GOBankingRates 2018 College Scholarship Contest Official Rules

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.  VALID IN THE 50 UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ONLY. ENTRY IN THIS CONTEST CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES.

  1. BINDING AGREEMENT.  In order to enter the GoBankingRates 2018 College Scholarship Contest (the “Contest”), you must agree to these Official Rules (the “Rules”). Please read these Rules prior to entry to ensure you understand and agree. You agree that your Entry (as defined below) in the Contest constitutes agreement to these Rules.
  2. ELIGIBILITY. The Contest is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least eighteen years old, and meet the following requirements at the time of entry:

(i)   a high school senior planning to enroll in full-time undergraduate study during the entirety of the 2018-2019 academic year at an accredited two- or four-year college or university in the United States, or

(ii)  a freshman, sophomore,junior in undergraduate studies at an accredited two- or four-year college or university in the United States.

Officers, directors, employees, contractors, representatives and agents of GoBankingRates (“Sponsor”) and its subsidiaries and affiliates (the “Contest Entities”), and each of their respective immediate families (parents, siblings, children, spouses and life partners of each, regardless of where they live) and household members are not eligible to enter the Contest.

  1. CONTEST PERIOD. The Contest begins and ends at the times and on the dates set forth below (the “Contest Period”):
    1. Beginning Time: 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on April 1, 2018
    2. End Time: 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on June 15, 2018
  2. METHOD OF ENTRY. To enter, complete the following steps during the Contest Period:
    1. Answer the following essay question in 500 words or less: Education expenses are one of the largest sources of debt in the US, especially for younger Americans. Take a position on why this is or is not beneficial for students, educational institutions and the economy as a whole.
    2. Fill out our form in Google Forms. (Link)
  3. NUMBER OF ENTRIES ALLOWED; ENTRY REQUIREMENTS.  Limit one entry per person. Entries generated by a script, macro or other mechanical or automated means, and Entries in excess of the Entry limit will be disqualified. All Entries become the sole and exclusive property of Sponsor and will not be returned.  Receipt of Entries will not be acknowledged or returned. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, illegible, stolen, mutilated, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible, misdirected, technically corrupted or garbled Entries, which will be disqualified, or for problems of any kind whether mechanical, human or electronic. Anyone found to use multiple accounts to enter the Contest will be ineligible.  Proof of submission does not constitute proof of receipt.  All Entries must be in English. Your Entry must further comply with all of the following requirements:
    1. Your Entry must not violate any right of a third party including, without limitation, any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, confidentiality, publicity, privacy, and any other intellectual property right.
    2. Your Entry must be your original work of authorship, sole property, unpublished, and not previously submitted in any other contest, sweepstakes or promotion.
    3. Your Entry must not contain any personally identifiable information of any person other than yourself.
    4. Your Entry must not include any content or material that depicts or incorporates unsafe behavior or situations, obscenity, defamation, disparagement of any product, person, or organization, or any other inappropriate or objectionable content or material, as determined in the sole discretion by the judges and/or Sponsor.
  4. DISQUALIFICATION. The judges and/or Sponsor reserve the right to disqualify at any time any Entry that they determine in their sole discretion does not comply with these Rules.
  5. USE OF ENTRY MATERIALS BY SPONSOR. By submitting an Entry, you agree that Sponsor and its affiliates and subsidiaries have the unrestricted right and non-exclusive license to use your Entry in whole or in part, commercially or non-commercially, in any media known or unknown, in perpetuity, worldwide, including the right to publish, display, copy, distribute, and sublicense the Entry for advertising or publicity purposes, and to edit, modify, and make derivative works thereof, all without additional review by or compensation to you. As a condition of submitting your Entry, you agree that each of Sponsor and its affiliates and subsidiaries may post your entry on its website(s), web pages of third-party sites, and other publications for advertising and promotional purposes without review by or compensation to you.
  6. PRIZE: The winner will receive a twenty-five hundred dollar ($2,500.00) scholarship (the “Prize”) towards any tuition expenses at their currently enrolled post-secondary educational program or institution (including universities, community colleges, or vocational schools) that is intended to grant a degree or diploma. THE SCHOLARSHIP SHALL BE PAID DIRECTLY TO THE INSTITUTION IN ORDER TO COVER COSTS FOR THE WINNER’S TUITION EXPENSES. IN THE EVENT THE POST-SECONDARY EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM OR INSTITUTE DOES NOT ACCEPT THE SCHOLARSHIP, THE SCHOLARSHIP WILL BE PAID DIRECTLY TO THE WINNING ELIGIBLE ENTRANT.
