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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

AEL Collegiate Essay Contest: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will there be another contest next year?

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

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. How do I submit my paper?

A. Please email submissions to ael@pepperdine.edu following the guidelines on the contest home page.

5. I submitted my paper 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

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

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

9. Should I include my title and bibliography in the word count?

A. Your title should not be included in the word count. However, the bibliography and footnotes are included in the word count, which needs to be between 1,500-2,000 words. Essays that do not conform to the word count limits will be disqualified. 

10. 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.