Previous Apartment Guide Student Scholarship WINNERS!

Apartment Guide is committed to helping students with high costs of their college education. Each year, we ask students to write on a theme close to our hearts.

Year: 2018
Theme: What makes a home a home?
Winners: Jessica Reck, Danielle Sprunger

Year: 2019
Theme: What is your responsibility towards ending homelessness?
Winners: Ryan Jinks, Alaina Martine

Year: 2020
Theme: What do you love about where you live?
Winners: Molly Berkoski, Camila Santos

Molly Berkoski

College: Moody Bible Institute
Hometown: Dillingham, Alaska

Read My Essay

Camila Santos

College: University of Texas
Hometown: Mobile, Alabama

Read My Essay

Alaina Martine

College: California Polytechnic State Institute
Hometown: Chico CA

Read My Essay

Ryan Jinks

College: Loyola Marymount University
Hometown: Memphis, TN

Read My Essay

Jessica Reck

College: The University of Central Florida
Hometown: Sarasota, FL

Read My Essay

Danielle Sprunger

College: American Military University
Hometown: Fort Bragg, NC

Read My Essay


How does the judging process work?

How does the judging process work?
This is where things get interesting….
Step 1: You send us your finest 500-600 word essay.
Step 2: We put together a team of our smartest colleagues and determine 10 finalists.
Step 3: The 10 finalists will be asked to submit a 1-3 minute video to accompany their essays. Finalists will have 5 weeks to work on their videos.
Step 4: We open up voting to the public! The submissions will be shared on our website so the public can vote on the best essay/video combo. Rally your friends and family to get it together and vote for you once a day. You might even want to set your elderly relatives up with an email account so they can pitch in as well.
Step 5: Two lucky (and talented!) winners will be selected based on a combination of the judging criteria below and public voting results.

What are you judging my application on?
To determine the top 10 finalists, the essays will be judged based on the following criteria:

33% Relevance to the theme
33% Clarity of story or idea
33% Creativity

To determine the 2 final winners, we’ll be looking at these three things:

50% Number of votes
30% Relevance to the content of your essay
20% Creativity

But here’s a word to the wise: show us that you put some real thought into your application. We want to see that you’re thoughtful, creative, unique and putting some serious effort into your essay.

  • February 16 – March 22 – Applications open
  • March 23 – March 31 – Apartment Guide judging
  • March 31 – Announcement of 10 finalists at
  • April 26 – Finalist videos due
  • May 3 – June 3 – Public voting
  • June 10 – Winners announced

To be eligible to enter this scholarship contest, applicants:

  • Must be at least 17 years old
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or otherwise legally residing in 1 of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • Must be enrolled in or accepted as a full-time student at an accredited college or university for the Fall 2021 semester
  • Must be pursuing an undergraduate education
  • Have a minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Contest is void where prohibited
  • No purchase necessary
  • All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on March 22, 2021.

What degrees qualify as undergraduate?
Undergraduate degrees eligible for this scholarship include:

  • Bachelor Degrees
  • Associate Degrees

Students may be enrolled in a 2-year college, community college, 4-year college or university but may not be pursuing a graduate degree.

How many credit hours do I need to prove full-time enrollment?
To qualify as a full-time student, applicants must be pursuing at least 12 credit hours during the Fall 2021 semester.

How often can we vote?
Individuals can vote for applications every day but only once a day.

I’m an adult going back to school. Can I apply?
Students of any age are welcome to apply if they will be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program for the Fall 2021 semester.

What should I know if I’m asked to make a video as one of the 10 finalists?

You don’t need to be a professional videographer and you don’t need to be a film major. That phone in your pocket and a creative vision are all you need to win this thing. Just make sure that everything in your video is yours to use. This means you’ll need to get permission from the artist to use most of the music you listen to and the videos you watch. So make sure you plan ahead. We recommend using it as an excuse to collaborate with your multi-talented friends!

If I win, are there limitations about how I can spend the scholarship award?
The scholarship award money may be spent on housing costs associated with attending college. This could be for a dorm room or residence near the school.

The award money may also be spent on fees that are directly related to pursuing your undergraduate education. This would include the following:

  • Tuition
  • Textbooks
  • Fees/requirements related to specific coursework like lab fees or required supplies such as paints or calculators
  • Enrollment in a study abroad program

All applicants must read the Official Rules before applying.

Be sure to check out all of the other amazingly helpful tips for college students at our Student Resource Guide.

© 2019 RentPath Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. All photos, videos, text and other content are the property of RentPath Holdings, Inc. APARTMENT GUIDE BLOG and the APARTMENT GUIDE Trade Dress are registered trademarks of RentPath Holdings, Inc or its affiliates. is part of the RentPath Network of Sites