TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR THE 2014 USPASSS SCHOLARSHIP COMPETITION

I.      SCHOLARSHIP CATEGORIES

US Programs for Accredited Schools and Soft Skills (USPASSS) is formed as a non-profit organization with a mission to provide as much assistance as possible to those students who show talent and drive. As such, USPASSS reserves the right to modify, add or delete scholarship categories and/or requirements for any given year to meet the mission of the organization and needs of the students.

For 2014, we have scholarship opportunities in these four (4) areas, collectively know as the Competition:

  1. High School Scholarships — with a grant up to US$20,000 for each recipient, finalists to enjoy a 50% total discount on our consultancy fee for High School Programs, recipient(s) to enjoy a 70% total discount on our consultancy fee for High School Programs. Open to eligible to Vietnamese middle and high students between the ages of 14-18 who are enrolled full time and have a three (3) year minimum cumulative average GPA of 85% (or equivalent grade).
  2. High School Prep Scholarships — with a grant up to US$4,000 or 50% of the total program cost for each recipient, is open to eligible to Vietnamese middle and high students between the ages of 12-18 who are enrolled full time and have a two (2) year minimum cumulative average GPA of 80% (or equivalent grade).
  3. College Prep Scholarships — with a grant up to US$4,000 or 50% of the total program cost for each recipient, is open to eligible to Vietnamese high students between the ages of 14-18 who are enrolled full time and have a two (2) year minimum cumulative average GPA of 80% (or equivalent grade).
  4. Distinguished Scholar Award — with a grant up to US$20,000 for each recipient, finalists to enjoy a 70% total discount on our consultancy fee for High School Programs, recipient(s) to enjoy a 80% total discount on our consultancy fee for High School Programs. Open to eligible to Vietnamese middle and high students between the ages of 14-18 who are enrolled full time and have a three (3) year minimum cumulative average GPA of 90% (or equivalent grade). Eligibility is based on having received the required nomination from a teacher or a civic leader who can speak to the student's accomplishments and character. The Distinguished Scholar Award is a replacement for, and shall not be awarded in addition to, the High School Scholarships.

II.      SUBMISSION

  1. Deadline: Submission time for the students starts at 8:00am CST time on Monday, September 16th, 2013 (8:00pm Vietnam time on Monday, September 16th, 2013) and ends at 5:00pm CST time on Thursday, January 16th, 2014 (6:00am Vietnam time on Friday, January 17th, 2014). Nominations for the Distinguished Scholar Award can be received starting at 8:00am CST time on Monday, September 16th, 2013 (8:00pm Vietnam time on Monday, September 16th, 2013) and must be received by 8:00am CST time on Monday, December 16th, 2013 (8:00pm Vietnam time on Monday, December 16th, 2013). Late submissions and nominations will not be accepted.
  2. Payment: A $15 administrative fee is required to enter the Competition. As an exception, this fee is waived for entrants who have been nominated for the Distinguished Scholar Award and those entrants who are already a paid subscriber to the USPASSS Scholarship Newsletter.
  3. Formats & Contents: All submissions must be in the English language, in digital format, and be emailed to grants (at) uspasss( dot) org. Except the cover letter that can be sent as email content, all other documents must be sent as an email attachment. The naming convention for each attachment must be in the following format: "2014_USPASSS_your_full_name_description of attachment". Make sure the total size of all attached documents is under 10MB to avoid e-mails not going through. If any single file is above that limit, please note this in your email submission and send the larger file(s) through www.Hightail.com or another service that allows for file transfer as agreed upon by USPASSS. All attached files must be clean of any malicious code (including but not limited to virus, trojan horses, worms, time bombs, etc.) that are intended to damage, interfere with, intercept or expropriate any system and receipt of such a file shall be grounds for immediate disqualification. All attachments must be readable on any platform and any file that is not shall be rejected. USPASSS will give the entrant one (1) opportunity to resend an unreadable file to be included for consideration within the deadlines noted above. USPASSS is not liable for any e-mails not received and we will always send you a confirmation of receipt once your submission has been checked for basic errors and completeness.

