The Cognella Cares Student Scholarship Program

The Cognella Cares Student Scholarship Program was established to provide students with a platform to speak to current issues that matter to them, highlight experiences that are unique to higher education, and share ideas from today’s youth that can inspire social, political, and intellectual change.

For fall 2019, we’re looking for three outstanding students in any discipline of study who are inspired to share their unique thoughts, experiences, and ideas for change surrounding one of the following topics:

  • Immigration in America
  • Sustainability and environmental issues
  • Technology in higher education

Submissions for the student scholarship program will be accepted Monday, July 1, 2019 – Sunday, September 22, 2019. Check back at the beginning of July for submission details.

One winner will be selected per topic; three students will each receive a $1,000 academic scholarship in the form of a check from Cognella, Inc.

Winners will be notified by Friday, October 18, 2019, via email. The winning essays will be posted to the Cognella website and the company’s social media accounts the week of October 23, 2019.

Review the eligibility details, application process, essay criteria, and scholarship information below, and beginning July 1, 2019, send us your essay for consideration! (Submission details forthcoming.)


  • You must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at an academic institution within the United States. Please use your university-issued email address when filling out your scholarship application to verify your student status. (If you attend an institution that does not provide you with a university-issued email address, please contact the scholarship team at to notify them prior to submitting an essay for consideration.)
  • You must live in and go to school in the United States of America. We are unable to accept international applications at this time.
  • All essays must be previously unpublished and completely original works.
  • Though there are multiple topics from which to choose, you may only submit one essay for consideration.
  • We understand that the sharing of personal stories (especially those that revolve around difficult interactions or social issues) may also mean the sharing of language that some would deem inappropriate or offensive. We encourage you to share uncensored stories, but to remember that your essay should remain academic in nature. Use your best judgment, only use strong language in the context of personal storytelling, and please understand that the non-academic use of offensive language or content serves as grounds for immediate disqualification.
  • Essays that exceed the 1,500-word limit (excluding the title of your essay) will be immediately disqualified.
  • Cognella employees are not eligible for the program.

Personal essays should clearly, articulately, and intelligently describe why your selected topic—immigration in America, sustainability and environmental issues, or technology in higher education—is important to you, as well as why it is an important topic in the context of higher education and/or society at large.

Consider the following questions as you write your essay:

  • What experiences have you had on campus related to the topic you selected? Describe a specific experience or interaction related to the issue (either positive or negative). How did you react to the experience? Why was it an important moment for you?
  • In relation to your selected topic, what do you feel needs to change, either in the higher education community or in society, so that humanity can progress and/or evolve? How might you inspire or effect this change?
  • How can others learn from your personal experiences and your unique perspective? How can your voice and your story have an impact?

While you may not be able to address all of the above prompts in an 800 – 1,500-word essay, the more you can cover, the better! Essentially, we want to know why the topic is important to you on a personal level, what changes you’d like to see in higher education or society to support a better future for students like you, and how you’d recommend we, as a society, go about that change.

Please list your name, academic program/major, university name, and word count (excluding your title) in the upper left-hand corner of your submission.

Center your title on the page, and justify the proceeding text in your essay to the left. Please indent the first line of each paragraph and double-space between lines.

Use 12-point black type and limit your font choices to Courier, Times New Roman, or Arial.

Please check back on July 1, 2019, for full application and submission details.

All essays must be submitted by 5 pm, PDT, on Sunday, September 22, 2019.

A panel of individuals will evaluate each essay in accordance with the essay criteria. This panel will also score each essay according to word count adherence, punctuation and spelling, writing style and voice, the clarity and persuasiveness of your message, and creativity. The panel will include members of the Cognella Editorial Team.

One winning essay will be selected per topic: immigration in America, sustainability and environmental issues, and technology in higher education. Accordingly, three students will win academic scholarships from Cognella in fall 2019.

Winners will be notified by Friday, October 18, 2019, via email. Delivery of the monetary reward (in the form of a check from Cognella, Inc.) will be arranged at that time.

Winners will be announced publicly via the Cognella website and the company’s social media accounts the week of October 23, 2019. When you submit an essay to Cognella, you give us permission to post your essay publicly, along with your name, university, field of study, and a photo of you. No further information about you will be used or posted in any way.

Please note, all Cognella academic scholarships are of a taxable amount. If you win a Cognella scholarship, you’ll receive a 1099 Form that you can use to report this amount on your personal taxes for the 2019 calendar year. If you have any questions about how this amount may impact your personal tax filing, please consult an accountant or tax expert for advice.