Win Scholarship Money Now! 10 Essay Contests for High School Sophomores and Juniors
Learn how to win college scholarship money now with these 10 essay contests for high school sophomores and juniors.
Opportunities abound for high school sophomores and juniors to write essays and win college scholarship money. For potential pay-days as big as $10,000, it’s time well-spent.
My College Guide has gathered a list of 10 essay contests that high school sophomores and juniors can participate in. Be sure to check each contest’s website for complete rules and deadlines. Now, get your laptop ready and start writing!
American Foreign Service Association Essay Contest: Write an essay for this prestigious national essay contest for a chance to win a $2,500 cash prize, an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to meet the Secretary of State and full tuition to cover a Semester at Sea voyage once you enroll at an accredited university. Any high school student can enter. New essay contest rules and the application are posted in November each year. The deadline is typically in April.
Bennington Young Writers Awards: Students in grades 10 through 12 can participate in this writing contest. Choose from one of three categories: poetry, fiction or nonfiction personal or academic essay. The deadline is usually November 1 each year. Top prize is $500.
DuPont Challenge Science Essay Contest: Middle school and high school students can participate in this essay contest. Write an essay on a science-related topic on one of four of the identified challenges: feeding the world, building a secure energy future, protecting people and the environment and being innovative. The deadline is typically in February each year. Prizes range from a $250 U.S. Savings Bond to a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond. First, second and third place winners also receive a trip to Orlando.
EGirl Essay Contest: The National Academy of Engineering’s EngineerGirl website offers an essay contest on an engineering topic for girls and boys. Awards range from $100 to $500. Winning entries are published online.
First Freedom Student Competition: Write an essay (or create a video) about a topic examining the history and current-day relevance of religious freedom. Top prize is $2,500. The deadline is usually in November each year.
The Fountainhead Essay Contest: High school juniors can read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and write an essay on one of three topics. Prizes range from $50 to $10,000. The entry deadline is typically in April.
JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest: Write an essay on a U.S. elected official “who has chosen to do what is right, rather than what is expedient.” The winner gets $10,000, second place gets $1,000 and up to five finalists receive $500 each. The deadline is typically in early January each year.
George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contest: The National Society Sons of the American Revolution sponsors this annual essay contest. Students compete at the state and national levels. You must write an essay on a topic related to the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence or U.S. Constitution. The top national winner receives $2,000. State/local deadlines are usually by no later than December 31 each year, but these deadlines can vary depending on location.
National Peace Essay Contest: The U.S. Institute of Peace offers this contest. First-place state winners receive a trip to Washington, D.C., and a $1,000 scholarship. National award winners receive $2,500 to $10,000. Essays are typically due in February.
Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: Apply in one of 28 categories to earn a scholarship and have your artwork exhibited or writing published. Awards range from $500 to $2,500. New submissions are typically accepted beginning in September each year. Deadlines vary by region and contest.
Showcase your ideas on public policy and the role of markets by entering our essay competition. $9,000 in cash prizes will be awarded with $3,000 of this is designated just for high school students! Winning essays may be published in Fraser Institute journals and authors will have the opportunity to experience the peer review process.
Categories and Prizes:
|1st Prize: $1,500||1st Prize: $1,500||1st Prize: $1,500|
|2nd Prize: $1,000||2nd Prize: $1,000||2nd Prize: $1,000|
|3rd Prize: $500||3rd Prize: $500||3rd Prize: $500|
2018 Essay Contest – Increasing the Minimum Wage: Good Intentions, Bad Policy?
The idea of raising the minimum wage in Canada and in some jurisdictions in the United States is a contentious topic. Proponents of a higher minimum wage tout that such increase will be an effective tool for helping those in poverty. But a recent study by the Fraser Institute found that 88% of minimum wage earners in Canada do not actually live in low-income households. In fact, nearly 60% of these earners are young adults aged 15-24, most of whom are living with their parents or other relatives. Additionally, research has found that about 70% of the benefits from a higher wage go to non-poor households in Canada.
Beyond the misperception that the majority of the benefits from an increase in the minimum wage would go to low-income earners and the most vulnerable, raising the minimum wage has been shown to lead to reductions in employment, particularly for young people and immigrants.
While constructing your essay, consider the following questions:
- Should provincial governments increase the minimum wage?
- What impact would such an increase have on the Canadian economy?
- Is raising the minimum wage an effective way to provide assistance to vulnerable Canadians?
- Is there an alternative to raising the minimum wage that targets low-income earners more precisely?
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: June 1, 2018.
2017 Essay Contest Winners
St. George's School
Heather Lynn Bone,
University of Waterloo
Andrew Klain, University of Calgary and Avery Maloney, Mount Allison University
Celine Mano and Jacquie Ye,
St. Francis Secondary School
Jean Philippe Fournier,
University of Montreal
Mountainside Secondary School
The winning essays from the 2017 contest will appear in the Winter Canadian Student Review Magazine.
2018 Essay Contest Rules
Previous winners archive:
2016 Student Essay Contest Winners
2015 Student Essay Contest Winners
2014 High School Student Essay Contest Winners
2014 Graduate and Undergraduate Essay Contest Winners
2013 Student Essay Contest Winners
2012 Student Essay Contest Winners
2011 Student Essay Contest Winners
2010 Student Essay Contest Winners
2009 Student Essay Contest Winners