Minnesota State University-Moorhead has awarded a local high school senior a scholarship – for her tweets.
Camilla Herbel, 18, who will graduate from Moorhead High School this spring, is the first recipient of the university's new #BeADragon Twitter scholarship.
Herbel, who wants to be an art teacher, tweeted a video interviewing her high school teachers about what inspired them to pursue their careers. "I want to attend a university that supports teachers who care.… Teachers like these," the video said.
The tweet won her $2,500 toward her first year at the university – and more scholarships are available.
MSU-Moorhead is asking prospective students to tweet about why they want to attend Moorhead, and tweets that are the most creative, liked and retweeted could win a scholarship.
The next three $2,500 scholarships will be announced after the March 11 deadline, the school says. Two $1,000 scholarships are also available. (Read more about the competition here.)
Interim Vice President Doug Peters told WDAY that the scholarship competition is marketing tool to help improve declining enrollment. Instead of writing a stressful essay, school officials decided to interact with potential students where they already spend so much time – on social media, the Star Tribune reports.
Other schools offer non-traditional scholarships
Moorhead isn't the only school awarding non-traditional scholarships this year. The Star Tribune reported last month that the University of Minnesota-Rochester held its first "Health Scholars Day," where about 80 students competed for $200,000 worth of merit scholarships.
There's another scholarship program that is working to reward high school students with good grades. The University of Iowa is among 130 universities that are using the website raise.me, which awards students small amounts of scholarship money for their high school achievements, ABC 6 reports.
“It is our hope that these micro-scholarships make a difference in student behavior and that after an evaluation period with feedback from schools and counselors, we can expand the program statewide,” Brent Gage, University of Iowa Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, told IowaNow.
Read more about the raise.me program here.