Market Overview

Top Hat Announces Annual Scholarship Program to Recognize Innovative Teaching Practices and Celebrate Student Leadership, Growth and Success


Top Hat is offering five scholarships to students with a combined
annual prize value of $100,000 USD

Top Hat Scholarship exemplifies Top Hat's mission to support
innovative educators

who are supporting student success
through innovative teaching and active learning

Winners will be selected by an External Review Board of leading
education experts

including David Harris of Openstax,
Crystal Rose of Ozy Media,

and Lisa Petrides of The
Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education

Top Hat Scholarship is offered in Canada, the U.S., Australia, and
the U.K.

, provider of the leading cloud-based teaching platform for
higher education, today announced its inaugural scholarship program. The Top
Hat Scholarship
recognizes the positive impact of innovative
teaching methods in higher education, by offering five scholarships to
exceptional students, for a total prize value equivalent to $100,000 USD
per year. Applications for the Fall 2019 scholarships are being accepted
from now through to February 28, 2019, and winners will be announced in
April, 2019.

Furthering Top Hat's commitment to create a more affordable and
effective higher education experience, the Scholarship invites
professors who have used the Top Hat platform in the past 24 months, to
nominate students who have exhibited outstanding leadership and growth
throughout the semester. Students will complete their applications by
responding to three essay questions about their growth during their
educational career and their plans for the future. From there, a
longlist of 25 finalists will be chosen by an Internal Review Board
comprising Top Hat employees and representatives from the International
Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS). Five winners will be
selected by an External Review Board composed of leading experts in
higher education and education technology. Board members include David
Harris (editor in chief, OpenStax); Crystal Rose (executive director,
Academic Affairs, Ozy Media); and Lisa Petrides (founder and CEO,
Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education). There
will be one first place, one second place, and three third place
winners, who will receive their prize amounts in USD or equivalent in
their local currency.

"Here at Top Hat, our mission is to make higher education more
effective, affordable, and engaging, and to support educators to help
students succeed," said Mike Silagadze, co-founder and CEO, Top Hat.
"With the Top Hat Scholarship, we aim to celebrate the innovative
teaching and active learning methods that educators are introducing into
their courses. At the same time, we're providing a way for professors to
champion their most engaged and dedicated students who enhance the
learning environment and bring exceptional value into the classroom."

"I applaud Top Hat's Scholarship program," said David Harris, editor in
chief, OpenStax. "It not only promotes access to a generous grant but
also requires students to think about how education impacts their
future, and that's priceless.

"OZY EDU is proud to support the Top Hat Scholarship," said Crystal
Rose, executive director, Academic Affairs, Ozy Media. "It embodies an
intersection of factors that we find essential: cutting-edge teaching,
identifying top talent, and transforming lives with tangible funds for
higher education."

"The Top Hat Scholarship has the potential to change the lives of some
outstanding students," said Lisa Petrides, founder and CEO, Institute
for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME). "It will
allow them to get back to focusing on their educational success, without
having to worry about how they're going to pay tuition or buy course

Scholarship Details

The Top Hat Scholarship will run once per year in advance of the Fall
school semester. For the Fall 2019 semester, applications will be
accepted from September 13, 2018 to February 28, 2019. For subsequent
years, check back to the website for application deadlines.

Prize amounts (in USD)
1st place:
2nd place: $20,000
3rd place: Three prizes of $10,000

Educators will nominate
students that fit the following criteria:

  • Enrolled full-time within their institution (both online and on
    campus) in Canada, the U.S., Australia, and the U.K.
  • Have plans to return to school the following year
  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Have no relation to the professor nominating them

1. Educators will nominate
students that meet eligibility criteria by submitting responses to two
short-answer questions on the Scholarship website.

2. Students will be notified of their nominations and submit responses
to two different short-answer questions.

3. Each complete application will be graded by the Internal Review
Board, which will longlist 25 finalists.

4. The External Review Board will select the top five applications.

Judging Criteria
Scholarships will be
awarded to students that:

  • Have demonstrated leadership in the classroom
  • Have demonstrated growth and improvement within the nominating
    educator's course
  • Are student leaders that help to inspire fellow classmates and
    propagate in-depth discussions
  • Are interested in continued improvement within the course subject

Please visit the Top
Hat Scholarship page
for complete information on the program and
application process.

About Top Hat

Top Hat's interactive, cloud-based teaching platform enables professors
to engage students inside and outside the classroom with compelling
content, tools and activities. Millions of students at 750 leading North
American colleges and universities use the Top Hat teaching platform. To
learn more, visit

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