Jan 13, 2012

College Net Price Calculator Video Challenge

Video scholarship competitions are all the rage these days. Organizations have discovered that kids prefer the video camera over word processing programs. They’ve also figured out a way to get free advertising for a product or cause, and save millions on the cost of hiring an advertising agency to produce a short video promotion.

And so it shouldn’t be a surprise that even the federal government wants to get in on the act. On January 1, the U.S. Department of Education began accepting entries for the “College Net Price Calculator Student Video Challenge.”

Three lucky students will be awarded $1,500 each for developing videos designed to get the word out about “how much it costs to go to college.” The challenge asks high school and college students to create short videos informing students and families about “net price calculators.”

According to the Department of Education, “…too few people know what ‘net price’ means, and where to find a college’s net price calculator on its website.” The Department wants to encourage everyone to use net price (along with other information) when “comparison shopping for higher education.”

For interested videographers, here are some links to a few local college net price calculators*:

Contestants must submit their videos by January 31, 2012, via a video link (YouTube, Vimeo, a personal website, etc.) and through netpricecal.challenge.gov. The video must be approximately 60 to 180 seconds in length, must mention the College Navigator website, and should not contain any unoriginal music unless the music is in the public domain.

There are some other rules and they may be found on the Challenge.gov website.

*Note: Before using any of these calculators, carefully consider how much personal financial information you want to provide in any identifiable way. For example, the College Board administers a surprising number of the net price calculators. By using your CollegeBoard.com account, the information you provide may be linked to other to other college search or test score data banks.

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