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Washington State University
Scholarship Details

National High School Essay Contest


  • 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, the U.S. Institute of Peace, Semester at Sea, and National Student Leadership Conference are not eligible to participate.
  • Previous honorable mention designees are eligible to enter.

More Details

All applications must be submitted by 11:59pm EDT on March 15, 2018. Winners will be announced in July 2018.

How to Apply

  • Write a 1,000-1,250-word essay that identifies two cases – one you deem successful and one you deem unsuccessful – where the U.S. pursued an integrated approach to build peace in a conflict-affected country. Analyze and compare these two cases, addressing the following questions:
    • What relative strengths did members of the Foreign Service and military actors bring to the table? What peacebuilding tools were employed? Ultimately, what worked or did not work in each case?
    • How was each situation relevant to U.S. national security interests?
    • What lessons may be drawn from these experiences for the pursuit of U.S. foreign policy more broadly?
  • Complete the online registration form.
    • Student registration forms must have a teacher or sponsor name. That person may review the submitted essay and act as the key contact between participants and AFSA.

The application and submission guidelines can be found on the scholarship’s website.

Deadline: 03/15/2018

Amount: $1,250-2,500

Online Application Available

Contact information: