No longer will you have to write the traditional 800-word, dry, bland entrance essay about your future and how Generic University of the World will be the perfect fit for your dreams and endeavours. Like they’ve taught me in all my English classes, brevity and conciseness is the winner, and with just 140 characters to work with, the exercise is more challenging than you might think. It requires the flexing of your creativity muscles, and superb editing.
The Kentucky Fried Chicken Colonel’s Scholars Twitter scholarship offers $20,000 over four years, Scholarship.com awards applicants who best sum up their college experience, and the University of Iowa hands out full scholarships worth a whopping $38,000 to their business school to whoever crafts the best tweet. Those are just a few examples—there are more. Lots more.
The winning KFC tweet from last year:
“#KFCScholar Hey Colonel! Your scholarship’s the secret ingredient missing from my recipe for success! got the grades, drive, just need cash!”
Well she ain’t Shakespeare, but the concept is good. Others have criticized such campaigns, like author Jaron Lanier who’s been quoted as saying: “They’re devaluing their future, because they’re identifying themselves with a fad rather than something more long term.” Dude, seriously? Social media is a fad? That explains why Google+ has already hit 10-million users in a ridiculously short time. The face of media is changing, and universities are learning to embrace it.
Although this reminds me of my first year of university and seeing a sign posted for a course called “University 101” and reading it as “University LOL.” Ah, the infiltration of the online world. It’s everywhere! Study on.