The public is invited to the finals dinner of the 2017 PSR/Sacramento High School Scholarship Essay Contest on Sunday, April 30, at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 2001 Point West Way, in Sacramento.
At the Essay Contest Finals Dinner, the 10 finalists will present their essays orally, and a distinguished panel of judges from the community will choose the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. A total of $15,000 in scholarships will be awarded, including $3,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place, $2,000 for third place, and $1,000 to the other seven finalists.
Doors open for social hour at 5:00 PM, dinner begins at 6:00, and the presentations of the 10 student finalists begin at 7:00. The cost of the dinner is $40 per person ($20 for students). Salmon, chicken, and vegetarian options are available. Advance reservations are required. Click on this link to make reservations. The deadline to make reservations is Tuesday, April 25.
The deadline for students to enter the 2017 PSR/Sacramento High School Scholarship Essay Contest was Saturday, March 11, 2017. We received over 160 entries this year, and we're currently in the process of choosing the 10 finalists and two alternate finalists.
Scroll down to the bottom of this page to read the essays of past contest winners.
2017 Essay Topic
Contestants must be high school seniors (or students who entered high school on track to graduate in 2017 but who graduated early) attending school in Sacramento County or in one of the following surrounding counties: Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, San Joaquin, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, or Yuba.
Contestants must be in good academic standing.
Contestants are encouraged to discuss the essay topic with teachers, parents, friends, and other mentors, but each contestant must write the essay himself or herself, in his or her own words.
Contestants who are under the age of 18 must have the consent of a parent or legal guardian to enter the contest.
To enter the contest, students must submit their essays and demographic information by clicking on this link.
Essays may include a title and footnotes, but these elements are not required. Titles and footnotes do not count toward the 500 word limit.
In order to be eligible for a scholarship award, students who are chosen as finalists or alternate finalists must also submit an essay contest signature form which includes a statement signed by the contestant documenting that the essay being submitted is his or her original work; a statement signed by a parent or legal guardian if the student is under age 18 confirming that the parent or guardian approves of the student's participation in the scholarship essay contest; and a statement by a school official confirming that the contestant is a student in good standing, on track to graduate from the 12 th grade in 2017, or that the student entered high school on track to graduate in 2017 but graduated early. A blank essay contest signature form will be sent via email to students chosen as finalists or alternate finalists along with the notification of their being chosen.
The deadline for online essay and demographic information submission is 11:59 PM on Saturday, March 11, 2017.
Late entries will not be accepted unless the delay was caused by a malfunction of the PSR/Sacramento server.
Selection of Scholarship Winners
The PSR/Sacramento Steering Committee will establish a panel of PSR members and other qualified individuals in the community to judge essays based on accuracy, originality, clarity, cohesiveness, and overall impact. Essay readers will be blinded to student demographic information. The panel will select 10 finalists and two alternates by Monday, April 10, 2017. The 10 finalists and two alternates will be contacted by email and/or telephone by April 10 at the email address and/or telephone number provided with their online contest entry forms.
The top 10 finalists will be invited to present their essays orally at a dinner open to the public on the evening of Sunday, April 30, 2017 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 2001 Point West Way , in Sacramento .
Finalists must participate in the April 30 finals dinner presentation to be eligible for scholarship awards. Finalists must return completed signature forms and confirm by Sunday, April 23 that they will be participating in the April 30 finals event, or an alternate finalist may be invited to participate in their place.
A panel of judges selected from the community will listen to the essay presentations at the finals dinner and will ask one question of each finalist concerning his or her presentation. Finalists will be given up to two and a half minutes to respond to the judges' questions. Following all presentations and questions, judges will choose the first, second, and third place winners, based on the combined quality of the essay presentations and the responses to the judges' questions.
Contest Prizes (Total $15,000)
The other seven contestants participating in the April 30, 2017 finals event will each receive $1,000 scholarships.
If all 10 finalists participate in the finals dinner presentation, the two alternate finalists will both receive $250 scholarships. If one or more of the 10 finalists cannot be present at the finals dinner and an alternate finalist takes his or her place, the alternate finalist will instead receive a minimum of a $1,000 scholarship and will be eligible for the first, second, or third place awards.
Scholarship money may be applied toward any education-related expenses upon matriculation at an accredited college or university. Essay contest winners may also apply awards toward tuition for certain other post-high school educational programs, including trade schools, following review and approval of the proposed curriculum by the PSR/Sacramento Steering Committee.
Summary of Essay Contest Timeline
For additional information or questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (916) 955-6333.
* An exception to this rule will be considered for students who do not have access to a computer and/or access to the internet. If students are not able to submit their essays online, they must contact PSR/Sacramento by telephone at 916-955-6333 or by U.S. mail at 10 Dumfries Court , Sacramento , CA , 95831 at least two weeks prior to the contest entry deadline to arrange an alternate method of submitting their essays and demographic information.