Last August ACU soft-launched the new “Wildcat Rewards” program, but it remains in the experimental stage and has two main parts that are developing.
The first part of the program, which is advertised to parents, is the credit card created with the Christian Community Credit Union. Parents can use the Wildcat Rewards Visa to earn points that will go towards their student’s tuition and other college expenses.
The second part of the program is advertised to students and that is the Wildcat Rewards app. The app allows students to complete challenges to earn various rewards. The app has had students answer trivia about Abilene, submit pictures on Instagram from a trip to Shipley’s Donuts and check into locations like Abilene Axe Company. The main purpose of the app is to encourage students to be involved on campus and find ways to have fun in Abilene.
Last semester, when students completed a challenge they earned tokens which gained them entry into prize drawings. There were ten challenges where students won AirPods, parking passes, free hammocks, locker rentals from the SRWC and other prizes. The most popular prize was residence life’s “golden ticket,” which allowed a freshman to have the sophomore dorm of their choice.
Ryan Burks, freshman biblical texts and business management major from Double Oak, competed in challenges during Wildcat Week and won three of the prizes.
“A lot of the challenges get you active in the ACU community,” said Burks. “It also helps you get to know your way around Abilene, especially if you’re new to town. It’s just a fun and lighthearted way to compete with your friends.”
The main goal of the soft launch was to test the functionality of the app, but ACU also saw good participation from students.
“Through the semester 0ver 400 students downloaded the app,” said Scott Hinshaw, director of Wildcat Rewards. “Around 100 students participated in each challenge.”
There are a few issues that need to be worked out in regards to the app’s functionality. One challenge the managing team faced was how to most effectively enter coordinates for geolocation challenges where students had to check into a particular location.
The Wildcat Rewards app managing team is currently working on how to continue challenges for this semester.