role in the creation of gendered beings in the first place. I raise my main argument in Chapter One. In Chapters Two to Four, I illustrate the argument by analyzing various types of mainstream gender humor—with a particular emphasis on the genres of canned joke and sitcom—from Iranian and Anglo-American (mainly the U.S. and the U.K.) societies and cultures. The main humor types and/or categories include those targeting women, homosexuals, effeminates as well as bodily non-normative and ethnic/racial femininities and masculinities. For the Anglo-American sections (Chapter Two and parts of Chapter Four), besides related joke cycles, episodes from the sitcoms Two and a Half Men (2003-2015) and Ellen (1994–1998) as well as spots from the Get a Mac Ad campaign (2006-2009) are analyzed. For the Iranian part (Chapter Three and parts of Chapter Four), the main focus is put on the contemporary Qazvini and Rashti joke cycles, the sexual humor of the classical Persian satirist Ubeyd Zakani (d. ca. 1370), and his modern counterparts. My main argument, given humor’s well-known potential for subversion, may arouse the objection that ridicule always exists as a counterhegemonic tool to resist hegemonic gender norms. I tackle this possibility in the last Chapter Five, where I discuss the possibilities and restraints of feminist and in-group lesbian humor as representative categories of fringe or non-mainstream gender humor. I argue that this resistant humor, due to its minimal normalizing power—compared to the heft of mainstream gender humor—apparently cannot offset the latter’s disciplinary power and thus be effectively subversive of patriarchy. The second problem I focus on is the way gender theories inform prevalent textual analyses of gender humor. Examining the pertinent literature, I argue that the critical blind spots need redress and enrichment. While analyzing gender humor, I argue, many humor scholars either resist gender theories or employ theories incapable of explaining intricacies related to gender. To address this insufficiency, I suggest that we use—as I have done throughout—comprehensive theories that not only embrace multiple masculinities and femininities but also heed the intersection of gender and other identity elements. I use Raewyn Connell’s gender hierarchy model as a case in point. In contrast to much work in gender studies that recognizes, yet understates, ridicule’s political force in favour of gender hierarchy, this research contends that the above force is universal and central, and therefore must be foregrounded in gender studies. Within humor studies, too, the research contrasts with exculpatory accounts of humor that downgrade or deny humor’s effect on the social order. My findings indicate that mainstream gender humor, while reflecting the gender order, is most likely to affect that order, too. Finally, unlike much research in feminist humor studies that puts too much hope in seditious functions of fringe or marginal gender humor, I find that such humor cannot find recognition among mainstream audiences unless its underlying assumptions find cultural ascendancy.

Raúl Alberto Mora (él/he/han/ele/il/on)

Gender relations have formed the content of humour in a multiplicity of contexts, both historically and across societies. Early anthropological accounts of joking relationships traced some gendered joking patterns in tribal societies to the fault lines of gender identities, to the potential sites of conflict between genders (Radcliffe Brown 1952). Today, there is a bourgeoning interest in the interrelationships between gender and humour, as they intersect in media and popular culture in compelling and socially significant ways (see e.g. Leggott, Lockyer, and White 2015, for recent research on gender and humour). This special issue adds to the developing literature on humour and gender through a focus on some of the ways in which humour and comedy both maintain and disrupt gender, as processes of performative discourse, hegemony, and resistance. This collection of international papers examines the impact of humour that mediates discourses of gender, femininity, masculinity, and related topics, to further the critical study of humour and comedy.


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Nebraska would fund private K-12 scholarships, regardless of ballot measure, under new proposal

State sen. lou ann linehan presses ahead with voucher-style plan for school choice.

State Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Elkhorn works at her desk on the floor of the Legislature on...

LINCOLN, Neb. ( Nebraska Examiner ) - The author of Nebraska’s new Opportunity Scholarships Act says she knows that the state tax credit for funding students attending private K-12 schools risks being rejected by voters in November.

That’s why State Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Omaha and other supporters of the school choice law drafted several bills this year to preserve the heart of the program regardless of the election outcome. Each proposal would offset the cost of a private K-12 education with state tax dollars.

Recently, Linehan settled on Legislative Bill 1402 as this session’s vehicle for the changes. She originally designed the bill to shift the scholarship program created by the Opportunity Scholarships Act to the State Treasurer’s Office and away from nonprofit scholarship-granting groups.

Her latest amendment to LB 1402 — Amendment 3016 — clarifies that school choice supporters intend to directly allocate state funds for private school scholarships instead of steering them to outside scholarship organizations, essentially eliminating the middlemen.

