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General Information

Site Features

Candidate FAQ

Voter FAQ

General Information

About CollegeNET

Tell me about the company operating this site.

CollegeNET, Inc. is focused on providing technologies that save institutions money and improve educational access and affordability for citizens. The company provides innovations in event and academic scheduling, decision support, admissions, web-based tuition processing, prospect management, alumni development, and email management to colleges, universities, and nonprofits worldwide. More than 1,000 institutions use CollegeNET software and e-solutions. The company is headquartered in Portland, OR.

Will CollegeNET sell my personal data?

No, check out our Privacy Policy for details.

How do I contact CollegeNET?

To contact a knowledgeable expert about the CollegeNET scholarship election site, email us at scholarship@collegenet.com.

About your account

How do I sign up for an account?

To sign up for a new account:

  1. Click Create A Profile on the main page, or click the Sign In button at the top of any page (The sign-in window will give you an option to sign up for a new account).
  2. Click Sign Up.
  3. Enter your information in each field. Fields marked with * are required.
    Note: We use your cell phone number to send you an account activation code or a voting security code via text message.
  4. Uncheck the box for "Make me a candidate in the CollegeNET scholarship election" if you're not signing up to be a candidate.
    Note: To qualify as a candidate, you must meet one of the following criteria:
    • be currently attending a college or university
    • expect to be enrolled at a college or university within one year of creating an account on this site
    • be currently obligated to pay an unpaid balance on a Title IV student loan listed in the National Student Loan Data System
  5. Type the characters you see in the box at the bottom of the page. This procedure verifies that you're a human being - not a bot - reading this web page.
  6. Click Sign Up.
  7. In the Success! popup window, click OK.
    You'll now be on a landing page with your activation code, and you can begin to post to forums. Remember, your account won't be active until you post something on the site!

How do I activate my account?

To activate your account:

  1. Log in to collegenet.com with your user name and password.
  2. Click your username in the upper left (where you see "Signed in as"). If your account hasn't been activated yet, you'll see a red bar across the top of the page with a field for your activation code.
  3. Type your activation code exactly as it appears in the cell phone message you received from the system, and click Activate.

You must complete this activation process to be able to vote, create a candidate profile, or post to topic and video forums.

What if I don't have a cell phone with text message capability?

You can't sign up for an account unless you have a cell phone with text message capability, since text messaging is the way we deliver account activation and voting security codes. Once a cell phone is used to set up an account on CollegeNET, it can't be used again for this purpose.

Can I use Google phone products (such as Google Talk, Gmail SMS, and Google Voice SMS) for my text messages?

No, CollegeNET does not support any Google phone products, and we have no plans to support them in the future.

What if I get a new cell phone number and/or provider?

Due to security concerns, you can't edit this information yourself on your My Account page. To make any changes, email scholarship@collegenet.com your new cell phone information, and we'll update your account information.

OK, I signed up as a candidate. Why are you asking me to post?

Immediately upon signing up for an account as a candidate, you're asked to post in a forum on the site. That's because your account isn't active until you post, and no one can vote for you. If you want to win, you have to post!

What's the difference between a screen name and user name?

Your screen name is the name you choose for public display on the site. It appears each time you post to a topic or video forum, and on your candidate profile. You can change your screen name at any time by going to the My Account page.


Your user name is only used when you log in, and only you can see it. Once you've signed up for an account, you can't change your user name.

What is a StandOut® profile?

All profiles on the system use the CollegeNET StandOut technology, so a StandOut profile is simply our name for your profile.


What's the difference between a candidate and a voter?

Candidates are former, current, or future college students eligible to win scholarship money, or former students with an outstanding student loan balance. They can create a candidate profile, post to topic and video forums up to five times a day, receive votes, and vote for other candidates.


Voters can be anyone. They're allowed to read candidate profiles and postings and vote for candidates they like, and they can post to up to two times a day, but they can't receive votes.

How do I edit my candidate profile?

Click your username in the upper left (where you see "Signed in as") from any page on the site to change your picture or profile text. To read more about profiles, click here.

How do I edit my account information?

