Nicholas and Anna Ricco Ethics Scholarship Competition

Nick and Anna Ricco, long-time UNT donors, created an ethics scholarship competition in 2011. It is open to all students in the 13 colleges and schools at the University of North Texas.

The ethics competition was created to promote intellectual debate and discussion on ethics as related to students’ areas of study at UNT, their field of vocation or their avocation. The goal is to stimulate the applicants to new heights of reasoning and self-discipline. The ultimate result will be a higher level of ethical understanding in one’s area of study and daily life. It is the hope of the donors that students will recognize and better comprehend the need for a higher understanding of ethics in their personal and professional lives.

Awards of $1,000 each will be granted to one student from each college or school at UNT. The deadline is January 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Recognition will be given at University Honors Day in spring 2020.


  • Each of the thirteen schools and colleges of UNT delegates their own award recipients. The College of Music will award three prizes:
    • 1st prize = $1000 + $1000 COM match
    • 2nd prize = $1000
    • 3rd prize = $500
  • Award funds will be deposited into the winners’ student accounts at UNT, or provided by check to those who are graduating in Spring 2020.


Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum entrance and continuing academic performance standards in place at the school or college in effect at the time of any award
  • Full or part-time enrollment in any undergraduate or graduate degree-granting program at UNT.
  • Submit a 1,000-word maximum essay, double-spaced excluding bibliography. The essay must address the Case Study Topic (see below), highlighting what the applicant believes to be the epitome of ethical behavior in his or her focus of study or field of business. Students may use any UNT faculty member for guidance in this competition.
  • All participants must agree to the posting of his or her name and essay to the college’s website, if declared the winner.


  • A committee within the College of Music will evaluate the essays and choose a First, Second, and Third place winner.
  • Applicants may be asked to present their papers. UNT schools and colleges have the option to request applicants make formal presentations to the panel and other invited guests.
  • The top three essays may be made available on each of the websites of the schools and colleges at UNT to the student body for edification and feedback.
  • Evaluation will be based on the following criteria:

              1. Connection to Applicant’s Field of Study
              2. Discussion of an Ethical Behavior Standard
              3. Intellectual Debate or Discussion
              4. Mechanics
              5. Thesis or position

Past Ethics Scholarship Competition Winners with full text available

Submission of Materials

  • All entries should be submitted by following the link below and providing all of the information. Entries should be uploaded to that site.
  • The deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. January 31, 2020.
  • Essays to be submitted must be uploaded as a PDF.
  • Submission of essay will be sent in an email stating your name, email address, a telephone number, status in school, title of essay and college in which you are enrolled at UNT.
  • No paper or hard-copy submissions will be accepted.

Click here to submit entries for the 2020 competition


Please contact Dr. Warren Henry, College of Music Senior Associate Dean For Academic Affairs, Professor of Music Education, by email at or by calling 940-565-3760 with any questions.