Annual Scholarship Essay Competition


Quest Credit Union has a long history of service in Kansas. As we grow and evolve, we are committed to lifelong learning and helping our members discover their own financial success. To assist with the expenses that accompany higher learning, the Quest Credit Union Scholarship Fund was created. Each year, Quest will award two (2) scholarships. For 2014, the first place winner will receive $1,000; second place will receive $500. At Quest, we know that what educates and benefits the community, benefits the future.


Applicants must be either a high school student classified as a senior with a projected graduation date of 2014, or a current or future university/college or vocational/technical student. Both traditional and nontraditional students are encouraged to apply.

If not a current member of the credit union, applicants must be eligible for membership within the credit union. Please see eligibility guidelines online at

The scholarship is open to any individual meeting the above criteria and entering a university/college or vocational/technical school by fall of 2014. Applicants must be accepted at a college/university or technical school by August 1, 2014. Verification of acceptance must be provided to the credit union.


1) Applicants are required to submit a written OR video essay. All essays are judged on content, creativity and style. Essays must be the original work of the applicant. Sources, if utilized, should be referenced.Apply Now!

  • Content: Essays should address the applicant’s educational goals, the costs associated with and plans for financing higher education, and the ways Quest Credit Union can help meet these goals and challenges.
  • Creativity: Essays should reflect original concepts, new ideas and creative stories relevant to acquiring and financing an education.
  • Style: This element determines how effectively an applicant communicates via written word and/or video. Style may include: English grammar and spelling, clarity, organization, effective transitions, images (applicable for video), and proper sentence structure.

Written Essay
Should be at least 750 words and should be typed in a readable font. Written essays should be submitted with your Scholarship Application, see requirement #2.


Video Essay
Should be 3-6 minutes in length and submitted via a YouTube account. Scholarship Applications, see requirement #2, should be mailed separately and reference a video submission.

Video submissions:

  1. You will need to have a YouTube account to submit a video essay. To sign up for an account, go to
  2. Upload your recorded video essay to your YouTube account.
  3. Follow this process to submit a web-link to your video:
  4. Click Share, then click Email.
  5. In the To box, type this email:
  6. Under Additional note, type your first and last name and the words “Scholarship Video,” then click send email.

2) Complete the Scholarship Application and submit along with a high school or college transcript (obtained from your school counselor or registrar’s office) and SAT or ACT scores. Additional consideration may be given to applicants who participate in community service and extracurricular activities, or who have financial hardships.

Completed Scholarship Applications must be postmarked no later than May 1, 2014, and sent to:

Quest Credit Union
Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 1128
Topeka, KS 66601-1128


Judging will occur in June 2014 and will be conducted by a judges panel selected by Quest Credit Union. Points based on essay, transcripts, and community activities will be tabulated to determine the winners. All decisions are final. Winners will be announced no later than June 15, 2014, and will be published in the July issue of the newsletter and on Quest’s web site.

Other Information

The first place award is $1,000. The second place winner will receive $500. Awards may be used to help pay tuition, housing, books or meal costs and will be paid directly to the college/university or technical school by Quest Credit Union. There is no restriction to the type or location of the institution in which applicant’s plan to attend, but the applicant’s permanent address must be within Quest Credit Union’s eligible membership areas.

Winners agree to have their names and photos and biographical information published in Quest Credit Union publications and press releases.

*Immediate family members of Quest Credit Union employees or Board members are not eligible.

Scholarship Applications may be obtained from any Quest Credit Union office, downloaded here, or by calling Quest Credit Union’s Marketing Department at (800) 432-2470.


Click here to read the essays.

Quest is proud to announce the winners of our third scholarship essay competition. Jennifer McNary of Meriden, Kan., is the grand prize winner of a $500 scholarship. Hannah Handley of Topeka, Kan., is the runner-up, winning a $250 scholarship. The recipients were selected based on essay submissions in which they defined how the credit union can help individuals become financially literate.

Grand prize winner, McNary, is a 2013 graduate of Hayden High School. With four years on the honor roll, she is a member of the National Honor Society and served for three years on the Student Council. As a senior, McNary led Hayden’s Future Business Leaders of America as chapter president, and has been recognized with numerous honors from the organization. In addition, she is active in team sports, her church youth group and 4-H, earning multiple awards and over 350 county and state fair ribbons. McNary will begin her freshman year at Emporia State University this fall and plans to study business or elementary education.

