May 1, 2010

The Easiest Scholarship Competition Yet

Any college-bound high school senior can win. All you have to do is read an essay on how fire sprinklers save lives and take a ten-question multiple-choice quiz. And the quiz is “open book.”

Through one of the more unique national scholarship competitions still available for this year, the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is offering two opportunities to win prizes totaling $25,000. In the first phase (entries due May 3), ten $2,000 scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors planning to attend a college, university, or certified trade school beginning in the fall of 2010. The second phase will award five $1000 scholarships (entries due August 25), and is open to high school graduates (diplomas, GED or equivalent). Members of the Class of 2010 are eligible for both.

Here’s how it works:

• Start by reading the “Fire Sprinkler Essay” about automatic fire sprinklers (pdf or html). Hint: print out the essay for later use.
• Complete the registration page by clicking on the “Take Test Now” button. It requires pretty basic information like name, address, birth date, high school, and year of graduation. Income or financial need does NOT count for this contest.
• Take the quiz by selecting answers based on the essay you already read. Because this is an “open book” test, you can refer back to your printout or use the essay text online to find correct answers.
• Click on the “submit” button. You will receive immediate notification of questions answered incorrectly and a chance to correct your answers. Do it.
• Click on the “submit” button again.

Once you submit your answers a second time, you will receive final score notification. For each question answered correctly, you receive one entry into a drawing for one of the scholarships. Ten entries are possible if you answer all questions correctly. Really, it’s that simple!

Note that you will only be allowed to take one quiz for each of the two contest phases. Any attempt to try twice with a different name or address will result in automatic disqualification.

In addition to the online competition, several state AFSA chapters offer additional scholarships through separate essay contests. The Virginia Chapter annually awards 6 prizes totaling $3050. This year’s first place $1500 scholarship went to Christina Lee, of Potomac Falls High School in Sterling, Virginia.

The bottom line for the AFSA is that you learn something about fire sprinklers. The scholarships are just a nice incentive.


  1. Hi Nancy,

    This is a terrific opportunity, and I am glad to see that it is open to homeschoolers. Yea!

    I posted an article about it also, and cross-linked back to you.

    Here is my article:


    Holly Craw
    Phoenix Homeschooling Examiner

  2. Holly--

    Wow! I'm glad this works for your readers. Time is running out on the first phase, but you can encourage everyone to try the "second chance" if they miss the first competition.

    I'll keep a watch for college scholarships that include homeschoolers. The opportunities are out there; it's just a matter of finding and publicizing them.

    Thanks for all your good work,