Student Essay Contest

Scott Wright Student Essay Contest

The annual Scott Wright Student Essay Contest is in honor of Scott Wright (July 27, 1964 ­- June 08, 2003), past editor of Community College Week, recipient of the 1998 Award for Excellence in Higher Education Journalism, and the reporter who brought national attention to developmental education and the unique mission community colleges possess in providing an accessible education.

Student authors are asked to describe a faculty member, staff member, or administrator who encouraged them to complete a course, finish a semester, or graduate from college and how that encouragement helped them reach their goal(s) in a 500-word (or less) essay. Only students currently enrolled at NISOD member colleges are eligible.

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The Prize

  • Three (3) winning student authors will each receive a $1,000 check.
  • The featured faculty members, staff members, or administrators in the winning essays will each receive a $1,000 check.
  • The winning essays will be presented during NISOD’s annual conference, May 28-31, 2022.
  • Each winning student author’s college will receive a complimentary 2022-2023 NISOD membership (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023).
  • The winning student essays will be published on NISOD’s website along with the photos and names of the winning student author, the featured employees, and the winning student authors’ college presidents.

Evaluation Criteria

Submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Content
  • Originality
  • Clarity
  • Organization
  • Conciseness
  • Grammar


  • Contest opens: August 20, 2021
  • Submission deadline: March 11, 2022
  • Winners notified: March 16, 2022
  • Winners’ photos and videos due: March 25, 2022
  • Prize and essay presentations at NISOD conference: May 28-31, 2022

Past Student Essay Contest Winners


Please review the Criteria and Terms before submitting your essay.

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