Public school advocates call Linehan’s push an effort to stifle voters’ voices. The advocates contend Nebraskans don’t want public funds spent on private schools, whether through a tax credit or directly. They say the latest amendment would start a voucher program that could cut into state funding for public schools or other priorities even faster than the Opportunity Scholarships Act.

Options for kids or funding grab?

Linehan and other private school advocates say the scholarships give low-income students and their families more options. One of the largest scholarship-granting organizations, Opportunity Scholarships of Nebraska, said Monday it had received 915 applications.

The group said it expects as many as 2,500 applicants by the April 30 deadline. Spokeswoman Lauren Garcia Gage said it had received calls from the families of more than 5,000 interested students, including many from families of students already attending private schools.

Linehan’s 2023 school choice law created a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for donors to scholarship-granting groups that fund tuition help for low-income students to attend private K-12 schools.

Public school advocates, including Stand for Schools Nebraska, have argued the tax credit favors the rich at the cost of the state treasury. Linehan and others say they have worked in recent years to add more funds to state aid to K-12 public schools, adding a new baseline of state aid and proposing additional aid.

Amendment 3016 would create a new program that would stand even if voters reject the original law. It does so by cutting the role of scholarship-granting organizations and donors.

“I’m trying to make sure all parents in Nebraska have school choice,” Linehan said. “Not just wealthy. … Not just those who are lucky enough to have grandparents help them.”

Linehan said she doesn’t have the $10 million she thinks she would need to fight the opposition to the Opportunity Scholarships Act at the ballot box. She pointed to opposition from deep-pocketed donors such as philanthropist Susie Buffett. Linehan said she won’t try to match public school supporters in raising funds.

“I am not going to go around raising $10 million to try and beat that when we’ve got 15 open legislative seats, and if we don’t win, then they’ll come back in and repeal it in the Legislature,” she said.

What the amendment does

Under the amendment, state funds per student would be capped at the cost of education but could not exceed 75% of the statewide average of what the state spends per student in general funds on public K-12 education.

The amendment allocates a baseline of $25 million a year and allows for annual increases of up to 25% a year, based on the total scholarship funding awarded each year, up to an annual cap of $100 million.

Taxpayers would fund the full $25 million from the beginning, at a time when the Legislature is running short of cash for other new programs. The Opportunity Scholarships law, by contrast, requires private parties to donate funds in order to receive the state credit.

People familiar with fundraising for scholarship organizations told the Examiner that demand has outstripped donations thus far. Many donors have to be told about the tax credit, organizers said.

Linehan confirmed last week that her amendment would pull private money out of the process and would fund the private school scholarships with an appropriation of public money, like school voucher programs do in other states, including Iowa.

If voters chose to retain the Opportunity Scholarships Act this fall, the state could be on the hook for both programs, the tax credit and a separate allocation of money for scholarships. (A different related bill would sunset the original program if a new version passes.)

Most political observers expect the ballot measure to fail because Nebraskans have rejected voucher programs in the past, and opponents of the new law are planning a campaign that will include heavy rotations of advertising.

Court fight likely

Linehan acknowledged the amendment could make a court fight with Stand for Schools and others more likely. But she said school choice advocates have case law and a conservative U.S. Supreme Court on their side.

Linehan and the school choice advocacy group Keep Kids First have said courts have allowed similar programs in other states that have similar constitutional prohibitions.

Keep Kids First, which advocates for school choice in Nebraska, has ties to the American Federation for Children and Betsy DeVos, a major political donor and former education secretary under then-President Donald Trump.

Anthony Schutz, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln law professor, is one of several legal experts who argued previously that the tax credit program might run afoul of the Nebraska Constitution. He and others said the new amendment might be even more problematic.

“Since last year, we’ve wondered whether or not we have an appropriation to a non-public school,” Schutz said.

Now, he said, “We’ve got a bill that clearly appropriates money.”

Under AM 3016, the State Treasurer’s Office would have the responsibility for overseeing the scholarship program, much like it does with Nebraska’s college savings plans. The office would have the authority under the amendment to hire a private vendor to do so.

The amendment would place the state closer to providing public money to a private school, Schutz said.

‘Shell game’ gone

Dunixi Guereca, a legislative candidate speaking for Stand for Schools, said the legal point of the scholarship-granting organizations was to create a shell game filtering public money to private schools through a third party.

Schutz said courts have thrown out constitutional provisions in other states prohibiting private school funding, ruling that those restrictions encroached on religious freedoms.

Constitutions in those states prohibited state funds from being spent on religious education.

Nebraska’s Constitution, by contrast, prohibits spending on all private schools, he said, including secular schools.

Article VII, Section 11, of the constitution says, “No appropriation or grant of public funds or property shall be made to any educational institution which is not owned and controlled by the state or a governmental subdivision thereof.”