Click your username in the upper left (where you see "Signed in as") from any page on the site. Then view and edit your personal and school information. You can navigate to the different parts of your account information (for example, your contact information) using the links on the right under My Account.

I don't see a My Account tab. Why not?

The My Account tab has now been replaced by a live link. Click your username in the upper left (where you see "Signed in as") to access all your account information.

If you want to become a user, you can sign up for a new account. If you already have an account, log in with your user name and password.

About scholarship awards

Who's eligible to win a scholarship?

You're eligible to win a scholarship if you're either (a) currently attending a college or university, or plan to attend within a year, or (b) currently obligated to pay an unpaid balance on a Title IV student loan listed in the National Student Loan Data System (and the status of the loan is not in default).

I won! How do I claim my scholarship?

We will contact you using the information you supplied when you created an account. We'll need to get various data from you, such as school or loan information. Shortly thereafter, we will send your award to either:

  • the financial aid office of the institution at which you are (or expect to be) enrolled, or
  • the lender who provided your student loan (note that the loan must not be in default).

For detailed information about claiming your prize, see our Scholarship Winner's FAQ.

How often am I eligible to win?

You can win a scholarship at any time; there are no limitations based on previous wins.

CollegeNET content guidelines

This site receives postings from a wide diversity of people, many of whom may have different beliefs and communication styles from your own. CollegeNET doesn't buy into censorship; we rely on you to use your common sense in helping to maintain this site as a free and enjoyable place to exchange ideas. So please be respectful of others when posting to a topic or video forum, and understanding and tolerant of different styles when reading the posts of others. Since it is in your interest to receive as many votes as possible, post in a clear, respectful way. If you believe someone's post has crossed the line and should be reported, please press and enter your complaint.

CollegeNET site policies/terms of use

CollegeNET's Web Site Terms and Conditions of Use are described here.


Site Features

How scholarship elections work

There are two types of CollegeNET user accounts: candidates and voters.

  • Candidates can create a profile and post to topic and video forums up to five times a day. One of those daily posts can be used to start a forum. Candidates get two (2) votes per day per competition period. If you're a candidate, it pays to use these ballots and vote, because you get points each time you cast a ballot!
    Candidates receive points each time someone votes for them, but also each time they vote for someone else. See the Voting Rules for an explanation of how points are calculated.
  • Voters can explore and read the site contents, post to topic or video forums up to two times a day. One of those daily posts can be used to start a forum. Voters can cast two (2) votes per day per competition period for the candidates they like (only once per candidate, though), however, they can't receive votes.
  • The number of points are weighted based on a number of factors. For more information about our weighted voting system, please see the Voting Rules.

Candidates and voters can only vote once per election for a particular candidate.


Visitors (people without accounts) can browse the site, but must create an account if they want to be a scholarship candidate or a voter.

Account holders (candidates and voters) who like a particular candidate's profile or his/her posts can vote for that person to receive a scholarship.


Candidates earn points for each vote they receive and for each vote they cast. The voting system is weighted, with varying point values assigned to each vote, depending on a candidate's level of participation on the site. (For more information about our weighted voting system, please see Voting Rules.)


At the end of each election, we tally the points, award a scholarship to the candidate with the most points, and kick off a new election. If there's a point tie, our weighted voting system determines the winner.

About the different kinds of scholarships

New awards may be added at any time. The current available scholarships are:

  • Open Award CollegeNET scholarships, awarded weekly. Former, current, and future students who meet the eligibility requirements can compete weekly.
  • Rookie Award, awarded weekly to any CollegeNET candidate with less than 50 posts total on the site.
  • Tournament Award, awarded by flash Runoff to one or more of the weekly winners in the Tournament Period.

For detailed information about the types of awards, please see the Voting Rules.

About candidate profiles

What's a candidate profile?

A candidate profile contains information a candidate has written presenting him/herself to voters. If you're a candidate, your profile is the first "window" people have into learning about you and deciding whether or not to vote for you.

Candidate profiles contain:

  • An image (usually a photo): Candidates can upload a photo or other graphic that is displayed on their profile page and next to their discussion posts.
  • Information about the candidate: Candidates write something about themselves that they believe will encourage voters to vote for them. Candidates can edit their profile at any time on the My Account page to keep it up-to-date.

