We the Students Essay Contest offers $2,500 to Scout

Boy Scouts analyze and discuss the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights as part of the Eagle-required Citizenship in the Nation merit badge.

Now one Scout’s interpretation of the role of the Bill of Rights in modern society could result in some free cash for college — and for his troop.

One Boy Scout will receive a $2,500 scholarship for himself and $500 for his troop by winning the 2016 We the Students Essay Contest, sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute.

The essay competition challenges students age 14 to 19 to write a 500- to 800-word essay about the Bill of Rights. It’s open to anyone — young men and young women, Scouts and non-Scouts. But there’s a special prize that’s only available to Boy Scouts.

Find the full essay prompt, as well as additional information, below.

2016 We the Students Essay Contest

The Bill of Rights Institute: The sponsor of this contest is a nonprofit educational organization that works to engage, educate and empower individuals with a passion for the freedom and opportunity that exist in a free society. The Institute develops educational resources and programs for a network of more than 50,000 educators and 30,000 students nationwide. Learn more at the Institute’s official website.

The contest: The We the Students Essay Contest is an annual nationwide scholarship competition for students in grades 8 to 12. Nearly $32,000 will be awarded to 55 students, Scouts and teachers.

Deadlines: The deadline for a student to submit his or her essay is Feb. 7, 2016. Winners will be announced April 12, 2016.

Eligibility: The contest is open to all U.S. citizens or legal residents who are at least 14 years old but not older than 19. Additional requirements can be found in the Rules and Regulations

The prompt: “The Founders believed in the sanctity/vital importance of the individual liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. To what extent (or in what ways) has our government compromised on these liberties in the name of security or the general welfare? In your answer, incorporate the principles and specific examples (including current events) that support your conclusion.”

Essay lengthBetween 500 and 800 words.


  • National Grand Prize (1): $5,000 and a scholarship to Constitutional Academy in Washington, D.C.
  • Runners Up (6): $1,250 each
  • Honorable Mentions (8): $500 each
  • Teachers of winners (15): $100 each
  • Girl Scout winner (1): $2,500, and $500 to troop
  • Boy Scout winner (1): $2,500, and $500 to troop

How to enter: Learn more and enter at this link.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.