Amazon announced this morning that it will be offering 50 full-time, undergraduate students with a college scholarship that includes $5,000 toward their tuition as well as an additional $500 to spend on textbooks at Amazon. The scholarships, which will be merit-based, will be distributed in time for fall semester 2015.
According to Ripley MacDonald, Director of Student Programs at Amazon, the scholarship is designed to “reward students who demonstrate extraordinary ability in leadership and innovative thinking.”
Students who apply will be judged on their GPA, community involvement, leadership experience, and will need to complete an essay in order to advance to the final round – pretty standard college scholarship stuff. Winners will be notified by April 2015, with the scholarship awarded in July 2015.
The announcement is not a purely philanthropic endeavor on Amazon’s part. It’s choosing a selection of the brightest, most engaged and active students in the U.S., and helping them become Amazon brand ambassadors of sorts.
The scholarship’s larger goal is to spread the news and increase sign-ups for Amazon Student, the company’s program designed for college students which is something of a discounted version of Amazon Prime. The program is half the price ($49/year), while still offering free two-day shipping and other Prime benefits like Prime Instant Video, Prime Music, access to the Kindle Lending Library, along with other promotions aimed at students.
In order to qualify for the scholarship, potential candidates have to be Amazon Student members. That’s how they getcha, so to speak.
Students, who must also be enrolled in a two- or four-year school in the U.S., can apply now through November 20.