Linehan’s amendment to LB 1402 would allow access to scholarships for families earning up to 300% of the federal poverty level, or up to $93,600 for a family of four.

Families earning less would get first dibs, including families already on means-based scholarships and those earning up to 185% of the poverty level, meaning $57,720 for families of four.

Other students prioritized for scholarships under the amendment include those on individualized education plans (IEPs) and students fleeing bullying or violence in school.

Critics point out that private schools still can refuse to educate students of their choosing, with a handful of exceptions under federal law, including a student’s race or gender.

Stand for Schools, in an internal analysis of the amendment, wrote that tying the measure to this federal law would let private schools discriminate based on a student’s disability or sexual orientation.

Annual reports

AM 3016 would require the Treasurer’s Office to file a report with the governor each  Dec. 1 starting in 2025 that spells out how the scholarships can be pursued.

The report would include the number of students receiving scholarships the previous year, the number of students wait-listed or denied scholarships and the reasons they were denied.

It would also list the demographics of scholarship recipients, including income level, grade level and location.

Observers said that similar reports have been used in other states to justify the expansion of school choice scholarships or voucher programs. It’s a way to gauge demand and popularity.

Stand for Schools says research in school choice states found that more than 70% of those who apply for such scholarships or vouchers already attended private schools or intended to do so.

Linehan and Keep Kids First have argued that means nearly a third of students who accept scholarship funds might not otherwise have been able to attend a private school of their choosing.

The amendment would let the Treasurer’s Office spend up to 7.5% of the appropriated funds on administrative costs, including on internal managers providing oversight to private contractors.

The amendment limits the state’s ability to control or influence the governance of any “qualified” school accepting the money. It cannot force the schools to keep educating scholarship students.

It includes an emergency clause, meaning it would go into effect immediately if passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor.

Who’s applying

Opportunity Scholarships of Nebraska says more than 40% of its early applicants are students of color, more than half are from outside Omaha and Lincoln and 40% are at or below 185% of the poverty level.

Jeremy Ekeler, the group’s executive director, said the new law “is already giving hope to hundreds of students.”

“We hear every day from families who aren’t eligible but wish they were. Nebraskans are recognizing what the rest of the country has already discovered: Once parents have educational opportunity, their desire for options only increases,” he said.

Nebraska Examiner  is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nebraska Examiner maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Cate Folsom for questions:  [email protected] . Follow Nebraska Examiner on  Facebook  and  Twitter .

Copyright 2024 KOLN. All rights reserved.

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Office of the Vice President for Research

Ovpr announces recipients of 2024 discovery and innovation awards.

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is honoring 11 faculty and staff for their exceptional contributions to research, scholarship, and creative activity as part of the 2024 Discovery and Innovation Awards .

“ The winners represent the best and the brightest of our University of Iowa faculty and staff, who are making an impact across a range of disciplines,”  said Marty Scholtz, vice president for research. “Their research and scholarship enhance undergraduate and graduate education on campus, and their efforts to expand the frontiers of discovery betters our community, state, and world.”

The OVPR solicited nominations from across campus for the awards, which include: Scholar of the Year, Early Career Scholar of the Year, Leadership in Research, and awards that recognize achievement in communicating scholarship with public audiences, community engagement, arts and humanities, mentorship, research administration and safety. A campuswide event on April 30 will celebrate the winners.

Faculty Awards

Jun Wang

Jun Wang , James E. Ashton Professor and interim departmental executive officer in the College of Engineering’s

 Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, is the 2024 Scholar of the Year . The award celebrates nationally recognized recent achievement in outstanding research, scholarship, and/or creative activities. 

Wang’s research centers on the development of novel remote sensing techniques to characterize aerosols and fires from space. He serves as the University of Iowa’s lead investigator on NASA’s TEMPO, Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring Pollution, which Time magazine named one of its best inventions of 2023. 

“Professor Wang's scholarly endeavors over the past two years stand out as a paradigm of excellence, serving as an exemplary model for both emerging and seasoned faculty members to aspire toward,” said Karim Abdel-Malek, professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Iowa Technology Institute.

James Byrne

James Byrne , assistant professor of radiation oncology in the Carver College of Medicine ( CCOM ), is the 2024 Early Career Scholar of the Year . The award honors assistant professors who are currently involved in research, scholarship, and/or creative activity and show promise of making a significant contribution to their field. 

As a physician scientist, Byrne continues to care for patients while developing novel biomedical therapies for cancer, finding inspiration in everything from latte foam to tardigrades. In his first two years as faculty at the UI, he has earned more that $2.5M in external research funding, including a K08 award from the NIH.

