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SuretyBonds.com Small Business Scholarship Program

Official Rules

  1. No purchase necessary. The SuretyBonds.com Small Business Scholarship is open to any citizen and/or resident of the United States (and its territories and possessions) who will be enrolled at an institution of higher learning full-time for Fall Semester 2016. All other entries will be disqualified.
  2. Interested students are encouraged to apply by sending their essay submission via email to scholarships@suretybonds.com.
    When submitting your essay, applicants must include the following information in order to qualify for consideration:
    • his or her first and last name
    • valid email address
    • permanent mailing address
    • date of birth
    • institution to be attended Fall 2016
    • area of study
    • anticipated college graduation date (month/year)
    • name of small business experience is based on
    • industry the small business operates within (automotive, finance, childcare, etc.)
    • number of employees who work at the small business
    ***Each finalist will be asked to provide a photo of the applicant with the small business or photo of the applicant that represents the nature of the small business (For voting platform purposes).***
  3. Each student may only submit one entry. If it is determined that a participant has entered with more than one identity, all of the participant’s submissions will be disqualified.
  4. Each student must submit an original essay (500-1,000 words) about how small business ownership (personal, parent, grandparent, or legal guardian) has shaped you into the person you are today.
    The essay must have a title and be written in English. Essays with fewer than 500 words or more than 1,000 words will be disqualified.
  5. Essays must be original and factually accurate, and they must not be in the public domain. Essays may not infringe upon or violate any personal property rights of others, such as defamation, invasion of privacy, infringement of the intellectual property rights of any third person or other unlawful use of material. All votes must be authentic - no online voting or vote soliciting websites allowed. Any dispute about vote authenticity will result in automatic disqualification. The submission of false information will result in automatic disqualification. By submitting an essay to the SuretyBonds.com Small Business Scholarship, each student acknowledges his or her understanding of and compliance with these rules. SuretyBonds.com reserves the right to disqualify any entry deemed inappropriate for publication per the company's discretion.
  6. All entries must be received no later than March 31, 2016, to be eligible for the contest.
  7. A panel of judges will review the applications. Essays will be judged on the following criteria:
    • 33 1/3% - effectiveness, insightfulness, creativity and completeness
    • 33 1/3% - organization and development of the ideas expressed, with clear and appropriate examples to support them
    • 33 1/3% - consistency in the use of language, variety in sentence structure and range of vocabulary, use of proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation
    The judges will select 10 finalists. The decisions of the judges will be final.
  8. The 10 finalists will be notified via email and will be featured on the official SuretyBonds.com voting platform. The three winners will be determined based on votes collected via our Small Business Scholarship voting platform. Voting will begin at 12:00 a.m. CST on May 1, 2016 and end at 11:59:59 p.m. CST on May 31, 2016.
  9. Winners will each receive a one-time scholarship check of $1,500 to be used for future educational expenses. Winners will be notified via email on June 3, 2016. Winners will later be featured on https://www.suretybonds.com/scholarships
  10. *A student's likelihood of being chosen as a finalist will depend upon the quality of all other entries as judged by the criteria stated above. A finalist's likelihood of winning a scholarship is 1 in 3 1/3, and winners will be determined via the public's vote on the Small Business Scholarship voting platform. In the event of a numerical tie based on votes, the panel of judges will select three winners. Prizes are non-transferable. All prizes will be awarded. Competition is void where prohibited or restricted by law. Winners will be solely responsible for any federal, state or local taxes. Winners and their parents/legal guardians will be required to execute an affidavit of originality, eligibility and compliance with rules, a release of liability and grant of publication rights within 10 days of the date specified in the notification. Failure to do so will result in the prize being awarded to the finalist with the next highest votes. Winners must provide a valid street address to which SuretyBonds.com can mail the winners their scholarship check, a publicity release, an affidavit of eligibility and complete a W-9 for tax purposes in order to qualify for receipt of the scholarship award in the amount of $1,500.

    **All essays and all rights to their publication become the property of SuretyBonds.com, which may use, edit and excerpt these entries for purposes promotional or otherwise, including placing them online without compensation, additional or otherwise. SuretyBonds.com reserves the right to use prizewinners' names and hometowns in any advertising or promotional materials relating to this competition without further notification, permission, or compensation to the winners, except where prohibited by law.

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