The Joe Foss Institute sponsors a few different scholarships. The 2012 Independence Scholarship Essay offers a $5,000 scholarship, $500 or $250, so there are multiple prizes for students who can follow the rules and write a compelling essay. The scholarship program at Joe Foss is designed to help high school and college students find more funding for their college dreams, investing in American education directly. The scholarship are all nationwide and allow American youths to really take time and consider “American values.”

You’ll need to download and go over the official guidelines in detail. The contest rules state that any essays not following the guidelines will be rejected. You need to write an essay of a minimum of 1,500 words and based on a theme that is given in the official guidelines. You can find the guidelines here. You’ll need a PDF reader, such as Adobe Reader. The theme is very patriotic in nature with the statement, “I DECLARE! What it took to declare our independence.” You can develop a topic any way you like based on this statement, using creativity, theme development, clarity of ideas, and proper mechanics, spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure.

The contest is very open and the judges are obviously looking for someone who can write a longer, formal essay. You must use your original words and can only enter one essay per contestant. You’ll need a cover page, title and footnotes. On the cover sheet, you need to include all of your contact details, grade currently enrolled in school, full name of the school attending, school phone number, English teacher’s name and email address, total word count and the statement, “I have read and understand the guidelines. The essay submitted is original and of my own creation.”

You can submit your entry here. You must write your essay and cover sheet in .doc, .docx, .pages, or .odt and upload to the site. You’ll also give full details for yourself and your school on the online application.


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