“Dr. Byrne’s scientific creativity stems from both an active and curious mind as well as his ability to bridge diverse fields from engineering to biology to medicine,” said Michael Henry, professor and interim director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. “These interdisciplinary boundaries are where some of the most interesting and important work is happening today.”

Donna Santillan

Donna Santillan , research professor and director of the Division of Reproductive Science Research in the CCOM Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, received the Leadership in Research Award , which recognizes research and scholarly accomplishments throughout a career. 

While Santillan’s research has spanned across the field of reproductive science, she has a particular interest in the deadly diseases of pregnancy, including preeclampsia and its intergenerational effects. She designed and directs the Women’s Health Tissue Repository. Santillan’s work has been cited more than 2,700 times, and she has mentored 114 early career scientists and students, a testament to her expansive impact.

“Dr. Santillan has consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to fostering the professional and personal development of trainees in research, including myself,” said Banu Gumusoglu, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology. “Her mentorship extends beyond the confines of traditional academic settings, touching the lives of many aspiring trainees from high school through residency, clinical fellowship, and faculty levels.”

Stephen Warren

Stephen Warren , professor of history and American studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), received the Distinguished Achievement in Publicly Engaged Research Award . The award recognizes an individual faculty member who has put addressing public needs and direct engagement with the public, in the service of improving quality of life through research, at the forefront of his or her academic activities.

A prolific scholar of Native American culture, Warren’s research has centered on the Shawnee people of Oklahoma for the past two decades. He has published four books and co-authored the most recent one , Replanting Cultures: Community-Engaged Scholarship in Indian Country, with Chief Benjamin Barnes of the Shawnee Tribe. 

“Over the last two decades, Professor Warren has established himself as a leading community-engaged scholar, and his achievements in research and publishing demonstrate that community engagement and strong scholarship are not mutually exclusive,” said Nick Benson, director of the Office of Community Engagement. “Professor Warren’s work serves as an inspiration for researchers at Iowa and nationally who seek not only to make a difference in academia, but also in our communities.”

Kaveh Akbar

Kaveh Akbar , associate professor of English in CLAS, received the Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Humanities Research Award . This award honors distinguished achievement in humanities scholarship and work in the creative, visual and performing arts. 

Akbar joined Iowa in 2022 to serve as the director of the English and creative writing major. In January, his new novel, Martyr!, was published to critical acclaim. Akbar previously published two prize-winning poetry collections and has served as poetry editor for The Nation  since 2021. 

“Akbar’s leadership in the profession and on campus continues: his transformative work in our department not only enriches the academic experiences of 700+ English and creative writing majors, but also enhances the profile of UI as ‘The Writing University,’” said Blaine Greteman, professor and departmental executive officer of the Department of English.

Cara Hamann

Cara Hamann , associate professor of epidemiology, received the Faculty Communicating ideas Award . This award recognizes excellence in communication about research and scholarship in the sciences and humanities and the study of creative, visual, and performing arts to a general audience directly or via print and electronic media.

Hamann has frequently shared her work on transportation issues, including teen driving, bike and scooter safety, and pedestrian safety, through peer-reviewed journals and extensive media outreach. Her recent op-ed, “The most deadly traffic policy you’ve never heard of leaves you vulnerable, too,” drew widespread attention to a legal loophole in crosswalk laws and appeared in more than 50 news outlets nationwide, including USA Today .

“Dr. Hamann’s work is not only academically rigorous but also accessible and impactful to a

wide audience,” said Diane Rohlman, associate dean for research in the College of Public Health. “Her ability to communicate with clarity, creativity, and passion coupled with her extensive media outreach, exemplifies how she utilizes multiple approaches to address transportation challenges impacting society.”

Bob McMurray and Caroline Clay

Bob McMurray , F. Wendell Miller Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Caroline Clay , assistant professor of acting in the Department of Theatre Arts, were recipients of the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) Distinguished Mentor Awards . The awards honors mentors’ dedication to making their students research experiences successful.

“I can’t imagine my research journey without Bob’s welcoming kindness, thriving lab community, and confident mentorship, and I am so deeply grateful for his impact on me,” said Hannah Franke, a psychology and linguistics major mentored by McMurray.

“I know I am far from the only student whose life has been impacted by Caroline Clay,” said Isabella Hohenadel, a second-year theatre arts major. “She deserves to be recognized of all of the wonderful work she does and how much she cares about us as students. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of recognition than her.”

Staff Awards

Angie Robertson

Angie Robertson , department administrator for CCOM’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology, received the Distinguished Research Administrator Award . The award recognizes staff members who performed exceptional service in support of research at the UI by exploring funding opportunities, assisting in grant proposal preparation, submission, post-award administration, and operational support. 

