Just in case you haven’t seen the ad in the newspaper or down below on the website, thanks to the generosity of an education-minded donor, the National Catholic Register has announced its first-ever scholarship.

To win one of three tuition-deferring prizes, you have to write on the theme: Catholic Is Cooler Than Secular. First prize will be $1,000; second is $750; and third is $500.

The contest is open to high-school seniors and college underclassmen. To enter, you have to be a current Register subscriber or reside in a household that receives the Register. The essay must be up to 500 words, but no longer (or you’ll be disqualified).

Essays will be judged on persuasiveness, passion, clarity, conciseness and creativity, as well as spelling and syntax.

The entry deadline is Nov. 1. Entries may be e-mailed to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)with the subject line “Scholarship Contest.” Winners will be announced after the new year, and winning submissions will appear in the Register.