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How would winning a million dollars transform your community college brand?

Brand perception isn’t a slogan, it’s a sensory experience. From the website, to the parking lot, to the classroom, every touchpoint is an opportunity to connect with potential students and build your brand. Now more than ever, community colleges need new ways to connect with millions of Americans who need a college degree or short-term credential. By telling the story of what makes your college exceptional and what you uniquely have to offer your community, you could receive a million dollars to shape, improve, and amplify your college’s brand.

Learn about the challenge

A First Look at the Finalists

These 10 finalists will be competing for the $1M prize.
The 9 runners-up will receive $100,000 each.

Stay tuned for College Videos

In round 2, each of these colleges will submit a video narrative about their college’s promise to adult students. These innovative colleges have a lot of work ahead of them in the next round, and we can’t wait to see what they create.

The videos below will be replaced with the videos to be created for this challenge in June.

Building on the campus of the College of Eastern Idaho

College of Eastern Idaho

Idaho Falls, Idaho
A man looking up at a building on the CCRI Liston campus.

Community College of Rhode Island

Rhode Island
Overhead view of the Morris County college during fall.

County College of Morris

Randolph, New Jersey
Interior of atrium of Great Falls campus with a blue bison over the doorway.

Great Falls College Montana State University

Great Falls, Montana
Interior shot of students walking up a staircase in a Houston Community College Building.

Houston Community College

Houston, Texas
Students walking on the concourse of the Long Beach City College.

Long Beach City College

Long Beach, California
Madera campus sign.

Madera Community College

Madera, California
Students walking on the campus of Madison Area Technical College.

Madison Area Technical College

Madison, Wisconsin
Arial view of MN State College Southeast campus

Minnesota State College Southeast

Winona, Minnesota
Fountain in front of NW Shoals brick building.

Northwest-Shoals Community College

Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Trophy Illustration

We all win when more adults can access and complete their education.


One Million-Dollar Award

  • One million dollars to support brand building and strategic marketing efforts.
  • Technical assistance to develop actionable brand building and marketing strategies.

Nine $100,000 Awards

  • $100,000 each to 9 colleges to support brand building and strategic marketing efforts.
  • Technical assistance to develop actionable brand building and marketing strategies.

Community College Brand and Marketing Resources

What is Branding?

Four-minute crash course

Different vs. Distinct

Why distinct brands will matter more post-pandemic

Building Your Brand

Six points to a successful rebrand

Branding vs. Marketing

What’s the difference?

Questions About Applying

In addition to the questions below, be sure to see the questions from the webinars. ↓

Who can apply?

  • Public, two-year, nonprofit, regionally accredited community colleges in the United States.
  • Individual community colleges only. System offices, district offices, state, or higher education agency offices, and community education partners are not eligible to apply.
  • Institutions that employ members of Lumina’s board of directors (or engage Lumina board members in positions of leadership) are not eligible. See official rules for more information.

What is the challenge timeline?

February 9 Challenge opens
February 22, 11:00 EST or February 23, 3:00 EST Informational webinars
March 15 by 11:59 PM EST Applications due
April 27 10 finalists invited to proceed
May 2, 11:30 AM EDT,
May 3 12:00 PM EDT
or May 5 2 PM EDT
Technical assistance training
June 10th by 8:00 PM EDT Finalists submit video narratives
August 2022 Award recipients announced

What is the video narrative?

  • Only the 10 colleges selected as finalists will need to submit a video narrative.
  • Noetic Consultants will prep the colleges and provide submission details in May
  • We promise to keep it short and simple!

Will I receive a confirmation of my application?

  • Yes, fully completed applications submitted online will receive an automatic email confirmation.
  • Please do not email application narratives or supporting documents
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