In addition to overseeing every aspect of daily operations for the department, Robertson manages nearly 100 research grants for the department and three longstanding NIH T32 training grants. 

“Angie plays a leading role in our department office, inspiring us to achieve all aspects of our missions ,” said Li Wu, professor and department chair. “She is innovative, collaborative, accountable, and respectful  in her daily work. She exceeds any expectations and sets a great example for staff members in the department.”

Min Zhu

Min Zhu , research specialist in the Iowa Institute for Oral Health Research (IIOHR) within the College of Dentistry, received the Distinguished Research Professional Award . The award recognizes staff members who performed exceptional service in support of research at the UI by conducting experiments, collecting, and analyzing results and performing operational duties associated with a laboratory or research program. 

Zhu has worked as a lab bench scientist in the College of Dentistry since 2006, executing experimental work for grants and other research, working closely with IIOHR faculty members, overseeing lab maintenance and environmental health and safety efforts. 

“Beyond her research skills, Dr. Zhu has been an exceptional mentor and educator for my students and other junior researchers,” said Liu Hong, professor of prosthodontics. “Her kindness and willingness to share her knowledge have made her a beloved figure among them.”


Curtis Iberg , manager of sterilization services in the College of Dentistry, received the Innovation in Safety Award, which celebrates exceptional and ground-breaking innovations that advance safety at the UI. Iberg led a major renovation of the College of Dentistry’s instrument processing and sterilization area, with the aim of encouraging better workflow and support for future growth. 

“His innovations in workspace are a valuable asset to the greater University and demonstrates that the most important people to be involved in a space renovation are those that use the area because they can see how the facility can better function and how it can be designed for future needs,” said Kecia Leary, associate dean of clinics.

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Regions Riding Forward® Scholarship Contest

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Their Story. Your Voice.

Your voice is your own. But it's also been impacted by others. Who, we wonder, has inspired you? Let us know by entering the Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Contest. 

You could win an $8,000 college scholarship

For the opportunity to win an $8,000 scholarship, submit a video or written essay about an individual you know personally (who lives in your community) who has inspired you and helped you build the confidence you need to achieve your goals.

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The details

The 2024 Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Contest consists of four (4) separate Quarterly Contests - one for each calendar quarter of 2024. Regions is awarding four $8,000 scholarships through each Quarterly Contest.

Each Quarterly Contest has its own separate entry period, as provided in the chart below.

The entry deadline for each Quarterly Contest is 11:59:59 PM Central Time on the applicable Quarterly Contest period end date (set forth in the chart above).

No purchase or banking relationship required.

Regions believes in supporting the students whose passion and actions every day will continue to make stories worth sharing. That’s why we have awarded over $1 million in total scholarships to high school and college students.

How to enter, 1. complete an online quarterly contest application.

Enter the Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Contest by completing a Quarterly Contest application.  The second Quarterly Contest runs from April 1, 2024 through June 30, 2024. Complete and save all requested information. 

2. Prepare your Written Essay or Video Essay

For each Quarterly Contest, the topic of your Written Essay or Video Essay (your “Essay Topic”) must be an individual you know personally, who lives in your community. Your Written Essay or Video Essay must address how the individual you have selected as your Essay Topic has inspired you and helped you build the confidence you need to achieve your goals.

Written Essay and Video Essay submissions must meet all of the requirements described in the contest Official Rules. Your Written Essay or Video Essay must be (i) in English, (ii) your own original work, created solely by you (and without the use of any means of artificial intelligence (“AI”)), and (iii) the exclusive property of you alone.

Written Essays must be 500 words or less. You can write your Written Essay directly in the application, or you can copy and paste it into the appropriate area in the application form.

Video Essay submissions must be directly uploaded to the contest application site. Video Essays must be no more than 3 minutes in length and no larger than 1 GB. Only the following file formats are accepted: MP4, MPG, MOV, AVI, and WMV. Video Essays must not contain music of any kind nor display any illegal, explicit, or inappropriate material, and Video Essays must not be password protected or require a log-in/sign-in to view. You must upload your Video Essay to the application, and you may not submit your Video Essay in DVD or other physical form. (Video Essays submitted via mail will not be reviewed or returned.)

Tips to Record Quality Videos on a Smartphone:

  • Don’t shoot vertical video. Computer monitors have landscape-oriented displays, so shoot your video horizontally.
  • Use a tripod. Even small movements can make a big difference when editing.
  • Don’t use zoom. If you need to get a close shot of the subject, move closer as zooming can cause pixilation.
  • Use natural lighting. Smartphone lighting can wash out your video.