  7. WINNER SELECTION & JUDGING. All Entries will be reviewed by the Sponsor’s judges. Judges will determine the winner based on the following objective judging categories for reviewing of the Entries:
    1. Category 1: Insight and consideration of response question – fifty one percent (51%)
    2. Category 2: Quality of composition/Production – forty percent (49%)
    3. The potential contest winner will be selected by the judges on or about June 30, 2018. All decisions of the judges are final and binding.
  8. WINNER NOTIFICATION. The potential winner will be notified by email on or about June 30, 2018 at the email address used to submit the Entry. Sponsor will make two attempts to contact the potential winner. If Sponsor is unable to contact a potential winner, the corresponding Entry will be deemed ineligible to win a prize and the next highest scoring Entry may be chosen. Sponsor will have no liability for any winner notification that is lost, intercepted, or not received by the potential winner for any reason. In the event of a dispute regarding any Entry, the Entry will be deemed made by the authorized account holder of the email address from which the essay was sent. A potential winner may be required to provide Sponsor with proof that he/she is the authorized account holder of the email account associated with the submitted Entry. If a dispute cannot be resolved to Sponsor’s satisfaction, the affected Entry will be deemed ineligible to win a prize. In the event of a tie, the winner will be the entrant who scored the highest in Category 1, but should that factor not resolve the tie, then the winner will be the entrant who scored the highest in Category 2. The winner will be required to complete an Affidavit of Eligibility, Publicity Release, and Liability Waiver which must be returned within ten (10) calendar days of notification. Failure to sign and return the Affidavit of Eligibility, Publicity Release, and Liability Waiver may result in winner’s disqualification, the forfeiture of the prize, and the award of the prize to an alternate winner.
  9. WAIVER OF LIABILITY; DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES; INDEMNIFICATION. BY PARTICIPATING IN THE CONTEST, INCLUDING SUBMITTING AN ENTRY, ENTRANT WAIVES ANY AND ALL CLAIMS AGAINST SPONSOR, ITS PARENT CORPORATION AND/OR SUBSIDIARIES, AND EACH OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, LICENSEES, AND REPRESENTATIVES (COLLECTIVELY, “RELEASED PARTIES”) FOR ANY INJURY, DAMAGE OR LOSS THAT MAY OCCUR, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE CONTEST OR FROM THE RECEIPT OR USE OF ANY PRIZE. SPONSOR MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, REGARDING THE CONTEST OR ANY PRIZE, AND TO THE EXTENT ALLOWABLE UNDER LAW, FULLY DISCLAIMS ALL SUCH WARRANTIES. ENTRANT(S) AND WINNER(S) ASSUME ALL DAMAGES FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE CONTEST OR USE OF A PRIZE, WAIVE ALL CLAIMS AGAINST SPONSOR OR ANY RELEASED PARTIES ARISING THEREFROM, AND AGREE TO INDEMNIFY SPONSOR AND THE RELEASE PARTIES AT ALL TIME FROM AND AGAINST ANY AND ALL LIABILITY, CLAIMS, DEMANDS, INJURIES, LOSSES, DAMAGES, COSTS AND EXPENSES (INCLUDING REASONABLE ATTORNEYS FEES) RESULTING FROM ANY ACT, DEFAULT, OR OMISSION OF THE ENTRANT AND/OR A BREACH OF ANY WARRANTY SET FORTH HEREIN. SPONSOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY MISDIRECTED, LOST, LATE, INACCURATE OR INCOMPLETE ENTRIES, AND SUCH ENTRIES WILL BE VOID. SPONSOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR: (A) ANY COMPUTER, TELEPHONE, CABLE, NETWORK, SATELLITE, ELECTRONIC OR INTERNET HARDWARE OR SOFTWARE MALFUNCTIONS, FAILURES, CONNECTIONS, AVAILABILITY, (B) GARBLED OR JUMBLED TRANSMISSIONS, (C) SERVICE PROVIDER/INTERNET/WEB SITE/USE NET ACCESSIBILITY OR AVAILABILITY, TRAFFIC CONGESTION, (D) UNAUTHORIZED HUMAN INTERVENTION OR (E) THE INCORRECT OR INACCURATE CAPTURE OF ENTRY INFORMATION OR THE FAILURE TO CAPTURE ANY SUCH INFORMATION.
