Essay Contest 2017

Home   /   Essay Contest 2017


Congrats to Our Winners!

First Place: Derek Bartholomay, MoundsPark Academy

Second Place: Nathan Congdon, Minnetonka High School

Contest Overview

  • Choose from 1 of 3 prompts
  • Produce and essay with no more than 650 words
  • Submit your essay no later than Oct 15, 2017 @ 11:59 pm CDT

Check out the student stories of confidence and the campaign that inspired the contest! #CampaignforConfidence

Everything You Need to Know

Personalized feedback has the power to develop confidence and create better students. That’s something we want for all high schoolers, so we’re kicking off our Campaign for Confidence with an essay contest for all college-bound students in the Twin Cities area. You don’t even need to be one of our tutoring students to participate. It’s totally free!

Every single applicant will get personalized feedback that that emphasizes their strengths and will help them craft a strong essay for their college application.

To learn more about our Campaign for Confidence, click here.

For more information about the essay contest, continue reading.

How it Works

  • Select one of the prompts from below. Choose one that speaks to you personally.
  • Write an essay of no more than 650 words. Be sure to support your writing with details and to give your essay a strong title.
  • Review your essay for spelling, grammar, and content-related mistakes.
  • Save your essay and submit it here before October 15, 2017 @ 11:59 pm CDT.


First Place: Ten-session ACT prep class and three hours of individual college application essay tutoring ($1300 value)

Second Place: Eight-session ACT prep class ($850 value)

  • Prizes are transferable but may not be redeemed for cash.
  • Prizes expire 30 months from date of award.
  • Winners will be announced on November 1, 2017.

The Prompts

Each contest entrant should respond to one (1) of the prompts below.

Answer the question(s) completely and support your position with relevant examples and details.

Prompt 1

Ferguson Tutoring uses the Whole Student Approach, emphasizing sometimes nontraditional approaches to learning by appealing to each student’s unique characteristics. Describe a time when a teacher, mentor, or coach introduced a difficult concept by connecting with you as an individual.  How did they do it?  How did it change your perspectives on learning in general?

Prompt 2

Although our tutors are fond of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math), our teaching philosophy hinges on the fact that there is no such thing as a “non-math person”. Do you agree?  Do you think there might be such a thing as a “non-English person” or a “non-history person”?

Prompt 3

Unfortunately, not every subject or idea we encounter as students inspires us or grabs our interest.  How do you cope with academic boredom?

Formatting Your Submission

Essays are to be submitted via the submission form only. Partially-completed forms cannot be saved and completed at a later date. Submit your form and essay all at once. We recommend you type and edit your essay elsewhere and copy only your final draft into the form submission when you are ready to submit.

Submit all essays with:

  • Student’s name, email address, school, grade, and essay title
  • No more than 650 words, excluding titles

You are not likely to require any cited works, but should you cite anything, citations won’t tally against your word count.


The contest is reserved for high school students only. Only one entry per student.

  • No plagiarism will be permitted.
  • No previously published essay accepted.


By submitting an essay, all participants agree to allow Ferguson Tutoring:

  • To use their school and grade information for internal purposes.
  • The right to send contest-related emails, as well as announcements, news, and information about products/services.
  • Non-exclusive publishing rights on prize-winning and honorable mention essay submissions.
  • The right to post about your prize-winning and/or honorable mention essay on social media.


Your contact information and submission information will not be shared with or sold to third parties.