Free Speech Essay Contest for High School Students Now Open! FIRE is awarding $20,000 in college scholarships!

By on August 19, 2013

Are you a high school junior or senior planning on attending college after graduation? If you answered yes, enter FIRE’s essay contest, and you could win one of nine scholarships for college worth $10,000, $5000, $1000, or $500!  Do you know a high school junior or senior? Then send them this link—thefire.org/contest—and encourage them to apply!  FIRE’s Free Speech Essay Contest is now open and accepting submissions from high school juniors and seniors! To enter, watch two FIRE videos—Silencing U: Five Outrageous Cases of Campus Censorship and What Every Student Should Know Before Starting College—and write an essay answering the question: “Why is free speech important at our nation’s colleges and universities?” Part of making an informed decision about where to go to college is knowing whether a school actually upholds its commitments to protect student expression. All too often, students do not realize they should consider a school’s free speech track record when making the important choice of where to attend. FIRE’s essay contest encourages high school students to know their rights before they go to college, so they are better prepared to defend those rights when they get to campus. FIRE would like to especially thank the Sandra and Lawrence Post Family Foundation for its generosity in making the 2013–14 essay contest possible. To view the full contest rules and entry form, visit thefire.org/contest. Essay Contest FAQ Who can enter the essay contest? Current high school juniors graduating in 2015 and high school seniors graduating in 2014 who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and plan to attend college are eligible to submit an essay for consideration. What is the deadline for entering? Deadline for submissions is January 1, 2014. Winners will be announced by January 31, 2014. What is the essay question? Why is free speech important at our nation’s colleges and universities? Using examples from both videos, discuss how censorship of student speech is incompatible with higher education. Your essay should be 800–1,000 words and should stay on topic. How much is the winning scholarship award? First Place: $10,000 college scholarshipSecond Place: $5,000 college scholarship(3) Third Place Awards: $1,000 college scholarship each(4) Runners-up chosen by lottery: $500 college scholarship each Where should I send my essay? Essays can be submitted on the contest page, thefire.org/contest.