Money for college

Email entries for the College Essay Contest to or mail them to SN&R, 1124 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95815. The deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday, May 9.


That’s how much money for college SN&R and our partners have awarded to students in our circulation area since the inaugural SN&R College Essay Contest in 2010.

And this year’s prize money—$2,014 for first place, $750 for second place and $250 for third place—is reason enough to enter.

This enterprise started when publisher Jeff vonKaenel noticed how much work his daughter was putting into her essays for college admissions. Why not reward that effort by local students and give SN&R readers a chance to look inside the minds of the next generation at the same time? In the intervening years, we’ve published stories of life-changing experiences, world travel, altruism and personal discovery.

Students get the money. But we get the optimism that comes from seeing just how bright, creative, resilient and committed to bettering our community and our world students are.

High-school seniors graduating in 2014 who live in the Sacramento region are eligible. The essay should be no longer than 650 words and should be emailed as a Microsoft Word document or a PDF file to college, with the subject line “College Essay Contest.” There’s no entry fee. All entries are due to the SN&R office by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 9.

Winners and honorable mentions will be published in an upcoming issue of SN&R. The kids get the cash, we get the hope.