  10. PRIVACY: Entrants agree that personal data submitted with an Entry, including name, email address, and phone number may be collected, processed, stored and otherwise used by GoBankingRates, and its affiliates for the purposes of conducting and administering the Contest. By entering the Contest, Entrant agrees to the transmission, processing, disclosing and storage of this personal data by GoBankingRates and its affiliates. All personal information that is collected from the Entrant is subject to GOBankingRates’s privacy policy (located at: privacy-policy).
  11. CONSENT TO RECEIVE COMMUNICATIONS AND USE OF NAME, LIKENESS AND EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION. By entering the Contest, each entrant gives his or her express permission to receive promotional emails from Sponsor or from third-parties directed by Sponsor. Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission to the Sponsor to use winner’s name, likeness, biographical information, city and state of residence and entry materials for advertising, promotional, editorial, and publicity purposes, worldwide in perpetuity, in any media now known or hereafter created, without further compensation, except where prohibited by law. Sponsor is not obligated to use any of the above mentioned information or materials, but may do so and may edit such information or materials at Sponsor’s sole discretion, without further obligation or compensation. You further agree that Sponsor can identify you, your educational institution, and the institution you used the scholarship for, and waive any educational privacy rights you may have in such information.
  12. GOVERNING LAW; The Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. The laws of the State of California govern the Contest without reference to choice of law principles.
  13. BINDING ARBITRATION; VENUE Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this Contest shall be settled by binding arbitration in a location determined by the arbitrator as set forth herein (provided that such location is reasonably convenient for claimant), or at such other location as may be mutually agreed upon by the parties, in accordance with the procedural rules for commercial disputes set forth in the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules and Procedures of JAMS (“JAMS Rules and Procedures”) then prevailing, and judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. The arbitrator shall be selected pursuant to the JAMS Rules and Procedures. The arbitrator shall apply California law consistent with the Federal Arbitration Act and applicable statutes of limitations, and shall honor claims of privilege recognized at law. In the event that the claimant is able to demonstrate that the costs of arbitration will be prohibitive as compared to the costs of litigation, Sponsor will pay as much of the claimant’s filing and hearing fees in connection with the arbitration as the arbitrator deems necessary to prevent the arbitration from being cost-prohibitive. If any part of this arbitration provision is deemed to be invalid, unenforceable or illegal (other than that claims will not be arbitrated on a class or representative basis), or otherwise conflicts with the rules and procedures established by JAMS, then the balance of this arbitration provision shall remain in effect and shall be construed in accordance with its terms as if the invalid, unenforceable, illegal or conflicting provision were not contained herein. If, however, the portion that is deemed invalid, unenforceable or illegal is that claims will not be arbitrated on a class or representative basis, then the entirety of this arbitration provision shall be null and void, and neither claimant nor Sponsor shall be entitled to arbitrate their dispute. Upon filing a demand for arbitration, all parties to such arbitration shall have the right of discovery, which discovery shall be completed within sixty days after the demand for arbitration is made, unless further extended by mutual agreement of the parties. THE ARBITRATION OF DISPUTES PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE IN THE ENTRANT’S INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDING. THE ARBITRATOR MAY NOT CONSOLIDATE OR JOIN THE CLAIMS OF OTHER PERSONS OR PARTIES WHO MAY BE SIMILARLY SITUATED. DO NOT ENTER THIS CONTEST IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO HAVE ANY CLAIM OR CONTROVERSY ARBITRATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THESE OFFICIAL RULES. BY PARTICIPATING IN THE CONTEST, EACH ENTRANT AGREES THAT TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW: (1) ANY AND ALL DISPUTES, CLAIMS AND CAUSES OF ACTION ARISING OUT OF OR CONNECTED WITH THE CONTEST, OR ANY PRIZE AWARDED, WILL BE RESOLVED INDIVIDUALLY THROUGH BINDING ARBITRATION AS SET FORTH ABOVE, WITHOUT RESORT TO ANY FORM OF CLASS ACTION AND (2) ENTRANT’S REMEDIES ARE LIMITED TO A CLAIM FOR MONEY DAMAGES (IF ANY) AND ENTRANT IRREVOCABLY WAIVES ANY RIGHT TO SEEK INJUNCTIVE OR EQUITABLE RELIEF. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY SET FORTH ABOVE AND IN SECTION 7(B)-(D), SO SUCH LANGUAGE MAY NOT APPLY TO EVERY ENTRANT
  14. GENERAL TERMS. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify Entries that do not comply with the Rules, and to disqualify any individual who tampers with the Contest, as solely determined by Sponsor. In the event the Contest is compromised by a virus, non-authorized human intervention, tampering or other causes beyond the reasonable control of Sponsor which corrupts or impairs the administration, security, fairness or proper operation of the Contest, Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Contest at any time. If the Contest is terminated prior to the published end date of the Contest, Sponsor reserves the right to award the Prize based on the eligible entries received before the date of termination. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any such provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, these Rules shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if any invalid or unenforceable provision was not contained therein.
