The Clinton Foundation extended its college scholarship deadline to May 22 for high school juniors and seniors.


The foundation focuses on creating economic opportunity, improving public health, and inspiring civic engagement and service. Every year, Arkansas students in 11th and 12th grades are invited to write a 1,000-word (minimum) essay exploring one of these three focus areas.


The essays will be reviewed by a panel of judges and the student with the winning essay will be awarded a $2,500 college scholarship, according to a news release.


“With the governor’s announcement that Arkansas schools will remain closed for the rest of the semester, we have extended the deadline for our annual essay contest,” said Stephanie S. Streett, executive director of the Clinton Foundation. “We hope this will give more students the opportunity to participate and turn their good ideas into action.”


New this year, the Clinton Foundation is partnering with the Clinton Global University (CGI U), to provide an additional element to the Ideas Matter Essay Contest for Arkansas high school seniors. Arkansas students in 12th grade, who are planning to enroll in an institution of higher education in Fall 2020 - Spring 2021, could have the opportunity to participate in the CGI U student program.


Launched in 2007, the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) is a year-round leadership development program, where students collaborate and learn from a network of alumni and leaders from business, government, academia, and civil society. Each year accepted students develop their own Commitments to Action — new, specific, and measurable projects to address pressing challenges on campus, in local communities, and around the world.


Students who are interested in applying for this unique opportunity should write an additional 1,000-word (minimum) essay which expands on the original Ideas Matter Essay Contest. They should detail how their strategy is innovative when compared to other individuals or organizations addressing a similar problem. They can name specific organizations working in the field, outline how they are tackling an issue, and explore why they think their approach will be more successful than others. They can feel free to show off their research in citing sources and quoting experts too.


To qualify for the scholarship, the student must be: An Arkansas resident; currently enrolled in an Arkansas high school as an 11th or 12th grader; and planning to enroll in an institution of higher education that accepts financial aid within 18 months of their graduation from high school.


To qualify for the CGI U Prize, entrants must additionally be: An Arkansas 12th grade student graduating from high school in 2020 and interested in participating in the CGI U student program.


Essays are due by May 22. To submit an essay and for more information, visit www.clintonfoundation.org/ideasmatteressay.