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AEL Collegiate Essay Contest

2021 Winners

After careful review by the contest judges, we are delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 AEL Collegiate Essay Competition. 

First Place: Avery Jones, Arkansas State University

Second Place: Diego Sandoval, University of California, San Diego

Third Place: Jazlynn Fernandez, The University of Texas at Austin

The essay prompt that the students addressed was: "There has been much in the news recently on the rising cost of American higher education. Please share your views on the value of a liberal arts degree and how it benefits society."

First Place

portrait of Avery Jones

Avery Jones is a first-year student at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas, majoring in English. She's passionate about the importance of literature and freedom of information in society. Her hobbies include reading, cooking and baking, biking, playing the flute, and watching true crime documentaries. In the future, she wants to get a master's degree in library/information science and become a librarian or archivist.

Second Place

portrait of Diego Sandoval

Diego Sandoval is a second-year student at the University of California, San Diego. He is currently studying mathematics and economics with the aspiration of one day becoming a certified actuary. He also enjoys learning about history and politics in his free time. Outside of school, his hobbies include going on nature hikes, reading, playing tennis, and solving puzzles.

Third Place

portrait of Jazlynn Fernandez

Jazlynn Fernandez is a first-year student majoring in history at The University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas. Fernandez seeks to understand the social, cultural, political, and economic ties that shape society. After studying these concepts, Fernandez plans to apply them by practicing the law in an equitable manner. In her free time, she enjoys sewing, reading, roller skating, and spending time with her friends and family.