  15. TAXES (INCLUDING ANY INCOME TAXES) are the sole responsibility of the winner, regardless of whether prize is used in whole or in part. Winner will be issued an IRS 1099 form for the retail value of the prize.
  16. SEVERABILITY: If any provision(s) of these Official Rules are held to be invalid or unenforceable, all remaining provisions hereof will remain in full force and effect.
  17. SPONSOR; WINNER LIST. The Sponsor of this Contest is GoBankingRates, whose principal place of business is 1700 E Walnut Ave, 2nd Floor, El Segundo, CA 90245. To receive a winner list, send a stamped self-addressed envelope to: GoBankingRates, Attn: Fall 2018 Scholarship Contest Winner, 1700 E Walnut Ave, 2nd Floor, El Segundo, CA 90245 within thirty (30) days of expiration of the Contest Period.
  18. FTC DISCLOSURE RULES. Each winner is required to comply with the FTC’s rules governing online endorsements or any similar rules when posting online reviews or comments regarding the Sponsor or its services.
  19. CONTENT RULES. Content must comply with these Official Rules and any Terms of Service on the Website (if any);
    1. Content uploaded through the Website must be in digital format (other than Essays) and must comply with the posting requirements set forth above and as posted on the Website;
    2. Content cannot be sexually explicit or suggestive, unnecessarily violent or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, professional or age group, profane or pornographic, contain nudity or any materially dangerous activity;
    3. Content cannot promote alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing), any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous, or any particular political agenda or message;
    4. Content cannot be obscene or offensive, endorse any form of hate or hate group;
    5. Content cannot defame, misrepresent or contain disparaging remarks about Sponsor or its products, or other people, products or companies;
    6. Content cannot contain trademarks, logos or trade dress owned by others, or advertise or promote any brand or product of any kind, without permission, or contain any personal identification, such as license plate numbers, personal names, e-mail addresses or street addresses;
    7. Content cannot contain copyrighted materials owned by others (including photographs, sculptures, paintings and other works of art or images published on or in websites, television, movies or other media) without permission; Sponsor does not permit the infringement of others’ rights and any use of materials not original to the entrant (except copyrighted materials owned by Sponsor) is grounds for disqualification from the Contest.  Do not copy your favorite movie, book or photo or include materials, images, graphics, music or trademarks belonging to any third parties or incorporate the names, voices, likeness or personas of any party other than yourself unless you have obtained all rights necessary to permit you to use same in connection with your Content and grant the rights herein granted to Sponsor;
    8. No background artwork should appear in a Content unless it is an original work of the entrant.  Any artwork, murals, etc. that can be seen in Content must be created solely by the entrant or entrant must be the sole owner of all copyright interests therein;
    9. Content cannot contain materials embodying the names, likenesses, photographs, or other indicia identifying any person, living or dead, without permission;
    10. Content cannot communicate messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or goodwill to which Sponsor wishes to associate; and
    11. Content cannot depict, and cannot itself, be in violation of any law.
  20. GENERAL CONDITIONS: No facsimiles or mechanical reproduction of entries allowed. Submission become the property of Sponsor and will not be returned. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, undelivered, incorrect, or inaccurate entry information whether caused by Internet users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest or by an technical or human error which may occur in the processing of the entries, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the administration of the Contest, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the Contest, the processing of entries, the announcement of the prizes or in any Contest related materials. Entries mechanically reproduced or made in any fashion other than as specified herein are void. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Contest, or any part of it, if any fraud, bugs, virus, technical failures, or any other factor beyond Sponsor’s reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Contest, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. In the event of cancellation, Sponsor will randomly award the prize from among all eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to cancellation. Sponsor is not responsible for computer system, phone line, hardware, software or program malfunctions, or other errors, failures or delays in computer transmissions, the website, or network connections that are human or technical in nature.  Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process, the website, or the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of the Official Rules of this or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner.  Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.  Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.