Runner-up, Handley, is a 2012 graduate of Washburn Rural High School and currently attends Kansas State University where she is majoring in special education. She is an honor roll student, an elementary classroom mentor and was elected Homecoming queen. Handley is active in her church and Topeka Young Life; she is a celebrated swimmer and runner; and, she volunteers for numerous environmental clean-up efforts and art organizations.

The topic for the 2013 Quest Scholarship Essay Competition was announced in January and applications were accepted through May 1. The credit union received twelve entries from applicants across northeast Kansas whose schools of choice ranged from four-year universities to community colleges to vocational schools. Quest’s competition is open to the public and to students of all ages. The 2014 scholarship essay topic will be announced January 2014.




Quest is proud to announce the winners of the second annual Quest Scholarship Essay Competition. Quincy Rayls of Topeka is the grand prize winner of a $500 scholarship. Brooke Kahler of Meridan is the runner-up winner of a $250 scholarship. The recipients were selected based on essay submissions in which they defined how managing their credit today and making wise choices will affect them in the future.

Grand prize winner, Rayls, is entering her junior year at Seaman High School. She has been accepted into Fort Hays State University’s Academy of Mathematics and Science, a premier academic program for Kansas students. Gifted high school juniors, like Rayls, are granted early college entrance. Currently taking a summer chemistry course at Highland Community College, Rayls is interested in pre-med and plans to continue her education at Fort Hays or the University of Kansas. In addition to maintaining a 4.0 G.P.A., she is active in theater and loves to read and listen to music. Read Quincy's essay!

Runner-up, Kahler, is a 2011 graduate of Jefferson West High School and is currently majoring in nursing at Pittsburg State University. She is a member of Honors College, the Pre-Nursing Club, Campus Christians, Lambda Sigma, and Phi Eta Sigma. In addition to receiving a 2012 “All A” Scholastic Honor for her academics, Kahler is employed as a part-time CNA at Pittsburg’s Via Christi Village and is an active philanthropist. Read Brooke's essay!

The topic for the 2012 Quest Scholarship Essay Competition was announced in January and applications were accepted through May 1st. The credit union received eight entries from applicants across northeast Kansas. The applicants’ schools of choice ranged from four-year universities to community colleges to vocational schools. The Quest competition is open to the public and to students of all ages.For the full text of the winning essays or more information on Quest’s annual scholarship competition, visit or contact Quest at 1-800-432-2470. Next year’s Quest Scholarship Essay topic and deadline will be announced January 2013.


2011 Scholarship Recipients Announced

Quest is proud to announce the winners of our first scholarship essay competition. Cooper Page of Stanley, Kan., is the grand prize winner of a $500 scholarship. Matthew McNary of Meridan and Sarah James of Lawrence are the two runners-up, each winning a $250 scholarship. The recipients were selected based on their essay submissions in which they defined what “living within your means” means to them.

Grand prize winner, Page, is a recent graduate of Blue Valley High School in Stillwell. He has been accepted to Oklahoma State University for the Fall 2011 semester where he plans to study business before pursuing a law degree.

The strength of Page’s essay lies in his common sense approach to spending and in his personal account of hard work and appreciation for what he can afford. Page is also an exemplary student, landing on the Principal’s Honor Roll for four years and being chosen for the National Honor Society for two. He has been active in student government, football and basketball, and various school and community organizations.

Runner-up McNary is a 2011 graduate of Hayden High School in Topeka. He has been accepted to Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., where he will study accounting and business management beginning this fall.

McNary’s essay stood out by taking a hands-on approach to the topic, citing examples of how he manages his own spending. McNary is a three-year National Honor Society student; he has spent four years on the Superior Honor Roll; and he is active in sports and student government. In addition, he has held numerous positions and honors with the local 4-H.

Runner-up James will graduate with a bachelor of science in nursing from Baker University in Fall 2011. She is an active mother, wife and community volunteer which was clearly reflected in her essay. She also wrote of her upbringing and how family debt and downsizing affected her perspective on spending.

James has held several positions with the Baker Chapter of the National Student Nurse’s Association, currently serving as president. For four semesters she has landed on the President’s Honor Roll and Dean’s List for maintaining a high G.P.A.

The 2011 Quest Scholarship Essay Competition ran from February to May 1st. The credit union received 15 entries from applicants across northeast Kansas, as well as from members’ children who now live out of state. The applicants’ schools of choice ranged from four-year universities to community colleges to vocational schools. The Quest competition was open to the public and to students of all ages.

“There is a need for hard-working, educated employees in every field,” said Gary Colcher, co-president/CEO. “So, we made these scholarships available to anyone who is on a quest for higher learning and could use a helping hand.”