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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

AEL Collegiate Essay Contest: Home


Pepperdine Libraries is pleased to facilitate an annual essay contest for US college students. Americanism Educational Leaders, which supports this scholarship, strives to provide students with opportunities to discover, understand, and appreciate some aspect of the American experience.

The 2021 essay contest prompt will be announced no later than April 2021. The deadline will be June 30, 2021. 



Eligibility and Requirements

The eligibility requirements are as follows: 

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Must be a current undergraduate college or university student in an accredited four-year U.S. college or university. Incoming first-year students and college students who graduated the year of the competition (i.e., January-June 2021 for the 2021 essay competition) are eligible to apply. 

Submission Guidelines

Essay Guidelines

  • Essay should be between 1,500-2,000 words, including any footnotes or bibliographic citations.
  • If any external sources are referenced in the essay, they should be cited in the bibliography using correct MLA or Chicago style citations. 

Submission Instructions

  • Submit completed submission packet (essay and entry form) as an email with attachments to by the deadline of June 30, 2021, 11:59 PM PST. The submissions must be attachments; do not send a link to download the file (ex., a link to a Google Doc file). Incomplete entries will be disqualified. 
  • The essay should be attached as a PDF with the filename “LastName_FirstName AEL essay” (For example, if your name is Jane Smith, the file name will be “Smith_Jane AEL essay.PDF”).
  • The entry form should be filled out electronically or scanned as a PDF and saved with the filename “LastName_FirstName AEL entry" (For example, if your name is Jane Smith, the file name will be “Smith_Jane AEL entry.pdf”).


AEL Collegiate Essay Competition

Prize Categories

First Prize: $2,500

Second Prize: $1,500

Third Prize: $1,000


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