Applications for our $5,000 "Pass the Torch" Teacher Scholarships close on July 31. Apply now.


Scholarship Tips


Each year, Teachers Test Prep awards two $5,000 scholarships through its "Pass the Torch" Teacher Scholarships program.

We ask applicants to create a video telling the story of a teacher who had an impact on them, and what they learned from that teacher that they would like to pass on to their students. All videos are reviewed by the staff at Teachers Test Prep, and the final scholarship recipients are chosen at an all-staff meeting.

Below are tips from some of our judges to help you with your 2021 application video.


"Sometimes authenticity and genuine emotion are enough to carry a video, but in general I enjoy entries that show effort - which could mean many things such as crafting the story ahead of time, choosing an interesting and relevant background, or editing clips together to help bring the story to life. The most common disappointments are poor audio recorded outdoors, unemotional essay readings, and long, rambling lists of adjectives." - Alex, Operations

"I tend to respond most strongly to entries that are crafted around a unifying idea or theme. Rather than discussing a vast range of positive traits that their teacher embodies, stronger candidates try to distill what they gained from their teacher into one underpinning idea and explore this in depth. This makes their stories much more focused and powerful, and they stick in your mind as a result. Two 2020 finalists whose stories demonstrate this are Caitlin Leavitt, who discusses her teacher’s kindness, and Stephanie Levine, who examines the value of critical thinking." - Leonie, Curriculum

"The submissions that stood out to me were those in which the applicant's passion for teaching was clearly demonstrated - whether through the time and effort that went into their video, which is reflective of the time and effort they will put into their teaching, or through the articulate and personal telling of their story, which shows how effective they will be as an instructor. Additionally, it's important to be mindful of your video setting; if you're filming in a room at home, make sure it's neat and tidy. If possible, try to shoot in a location that is relevant to your story." - Rebecca, Customer Service

"Entries that stand out to me often have a strong visual element that brings the story to life. Last year’s Elementary Education scholarship recipient, Karen Mungkay Shum, used whimsical toys to illustrate a child’s perspective and also cut to closeups of a heartfelt letter her teacher wrote her. Alternatively, last year’s Secondary Education recipient, Jason Mizerek, didn’t use any video editing, but he chose an interesting location - his workshop - and showed us things he builds there, turning this into a metaphor for his overall teaching style." - Robert, CEO


For more help with your application, please visit our 2021 Scholarships page. Here, you'll be able to learn more about the scholarships, download an application form and access the videos of our previous finalists!

Don't forget, the deadline for this year's scholarships is June 30, 5pm PST.


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