Candidates can also see on their own profile page the number of points they've received to date. But they can't see the point totals of other candidates.

Who can access profiles?

Your ability to view, create, and edit a candidate profile, and vote for a candidate depends on which type of account you have candidate or voter.

If you're a candidate, you can:

  • Create and edit your own profile
  • Browse, search for, and view the profiles of other candidates
  • Vote for a candidate by clicking on his/her profile (if you have available ballots)

If you're a voter, you can:

  • Browse, search for, and view candidate profiles
  • Vote for a candidate by clicking button on his/her profile

Visitors to the site (those without accounts), can browse, search for, and view profiles, but they can't vote until they create an account. If you are a visitor and you want to vote, sign up for an account!

What if I think a profile is inappropriate?

As discussed in our content guidelines, CollegeNET provides a way for you to flag a profile as "inappropriate" by clicking on the profile page. If enough users find a profile inappropriate, CollegeNET will review the content. We reserve the right to take or not take action on any posting flagged as inappropriate.

About topic and video forums

What are forums?

Text and video forums are the heart of the scholarship election site. Candidates can post to ongoing text and video forums as well as start their own forums. Discussions are "threaded," with posts appearing in chronological order.

  • In text forums, the name and image of the poster appears next to each of their postings. See the Candidate FAQ below for information about how to post in text forums.
  • In video forums, each post is a video of a person speaking his or her opinion, so that the resulting forum is like a conversation among multiple people. See the Candidate FAQ below for information about how to post in video forums.

At the bottom of each post in any forum, you can:

Click this… To… This feature is available to…
Vote for the candidate who wrote the post (if you have available ballots) Candidates, Voters
Send email to someone with a pointer to the post Candidates, Voters
Flag the post as inappropriate Candidates, Voters
Reply to the post Candidates, Voters

You must be logged in and your account must be activated to use any of these features. If you're a visitor to the site, you can browse, search for, and view discussion posts, but you can't post replies or vote for candidates.

NOTE: Candidates are limited to five posts, and Voters are limted to two posts, within a 24-hour period. Both Candidates and Voters can choose to "spend" one of their allotted posts to start a new forum. The 24 hours is counted from the time of your first post of the day.

Sign up for an account!

What are tags, and why should I use them?

Tags are keywords or labels you can add to a discussion post to make it easier for people browsing the site to find your post. You can tag a post with keywords that describe the overall subject of the post (like "Casablanca" or "Happy_Gilmore") or descriptive words that describe the content of the post (like "movie" or "Bogart").


Note: Tags can't contain spaces.

What if I think a post is inappropriate?

As discussed in our content guidelines, CollegeNET provides a way for you to flag a profile as "inappropriate" by clicking on the profile page. If enough users find a profile inappropriate, CollegeNET will review the content. We reserve the right to take or not take action on any posting flagged as inappropriate.

How election voting works

Except for Tournament Awards, the voting system is weighted. The value assigned to a vote depends on the level of participation. Please see Voting Rules for details.


Voters
  • Cannot cast more than two (2) votes per day, per Competition Period
  • Can vote for any candidate after the candidate has posted at least once
  • Can only vote once per Competition Period for a particular candidate
  • Can see who the top vote-getting candidates are at any time
Candidates
  • Can't vote for themselves
  • Receive two (2) ballots per day per Competition Period
  • Can vote for any candidate (other than themselves) after the candidate has posted at least once
  • Receive points each time they cast a ballot
  • Receive points each time they receive a vote
  • Can only vote once per Competition Period for a particular candidate
  • Can see who the top vote-getting candidates are at any time

See the Voting Rules for information as to how points are calculated when casting and receiving votes.

Candidate FAQ

Who's eligible to be a candidate for CollegeNET scholarships?

To be a candidate, one of the following must be true:

  • You're currently enrolled in an accredited college or university
  • You're planning to enroll in an accredited college or university within one year
  • You're currently obligated to pay an unpaid balance on a Title IV student loan listed in the National Student Loan Data System

Who's eligible to be a candidate for school-specific College Award scholarships?

