FFRF 2020 Student Scholarship Essay Contests

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


 2020 William J. Schulz Memorial Essay Contest for College-Bound High School Seniors

All eligible entrants will receive a full 1-year complimentary student membership to FFRF, which includes a digital version of 10 issues of Freethought Today, FFRF's newspaper (publishes winning student essays).

THIS YEAR'S TOPIC: “Why I'm an unabashed atheist/agnostic/choose your favorite appellation"

PROMPT: Write a persuasive, personal ("first person") essay about why you reject religion and think others would be better off doing so too. You may wish to include experiences or challenges you have faced as a young freethinker (atheist, agnostic).

WORD LENGTH: 300-350 words

ELIGIBILITY: Open to all high school seniors who graduate in spring 2020, who will be attending a North American college or university in fall 2020. Note: If you fit this profile and are a student of color, you may enter this contest, or you may enter FFRF's David Hudak Memorial Contest for Students of Color. However, you may not enter both contests.

DEADLINE: Fill out the application and submit your essay no later than midnight, June 1, 2020. Winners will be announced in July 2020.

SUBMISSION RULES: Please fill out the online submission form and attach the essay. The essay must be double-spaced, standard margins, the font size of 11 to 14 point, and attached as a PDF. Your name and the name of your essay must be included on every page. Pages must be numbered. Indicate word length at end of the essay. Please choose your own title; Do not upload any other documents, such as a resume.

REQUIREMENTS: Winners may be asked to send verification of student enrollment. Students will be disqualified if they do not follow instructions, including word limit and deadline. Students are required to submit their essay via the online application, and should carefully review all contest rules. FFRF monitors for plagiarism.

BANISH MANGLISH: FFRF encourages you to please use inclusive language, rather than language that presumes everyone is male. For example, try "humanity" or "humankind," rather than "mankind".

APPLY HERE.


2020 Michael Hakeem Memorial Essay Contest for Ongoing College Students

mikehakeem

All eligible entrants will receive a full 1-year complimentary student membership to FFRF, which includes a digital version of 10 issues of Freethought Today, FFRF's newspaper (publishes winning student essays).

THIS YEAR'S TOPIC: "The Necessity of Freethought — Why I am Not Religious."

PROMPT: Although we are asking for a personal (written in "first-person") essay about why you reject religion, you may also wish to include personal experiences or challenges you have faced as a young freethinker (atheist, agnostic), or approach this from a philosophical or social science point of view.

WORD LENGTH: 450-650 words

ELIGIBILITY: Open to all ongoing undergraduate college students up to age 24 already attending a North American college or university. You remain eligible to enter this contest if you will graduate from college by spring or summer of 2020. If you're entering college in Fall 2020 for the first time, please enter FFRF's contest for college-bound high school seniors. If you're an undergraduate student age 25 through 30, please enter FFRF's graduate/"older" student essay contest instead. If you're a student of color up to age 21, who is currently enrolled in college, you may enter this contest or the David Hudak Student of Color Contest, but you may not enter both contests.

DEADLINE: Fill out application and submit your essay no later than midnight, July 1, 2020. Winners will be announced in August 2020.

SUBMISSION RULES: Please fill out online submission form and attach essay. The essay must be double- spaced, standard margins, font size of 11 to 14 point, and attached as a PDF. Your name and the name of your essay must be included on every page. Pages must be numbered. Indicate word length at end of the essay. Please choose your own title, do not use the topic of the essay as the title. Do not attach a resume with your essay.

REQUIREMENTS: Winners may be asked to send verification of student enrollment. Students will be disqualified if they do not follow instructions, including word limit and deadline. FFRF monitors for plagiarism. You may not re-enter this contest if FFRF has previously awarded you for an essay in the Michael Hakeem College Contest. If you have previously entered but did not win, you may submit another essay in this contest.

BANISH MANGLISH: FFRF encourages you to please use inclusive language, rather than language that presumes everyone is male. For example, try "humanity" or "humankind," rather than "mankind."

APPLY HERE.


2020 David Hudak Memorial Essay Contest For Freethinking Students Of Color

All eligible entrants will receive a full 1-year complimentary student membership to FFRF, which includes a digital version of 10 issues of Freethought Today, FFRF's newspaper (publishes winning student essays).

TOPIC: "Living and Thriving Without Religion"

PROMPT: Write a personal issue (in the "first person") about why you are not religious and its benefits. Please be sure to explain why you reject religion. You may wish to include challenges you have faced in being nonreligious. You may also wish to include recommendations on how the secular community can better engage people of color.

