Submission Requirements

  • Students should share a personal story that aligns with these guidelines.
  • Audio submissions should be between 3 minutes and 8 minutes in length.
  • Audio files must be in .MP3 format.
  • If you choose to write your story, all guidelines still apply. The story should be between 200 and 600 words and the file can be in any of the following file types: .pdf, .doc, .docx, .txt, or .rtf.
  • Students should start by sharing their first name, state, zip code, and college name when they submit.
  • The deadline to submit applications is December 1, 2018.


To participate in #RealCollege: Voice for Change:

  • Students should have been enrolled at least half time in an institution of higher learning during Spring of 2018. It is OK for the student to have left school for any reason. We know that their story might include why they had to take time away from being a student.
  • Students must submit their audio electronically according to the submission guidelines prior to December 1, 2018.
  • Students are limited to one submission only. Additional entries will not be accepted.
  • Students should be attending school within the United States, but do not have to be U.S. citizens to participate.
  • Students should be willing to have their story included in an open-source story library that can be accessed by the public for educational and advocacy purposes.
  • All audio submissions should be in the voice of the student submitting unless they are unable to speak for any reason. In the event a student is unable to speak, they may select someone who can read their story for the recording. In the event a student cannot speak they may also submit a written story.
  • When telling their story, students should avoid using other peoples’ names. Talk about who they are rather than naming them (e.g. my mom, not Sarah Jones).

Important Notice

*A submission will be considered ineligible if it contains any of the following:

  • Hate speech or depictions directed at others (but if a student sees or experiences hate speech and chooses to make this part of their submission that is considered eligible)
  • Graphic violence
  • Explicit sexual content
  • Depictions of drug or alcohol that glorify its use or abuse
  • Naming people who have not given permission to be used in the story. Other people should be identified by the relationship, such as “my professor” or “my aunt.”
  • Inaccurate portrayals, dishonest content or plagiarism

What happens with submissions?

  • All submissions will be heard or read by people engaged in action and advocacy in education, including students, faculty, policymakers, and other advocates for change.
  • All submissions will be included in an online open-source library that can be accessed by the public for educational and advocacy purposes.
  • Most submissions will be integrated into trainings that will inform the decisions of faculty, college administration, and policymakers.
  • Some submissions will be selected to be animated to be part of a video blog series on the #RealCollege experience in 2019.
  • Some students will be invited to join other action-oriented people to share their story in person at the #RealCollege Convening in Philadelphia on September 29-30, 2018 (travel expenses will be covered).
  • Some students will be invited to share their stories with policymakers in Washington D.C.
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