FFRF Student Scholarship Essay Contests

FFRF sponsors four essay competitions for students. Please see descriptions below to enter correct competition. All four FFRF essay contests offer the same awards:

First Place: $3,000
Second Place: $2,000
Third Place: $1,000
Fourth Place: $750
Fifth Place: $500
Sixth Place: $400
Optional Honorable Mention(s): $200

Thank you acknowledgment: Winners, in addition to their scholarship, will receive a school-year membership in FFRF. That includes a subscription to Freethought Today, FFRF's newspaper published 10 times a year, which will publish winning essays. All other eligible entrants will be offered the choice of a student FFRF membership and Freethought Today subscription, or a freethought book or product.


William J. Schulz High School Essay Competition

Check back in Spring of 2018 for future prompts! 

Winners of the 2017 contest listed below and include the award amount and the college or university they will be attending.

First place
Zakaria Sharif, Stanford ($3,000)

Second place
Allison Wheeler, Centre College ($2,000)

Third place
Daniel Vogler, Princeton ($1,000)

Fourth place
Evan Muskopf, Rochester Institute of Technology ($750)

Fifth place
Ian Garvie, University of Northern British Columbia ($500)

Sixth place
Quinn Freidl, undeclared ($400)

Honorable mentions ($200 each)

  • Donald Fasce, Franklin and Marshall
  • Audrey Godwin, Vassar College
  • Phoebe Greene, Universoty of North Carolina-Wilmington
  • Alisha Griffin, Bucknell University
  • Hannah Hanson, Berklee College of Music
  • Alexander Hernandez, undeclared
  • Aya Keller, University of California-Berkeley
  • Luke Makram, University of Alabama-Huntsville
  • Lindsay Philcox, Brandeis University
  • Tori Roberts, California State University-Stanislaus


David Hudak Memorial Freethinking Students of Color High School Essay Competition

Check back in Spring of 2018 for future prompts!

The winners of the 2017 contest are listed below, with their age, the college or university they will be attending, the award amount and the title of their essay.

First place
Lydia Mason, 18, New York University ($3,000), "Breaking the Chains"

Second place
Uma Kokilepersaud, 17, University of Maryland ($2,000), "We Are Enough"

Third place
Lauren Greenlee, 18, University of San Francisco ($1,000), "I'm Alone in the Universe and That's Okay"

Fourth place
Lizeth Ortega-Luna, 18, Pomona College ($750), "In Whom Do I Trust?"

Fifth place
Celestina Garcia, 18, Indiana University ($500), "The Other Side of Morality"

Sixth place (tie)
Sarah Espada, 18, Cedar Crest College ($400), "What I'd Like Believers to Know"

Sixth place (tie)
Evann Bailey, 18, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga ($400), "Rejecting Generational Illusions"

Honorable mentions ($200 each)

  • Aven Turner, University of Illinois
  • Dominic Ryan Vince Cruz, Washington College
  • Adwoa Debrah, New York University
  • Shejan Heaven, University of Georgia
  • Miaun McCloud, Grand Valley State University
  • Erin O'Malley, University of Rochester
  • Dylan Palmer, New York University



Michael Hakeem Memorial College Essay Competition

Check back in Spring of 2018 for future prompts!

Listed below are the winners of the 2017 contest, their ages, the award amount and the college or university they are attending.

First place
Max Stinson, 19, University of South Carolina Upstate ($3,000)

Second place
Jacey Anderson, 19, Washington State University ($2,000)

Third place
Jamie Moffa, 22, Washington University School of Medicine ($1,000)

Fourth place (tie)
Gabrielle Goldworm, 19, Seton Hall University ($750)

Fourth Place (tie)
Hampton Gibson, 21, University of Oklahoma ($750)

Fifth place
Violet Richardson, 22, University of Wisconsin ($500)

Sixth place
Kaylee Payne, 19, University of Virginia's College at Wise ($400)

Honorable mentions ($200 each)

  • Christopher Bednarcik, 19, North Central College
  • Michael Brown, 20, Dartmouth College
  • Catherine Evans, 20, James Madison University
  • Nicholas Giurleo, 20, Tufts University
  • Jordan Green, 20, University of Arizona
  • Melissa Juarez, 20, University of California-Fresno
  • Anne Mickey, 20, Arizona State University
  • Chenoa Off, 19, Russell Sage College
  • Mackenzie Schneider, 20, Smith College
  • Omolola Smith, 22, University of Vermont
  • Katelynn Thompson, 24, University of Georgia


1BrianboltonBrian Bolton Graduate/"Older" Student Essay Contest

Winners to be announced soon. Check back in Spring of 2018 for future prompts!


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