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Last Day to Submit Essay for 'Freedom in Academia' Essay Contest

Midnight tonight is the deadline for students to submit an essay for the "Freedom in Academia" essay contest!

FIRE invites college-bound high school seniors to write an essay explaining why freedom of expression is important to higher education. Applicants will first watch two short FIRE documentaries: FIRE in Action: Valdosta State University and Think What We Think...Or Else: Thought Control on the American Campus. The videos demonstrate in vivid detail how university administrations at Valdosta State University and the University of Delaware violated the constitutional rights of their students.

Essays should be 700–1,200 words long. Students should also watch some of FIRE's other documentaries and read through our posts on The Torch to get a good sense of FIRE's mission and activities.

This year, FIRE will award $15,000 in scholarships to the winning students. One first-place winner will receive $5,000, two second-place winners will receive $2,500, and five runners-up will receive $1,000 each. Essays may be submitted online here, via e-mail to, or via regular mail to:

FIREAttn: Essay Scholarship Contest

601 Walnut Street, Suite 510

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Deadline for entry is today, November 6, 2009. Winners will be announced by December 11, 2009.

To view the complete rules and regulations for the contest, please click here. Good luck!

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