Helping Students Pursue Their College & Career Aspirations

Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program


Contest begins in August  and ends in September, or until One Thousand (1,000) eligible Entries are received (“Contest Period”).

  1. ELIGIBILITY: The Sallie Mae Bridging the Dream Scholarship Contest (“Contest”) is open only to the first One Thousand (1,000) legal residents of the fifty (50) United States, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia who (i) are currently enrolled as a high school junior or senior; (ii) plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school within one year of high school graduation; (iii) are under the age of 18; and (iv) are nominated by a high school counselor, school official or community organization leader with personal knowledge of the student (each, a “Nominator”) in accordance with these official Rules (each, an “Entrant”). Employees of Sallie Mae Bank (“Sponsor”), Scholarship America (“Administrator”) and their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, promotion and fulfillment agencies (collectively, “Related Entities”) and members of their immediate family or household of each are not eligible. Void where prohibited by law. This Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.
  2. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this Contest is Sallie Mae Bank, 300 Continental Drive, Newark, DE 19713.
  3. HOW TO ENTER: Nominators go to https://www.scholarsapply.org/bridgingthedream to submit a nomination. Nominators must provide entries (each, an “Entry”), consisting of (i) personal information including student name, phone number, email address, postal address, grade level, (ii) two (2) written statements consisting of no more than two hundred (200) words each which address the evaluation criteria (as set forth in Section 4 hereof), including academics, community service, personal achievement, and financial need. Limit of one (1) Entry per Nominator during the Contest Period. Total limit of one thousand (1,000) Entries during the Contest Period. Administrator’s computer system shall be the official time-keeping device for the Contest. Sponsor is not responsible for Entries that are lost, late, misdirected, illegible and/or incomplete due to computer or electronic malfunction or other error. Use of robotic, automatic, or macro devices is not valid for Entry. Any Entry that is submitted with the use of a robotic, automated or macro device will be void. All Entries become the property of the Sponsor upon submission and will not be acknowledged or returned and the Sponsor and/or Administrator has the right to dispose of the Entries at Sponsor’s discretion. By submitting an Entry, each entrant agrees to abide by the terms of these Official Rules and the Scholarship America Privacy Policy. Unreadable, inaccurate, unintelligible, or Entries which otherwise do not comply with these Official Rules will be disqualified.
  4. By submitting an Entry, each Nominator consents to receive from the Sponsor and/or Administrator an email notifying such Nominator that his/her Entrant is a potential Scholarship winner. Nominators, by entering this Contest, and Entrants, by accepting a Scholarship, acknowledge that Entries may be posted at Sponsor’s website or social media platforms, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter or SallieMae.com at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Sponsor has no obligation to use or post any Entry submitted. The use of all or a part of any Entry content by Sponsor or any Related Entity does not have any effect on the winner selection process. Entries posted are the views/opinions of the individual Nominator and do not reflect the views of Sponsor in any manner. Nominators, by entering this Contest, and Entrants, by accepting a Scholarship, grant Sponsor and the Related Entities a worldwide, irrevocable, exclusive, assignable, transferable, unqualified, unrestricted, royalty-free license and right to edit, modify, publish, use, reuse, distribute, display, copy and otherwise exploit the Entry content or any part thereof (with or without the Entrant’s name and city/state), and any materials based thereon or derived from, in any manner and in any media (whether now known or later developed), for any lawful purposes whatsoever (noncommercial or commercial), including, without limitation, for use in the commercial packaging and point-of-sale materials, or for promotion, marketing or advertising of Sponsor, or any Related Entity, each of their respective brands and/or products in any medium (whether now or hereafter known) throughout the world in perpetuity without further permission, notification, consideration, or payment to the Entrant, except where prohibited by law. In addition, Nominators, by entering this Contest, and Entrants, by accepting a Scholarship, forever waive in favor of Sponsor all rights of “Droit Moral” or “Moral Rights of Authors” or any similar rights or principles of law that may preclude the use of an Entry (or any part thereof) as granted herein, or require Nominator or Entrant’s permission to use the Entry (or any part thereof) for the purposes stated herein.
