National High School Essay Contest
The Submission Deadline for 2017 Has Passed.
Winners will be posted in July. Look for the 2018 essay topic in September!
The 2017 National High School Essay Contest has begun! This is the 19th year of this prestigious contest, which encourages high school students to think about important international issues and learn about one of America's best kept secrets: The United States Foreign Service.
This year, we throw the spotlight on a clear and present challenge: The growing number of refugees and internally displaced persons around the world. The contest challenges students to imagine themselves as a member of the Foreign Service posted to one of four countries that are directly affected by this crisis, and to propose solutions. Click here for more details on the topic.
AFSA welcomes the continuing support of our fantastic contest partners: The United States Institute of Peace, Semester at Sea, and the National Student Leadership Conference. They make possible the fantastic prizes for our winner and runner-up. The winner receives $2,500, a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet the Secretary of State, and full tuition for a Semester at Sea educational voyage. The runner-up receives $1,250 and full tuition for the NSLC's International Diplomacy summer program.
Eligibility for AFSA’s 2017 National High School Essay Contest is open to students in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories, or if they are U.S. citizens attending high school overseas. Students may be attending a public, private, or parochial school. Entries from home-schooled students are also accepted. Previous first-place winners and immediate relatives of directors or staff of the AFSA, the U.S. Institute of Peace, National Student Leadership Conference and Semester at Sea are not eligible to participate. Previous honorable mention recipients are eligible to enter.
Contact Perri Green, AFSA’s Awards Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
AFSA collects your information for this contest and for AFSA partners. You may be signed up to receive updates or information from AFSA and our partners. You will receive confirmation from AFSA that your submission has been received and a notification if you are the winner or an honorable mention in May. You may also receive a message from our sponsor regarding their program offerings.
Students whose parents are not in the Foreign Service are eligible to participate if they are in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories, or if they are U.S. citizens attending high school overseas. Students may be attending a public, private, or parochial school. Entries from home-schooled students are also accepted. Previous first-place winners and immediate relatives of directors or staff of the AFSA and Semester at Sea are not eligible to participate. Previous honorable mention recipients are eligible to enter. $2,500 to the writer of the winning essay, in addition to an all-expense paid trip to the nation’s capital from anywhere in the U.S. for the winner and his or her parents, and an all-expense paid educational voyage courtesy of Semester at Sea.
The winner's school also receives a donation of 10 copies of AFSA's Inside a U.S. Embassy: Diplomacy at Work