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Scholarships + Housing Grants
What kind of financial support are you looking for?
WHAT INDIVIDUAL SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE?
Creative Opportunities Unlimited is pleased to offer several financial scholarships that can be applied toward the cost of obtaining an education at any university, college, community college, or specialized school. The application process for each of the individual scholarships is the same (see directions below), and from the pool of applicants, a board of qualified reviewers will select as many participants as possible to receive financial rewards. Scholarship amounts often range from $250 up to $1,000 and are awarded based on a variety of criteria including commitment to and involvement in the Odyssey of the Mind program, intentions to continue as an Odyssey of the Mind participant/volunteer, and career or life plans directly related to one's involvement in Odyssey of the Mind. NOTE: applicants must be current high school seniors graduating this year and attending college in the fall.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR AN INDIVIDUAL SCHOLARSHIP?
To be considered for an individual scholarship, please follow the instructions below:
(1) Gather information about your participation in Odyssey of the Mind including: # of years involved, which problems you solved, and any special awards or accomplishments.
(2) Obtain a letter of recommendation from an Odyssey of the Mind coach, high school administrator, teacher, or college professor. The letter should be no more than one page, double-spaced or hand-printed and available as an digital document (.doc, .pdf). You will upload this during the application process.
(3) Write a response to each of the following three questions. Your response may take any form, format, or style you wish, but your response should be limited to no more than 350 words per question. There are text boxes on the application that will allow you to copy and paste your answers, as well as a file upload feature that will accept most typical file types:
Question 1: How has Odyssey of the Mind changed your life?
Question 2: How will you continue to use what you have learned in Odyssey of the Mind in your day-to-day life?
Question 3: How will you give back to Odyssey of the Mind so others may benefit from the program?
(4) When you have prepared the application materials listed above and are ready to apply, click on the link here:
[CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION]
DEADLINE: Submit all materials so that they are complete and received by 11:59PM (PST) February 15 of the current year. Only completed applications that are received by February 15 can be considered. NOTE: Application deadline extended to 11:59PM (PST) February 22 for 2023!
NOTE: Please do not contact CCI with any questions regarding the scholarships. All scholarships are reviewed and rewarded by Creative Opportunities Unlimited, not CCI. Please only rely on this page for accurate information regarding the scholarship process and not information posted to other sites (e.g., a local association's website). Also, applicants must be seniors in high school to apply.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF I RECEIVED AN INDIVIDUAL SCHOLARSHIP?
The names of all scholarship recipients (and their respective amounts) will be posted on this page by April 30.
COU SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
WHOM SHOULD I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SCHOLARSHIP?
For any and all questions pertaining to the COU individual scholarships please contact Michael Bojanski. Be sure to include "COU Scholarship question" in the subject box so that we can direct your question to the right expert. As a reminder, please do not contact CCI about the scholarship process.
The Wayne R. Kehrli Memorial Scholarship
WHAT IS THE WAYNE R. KEHRLI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP?
Wayne R. Kehrli was involved with Odyssey of the Mind for 35 years. During that time, he volunteered in many aspects of Odyssey of the Mind; serving as a coach, judge, and ultimately as the International Problem Captain for Problem #1, a position he held for 25 years until his retirement in 2014 due to illness. He was honored with the Odyssey of the Mind Spirit Award in 2007. Wayne loved creative thought and beyond-the-box thinking. He believed creativity was everywhere; in every Odyssey of the Mind problem, every vocation, and everyday life. He loved watching kids grow and change through their Odyssey experience.
The Kehrli family honors Wayne by continuing what he dedicated much of his life to - encouraging creativity, education, and creativity in education. This $1,111 scholarship will be awarded to a Division IV applicant who displays the passion, creativity and growth Wayne so greatly encouraged and admired. His creative and kind spirit will live on through the Wayne R. Kehrli Memorial Scholarship.
Current Division IV Odyssey of the Mind competitor
Student currently enrolled in post-secondary education as of May AND who will attend post-secondary education in the following academic year
Student in good academic standing
HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE WAYNE R. KEHRLI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP?
