Heads Up America — the College Promise Campaign’s initiative to build public support for free community college — is launching an Instagram-based video competition for students and alumni. With student debt at an all-time high, the cost of community college has become prohibitive for many of the students best served by these campuses. That is why the #FreeCommunityCollegeStory competition will ask participants to share stories about why they want to break up with student debt and make community college free.
The winning entry will earn a $2,000 prize — the average cost of attending community college for a semester — and second and third place winners will earn cash prizes of $500 and $100, which can be used toward books and supplies. The competition will be supported by celebrity judges, including Kal Penn of ABC’s Designated Survivor and Ted Allen from the Food Network’s Chopped.
Anyone interested in breaking up with student debt can submit a video, but to be eligible for prizes, participants must be U.S. residents, 18 years and older, and a current or former student enrolled part or full-time at a community or technical college.
Heads Up America has launched the competition along with partners: Phi Theta Kappa, Higher Ed Not Debt, Young Invincibles, Scholarship America, and the American Student Association of Community Colleges. These distinguished organizations know all too well from their own work, the challenges students face paying for higher education.
The goal of the competition is to showcase how the rising costs of attending college — tuition, books, gas, daycare, rent, food and more — are pushing the overall price tag of higher education out of reach for the very people who need it most. Through education loans and credit cards, students are racking up loads of debt to cover the costs of attendance. That’s a burden of debt that no generation has faced before. Students spend years paying off loans, while others forgo attending college altogether, weary of facing a mountain of student debt.
Heads Up America is collecting powerful stories that demonstrate why students should break up with student debt and why their campus, community, or state should make community college free. Contestants are encouraged to get creative, drawing inspiration from a variety of sources, whether that’s a favorite breakup song, dramatic movie scene, or simply their unique life experience.
To Enter the Competition:
- Register at HeadsUpAmerica.us/breakup.
- Follow @HeadsUpAmerica on Instagram and accept the campaign’s follow request, so the campaign can see the entry.
- Post a video about breaking up with student debt to Instagram. Include the handle, @HeadsUpAmerica, and use #FreeCommunityCollegeStory. Videos can vary in length but cannot be longer than one minute.
- Post entries from March 3rd – April 2nd.
- From Monday, April 3rd to Sunday, April 9th, the campaign will post videos to Heads Up America’s Instagram account for a period of public voting. Have friends, family, and professors “like” entries on the Heads Up America page!