More Than a Test Score: Teen Wins $20,000 Scholarship from

Oregon teen edges out competition by a vote of 7,235 to 6,492 to become the first recipient of's Sweet Diggity Dawg Award, a scholarship given to the high school student who best exemplifies the Zinch motto: "I am more than a test score".
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April 24, 2008 - PRLog -- To win the award, Kayleen beat out over 150,000 applicants from around the world for a spot in the final 64. From that point, she advanced through a series of head-to-head competitions -- against some of the most accomplished students in the country -- to become the winner.

In addition to a $20,000 scholarship (which Kayleen will use to help pay for Vanderbilt University, where she was accepted early), Kayleen will have the chance to represent Zinch, and a new generation of students, in demanding to be seen by colleges for what she is -- not just a test score but a dynamic and engaged young person who will make a difference, both on campus and off.

Speaking about the unique award, Beth Edgemon, Kayleen's guidance counselor at Philomath High, said: "I really enjoyed the competition and think the motto "I am more than a test score" is great. Too often, and especially at larger schools, students apply and are accepted or rejected based solely on their test scores. Further, that is how almost all colleges recruit. My students and I really enjoyed the chance to read about other students around the country and world and to see their diverse talents and interests first hand. It made exploring the college admissions process fun and engaging."

Kayleen plays varsity softball and volleyball for Philomath High School, and is also a member of the jazz band. At Vanderbilt, she plans to study Neuroscience with a particular interest in childhood psychology and brain development, and to minor in the bassoon. After college, she plans to continue her research into the effects of autism on childhood brain development.

While sponsors a number of scholarships, The Sweet Diggity Dawg Award is the largest and most prestigious. By allowing students to see themselves and their peers as people, and not simply grades and test scores, it seeks to reestablish the importance, and viability, of personalization in the college admissions process. What matters, of course, is how well a student and college "fit" -- something impossible to determine by test scores alone.

Over the course of the tournament, 334,043 votes were cast by 212,655 students in over 100 countries making it one of the largest and most exciting scholarship competitions ever held. In order for a student to be considered for next years Zinch Sweet Diggity Dawg Award, they must be a current high school student with a complete profile on and have a GPA above 2.0.

# # #, founded in October of 2006, is the leading online college recruitment portal. It advocates for and empowers students as they navigate the college admissions process. Begun in a Princeton University dorm room, Zinch is now headquartered near Salt Lake City, Utah, and connects more than 375,000 student users with over 525 colleges across the United States who use Zinch in their recruiting efforts.

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