ELIGIBILITY: Open only to freethinking students of color ages 17-21, who are either high school seniors graduating in spring 2020 who will be attending a North American college or university in fall 2020, or who are currently enrolled in a college or university. If you will be graduating from college in the spring or summer 2020, you remain eligible to enter this contest. This contest is offered to provide support and acknowledgment for freethinking students of color, as a minority within a minority. People of Color refers to all racial groups that are not white. Specifically, any person who is not considered white, including African-Americans, Hispanic- Americans, Asian-Americans and others. FFRF offers other essay contests open to all students in your age group. Students may only enter one FFRF contest annually.

WORD LIMIT: 400-600 words.

DEADLINE: Fill out application and submit your essay no later than midnight, July 15, 2020. Winners will be announced in late August 2020.

SUBMISSION RULES: Please fill out online submission form and attach essay. The essay must be double- spaced, standard margins, font size of 11 to 14 point, and attached as a PDF. Your name and the name of your essay must be included on every page. Pages must be numbered. Please choose your own title; do not use the topic of the essay as the title. Indicate word length at end of the essay. Do not attach a resume with your essay.

REQUIREMENTS: Winners may be asked to send verification of student enrollment. Students will be disqualified if they do not follow instructions, including word limit and deadline. FFRF monitors for plagiarism.

BANISH MANGLISH: FFRF encourages you to please use inclusive language, rather than language that presumes everyone is male. For example, try "humanity" or "humankind," rather than "mankind."

APPLY HERE.


2020 Brian Bolton Essay Contest for Graduate/"Older" Students (To Age 30)

brianboltonAll eligible entrants will receive a full 1-year complimentary student membership to FFRF, which includes a digital version of 10 issues of Freethought Today, FFRF's newspaper (publishes winning student essays).

THIS YEAR'S TOPIC: "Why God has no place in political debate; the growing dangers of Christian Nationalism."

PROMPT: In the context of this year's presidential and congressional elections, make the case for keeping "God" and religion out of the political debates, and the dangers posed when public officials pander and mix religion with government.

WORD LENGTH: 550 - 750 words

ELIGIBILITY: Open to any graduate students through the age 30, or to undergraduate students ages 25-30 who attend a North American college or university. You remain eligible to enter this contest if you will graduate by spring or summer 2020.

DEADLINE: Fill out application and submit your essay no later than midnight, August 1, 2020. Winners will be announced in late September 2020.

SUBMISSION RULES: Please fill out the online submission form and attach the essay. Essay must be typeset, double-spaced, standard margins, font size of 11 to 14 point, and attached as a PDF. Your name and the name of your essay must be included on every page. Pages must be numbered. Indicate word length at end of the essay. Please choose your own title; do not use the topic of the essay as the title. Do not attach a resume with your essay.

REQUIREMENTS: Winners may be asked to send verification of student enrollment. Students will be disqualified if they do not follow instructions, including word limit and deadline. FFRF monitors for plagiarism. You may not re-enter this contest if FFRF has previously awarded you for an essay in FFRF's Brian Bolton "Graduate/Older Student" contest. If you have previously entered but not won, you may submit another essay in this year's contest.

BANISH MANGLISH: FFRF encourages you to please use inclusive language, rather than male-generic language. For example, try "humanity" or "humankind," rather than "mankind."

APPLY HERE.


2020 Cornelius Vanderbroek Memorial Essay Competition for Law School Students

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

All eligible entrants will receive a full 1-year complimentary student membership in FFRF, which includes a digital version of 10 issues of Freethought Today, FFRF's newspaper (publishes winning student essays).

THIS YEAR'S TOPIC: "Are 'No Aid' Clauses Constitutional?"

PROMPT: The Supreme Court will decide an important case involving the separation of state and church during the 2019-2020 term. In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the court will address whether a decision by the Montana Supreme Court prohibiting state aid for tuition at religious schools based on the state constitution's "No Aid" clause violates the Free Exercise Clause. Many other states have similar "No Aid" clauses that prohibit taxpayer money from going to religious schools. Please write an essay exploring one legal argument defending the constitutionality of Montana's "No Aid" provision, or rebutting one argument that the clause is unconstitutional. There is no need to recount the facts of the case.

WORD LIMIT: 1,500 words (not including footnotes).

ELIGIBILITY: 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 2020. You are not eligible to enter if you will be starting law school for the first time in the fall of 2020.

DEADLINE: Fill out application and submit your essay no later than midnight, March 15, 2020. You will be notified by early summer if you win.

APPLY HERE.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

FFRF has received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator

FFRF is a member of the Secular Coalition for America

FFRF privacy statement