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FFRF 2022 Student Scholarship Essay Contests

Student Essay Contests 2022 FFRF

Learn More! FFRF's 5 2022 Student Essay Competitions

Topics, rules & deadlines for FFRF's 5 essay competitions are announced by March 1 of each year. The exception is the Diane and Stephen Uhl Essay Competition for Law School Students, which is currently open and whose deadline is March 15, 2022. (Please scroll below for more about each of FFRF's other essay competitions: college-bound high school seniors; ongoing college students, older/grad students, and BIPOC students.)


Diane and Stephen Uhl Essay Competition for Law School Students 

Essay Prompt, Requirements, Eligibility, and Awards

First Place Prize: $4,000
Second Place Award: $3,000
Third Place Award: $2,000
Optional Honorable Mention(s): $500

This Year's Topic: Why religious exemptions from vaccine requirements are not legally required.

Prompt: As the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has become vital to the global effort to end the pandemic, both government and private employers, as well as some schools, around the country have announced vaccine mandates. Historically, very few employees have claimed religious exemptions from required vaccinations. However, people who oppose COVID-19 vaccines for political or other reasons are now abusing religious exemptions in order to flout vaccine mandates.

Against this backdrop lawsuits have surged, challenging vaccine requirements on religious grounds and arguing that religious exemptions to such requirements are required by the First Amendment. Craft an argument that religious exemptions from vaccine requirements are not legally required, addressing constitutional questions as well as other legal issues raised by such mandates. 

DEADLINE: March 15, 2022

ESSAY GRADING: Essays will be blinded to avoid unintentional bias. A selection of FFRF attorneys will be on the review panel. 

ELIGIBILITY: The contest is open to all ongoing law school students attending a North American law school. You remain eligible to enter this contest if you will graduate from law school by spring or summer of 2022. You are not eligible to enter if you will be starting law school for the first time in the fall of 2022. You may not re-enter if FFRF has already awarded you for a law student essay.

WORD LIMIT AND FORMATTING: Essay must be no longer than 1,500 words (not including footnotes), double spaced, standard margins, and font size 11 to 14 point. Include your name and title of your essay on each page. Choose your own title. Pages must be numbered. Indicate word length at end of essay.

Submit Essay Here


William J. Schulz Memorial Essay Contest for College-Bound High School Seniors

Essay Prompt, Requirements, Eligibility, and Awards

First Place Prize: $3,500
Second Place Award: $3,000
Third Place Award: $2,500
Fourth Place Award: $2,000
Fifth Place Award: $1,500
Sixth Place Award: $1,000
Seventh Place Award: $750
Eighth Place Award: $500
Ninth Place Award: $400
Tenth Place Award: $300

Optional Honorable Mention(s): $200

More information about our 2022 contest is coming soon.

View the 2021 Contest winners.


Michael Hakeem Memorial Essay Contest for Ongoing College Students

Essay Prompt, Requirements, Eligibility, and Awards

Hakeem

First Place Prize: $3,500
Second Place Award: $3,000
Third Place Award: $2,500
Fourth Place Award: $2,000
Fifth Place Award: $1,500
Sixth Place Mr. Madison Arnold Award: $1,000
Seventh Place Award: $750
Eighth Place Award: $500
Ninth Place Award: $400
Tenth Place Award: $300

Optional Honorable Mention(s): $200

More information about our 2022 contest is coming soon.

The $1,000 prize in the ongoing college competition is now being generously endowed starting in 2021 by actor and FFRF Lifetime Member Madison Arnold.

Madison Arnold


David Hudak Memorial Essay Contest For Black, Indigenous and Students of Color

Essay Prompt, Requirements, Eligibility, and Awards

First Place Prize: $3,500
Second Place Award: $3,000
Third Place Award: $2,500
Fourth Place Award: $2,000
Fifth Place Award: $1,500
Sixth Place Award: $1,000
Seventh Place Award: $750
Eighth Place Award: $500
Ninth Place Award: $400
Tenth Place Award: $300

Optional Honorable Mention(s): $200

More information about our 2022 contest is coming soon.

View the 2021 Contest winners.


BoltonBrian Bolton Essay Contest for Graduate/"Older" Students (To Age 30) 

Essay Prompt, Requirements, Eligibility, and Awards

First Place Prize: $3,500
Second Place Award: $3,000
Third Place Award: $2,500
Fourth Place Award: $2,000
Fifth Place Award: $1,500
Sixth Place Award: $1,000
Seventh Place Award: $750
Eighth Place Award: $500
Ninth Place Award: $400
Tenth Place Award: $300
Optional Honorable Mention(s): $200

More information about our 2022 contest is coming soon.