The University of Iowa, in a wild attempt to stay hip and relevant, has announced that they will offer a full-ride scholarship, thats $37,000 dollars folks, to the applicant with the best essay…that’s 140 characters or less. This isn’t the first time twitter has been involved in scholarly pursuits or had its character limits used as a creative constraint. This probably is the first time the stakes have been this high though, roughly $265 per character.
Naturally, there are some people who aren’t entirely thrilled by this proposition, and who could blame them. The “essay” has inherited a lot of respect over its years of service and rightly so. Despite the fact that few people like writing them, they have a pretty good track record. Tweets, on the other hand, are still fairly young, and lets face the real issue here, they aren’t that much work to put together. Or so you would think. With all that potential riding on each word, each one is going to get a lot harder to choose and an applicant is going to have to make some serious value judgments about what ideas, much less what words, are worthy of being included. Then again, it could all be a plot to entice people to pay some attention to the University of Iowa. Still, seems like a good deal. When I applied to school “the Twitter” didn’t exist; We had to write 67,000 word essays, in blood, uphill, both ways.
(via The Escapist)