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John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest

Contest Topic

Describe and analyze an act of political courage by a US elected official who served during or after 1917. 

To learn more about political courage, visit Contest Information and FAQs.

All submissions must adhere to contest requirements.

Contest Deadline

The Profile in Courage Essay Contest opens for submissions on September 1, 2021. The contest deadline is January 14, 2022. 

Recognition and Awards

First-place: $10,000          Second-place: $3,000          Five Finalists: $1,000 each          Eight Semi-finalists: $100 each


Here's a list of 15 high-quality scholarships due this summer, to share with your students before school wraps up. I've ordered them by deadline (soonest to latest).


Maestro Cares Foundation Scholarship

Due May 31; $3000 award

For high-achieving Latino students with demonstrated academic achievement, financial need, and proof of prior dedication to charitable/volunteer work.


Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship Award

Due Jun 5; $5000 award

This scholarship is for an LGBTQ student who plans to pursue a career in journalism, and supports the mission of fair and accurate coverage of the LGBTQ community. The applicant must demonstrate understanding of issues facing the LGBTQ community, include five work samples, and publish a multimedia news story to Tumblr as part of the application.


Sharon C. Ryan Memorial Scholarship

Due Jun 15; $1000 award

For a student with GPA 3.0+ who plans to major in business, statistics, hospitality, or spa management, in order to pursue a career in hospitality. For the application, the student will need to write an essay related to family vacations, hospitality, or their career plans; as well as include two letters of recommendation.


Providian Medical Scholarships

Due Jun 21; $500 award; 2 recipients

For students with GPA 3.0+, an essay contest on the topic: "How medical equipment technology has changed college coursework/curriculum." Applications must be sent via postal mail.


Design a Better Future Scholarship

Due Jun 28; $10,000 award; 5 recipients

Students must design and implement a community improvement project, and then submit multimedia (photos, videos, interviews, and write-ups) about the process and its impact. Five students will receive $10k tuition scholarships, and the top-prize winner will receive an additional $5k towards the community project.


School's Out Scholarship

Due Jun 30; $150 award

Broad eligibility scholarship that requires just one short essay (100-300 words) reflecting on what the student has accomplished this school year and what their ambitions are for the school year to come.


El Dabe Ritter Scholarship

Due Jun 30; $1500 award

Scholarship for students with GPA 3.0+ with the application essay question: "Why is having a higher education important?" Students must also submit financial info, a resumé, recommendation letters, and a transcript.


Lily Pabilona Emerging Entrepreneur Scholarship

Due Jun 30; $1000-$5000 award; Multiple recipients

Scholarship for Asian-American students pursuing careers in entrepreneurship.


Korean American Scholarship

Due Jun 30; $500-5000 award; Multiple recipients

Scholarship for Korean-American students who have academic/personal achievement and are engaged in community/civic service.


Cirilo McSween Scholarship for Business or Accounting Students

Due Jun 30; $5000 award; multiple recipients

Scholarship for incoming freshmen planning to major in business or accounting. Winners must show academic success and active participation in their communities (via extracurriculars or community service).


AlChE Minority Scholarship Awards

Due Jul 15; $1000 award; 15 recipients

Scholarships for minority students underrepresented in chemical engineering. Applicants must plan to enroll in a four-year college and major in a science or engineering degree (with preference given to chemical engineering).


Dolphin Galleries Scholarship for the Visual & Creative Arts

Due Jul 20; $1000 award

Scholarship for a student who plans to pursue an arts-related major or minor.


Global Perspective Scholarship

Due Aug 1; $250-$1000 award; 3 recipients

Scholarship for high school or college students who care about making a positive impact. Applicants must write an essay on: "What kind of global impact project is most critical for you to focus on and why, and what is your plan to make an impact in the next year and beyond?"


Environmental Awareness Scholarship

Due Sep 1; $1000 award; 2 recipients

Essay contest on how you think climate change will impact future generations.


Be the Boss Scholarship for Female Entrepreneurs

Due Sep 15; $2000 award; 2 recipients

For a female student who wants to start her own online business. Financial need and academic performance are not important.