In addition to being an eligible candidate for the CollegeNET scholarships (see the first FAQ answer for eligibility requirements), you must also be a current enrolled student at the school offering the College Award. In order to prove your affiliation with the school, you must use your school email address in your CollegeNET account information.

Who's eligible to be a candidate for rookie scholarships?

In addition to being an eligible candidate for the CollegeNET scholarships (see the first FAQ answer for eligibility requirements), you must also have posted less than 50 posts total on the CollegeNET site.

See the Voting Rules for more information.

Who's eligible to be a candidate for tournament scholarships?

Anyone who has won a weekly scholarship of any type (for example, a standard open award or rookie award) during the tournament period is automatically eligible for the tournament award, which will be decided in a run-off election.

See the Voting Rules for more information.

How do I participate in text topic forums?

Note that no one can vote for you until you have posted at least once.

To respond to a text topic:

  • Click
  • Follow the directions to enter your comments and submit them.

    You can include any of these HTML tags in your topic forum post if you want to: <b> <i> <p> <br> <ol> <ul> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <em> <strong> <tt> <blockquote> <quote>
To start a new text topic:
  1. Under Create A Forum, which is usually in the upper left corner of the Explore page, click "text topic."
  2. Click Continue.
  3. Follow the directions to complete the form and create your new text topic forum.

    You can include any of these HTML tags in your topic forum post if you want to: <b> <i> <p> <br> <ol> <ul> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <em> <strong> <tt> <blockquote> <quote>

NOTE: You can embed an external video (such as one from YouTube, Google Video, and Yahoo! Video) in the initial post of a text topic. To embed a video:

  1. On the site where you're watching the video (for example, YouTube) copy the code from the "Embed" box.
  2. On the CollegeNET site, paste the code into the Start the Discussion box.

What is a challenge forum?

Topics shown with a highlighted blue background are called challenge forums, which are topics started by notable people or celebrities specifically to engage candidates on a topic of their choice. Other than the fact that they are started by an invited celebrity, they are no different than any other text forum, with the following exception: During the competition period immediately after a challenge forum is posted, candidates will increase their chances of winning by participating in it.


Current challenge forums will always be displayed at the top of the Hottest Topics list.

How do I participate in video forums?

To respond to a video topic:

  1. Click
  2. Click Continue.
  3. You can either:
    • Respond by typing text in the field provided, or
    • Respond with a video of your own, by checking "Include a video in your reply" and then following the directions to make a video of yourself and submit it. Note: You will need to allow the CollegeNET website to access your system's camera.

To start a new video topic:

  • Under Create A Forum, which is usually in the upper left corner of the Explore page, click "video topic."
  • Click Continue.
  • Follow the directions to make a video of yourself and create your new video topic forum. Note: You will need to allow the CollegeNET website to access your system's camera.

    You can include any of these HTML tags in your video forum post if you want to: <b> <i> <p> <br> <ol> <ul> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <em> <strong> <tt> <blockquote> <quote>

Is there a way to stop being prompted every time I create a video?

Yes, you can tell your camera to remember the CollegeNET site and always allow it to use your system's camera. To do this, you need to configure flash so that your browser will remember that collegenet.com is a safe site to share the camera with. To save this setting:


  1. Right click anywhere on the video recorder.
  2. Select the option "Settings" to open the permissions pop up window.
  3. Check the Remember checkbox. You will no longer get the pop up for permissions the next time you try to record a video.
NOTE: You can remove this permission at any time by following the directions and unchecking Remember.

Why won't my video camera work correctly on the site?

In some cases, where another installed program on your computer is has a hold on your video camera, you may find that when you try to create a video on the CollegeNET site, you get a black screen instead of your face. To fix this issue, you'll need to change your settings so that CollegeNET is able to access your camera.


  1. Right click anywhere on the video recorder.
  2. Select the option "Settings" to open the permissions pop up window.
  3. Click the Camera settings tab (usually the right-most one).
  4. Using the drop-down menu, select a different camera. When you are able to see your image when creating a video, that means you selected the correct camera and have solved the problem.

