announcing the get schooled college affordability challenge

We’re pleased to announce the Get Schooled College Affordability Challenge — a national competition created in partnership with MTV for current and aspiring college students to reengineer the financial aid process.

The goal of the Challenge is to receive proposals for new digital tools that will help simplify the task of acquiring financial aid, particularly for low- and middle-income college students. This project underscores our commitment to provide innovative solutions that connect students to college success.

Singer and education advocate John Legend announced the challenge at Howard University on Sept. 16, while serving as a “stand in” professor for the day. MTV has since broadcast mtvU “Stand In” to more than 750 college campuses.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan participated in a press conference with the College Board and MTV on Oct. 4 to discuss the critical importance of higher education, a new study on the value of a college diploma, and the Challenge.

MTV General Manager Stephen Friedman said, “MTV is proud to join forces with the College Board to leverage our reach with young people nationwide to harness their creativity and make financial aid more accessible … Our hope is that this Challenge will empower students to take advantage of opportunities that can open doors to higher education.”

The Challenge’s call for submissions will run from Sept. 16 to Dec. 17, 2010. We’ll be represented on the panel of judges for the winning designs. In late January, we’ll unveil the three finalist concepts. These finalists will have the opportunity to work with world-class innovation firm frog design to iterate their ideas during a two-week period of intense creative collaboration. The winning individual or team will be rewarded with $10,000 and see their idea brought to life by MTV, the College Board and the Gates Foundation, with a development budget of up to $100,000. The final winning design will be announced in the spring of 2011.

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