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When is the National Peace Essay Contest deadline?
The deadline changes every year. The next deadline and other details are on our contest webpage and in the guidebook.


Who is eligible?

  • All high school students attending school in the United States regardless of citizenship.
  • Foreign exchange and visiting students attending high school in the U.S. may enter.
  • Only U.S. citizens if attending high school in countries other than United States.
  • Age is not a factor; Grade level is. Students must be in grades 9-12 at the time they enter the contest.

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What is the Scholarship amount? How many awards do you give each year?

The scholarship can be awarded up to a total of 53 Winners.

  • $10,000 One [1] National First Place Winner*
  • $5,000 One [1] National Second Place Winner*
  • $2,500 One [1] National Third Place Winner*
  • $1,000 One [1] State Winner in each state plus one [1] winner for U.S. territories, one [1] winner for the District of Columbia, and one [1] winner for American Students abroad.

*National award amount includes the state award.

If the quality of the essays from a state or region does not meet our minimum standards, that state or region may not have a winner at all. However, we evaluate the essays with an eye toward choosing a winner, rather than looking for a perfect paper. Note: These are college scholarships that can be applied when the student enters college.

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What do I need to do to start on my essay?
The contest has strict guidelines for entries. Make sure you read carefully through all parts of the website or the guidebook. It contains the essay contest question, all the rules, and instructions for entering the contest. You can download the guidebook from the contest website. A Study Guide can also be downloaded for those who would like to learn more content about the essay topic.


How do I apply?
The Coordinator must register online before the student may register and submit his/her essay. An automatic email will provide the Coordinator with a webpage link and a Coordinator Key. The student(s) must use this link or Coordinator Key to register and submit his/her essay online. This link and key may be used by all students working with that Coordinator. When the student has submitted his/her essay, the Coordinator will receive an email prompting him/her to login in to approve each student essay to certify that the work is the student's own and that the information regarding the student's eligibility is true. Student essays must be submitted by February 10, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST. Coordinators must login in and approve student essays by February 11, 2014 at 5:00 PM EST.

If the student does not have easy access to the internet, the student or coordinator should contact the contest by phone at 202-457-1700 for instructions on how to make submissions by mail. 

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Should I send recommendation letters?
Please do not include recommendation letters, personal statements, grade point average or a resume. We only look at the essay in our evaluation process.


How can I be sure that my essay got to you in time, or that you have received it at all?
You will receive an automatic email once your essay has been successfully submitted. Please check your spam folder if you do not receive this email within a few minutes of submission.


Is this an annual contest?
Yes. We have winners every year!

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How do I find out if I won or not?
We contact the coordinators first, the winners second. We send out an announcement to all participants by mail in the last week of April.


How many students enter the contest?
Over 1200.


Can I ask a teacher or parent to review my work?
Yes. Every student must have a contest coordinator. Any adult can be a coordinator—a parent, teacher, neighbor, etc—and there is no formal process in becoming a coordinator except registering at the time of submitting the essay. The coordinator is the person who would guide the student in their research and makes sure that the student has followed all the guidelines. USIP does not select coordinators.

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Can one organization or coordinator submit more than one entry?
Definitely. In fact, more than half of the essays we receive are club or classroom projects.


Can a group work together to write one essay?
No. Each essay must have only one author; Each essay must be the work of one student.


What do you mean by international example?
When choosing case studies, we require you to choose examples that are non-U.S. examples. 

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