Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

Application Information

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Amount Awarded


Application Deadline

September 19

Awarded By

Ayn Rand Institute

Award Amount

Awards are for cash prizes in the following amounts: first prize, $25,000; second prizes, $2,500; third prizes, $500; finalist prizes, $100. All awards are non-renewable.


84 awards offered annually as follows: 1 first prize; 3 second prizes; 5 third prizes; 50 finalist prizes. Five additional awards are available for students in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

Additional Information

Essays will be judged on whether the student is able to argue for and justify his or her view—not on whether the Institute agrees with the view the student expresses. Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of Atlas Shrugged. Essay submissions are evaluated in a fair and unbiased four-round judging process. Judges are individually selected by the Ayn Rand Institute based on a demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Ayn Rand's works. Winners' names are unknown to judges until after essays have been ranked and the contest results finalized. The Ayn Rand Institute checks essays with Ithenticate plagiarism detection software. Winners, finalists, semi-finalists and all other participants will be notified via email in early August. Employees of the Ayn Rand Institute, its board of directors and their immediate family members are not eligible for this contest. Past first-place winners are not eligible for this contest.

Deadline Info

Applications are available online from the Ayn Rand Institute website. To enter, each student must write an essay of 800 to 1,600 words on the book 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand. The applicant must ch ... sign up for full scholarship deadline information.

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