               a.    In the Subject of the email, please include "your full name" as it appears on your official documents + “2014

              USPASSS Scholarship Competition

               b.    In the body of the e-mail, please include the following information: 

                        i.    Your full name and school

                      ii.    Your parents’ full names

                    iii.    Your cumulative average GPA for the previous three (3) years for the High School Scholarships, Distinguished Scholar

                  Award and two (2) year for the High School Prep Scholarships and the College Prep Scholarships (e.g. 8.5 or 9.3)

                      v.    Any Standardized Test scores TOEFL, IELTS, SSAT, etc., that you have

                    vi.    The title of your essay

                   vii.    Full list of supporting documents for your academic achievement, civic engagement, creative talents, which might

                  include but are not limited to: Awards, Certificates of Recognition, Digital Images of Trophies, Drawings, Paintings,

                  Video and/or Audio recordings

                c.   Scanned copy of any Government or School issued ID that contains your full name and date, month and year of birth.

               d.    Scanned copy of your School Book (the page with your photo and biographic information) to prove your full time enrollment at a middle or high school in Vietnam

               e.    Scanned copy of your GPA form from the past two (2) or three (3) years, as required by the scholarship you are applying

                f.    Scanned copy of your Standardized Test Score notification forms

                g.    Your essay. In your own words, please share with us your thoughts on the four (4) topics listed below. The essay must be at least 300 words, but no more than 1000 words in length. All rules about e-mail attachments noted in Section 2 above apply. Please note that your essay will be judged on the criteria outlined in Part III below, so please do not write out bullet points to the required topics; please show off your writing skills.

                          i.    What motivates you to want to study in the United States?

                        ii.    At university, which field(s) would you like to pursue and why?

                       iii.    What do you want to accomplish after graduation?

                       iv.    Where do you want to live and work and why?

                h.    If you are submitting an entry for the High School Scholarship and Distinguished Scholar Award, you must submit an additional essay on a topic of your choice to share with us whatever you like. The essay must be at least 300 words, but no more than 1000 words in length and written in your own words. All rules about e-mail attachments noted in Section 2 above apply. Please note that your essay will be judged on the criteria outlined in Part III below.  

                 i.    Digital images of your Awards, Certificates of Recognition, Trophies, if you have any, together with a maximum of 200 words explaining your previous academic achievements and civic engagement. If you haven’t engaged in any volunteering activities, tell us what you are planning do in the future and what is your motivation to do so. Please make sure all images are clear enough to reveal the full detail of your awards.

                j.    Digital images of your Drawings, Paintings or other creative words, if you have any, together with a maximum of 200 words of explanation. Please make sure all images are clear enough to reveal the full detail of your work.

                k.    Video and/or Audio recordings of projects you have done previously, or you that you have created expressly to enter our scholarship competition(s), if you have any, together with a maximum of 200 words of explanation. Please make sure all recordings are clear enough to reveal the full detail of your work. 

                l.    For those students who are not 18 years of age (as determined from the date and year of birth) will need to provide a signed Consent Form from a parent or legal guardian to enter the USPASSS Scholarship Competition.

        4.    Rounds: The High School Prep Scholarship and College Prep Scholarship competitions will have one (1) selection round each. The High School Scholarship and the Distinguished Scholar Award competitions will have two (2) selection rounds each. The judging panel will select all competition finalist(s) award recipient(s). Those selected as finalist(s) for the High School Scholarship and the Distinguished Scholar Award competitions will participate in a Video Interview Session, the questions for which will not be provided to the finalist(s) in advance.

