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Freedom Video Competition

  • Share Your Story

Express Your Journey

The FREEDOM Video Competition invites Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) students from all grade levels–at participating institutions–to creatively express their journey in financing their college education. This unique competition focuses on Reducing and Eliminating Educational Debt and Optimizing Mindfulness (FREEDOM) through a 3-5 minute documentary. Students are encouraged to explore and share how they and their families decided on financing their college education, offering a personal glimpse into the decisions, challenges, and triumphs of managing educational expenses. Undergraduate STEM students at our participating institutions will answer the prompt, “Explain the decision process used by you and your family when determining how to finance your college education” within a three to five-minute video. Submissions are due no later than Friday, January 26, 2024, at 11:59 pm.

What is the FREEDOM Video Competition?

The FREEDOM Video Competition is dedicated to shedding light on the diverse experiences of students as they navigate the complexities of funding their education. By encouraging the sharing of personal stories, the competition aims to foster a deeper understanding of the financial decisions students face and to highlight the impacts of these decisions on their academic and personal lives.

“At SFI we know that financing a college education is a major decision for many families. We want to hear about their experiences so others can learn, be inspired by their journey, and be motivated to help us double the amount made available to these students.”

Dr. Mark Brown, Executive Director, Student Freedom Initiative

Educational Impact

Your documentary will serve as a resourceful guide for future students, helping them navigate their educational financing options with greater understanding and confidence.

Monetary Awards

Ten winners will receive cash prizes totaling $20,000, with the top prize being $7,500.

Creative Expression

A platform to creatively express and share your personal journey in financing your education. 

Skill Development

Enhance your skills in storytelling, video production, and effective communication.

Recognition and Exposure

Opportunity for your journey to be recognized and displayed on a broader platform.


  • Entry Limit: One entry per individual. Multiple entries, including through different email addresses or identities, will lead to disqualification.
  • Video Specifications: 3-to-5 minute video on the topic of financing college education.
  • Academic Level: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Seniors
  • Eligible Majors: Approved STEM majors.
  • Enrollment Status: Full Time (Unless Final Year of Study)
  • Academic Status: Undergraduate
  • GPA Requirement: Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (as defined by university)
  • Additional Requirements: If under 18, consent from parent/legal guardian is required; Must submit unofficial transcript and a complete W-9 form (for winners)
  • Please note: International & Foreign Exchange Students are not eligible for this competition


Almia Valentine

School: Tougaloo
Grade: Sophomore
Major: Biology
Competition Placement: 1st
Prize: $7,500


School: Tuskegee
Grade: Freshman
Major: Animal Science
Competition Placement: 2nd
Prize: $5,000


School: Hampton
Grade: Sophomore
Major: Nursing
Competition Placement: 3rd
Prize: $2,000


School: Morehouse
Grade: Senior
Major: Software Engineer
Competition Placement: 4th
Prize: $750


School: PVAMU
Grade: Senior
Major: Chemical Engineer
Competition Placement: 5th
Prize: $750


School: Hampton
Grade: Sophomore
Major: Mathematics
Competition Placement: 6th
Prize: $750


School: PVAMU
Grade: Senior
Major: Computer Science
Competition Placement: 7th
Prize: $750


School: Morehouse
Grade: Junior
Major: Biology
Competition Placement: 8th
Prize: $750