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    Free Speech Essay Contest

    Offered by Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

    Reviewed by Lisa FreedlandLast updated Mar 6, 2023
    7 awards worth up to


    Grade level

    High School Juniors & Seniors

    Expected deadline:

    This scholarship might not currently be accepting applications. Most scholarship programs only accept applications a few months ahead of their annual deadline. We’ve estimated this deadline based on last year’s deadline in order to help you plan out your scholarship applications.

    December 2022

    Scholarship Overview

    Are you attending a U.S. high school or are a U.S. citizen attending high school elsewhere? Further, are you a junior or senior who’s passionate about free speech? If so, consider applying for the Free Speech Essay Contest! Each year, the contest awards between $500 and $10,000 to nine applicants who submit the best 700 – 900 word essays on the year’s prompt, which almost always revolve around the importance of free speech. The contest is run by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, an organization with a mission to defend and sustain the individual rights of all Americans to free speech and free thought.

    If you value free speech and want to express that right through writing, we encourage you to apply for the Free Speech Essay Contest!

    Eligibility information

    This scholarship is open to high school juniors and seniors attending a high school in the U.S. (or abroad if you’re a U.S. citizen). Applicants must also meet the below eligibility requirements.

    Grade Level

    High School Juniors & Seniors


    U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, Canadian Citizens, DACA, Other

    Academic Interest


    Application information

    To apply for this scholarship, students must submit an online application in addition to the below application materials.

    900-word essay

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    Scholarship FAQ

    Is this scholarship open to international students?

    Yes, this scholarship is open to U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, Canadian Citizens, DACA students and international students.

    When will the winner of this scholarship be announced?

    The Free Speech Essay Contest winner will be announced: February 15, 2022.

    Who should I contact with any questions about this scholarship?

    For any questions regarding this scholarship application, please contact Foundation for Individual Rights in Education at [email protected].

    Is this scholarship renewable?

    No, the Free Speech Essay Contest is not renewable.

    Where can I find help writing my scholarship essay?

    For help writing the essay component of this scholarship application, check out our guides How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay and How to Start a Scholarship Essay (With Examples).

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