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AEL Collegiate Essay Contest: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Will there be another contest next year?

A. Yes. The AEL Collegiate Essay Contest is held every year.


Q. When will I know when the winners are chosen?

A. The amount of time it takes to judge all of the essays we receive may vary.  Award recipients will be notified by AEL via email. Winning submissions will be posted on our website once the process is complete.


Q. I am a graduating high school senior who will be starting college in the fall. Am I eligible to apply? 

A. Yes, if you will be an incoming first-year student at an accredited college or university in the fall, you are eligible to apply. We will confirm your enrollment when prizes are awarded.


Q. I am a student at a community college, but in the fall I am attending as four year college/university. Am I eligble to apply?

A. Yes, if you will be an incoming student at an accredited college or university in the fall, you are eligible to apply. We will confirm your enrollment when prizes are awarded.


Q. I submitted my application months ago. Why haven’t I heard back?

A. We do not begin judging until after the submission deadline. Early submission does not provide any advantage.


Q. I am an American citizen but attend school in another country. May I apply?

A. No. All applicants must attend an accredited college or university located in the United States.


Q. I am not a U.S. citizen but I attend a U.S. college/university. Am I eligible?

A. No. All applicants must be U.S. citizens.


Q. I am a part-time student. Am I eligible?

A. Yes, so long as you are enrolled at an accredited college or university, you are eligible to apply. 


Q. I am from a U.S. territory. Am I eligible to apply?

A. Yes, all U.S. citizens attending a U.S. college/university may apply.


Q. What citation style should I use for my bibliography? 

A. All citations should be made in either the MLA or Chicago style citations. 


Q. How can the scholarship award be used?

A. If selected as one of the three recipients, awards are unrestricted and can be used towards any expenses accrued as a student. The scholarship will be mailed as a check once eligibility is verified.


Q. What are the awards given out?

A. There are three winners. The first prize winner is awarded $2,500, the second prize winner is given $1,500, and the third place winner is awarded $1,000.


Q. Can I add images or diagrams to my essay?

A. Yes, you may, but put them at the end labeled "Figure 1," 'Figure 2," etc. so as to not affect page count for text.


Q. I graduated from high school a year ago but took a gap year and will be an incoming first-year this upcoming fall. Am I eligible?

A. Yes, you are eligible as a rising first-year student.