jennifer g group  On fire for learning?  The American Fire Sprinkler Association has a better idea. This organization offers an online scholarship contest for high school seniors in which you don’t write an essay, but rather read one and take a short quiz.    Each time a student gets a correct answer on the ten-question open book quiz, he or she earns one chance to win one of ten $2,000 scholarships. The scholarship is paid directly to the student’s school of choice as long as it is an accredited two or four year institution.

Sound too easy to be real?  We were curious about that also, so we researched last year’s winners and had the good fortune to connect with University of Wisconsin freshman Jennifer Gohlke.  Jennifer graduated in May 2014 from Pewaukee High School in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.  She was looking for scholarships, but she preferred to not have to write another essay.

Here’s what we love about this story:  Rather than assuming that there just aren’t scholarships that don’t require essays and applications, Jennifer did her research and found one that was a good fit.   Winners of the AFSA scholarship are chosen strictly jennifer gby lottery from among the applicants who submit correct answers to the quiz; so, the chances of winning each year are determined by the number of entries into the contest.

We asked Jennifer what she thought when she was notified that she had won one of the ten $2,000 awards.  “Honestly, I thought it might be spam mail,” she laughed, “and so did my mom.”  But the program is in fact legitimate. It is an inspired effort sponsored by the AFSA with the sole intent of educating the public about the lives saved by installing sprinklers. We think Jennifer was inspired, too, in her search to defray her college expenses.

We asked her if she had any advice for current high school seniors in regards to choosing a school, and she strongly suggested visiting the campuses of the schools that students are considering if at all possible.  “I was interested in several schools, but when I visited the UW, I couldn’t see myself anywhere else.”  Thanks to her own ingenuity and the support of the AFSA, this bright college freshman — who loves anything with peanut butter, has a pet turtle, and organizes her T-shirts in rainbow order — is on her way to a career in civil engineering, or whatever field she finally decides to pursue.

You have plenty of time, but why wait?   Visit the American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship Program information page and find out how you can put a damper on school debt. Entries for scholarships are accepted between September 10, 2014 and April 1, 2015 for students beginning college in the fall of 2015.


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