Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest

Scholarship Value: $10,000
Awards Available: 6

Whatever the answer to essential questions of society and individual human beings may be, education is surely its major component. But what would education be without its ethical dimension? Many of us believe them to be inseparable. That is why this Prize in Ethics Essay Contest was established in 1989 by our Foundation. Thousands of students from hundreds of colleges and universities across the nation have participated. Through their writing, they explored their concerns and beliefs, their fears and their hopes.

While we suggest relevant topics each year, applicants are encouraged to choose any subject they feel strongly about, provided it is related to the domain of ethics.

The quality of the essays we have received over the years has been remarkable. It is with great difficulty that winners are chosen by a special committee of teachers and scholars.

We appeal to college students to send us their essays. We promise you they will not be ignored. In fact, we shall be proud to be your first readers. And perhaps your first critics and publishers.

2024 Writing Prompt

  • What challenges awaken your conscience?
  • Is it the conflicts in American society?  An international crisis?
  • Maybe a difficult choice you currently face or a hard decision you had to make?

Engage us. Enlighten us. Explore the ethics of any problem, question, or issue, whether close to home or in the world at large.

We are eager to learn from you.

Am I eligible?

Registered undergraduate students at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States during the Fall 2023 semester are eligible to enter the 2024 contest.

Students who are studying abroad during the Fall 2023 semester are eligible, as long as they are registered as full-time juniors or seniors at their home schools in the U.S

Students are NOT eligible to enter if…

  • They are not yet attending college (includes not attending during the Fall 2023 semester) or are in high school.
  • They attend two-year programs or schools.
  • They are enrolled in an associate degree or community college program.
  • They are part-time junior or senior students during the Fall 2023 semester.
  • They finished their undergraduate studies before the Fall 2023 semester.
  • They are in a doctorate, masters, or any graduate program.
  • They are attending an unaccredited school as acknowledged by the National Student Clearinghouse.
  • They are students at a school outside of the U.S.

If you are not eligible this year, you may be eligible in the following years. New application forms and guidelines are posted every fall.

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