Free Speech Essay Contest

🏆 Available: 9
💰 $10,000
⏳ 12/31

Last year this scholarship received 3,000 applicant(s). $20,000 was awarded to 9 applicant(s).

Scholarship Description

FIRE’s Free Speech Essay Contest asks entrants to write an essay answering a prompt relating to the importance of the First Amendment in higher education.

Open to juniors and seniors in U.S. high schools, including home-schooled students, as well as U.S. citizens attending high school overseas. Additional questions regarding eligibility may be emailed to

Students must submit an essay between 700 and 900 words.

One $10,000 first prize, one $5,000 second prize, three $1,000 third place prizes and four $500 prizes will be awarded.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Aged between 15 and 21 years old
  • Must currently be in high school

Application Requirements

  • Essay required

How To Apply

Online Email

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Donor: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s mission is to defend and sustain the individual rights of students and faculty members at America’s colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, freedom of association, due process, legal equality, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience — the essential qualities of liberty.