3. Review and submit your Quarterly Contest application

Review your information on your Quarterly Application (and check the spelling of a Written Essay) and submit your entry by 11:59:59 p.m. Central Time on the applicable Quarterly Contest period end date. The second Quarterly Contest period end date is June 30, 2024.

4. Await notification

Winning entries are selected by an independent panel of judges who are not affiliated with Regions. If your entry is selected as a Quarterly Contest winner, you will need to respond to ISTS with the required information.


For purposes of this contest:

  • The “Eligible States” are defined as the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
  • An “accredited college” is defined as a nonprofit, two- or four-year college or university located within one of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia.

To be eligible to enter this contest and to win an award in a Quarterly Contest, at the time of entry, you must:

  • Be a legal U.S. resident of one of the Eligible States.
  • Be age 16 or older.
  • Have at least one (1) year (or at least 18 semester hours) remaining before college graduation.
  • If you are not yet in college, begin your freshman year of college no later than the start of the 2025 – 2026 college academic school year.
  • As of your most recent school enrollment period, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 in school (and if no GPA is provided at school, be in “good standing” or the equivalent thereof in school).

View Official Rules

NO PURCHASE OR BANKING RELATIONSHIP REQUIRED. PURCHASE OR BANKING RELATIONSHIP WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. The 2024 Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Contest (the “Contest”) consists of four (4) separate quarterly contests (each a “Quarterly Contest”): (1) the “Q-1 Contest;” (2) the “Q-2 Contest;” (3) the “Q-3 Contest;” and (4) the “Q-4 Contest.” The Q-1 Contest begins on 02/01/24 and ends on 03/31/24; the Q-2 Contest begins on 04/01/24 and ends on 06/30/24; the Q-3 Contest begins on 07/01/24 and ends on 09/30/24; and the Q-4 Contest begins on 10/01/24 and ends on 12/31/24. (For each Quarterly Contest, entries must be submitted and received by 11:59:59 PM CT on the applicable Quarterly Contest period end date.) To enter and participate in a particular Quarterly Contest, at the time of entry, you must: (a) be a legal U.S. resident of one of the Eligible States; (b) be 16 years of age or older; (c) have at least one (1) year (or at least 18 semester hours) remaining before college graduation; (d) (if you are not yet in college) begin your freshman year of college no later than the start of the 2025 – 2026 college academic school year; and (e) as of your most recent school enrollment period, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 in school (and if no grade point average is provided at school, be in “good standing” or the equivalent thereof in school). (For purposes of Contest, the “Eligible States” are defined as the states of AL, AR, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MS, MO, NC, SC, TN and TX.) Visit for complete Contest details, including eligibility and Written Essay and Video Essay requirements and Official Rules. (Limit one (1) entry per person, per Quarterly Contest.) For each Quarterly Contest, eligible entries will be grouped according to form of entry (Written Essay or Video Essay) and judged by a panel of independent, qualified judges. A total of four (4) Quarterly Contest Prizes will be awarded in each Quarterly Contest, consisting of two (2) Quarterly Contest Prizes for the Written Essay Entry Group and two (2) Quarterly Contest Prizes for the Video Essay Entry Group. Each Quarterly Contest Prize consists of a check in the amount of $8,000 made out to winner’s designated accredited college. (Limit one (1) Quarterly Contest Prize per person; a contestant is permitted to win only one (1) Quarterly Contest Prize through the Contest.) Sponsor: Regions Bank, 1900 Fifth Ave. N., Birmingham, AL 35203.

© 2024 Regions Bank. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. Regions and the Regions logo are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.

2023 Winners

High school:.

  • Amyrrean Acoff
  • Leon Aldridge
  • Kharis Andrews
  • Colton Collier
  • Indya Griffin
  • Christopher Hak
  • Aquil Hayes
  • Jayden Haynes
  • McKenna Jodoin
  • Paris Kelly
  • Liza Latimer
  • Dylan Lodle
  • Anna Mammarelli
  • Karrington Manley
  • Marcellus Odum
  • Gautami Palthepu
  • Melody Small
  • Lauryn Tanner
  • Joshua Wilson
  • Mohamed Ali
  • Kayla Bellamy
  • Lauren Boxx
  • Alexandria Brown
  • Samuel Brown
  • Thurston Brown
  • Conner Daehler
  • Tsehai de Souza
  • Anjel Echols
  • Samarion Flowers
  • Trinity Griffin
  • Kristina Hilton
  • Ryan Jensen
  • Miracle Jones
  • Shaniece McGhee
  • Chelby Melvin
  • Lamiya Ousley
  • Kiera Phillips
  • Gabrielle Pippins
  • Ethan Snead
  • Sydney Springs
  • Kirsten Tilford
  • Tamira Weeks
  • Justin Williams

