The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $33,000.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
Students in grades 9-12 by the March 31 deadline who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States, its territories and possessions; or dependents of U.S. military or civilian personnel in overseas schools.
Student must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national.
Foreign exchange students, students age 20 or older, GED and adult education students, or national winners of previous Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contests are ineligible.
GRADES 6-8. The first-place winner from each state wins $500 and competes at the National level for $5,000.
Each year more than 165,400 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $1.4 million in state and national awards. Each first place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000!
The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements, and download and complete the 2021-2022 Patriot's Pen entry form as all student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31.
GRADES 9-12 The first-place winner from each state wins $1,000 and competes at the National level for $30,000.
Established in 1947, our Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay. Each year, nearly 64,500 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of more than $2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program.
The national first place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. A complete list of other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements, and download and complete the 2021-2022 Voice of Democracy entry form as all student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31.
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