Additional Troubleshooting Tips for Video

  • Upgrade to the newest Flash version.
  • Make sure your selected camera is not "Google Camera Adapter."
  • Try uninstalling the Google Talk plugin.

Why does my recorded video have no sound?

In some cases, you may find that you can record a video but it does not seem to have any sound. To fix this issue, you'll need to adjust your settings to ensure that sound is correctly recorded.


  1. Right click anywhere on the video recorder.
  2. Select the option "Settings" to open the configuration pop up window.
  3. Click on the Microphone settings tab (usually the second from the right).
  4. Using the drop-down menu, select a different microphone, and try speaking in a loud voice. When you see a moving green bar indicating the sound level, that means you have selected the right microphone.

Additional Troubleshooting Tips for Audio

  • Upgrade to the newest Flash version.
  • Adjust the Record Volume level on the Microphone settings tab if your voice sounds too faint.
  • Select the Reduce Echo option on the Microphone settings tab to improve audio recording quality.
  • Make sure your sound is not muted when you preview your recorded video.

How many posts can I make each day?

You are limted to five posts within a 24-hour period. If you want, you can choose to "spend" one of your allotted posts to start a new forum. The 24 hours is counted from midnight to 1159PM, Pacific Standard Time.

How do I vote for other candidates?

Vote for a candidate by clicking when viewing a candidate's post or profile. If you're out of ballots, or you've already voted for the candidate in this election cycle, the vote button will be unavailable.


After you cast a ballot, a popup window opens, and an activation code is required to complete the voting process. Click "Send a vote code to my cellphone now" to get the vote code. When you receive a text message containing the code (which should happen immediately), enter it in the space provided and click Vote. If you've changed your mind about voting, click Cancel.

What if I get a new cell phone number and/or provider?

Due to security concerns, you can't edit this information yourself on your My Account page. To make any changes, email scholarship@collegenet.com your new cell phone information, and we'll update your account information.

How do I view my point totals?

Point totals are not displayed. Top contestants may see their rank in the top 20.

How does CollegeNET pay winners?

Open Awards and Tournament Awards are accumulated and paid out after the end of each Tournament. Be sure to read your winner email and follow all steps described in the email to ensure you are paid as soon as possible.

Voter FAQ

Who's eligible to be a voter?

Anyone can sign up for an account and become a scholarship voter. The only requirement is that you have a cell phone with text messaging to receive your account activation code.

How do I judge candidates?

This is totally up to you. Many voters consider whether a candidate:

  • Created an informative well-written profile
  • Started discussions about interesting topics
  • Wrote in an engaging way on existing topics
  • Posted fairly and respectfully to those he/she disagrees with

How do I vote for candidates?

Vote for a candidate by clicking when viewing a candidate's post or profile. If the candidate has not yet posted, or you've already voted for the candidate in this election cycle, or you're out of ballots, the vote button will be unavailable.


After you cast a ballot, a popup window opens, and an activation code is required to complete the voting process. Click "Send a vote code to my cellphone now" to get the vote code. When you receive a text message containing the code (which should happen immediately), enter it in the space provided and click Vote. If you've changed your mind about voting, click Cancel.

Remember, you may vote for as many candidates as you choose, buy you cannot vote more than once for any single candidate per competition period, and you many not vote more than once per day.

What if I get a new cell phone number and/or provider?

Due to security concerns, you can't edit this information yourself on your My Account page. To make any changes, email scholarship@collegenet.com your new cell phone information, and we'll update your account information.

What tools can help me explore the CollegeNET site?

  • Subscribe to a feed (either RSS or Atom) which automatically delivers new posts by a specific candidate or new posts made to a specific discussion topic. If you use this feature, you will always know when there's new content posted by a candidate or new postings to a topic without having to log in to the site to find out.
  • Email a friend with a pointer to a specific post or candidate. To do this, click on any post or candidate profile.
  • Use the Like button to post to your facebook page, the Tweet button to post to your twitter feed, or the +1 button to post to your Google+ page.

To learn more about site features and tools, if you hold your cursor over some items, you'll see a helpful tooltip.