2022 Winners

  • Paul Aucremann
  • William Booker
  • Robyn Cunningham
  • Kani'ya Davis
  • Oluwatomi Dugbo
  • Lillian Goins
  • Parker Hall
  • Collin Hatfield
  • Gabrielle Izu
  • Kylie Lauderdale
  • Jacob Milan
  • Jackson Mitchell
  • Carmen Moore
  • Madison Morgan
  • Kaden Oquelí-White
  • Kaylin Parks
  • Brian Perryman
  • De'Marco Riggins
  • Brianna Roundtree
  • Sydney Russell
  • Carlie Spore
  • Morgan Standifer
  • Ionia Thomas
  • Ramaya Thomas
  • Jaylen Toran
  • Amani Veals
  • Taylor Williams
  • Alana Wilson
  • Taryn Wilson
  • Aryaunna Armstrong
  • Hannah Blackwell
  • T'Aneka Bowers
  • Naomi Bradley
  • Arianna Cannon
  • Taylor Cline
  • Catherine Cummings
  • Margaret Fitzgerald
  • Chloe Franklin
  • Camryn Gaines
  • Thomas Greer
  • Kayla Helleson
  • Veronica Holmes
  • Logan Kurtz
  • Samuel Lambert
  • Jaylon Muchison
  • Teresa Odom
  • Andrew Payne
  • Carey Price
  • Emily SantiAnna
  • Curtis Smith
  • Jered Smith
  • Mariah Standifer
  • Maura Taylor
  • Anna Wilkes


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    Tips for Adding Humor to Your College Essays. 1. Be Appropriate. First things first: be appropriate. Humor is, of course, subjective, but make sure your subject matter would be considered appropriate by absolutely anyone reading it. Think about the most traditional person you know and make sure they would be okay with it.

  2. Can I use humor in my application essay?

    You can use humor in a college essay, but carefully consider its purpose and use it wisely. An effective use of humor involves unexpected, keen observations of the everyday, or speaks to a deeper theme. Humor shouldn't be the main focus of the essay, but rather a tool to improve your storytelling. Get a second opinion from a teacher ...

  3. Avoid These 5 Clichés In Your Scholarship Essays

    Avoid These 5 Clichés In Your Scholarship Essays. The essay is the most important part of your scholarship application. It's your scholarship essay that will help you stand out from the thousands of other scholarship applicants. But writing this essay is easier said than done. Many students find this one of the most challenging writing ...

  4. 14 Scholarship Essay Examples That Won Thousands 2023

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  5. Funny Personal Statements: Using Humor in Your College Application

    When writing funny personal statements, the peer-review process becomes even more important than it already is. Humor is subjective by nature, so before clicking "submit" on your applications, make sure that a wide variety of people in your life (friends, parents, and teachers) have read your essays. If all your readers think your essay is ...

  6. How to Write a Scholarship Essay: Complete Guide + Examples

    Approach #1: Use the resources above to write a great essay that spells out your big dreams, then end with 1-3 sentences describing specifically how you'll use the scholarship money. (We'll call this the "I have big dreams and you can help" approach.) Approach #2: Explain your financial situation in detail, then end with 1-3 sentences ...

  7. How to Make Your College Essay Stand Out

    Scholarship essays; Tips for international students; Interesting topics. ... You can use humor in a college essay, but carefully consider its purpose and use it wisely. An effective use of humor involves unexpected, keen observations of the everyday, or speaks to a deeper theme. Humor shouldn't be the main focus of the essay, but rather a ...

  8. How to Write a Scholarship Essay

    Consider how your interests and experiences align with what the organization is looking for, and make them clear throughout your essay. 2. Show your personality. You should also use your voice in your essay. Give the scholarship committee insight into who you are as a person — what drives you, what motivates you, and what interests you.

  9. Five Tips For Writing Winning Essays

    There are many good students sending in scholarship essays. If you want to stand out, you need to convince the readers that you are more than just your grades. ... Credentials are great and all, but a dash of personality can take your essay above and beyond. Adding a bit of humor or sharing an interesting but relevant experience will make your ...

  10. Definition and Examples of Humorous Essays

    A humorous essay is a type of personal or familiar essay that has the primary aim of amusing readers rather than informing or persuading them. Also called a comic essay or light essay . Humorous essays often rely on narration and description as dominant rhetorical and organizational strategies . Notable writers of humorous essays in English ...

  11. How do I incorporate humor in my college essays? : r ...

    You don't want to overdo it; there's a very fine line between a funny, unique essay that stands out to the admissions officers, and a cliché, "QuIrKy" essay that sounds corny. I recommend including maybe like 2 puns and a funny metaphor, but that's really all you need. A little humor goes a long way for college essays! :) Best of luck.

