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AEL Collegiate Essay Contest: Home


The Americanism Educational Leaders and Pepperdine University Libraries sponsor an annual collegiate essay contest.

The mission of AEL is in its strong belief in "American exceptionalism", i.e., that our country is exceptional in the history of the world. All of our programs are meant to encourage students to learn about, understand and appreciate some aspect of the American experience. Educating our youth about basic American values, history and institutions is the best way to protect the American dream for all of our people.

This essay contest is an opportunity for undergraduate students to express their equally strong belief in American exceptionalism. The 2018 essay contest closed on June 30, 2019. 


Eligibility and Requirements

Thank you for your interest in the AEL Collegiate Essay Competition. The 2018 Competition closed on June 30, 2018. We are currently evaluating the submissions and will make an announcement here once winners have been selected. 

Updated guidelines for the 2018 AEL Collegiate Essay Competition will be posted on this page. at least six months prior to the deadline, which is June 30, 2019. 

Submission Guidelines

This essay will be judged—not on the basis of agreement or disagreement with the views of AEL, or on the length of their bibliographies, but on the internal logic, coherence, originality, thoughtfulness, and evidence of sound research. If any external sources are referenced in the essay, they should be cited in the bibliography using correct MLA or Chicago style citations. 


Prize Categories

First Prize: $2,500

Second Prize: $1,500

Third Prize: $1,000


Deadline for submission: June 30th, 2019


For any questions, please begin by checking the FAQ page and contact with any additional questions not addressed there.