III.      EVALUATION CRITERIA

        1.    A judging panel for the Competition will evaluate qualifying entries for the High School Prep Scholarships and the College Prep Scholarships based on the following considerations/criteria:

               a.    Academic Record (i.e. GPA): 20% of total score

               b.    Civic Engagement: 20% of total score

               c.    Creativity of Material(s) Presented: 10% of total score

               d.    Additional Talent(s): 10% of total score

               e.    Essay Answers: 40% of total score and will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

                          i.    Clarity of thought and presentation of the topic(s)

                        ii.    Persuasiveness

                       iii.    Creativity/originality

                       iv.    Potential positive impact

                         v.    Grammar and spelling

        2.    Entries for the High School Scholarships and the Distinguished Scholar Award shall be initially judged on the same five (5) criteria noted above to select the finalist(s) from the first round. In the second round, the judging panel will select a the grant recipient(s) based solely on a Video Interview Session of the finalist(s). The finalist(s) will be scored based on the following criteria evinced during the Video Interview Session:

                a.    English proficiency

                b.    Logical presentation

                c.    Sense of humor

                d.    Passion to make a difference

                e.    Originality and practicality of answers

IV.      GENERAL

    1.   Winner Announcement: The recipient(s) of the 2014 USPASSS Scholarship Competition will be announced on April 15th, 2014 (CST). Recipient(s) shall be contacted directly and their names shall also be posted on the official USPASSS Website. At our discretion, USPASSS may post the name(s) of the recipient(s) on Facebook, LinkedIn, and / or any other sites that fit in with the needs of the organization.

    2.   You may apply for all scholarships open that year, so long as you meet the eligibility requirements for each. However, you must submit a separate entry and separate essay(s) for each scholarship that you apply for. Do note that entrants for High School Scholarships may not apply for Distinguished Scholar Award, and entrants for Distinguished Scholar Award may not apply for High School Scholarships.

    3.   So long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements, you may apply for all scholarships available in subsequent years as stipulated in Item 1 above. The administrative fees paid for one year are only applicable to that Competition and will not cover entries in subsequent years.

    4.   By entering the Competition, you express your consent to the use of your name, likeness, school name, city, province and/or territory of residence and all of the contents submitted for the Competition in any publicity carried out by USPASSS with respect to the Competition in perpetuity. For those students who are not 18 years of age (as determined from the date and year of birth) will need to provide a signed Consent Form from a parent or legal guardian to enter the USPASSS Scholarship Competition.

    5.   Documentation submitted regarding biographic information shall be used only to validate that the entrant meets all of the eligibility requirements for the applicable scholarship(s). Once this has been validated, entrant(s) submissions shall be reviewed only by an internal tracking number to reduce the possibility of bias.

    6.   The value of the grant(s) awarded by USPASSS will be for the sole benefit of the scholarship recipient(s). The value of the award shall not be paid in cash or any monetary instrument to the recipient(s) directly or indirectly. The award shall be attributable as tuition sent directly to the school or institution designated by the recipient and based on a certified enrollment record for that recipient(s), and/or as travel, accommodation and/or meal expenses incurred by that recipient(s) for and/or during the program period. The choice of how the award shall be distributed shall be made at the sole discretion of USPASSS.

    7.   For an award of more than US$5,000, the distribution may be split and awarded in two (2) or more consecutive years. A distribution after the first year can be based on the actual performance of the recipient(s) during the first year and is governed by the requirements outlined in item 8. below.  However, at the sole discretion of USPASSS, the grant may be awarded in full for the first academic year.

    8.   The recipient is expected to excel academically, and their performance will be monitored during each school/program term. Failure to meet academic obligations may result in forfeiture of the remainder of the award. Subsequent fees for repeating a failed subject/grade will be the sole responsibility of the student.

    9.   Deferral or withdrawal of studies will result in forfeiture of the remainder of the award, or the entirety of the award if studies have not yet commenced.

    10. All entrants to the Competition are eligible to receive a 30% discount on USPASSS's consultancy fee for High School Programs and a 10% discount on USPASSS's consultancy fee for High School Prep Programs and College Prep Programs.

Thank you for reading through the Terms & Conditions. You are now ready to enter the 2014 USPASSS Scholarship Competition. Click here to go to the Competition page.