To apply for the Wayne R. Kehrli Memorial Scholarship, please follow the steps below:
1. First, make sure you are eligible to apply for the Wayne R. Kehrli Memorial Scholarship (see criteria above).
2. Please review the following two application questions and give considerable, creative thought to your answers before beginning the application. Note: it is wise to write your responses in Word and then copy/paste them in the application:
Question #1: In 500 words or less, answer the following: What do you think is your strongest contribution to your team and why?
Question #2: Choose one of the following two questions/topics and respond in 500 words or less: A) How would you explain Odyssey of the Mind to someone who has never heard of it? or B) If you have competed for more than one year, what has been your favorite Long Term Problem and why?
3. Find someone willing to write a letter of recommendation for you. A link to an online recommendation form will be provided in the application. You can send this link to the person writing your recommendation.
4. After doing steps 1-3, please click here to complete your application. The deadline for all completed applications, including recommendation letters, is May 15 (sorry, no late applications can be accepted).
5. The winner will be announced at the Awards Ceremony of World Finals!
WHO ARE THE PAST WAYNE R. KEHRLI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS?
Previous winners of the Wayne R. Kehrli Memorial Scholarship include:
2016 recipient: Kenzie VanDerwerker
2017 recipient: Lydia Freehafer
2018 recipient: Desiderio Pilla
2019 recipient: Katie Harr
The Harold Kurtz Scholarship Odyssey
WHAT IS THE HAROLD KURTZ SCHOLARSHIP ODYSSEY?
Dr. Harold Kurtz spent more than 50 years dedicated to education and to the creativity emphasized by Odyssey of the Mind. A smile, a kind word, and an extended hand exemplified Harold’s approach to life. His passions were creativity, intellectual curiosity, and love of people. Without Harold, the Odyssey of the Mind program would not be the great program it is today. These scholarships are dedicated to his memory.
Two $1,000.00 one-time scholarships will be awarded each year to OMERS who are seniors in high school or have entered post high school education, and who meet one or more of the criteria below. Applicants may apply for one or both, if they meet the criteria, but may only receive one scholarship. If you qualify and apply for both scholarships, the committee will decide the one scholarship that you may be awarded.
+ You must be a senior in high school or a graduate who is enrolled in a post high school program AND is a current (or past) Problem 5 Odyssey of the Mind Participant. You must indicate the problem name and year that you were a Problem 5 participant.
+ You must be a senior in high school or a graduate who will be studying in the field of EDUCATION.
If either or both of the criteria describe you, please apply for the Harold Kurtz Scholarship (link below).
Your application must:
Contain a creation that exemplifies what OotM means to you, or how it has helped/changed you. This can be a short video, a sculpture, a poem, a painting, an unusual piece of clothing, or any other art form. In other words, the submission should be creative! The submission should be created specifically for this scholarship application. Do not submit only an essay or similar writing. Provide a brief paragraph or two explaining your submission, how it illustrates what you learned from Odyssey, and how it relates to one of Dr. Kurtz’s passions: creativity, intellectual curiosity, and love of people. After seeing your solution, the judges should understand who you are as a person, the impact participation in Odyssey has had on you, and your core values. The Spirit of the Problem is to have fun and be expressive while honoring the legacy of Harold Kurtz.
Limitations and specific submission guidelines can be viewed by accessing the application here.
NOTE: APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY APRIL 30 (11:59pm EST) of the current Odyssey of the Mind year.
WHAT IS A COU HOUSING GRANT?
COU Housing Grants are designed to assist teams in experiencing the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. A COU grant is intended to supplement efforts of teams to raise sufficient funds to attend World Finals. Funds are extremely limited, and only a small portion of applicants are awarded grants each year, but we do our best to ensure that teams who have qualified to compete at World Finals get to have the opportunity to do so. COU Housing Grants provide World Finals room and board packages purchased through Creative Competitions, Inc. Only teams electing to stay in official campus housing are eligible. Successful teams will be awarded a variable number of packages depending on need. These awards carry no cash equivalent and are awarded to teams, not individuals.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A HOUSING GRANT?
The COU Board of Directors has elected to use its discretionary funds to assist participants in other ways this year (2022-2023) as we allocate resources efficiently following the past two years. Please check again for the 2023-2024 Odyssey of the Mind year to see if Housing Grant opportunities are once again available.