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Marlboro College expands Beautiful Minds Challenge

For more information, including a video of the prompt as well as detailed rules, instructions, and prizes, go to

MARLBORO—Marlboro College announced the launch of their popular Beautiful Minds Challenge for the 2017-2018 academic year, with significantly expanded opportunities for scholarships and prizes. Inspired high school students from across the nation and around the world are invited to respond to the prompt: “Innovative communication unites people. Share your vision.”

“Creative and effective communication is more important than ever, to counter the current climate of divisiveness in national and world discourse,” said Kevin Quigley, president of Marlboro, in a news release. “This year’s Beautiful Minds Challenge celebrates the innovation of students working in this crucial area from the local level to a global scale. Anything is possible, and we invite students to explore new ways to bring the world together.”

Now in its sixth year, and based on its great successes over the years, the Beautiful Minds Challenge has been expanded to be even more attractive, with four times as many scholarships available for finalists. A total of 12 full (direct costs of attendance) or partial, four-year scholarships are now offered to seniors interested in enrolling at Marlboro, and more than $2,000 in prizes for other students.

The Beautiful Minds Challenge is open to all teens age 15-19 who are not yet enrolled in college full-time. Entries in the form of a creative digital documentation — whether it’s words, images, audio, or video — are due by Friday, Dec. 1, 2017.

Submissions will be judged by a panel of Marlboro faculty, staff, and students based on their quality, creativity, preparation, and demonstration of original, critical, and innovative thinking. Finalists will be awarded expense-paid trips to one of two Beautiful Minds Symposia during the spring 2018 semester, where they will share their projects and experience Marlboro College firsthand.

“The Beautiful Minds scholarship has made our community accessible to many, myself included,” said senior Alessandro Pane, a finalist in the 2013 challenge now studying music composition, performance, and critical theory. “What prepared me most for Marlboro College during my experience with Beautiful Minds was interacting with current students and faculty .... That is why I am a student today.”

“The Beautiful Minds Challenge allows students who like to think deeply about complex themes, and express their thoughts creatively, to see what a Marlboro learning experience might be like,” said Angela Hamilton, admissions events and non-degree program coordinator.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #428 (Wednesday, October 4, 2017).

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