National Peace Essay Contest


Contests for Students

Our country depends on knowledgeable and thoughtful students like you—the next generation of leaders—to build peace with freedom and justice among nations and peoples. In the belief that questions about peace, justice, freedom, and security are vital to civic education, we established the National Peace Essay Contest to expand educational opportunities for America’s youth.

Each year over 1,100 students submitted entries to USIP’s National Peace Essay Contest, while thousands more participated in related writing and other classroom exercises in high schools around the country.

The National Peace Essay Contest:

  • Promoted serious discussion among high school students, teachers, and national leaders about international peace and conflict resolution today and in the future;
  • Complemented existing curricula and other scholastic activities;
  • Strengthened students’ research, writing, and reasoning skills; and
  • Met National Contents Standards.

First-place state winners of the National Peace Essay Contest received scholarships and were invited to Washington for a five-day awards program. The Institute paid for expenses related to the program, including travel, lodging, meals and entertainment. This unique five-day program promoted an understanding of the nature and process of international peacemaking by focusing on a region and/or theme related to the current essay contest.

After 27 years of operation, the National Peace Essay Contest was put on hold in 2013 so that we might explore options for a new initiative involving new ideas and potentially new formats to engage young peacebuilders.

More information on the National Peace Essay Contest


Gender: All
Country: USA
State: All
Grade level: Undergraduate
GPA: 3
Need or Merit: Merit
Race: All
Ethnicity: All
Religion: All
Major: All
Veterans: Yes
Employment: No
Community Service: No
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