Before television and the internet, people often joined social clubs and fraternal orders to socialize and get involved in the community.
Some of those orders, like the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, also known as the Elks, are still an active part of society today.
The group created the Elks National Foundation, which invests in communities through a variety of programs and scholarship opportunities.
Every year, its Most Valuable Student scholarship program awards 500 four-year scholarships to the highest-rated high school seniors.
Scholarships range from $1,000 to $12,500 per year, for a total of $2.4 million.
Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship Details
There are two each of the first-, second- and third-place scholarships; 14 fourth-place awards; and 480 runners-up — all equally divided between male and female students.
The two first-place awards are for $50,000, or $12,500 per year; the two second-place awards are for $40,000, or $10,000 per year; the two third-place awards are for $30,000 or $7,500 per year; the 14 fourth-place awards are for $20,000 or $5,000 per year; the 480 runners-up will receive $4,000, or $1,000 per year.
To be eligible, you must be a high school senior, a U.S. citizen and have completed the ACT or SAT and plan on pursuing a four-year degree full time at an accredited U.S. university or college.
You do not have to be related to an Elks member to qualify. (Membership is open only to those 21 and older.)
The application process includes a report from your school counselor, a student aid report from your completed FAFSA (federal student aid application) and a resume that includes information about community service, extracurricular activities, honors, awards and jobs.
Last, you will have to write a 300-word essay on this topic: “Using one of the leadership roles or extracurricular activities you prioritized as being important to you, describe what impact the experience had on you, what you contributed, what you learned about yourself, and how it has influenced your plans for the future.”
The applicant is responsible for ensuring all required documentation is included.
Students will be judged on financial need, academics, community involvement and leadership.
Applicants must advance through local, district and state levels to reach the national competition.
The top 20 finalists will interview with national judges during an all-expense-paid, mandatory leadership weekend in Chicago from April 11 to 14, 2019.
To apply, visit the Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship page and follow the “apply now” link.
The deadline to apply is Nov. 15, 2018.
If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements for this scholarship, check out our list of 100 scholarships that will help you pay for college.
Or you can like The Penny Hoarder Life on Facebook to discover other scholarship opportunities.
Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Shuffleboard is her social club of choice.
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