Foreign Service High School Essay Contest

Award Amount
Application deadline
Awarded By:

United States Institute of Peace

Number of Awards & Eligibility: Two awards offered.
In order to qualify, students must meet the following criteria:
  1. This award is for U.S. students.
  2. Must attend high school in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia or U.S. territories OR be a U.S. citizen attending high school overseas.
  3. Must be a current student in grades nine through twelve.
  4. Must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

In order to qualify, students must meet the following criteria:

Description: Students whose parents are not in the Foreign Service are eligible to participate if they are in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories, or if they are U.S. citizens/lawful permanent residents attending high school overseas. Students may be attending a public, private, or parochial school. Entries from home-schooled students are also accepted.

Application requirements for the Foreign Service High School Essay Contest are:

  • Essay
  • Registration form
Additional Information: The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) partners with the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) on the annual National High School Essay Contest. The contest engages high school students in learning and writing about issues of peace and conflict, encouraging appreciation for diplomacy’s role in building partnerships that can advance peacebuilding and protect national security. Applications are now open for the 2023 Essay Contest! The winner receives $2,500, a trip to Washington, D.C., to meet a member of the State Department’s leadership and a full scholarship for a Semester at Sea educational voyage. The runner-up receives $1,250 and a full scholarship to attend the International Diplomacy Program of the National Student Leadership Conference. Details at

Award Amount: Chosen applicant will receive $2,500 awards  The total dollars awarded for this scholarship is $5,000.

Deadline Information:

Deadline for this scholarship is Thursday, April 6, 2023

Deadline Information:

Deadline for this scholarship is Thursday, April 6, 2023

This is an essay contest. The applicant must write a 1,000 to 1,250 word essay on the current year's topic. Registration forms and detailed essay information are available online from the United States Institute of Peace website. Each essay should be typed, and double-spaced. The essay must contain an introduction, a body, a conclusion, reference notes, and a bibliography. Disqualified essays will not be returned for correction or forwarded to judges. All essays must be submitted online by the deadline date.
About United States Institute of Peace:
Contact Information: Kimberly Spring, Essay Contest Coordinator Education Program
Address: 1200 17th St. N.W. Suite 200 Washington, District of Columbia 20036

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