I'm a student. I've spent the past 17 years in a classroom setting, with six months to go before I graduate college. I am lucky enough to not have to worry about how I/my family would pay for my education until I went to college, but for many, that's not the case.
When I went to college, I knew that I had to contribute monetarily. While financial aid helped a lot, and my parents chipping in as well, I still paid thousands of dollars each semester to pay for college. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't a ton of money, but it reminded me how I did not receive a single scholarship.
Just to be clear, I'm not complaining. I could have tried harder to get random scholarships, but since my tuition wasn't that bad, I didn't feel the urgency to apply for everything out there.
Now that I'm finishing up school, and have racked up some debt, I look back and wonder why I was so lazy and dumb. There were so many scholarships to apply for that I didn't think was worth my time. And that was my biggest mistake.
You might be thinking "Patrick, this is great and all, but why are you even telling me this?" Well, I'm glad you possibly asked.
This is an idea that I had while paying off my student debt.
Why doesn't Rooster Teeth have a scholarship program? And if they did, what would it look like?
Obviously, my first thought was if Rooster Teeth decided to do a scholarship program, how does it benefit them? You're giving away money, so the main question would be what the ROI would be.
But then again, scholarships are meant to help people, not bring in more revenue. There is also a strong chance that I am totally wrong since I've never made a scholarship or worked for a company that awards them.
I kept coming back to how it would benefit Rooster Teeth, in case that was a pain point and settled on 3 main points.
1. Like Extra Life, Rooster Teeth Would be Helping People
For those who don't know, Rooster Teeth has been raising money to help hospitalized children each year for the past few years through their Extra Life campaign. In short, employees at RT play games for 24-hours straight to raise this money and offer exclusive merchandise to those who donate.
Something like this is no small feat, and RT has established themselves as one of the strongest supporters of Extra Life.
Rooster Teeth has been a dedicated and successful contributor to helping raise money for hospitalized children, and I see a scholarship program accomplishing a similar goal.
The RT Scholarship would be a perfect opportunity to empower and assist really talented individuals who could do extremely well in college, but can't afford it. And while I love how RT hires people without degrees, I would not say that it is the industry standard.
I think RT has an amazing opportunity to continue to help people through a scholarship program. Something as simple as ten $1,000 scholarships per year (five per semester), could help people achieve their dream.
And while $1,000 may not seem like a lot, it can actually be the difference between someone attending college or not.
2. Rooster Teeth gets to See Quality Projects that they can Further Develop and Refine
Rooster Teeth has a very loyal and talented fanbase. This fanbase is submitting projects all the time, and occasionally, Rooster Teeth will hire people based on what they see come their way.
But, Rooster Teeth is a very driven and competitive workspace (or at least I assume it is). Projects seem to always be introduced and developed, and if they don't work, they're shut down. This is a company that needs to constantly come up with new pieces of content.
This scholarship program, which I think could primarily begin in the Animation department, would give RT a new stream of creative and innovative projects.
To be clear, I am not saying they'll review a fan project and just take the idea.
What I am saying is that they can get inspiration from all the projects they review and even work with the winners of the scholarship to develop (maybe as a senior project) them further. Rooster Teeth has lots of talent and resources, and I believe that many of the projects that could be submitted would actually be worth pursuing.
I may just be ignorant of the way the world works, but I believe that through a scholarship program, RT would be able to develop future animators and be able to produce more interesting content.
3. Scholarships are a Constant Source of Exposure that Will Not Go Away
The education system in America is broken, both in terms of tuition payments and in actual education. I will preface this, however, by saying that I have only been to one college, and am making a generalization based on a singular experience. Knowing this, feel free to disagree with me as you will because this is by no means true across the board.
If you are one of the 44 million Americans with student debt, then you know that scholarships are a saving grace. Getting a college education is not cheap, and for most people, not having a degree severely limits their job opportunities. The rising cost of college is making it harder for more and more people to get an education.
Because of all this, I believe that Rooster Teeth has a prime opportunity to put their name out there and do even more good in the world.
RT can establish their name even more by showing that they raise money to help children in hospitals and give money to those who are talented but may not have the means to pay for a college education.
For a scholarship program to even be possible, however, a budget needs to be set, and requirements need to be drafted up for those this scholarship is made for.
For example, as I mentioned earlier, the scholarship program could be broken down like this:
Ten $1,000 scholarships awarded per year
Open to any U.S. citizen
Enrolled in an accredited college or university
Must be majoring in animation or related field
Must submit a 30-second animation or storyboard based on an original concept
Must maintain a GPA of 3.5
Obviously, it is more complicated than these six points, but it is at least what I envision a basic RT scholarship could look like. And just a reminder, this was a random idea of mine, and I have had no contact with Rooster Teeth about it.