Most Valuable Student Competition

$1,000–$50,000Award Amount
500Number of Awards
11/15/2022Submission Deadline

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The MVS Scholarship is an initiative of the Elks National Foundation. The Elks is a community of lodges across the United States that works towards improving the quality of life through various programs. Through the Elks National Foundation, the group seeks to build stronger communities by, for example, sending students to college, which it achieves through the MVS Scholarship.

The need-based scholarship recognizes outstanding high school students who demonstrate leadership and scholarship. Applicants must be current high school seniors and citizens of the United States. The scholarship funds the college or university education of these students who must, therefore, pursue a four-year full-time program in accredited institutions in the U.S.

In total, scholars win between $1,000 and $12,500 grants per year, which translate to scholarships of between $4,000 and $50,000 over the four-year program. During the application stages, the top 20 applicants are selected to participate in a Leadership Weekend, where first-place and second-place awardees are chosen. The benefits of the Leadership Weekend go beyond the prize money: candidates meet with other Elks families and form lifelong connections.

Key Information of Most Valuable Student Competition

Study Details

Country of Study

United States

Specific Schools


Scholarship Details

Intended Level of Study


Award Amount


Number of Awards


Most Valuable Student Competition Timeline

August 5, 2022

Application Open Date

Applications open in August.

November 15, 2022

Submission Deadline

The application deadline is in November.

Late December 2022

Notifications from Lodge selection

Applicants who proceed from local Lodge selections received notifications in late December.

Mid-January 2023

Notifications from Lodge selection

Applicants who proceed from district selections to the quarter-finals received notifications in mid-January.

Early-March 2023

Notifications from state selection

Applicants advancing from state selection, who are the 500 national semi-finalists, receive notifications.

April 2023

MVS Leadership Weekend

The top 20 finalists attend an invites-only and mandatory Leadership Weekend.

Scholarship Eligibility

To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the following criteria.

  • Eligible Grade: High School Senior
  • Maximum Age: Any
  • Required GPA: 3
  • Geographic Eligibility: United States
  • Gender: Any
  • Race/Ethnicity:

Application Requirements

Here’s what you need to submits besides your application.

  • Grade transcript
  • Standardized Test Scores

How to ace the Most Valuable Student Competition


Start your application early

Application to the MVS Scholarship involves participating in a contest that is involving and requires attention to detail. Regardless of the stage in which you are, start your application early so as to avoid encountering surprises close to the deadline.


Take note of contest levels and communications

The scholarship application process is layered in stages, each of which requires various information and documents to be provided to the organizers. Keep an eye out for communication from the Elks National Foundation and respond to any requests promptly.


Write your essay clearly and concisely

If you make it to the national semi-finals, you will be required to write an essay. Make sure that your essay is well-structured and written to capture the attention of the reviewers.


Practice for the Leadership Weekend interview

The Leadership Weekend has an interview component. Practice extensively for this session by, for example, staging mock interviews with your friends, parents, or guardians.

How the Most Valuable Student Competition is Judged

Applications to the scholarship are judged based on four criteria: leadership, scholarship, community involvement, and financial need. Ensure that you demonstrate your outstanding qualities by showcasing projects and activities that speak of your leadership skills and community engagement. Additionally, your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form should be filled out accurately and truthfully. Seek an instructor who can highlight your academic strengths to complete the teacher’s evaluation.

Why We Love the Most Valuable Student Competition


Open to non-Elks members

While it is sponsored by an Elks-based organization, students who apply to the MVS Scholarship need not be related to a member of the community.


Separate competitions for males and females

Females and males have different competition tracks, which promotes equality in the application process.


Several award amounts

Just as the competition is staggered into stages, so is the awarded scholarship prize. In particular, of the 500 semi-finalists, 480 receive $4,000 over the four years of their studies, while the top 20 battle for amounts ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 to fund their four-year college studies.

5 Facts About the Most Valuable Student Competition


The competition is staggered

Applicants for the scholarship advance through local, district, state, and national competitions, with awards being granted from the state level.


About $2.44 million in grants is awarded

In total, the MVS Scholarship grants awards worth $2.44 million to the 500 finalists, with the top 20 winning $520,000 cumulatively.


Top awards for Leadership Weekend participants

The top 20 contestants, two of whom win $50,000 each in total, are selected from the pool of participants in the Leadership Weekend.


Standardized test requirement waived for 2022

Applicants to the 2022 MVS contest do not need to submit their ACT or SAT scores as the standardized test requirement has been waived.


Naturalized citizens can apply

Individuals who were not American citizens by birth but who have been naturalized under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 are eligible to apply. Scholarship Scholarship Program selects three students for educational scholarships worth $1,000 to $4,000.

Scholarships awarded
3 winners
Required GPA
December 15

UNCF Healthcare Workforce Diversity Program

In partnership with AbbVie, UNCF offers 200 scholarships valued at $5,000 to high school graduates, and college freshman and college sophomores undertaking undergraduate study in healthcare-related fields.

Scholarships awarded
200 winners
Required GPA
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