Essay Contest for Students

The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Prize in Ethics Essay Contest 2014

This annual competition challenges college students to submit essays on the urgent ethical issues that confront them in today’s world.  Since 1989, The Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics has encouraged students to write thought-provoking personal essays that raise questions, single out issues and develop rational arguments for ethical action. We hope that you will encourage full-time juniors and seniors at your institution to compete in this contest.  Awards are granted up to $5,000.  The deadline for the contest is December 2, 2013 by 5pm PST. A distinguished panel of readers will evaluate all entries. A jury, headed by Elie Wiesel, will choose the winners.

Students entering the contest are required to partner with a Faculty Sponsor. There is no better encouragement for a student to enter our contest than motivation from a professor or faculty member.  Any interested professor may act as a Faculty Sponsor to verify the quality and the authenticity of the student’s essay.  Once registered by the student, the Faculty Sponsor will electronically verify the student’s work.

Please inform you students of this meaningful opportunity and encourage them to enter. To ensure that you campus is represented by essays of the highest caliber, faculty members should only endorse thought-provoking, well-written essays that fall within the contest guidelines. For examples of previous essays, we recommend you direct students to our book An Ethical Compass: Coming of Age in the 21st Century, a collection of outstanding prize-winning essays from the first two decades of the contest, published by Yale University Press.

This year, submissions will be accepted online. Students will create an account and electronically submit their application, complete with the essay, required entry information, and a portal for faculty and enrollment verification. All winners will be announced in the spring of 2014.

Contest Guidelines and the 2013 Winners Announcement can be found at


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