  12. How to Start a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)

    The first sentence of the essay is what makes the reader want to continue reading. Engage the reader by appealing to the senses. Create a sense of wonder in your essay, making the reader want to learn more about you. Keep the ending of the essay in mind as you craft the beginning.

  13. Hilariously Awful College Admissions Essays

    A little humor sometimes goes a long way "I had a friend in high school who applied early decision to Wharton. They had 'Write page 264 of your autobiography,' as an essay question, so he ...

  14. How to Write a Scholarship Essay

    Yes, but make sure your essay directly addresses the prompt, respects the word count, and demonstrates the organization's values. If you plan ahead, you can save time by writing one scholarship essay for multiple prompts with similar questions. In a scholarship tracker spreadsheet, you can group or color-code overlapping essay prompts; then, write a single essay for multiple scholarships.

  15. 10 Winning Scholarship Essay Examples From Real Students

    New York University College of Arts and Science Scholarship by Ana. Award amount: $39,500. Essay prompt: Explain something that made a big impact in your life. Why it was successful: Ana discussed how early experiences w ith learning difficult things has contributed to her passion for teaching and supporting students.

  16. Complete List: Weird Scholarships You Can Win (Updated)

    Scholarships for People Who Love to Write Essays Ayn Rand Scholarships. If you want to get some practice writing essays on really long books, never fear! Short essays (of around 1,000 words on Ayn Rand's really long books can make you eligible to win some serious cash. Different topics are available depending on grade level, and awards vary.

  17. Funny Scholarships That Are No Joke

    If so, check out the funny scholarships offered by the American Association for Nude Recreation Southwestern Region (AANR-SW). Each year, this organization provides two $1,000 scholarships to students between the ages of 17 and 25. Winners are chosen based on scholastic merit, involvement in school, community activities, and nude recreation.

  18. Make Me Laugh Scholarship Winners

    Not all scholarships have to be serious business. In fact, it's nice to find a fun scholarship that let's you cut loose and laugh. Our Make Me Laugh Scholarship does just that. Our comedic scholarship winners told jokes, funny stories, and even shared embarrassing moments — all in the spirit of free money for college.

  19. Make Me Laugh Scholarship

    We will send you emails when new scholarships match your profile as well as other news, scholarship and financial aid info. ... 2024, a qualified panel of judges will select one (1) potential winner based on the criteria of writing ability (25%), creativity (25%), originality (25%), and overall excellence (25%). Sponsor will select at least one ...

  20. (PDF) Gender and Humor: International and Interdisciplinary

    Over the past decades humor studies has formed an unprecedented interdisciplinary consolidation, connected with a consolidation in philosophy of humor scholarship. In this essay I focus specifically on feminist philosophy of humor as an area of study that highlights relationships between humor, language, subjectivity, power, embodiment ...

  21. Humor In Scholarship Essays

    Humor In Scholarship Essays. We'll get back to you shortly. Your order needs a perfect match, so give us a few mins. You are going to request writer Estevan Chikelu to work on your order. We will notify the writer and ask them to check your order details at their earliest convenience. The writer might be currently busy with other orders, but ...

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    It won't be cheap but money isn't the reason why students in the U.S. seek the services of premium writers. The main reason is that the writing quality premium writers produce is figuratively out of this world. An admission essay, for example, from a premium writer will definitely get you into any college despite the toughness of the ...

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  24. Nebraska would fund private K-12 scholarships, regardless of ...

    The author of Nebraska's new Opportunity Scholarships Act says she knows that the state tax credit for funding students attending private K-12 schools risks being rejected by voters in November.

  25. OVPR announces recipients of 2024 Discovery and Innovation Awards

    The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is honoring 11 faculty and staff for their exceptional contributions to research, scholarship, and creative activity as part of the 2024 Discovery and Innovation Awards. "The winners represent the best and the brightest of our University of Iowa faculty and staff, who are making an impact across a range of disciplines," said Marty ...

  26. $2,000 No Essay Scholarship

    About Niche scholarships. We believe cost shouldn't keep anyone from pursuing a higher education, so we connect students with thousands of scholarships — many of which don't require an essay — to help them afford college. In 2023 alone, we offered over $285,000 in Niche scholarships. Read more about Niche scholarships here or visit our ...

  27. Riding Forward Scholarship Contest

    Written Essays must be 500 words or less. You can write your Written Essay directly in the application, or you can copy and paste it into the appropriate area in the application form. Video Essay submissions must be directly uploaded to the contest application site. Video Essays must be no more than 3 minutes in length and no larger than 1 GB.