Ford Ponies Up For Free Zipcars For Students

October 4, 2011

Going to college is tough on the wallet, no doubt about that. Getting around campus and environs with a Zipcar can be an economical alternative to owning your son or daughter owning their own car.

With the new Ford “Students with Drive” grant program just announced, university students can get free Zipcar memberships, driving credits and school grants.

There is a catch, however. Students have to submit their grant ideas and be selected as winners.

Zipcar will add the 2012 Ford Focus to its college car-sharing locations

Zipcar will add the 2012 Ford Focus to its college car-sharing locations

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What’s up for grabs? Well, money, of course, in the form of a total of $300,000 in grants provided by Ford to be awarded to students and universities. It’s all part of the two-year Ford and Zipcar alliance where the automaker is the largest vehicle provider in Zipcar’s university program, as reported previously by GreenCarReports. The benefit for Ford is that it introduces a new generation of drivers to Ford products, including the 2012 Ford Focus and Ford Escape.

But back to the “Students with Drive” grant program, here’s what it is and how it works.

The program runs from October through April and each month, Ford will award five student organizations across the country with $5,500 in Zipcar credits. Students can use these credits to put toward Zipcar memberships and driving. Also each month, 10 runner-up organizations will be awarded $1,000 each in Zipcar credits.

These monthly winners will be featured in the Zipcar newsletter as well as on the “Students with Drive” Facebook tab.

This is also where the three monthly finalists selected by Zipcar will be voted on by Zipcar University Facebook fans and the general public to determine that month’s category winner. The winning student organization then advances to the “Winner’s Circle” where they’re eligible for the grand prize of $5,000 in Zipcar credits, $10,000 to the school organization to advance its cause and $10,000 to the winning school. Four grand prize runner-up organizations will each receive $1,125 in Zipcar credits, and $1,000 each to the student organization and school. Grand prizes will be awarded next spring.

How to participate

To participate in the program, students can check out the “Students with Drive” tab on Zipcar’s University Facebook at starting today. This is where they can submit their grant ideas, upload photos, videos and brief explanations on how they plan to use Zipcar to accomplish the goals of their student organizations.

To enter, organizations must be affiliated with an eligible Zipcar/Ford university or college and fall under one of the following five categories:

-      Academic – clubs affiliated with an academic department, such as newspaper or debate team

-      Arts – dance, theater, music

-      Athletics – sports clubs

-      Community service – volunteer activities

-      Student life – Greek organizations, annual events

Discounted Zipcar membership and hourly rates

Besides the “Students with Drive” grant program, the Ford/Zipcar deal provides students with $10 off the annual $35 Zipcar membership fee for the first 100,000 new University members to sign up. In addition, there’s $1 off the Zipcar hourly rate for the first one million hours of use in any of the new Ford vehicles at selected universities and colleges.

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