The Big Idea Competition

Sponsored by Arcadia’s Honors Program

Do you have an event, project, service or other big idea that you would like to see come to fruition on or off campus? If you do, here is your opportunity to make your vision into reality.

How to Apply

The Big Idea Competition asks student dreamers, innovators, tradition creators, builders, to enter an idea into the Big Idea Competition by March 3, 2017 by filling out the online application.

Apply Now


March 20: All “big ideas” will be reviewed by a panel of Arcadia faculty, staff and students and given initial comments.

March 27: Final submissions are due.

April 10: Submissions that best meet the criteria below will be notified they are finalists by April 10.

April 19: Notified finalists “sell” their ideas to the panelists. 


The winner will be awarded up to a $500 dollar budget to work on their idea and be provided access to a committee of people to help them see their idea to fruition.

Petition for the Big Idea Competition

Provide the signatures of at least 10 people who believe in your idea. Please upload a scan or photo of your petition on the application page.

Download Petition

Judging Criteria for Big Idea Projects

  1. Project serves either many people or serves a small group but in a substantial way.
  2. Your outline of the steps required to do your project shows that you have considered deeply the various steps in this process. You have done some research and understand the task at hand.
  3. Do you have a realistic sense of the funds, resources, people and information needed to accomplish your idea?
  4. Is your idea feasible (given financial, time and other constraints)?
  5. Do you understand the roadblocks and have a sense of how to deal with them constructively?
  6. Do you have at least the required signatures?
  7. Do you understand the various leadership skills that will be required to see your idea to fruition?
  8. Do you have at least two people willing to serve on your team?
How We Score Your Big Idea

Each of the eight criteria above will be given points from 0 to 3.

  • "0" means you didn’t do it all.
  • "1" means you barely touched on or explained your project under this criteria and there are still a lot of questions with relation to this criteria.
  • "2" means that you have provided sufficient information.
  • "3" means that the information is not only complete, but it shows a high level of reflection and accuracy.

Those students receiving the top scores will move on as finalists.

Final Round: How to Win the Big Idea Competition

Sell your project idea to the panel of judges in a 5-7-minute presentation on April 19. How motivated are we by what you are selling? You need to think about what you think we need to be motivated. This pitch is worth 5 total points. It will be added to your total from the semi-finalist round.