  5. JUDGING CRITERIA: Five (5) Winners will be selected on or about the month of October from all Entries received during the Contest Period, one from each of the following four regions: Region 1: Indiana, Michigan, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Wisconsin; Region 2: Puerto Rico, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont. Region 3: Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Region 4: Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Alaska, Montana, Washington, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, California, Nevada, Hawaii, Oregon and Idaho. The fifth Winner will be selected from among the eligible Entries whose nominated student resides in one of the five following counties in Utah: Davis County, Salt Lake County, Tooele County, Utah County, or Weber County. All Entries that are in compliance with all terms and conditions of these Rules will be judged on the basis of the following criteria (based on information provided by the Nominator):
    1. Academics (25%): Students who excel academically and demonstrate commitment and determination to achieve academic success.
    2. Community Service (25%): Commitment to the community and/or helping others in school or in the community.
    3. Personal Achievement (25%): Having faced challenge or adversity and overcome it.
    4. Financial Need (25%): A funding gap that may prevent them from attending.The Winners will be determined by judges from the Administrator’s staff who will rank each eligible Entry on the basis of a composite score based on equal weighting of the criteria (the Entrants nominated in the highest-scoring Entries in each of the five geographic regions shall each be a “Winner”). In the event of a tie, the Entry that receives the higher score for “Academics” will be declared the Winner. In the event of a further tie, the Entry that receives the higher score for “Community Service” will be declared the Winner. In the event of a further tie, the Entry that receives the higher score for “Personal Achievement” will be declared a Finalist. In the event of a further tie, the Entry that receives the higher score for “Financial Need” will be declared a Finalist. In the event of a further tie, Administrator in its sole discretion shall choose a Winner based on an evaluation of which Entry is superior overall taking all categories into consideration. The Contest contains no elements based on chance. The standards applied during the judging process focuses on assessing each entry’s properties. By the mere submission of an Entry by a Nominator, an Entrant acquires no automatic right to be awarded a Scholarship, nor any other right except for the right to have such Entry reviewed and evaluated subject to these Official Rules. The decisions of Administrator shall be final. Neither Sponsor nor Administrator will correspond with Nominators or Entrants about the determination of the winner other than as expressly provided in these Rules.
  6. FIVE (5) SCHOLARSHIPS: Five (5) Scholarship Winners will receive Twenty Five Thousand Dollar scholarships ($25,000.00) each. Scholarship awards are payable in equal disbursements to the Winner’s school for up to eight (8) semesters, to cover the cost of qualified tuition, fees, books and supplies. Scholarship awards may not exceed the total of such qualified costs. Scholarship awards are for undergraduate study only, unless the Winner’s undergraduate tuition costs are fully funded, in which case the Winner may request to have the Scholarship applied to qualified graduate school expenses. ALL EXPENSES, FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL TAXES AND COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH ACCEPTANCE AND USE OF SCHOLARSHIP NOT SET FORTH IN THESE RULES ARE THE OBLIGATION OF EACH GRAND SCHOLARSHIP WINNER. No assignment, transfer or substitution of any Scholarship is permitted by a Scholarship Winner. Entrants agree that if a Scholarship Winner is found to have violated these Official Rules, or otherwise does not meet the eligibility criteria, such Scholarship will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate Scholarship Winner from among all remaining eligible Entries, based on the judging criteria set forth herein. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute any Scholarship for a different Scholarship of equal or greater value, in its sole discretion. Sponsor is solely responsible for providing the Scholarships. Limit one (1) Scholarship per household. Total value of all Scholarships: $125,000.00.

About Mychal Wynn

Mychal Wynn is the Ministry Leader (together with his wife) for the Turner Chapel AME Church Education Ministry, CEO of the Foundation for Ensuring Access and Equity, author, educational consultant, and parent. He speaks nationally on such topics as college planning, scholarships and financial aid, school improvement, parenting, increasing student achievement, and building faith-based partnerships. He has written 27 books (visit www.rspublishing.com for a listing of his publications).
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