Voice of Democracy
Established in 1947, our Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay. Each year, nearly 64,500 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of more than $2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program.
The national first place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. A complete list of other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements, and check back soon for the 2021-2022 entry form application, as all student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31.
Each year more than 165,400 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $1.4 million in state and national awards. Each first place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000!
The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements, and check back soon for the 2021-2022 entry form application, as all student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31.
Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship
Provides service members and veterans with the financial assistance they need to complete their educational goals without incurring excessive student loan debt. It’s just another way for us to say "thank you” to those who fought for our freedoms.
- Scholarships of up to $5,000 will be awarded to qualified applicants.
- Awarded scholarships are limited to one per family per semester.
- Applications for the fall semester will be accepted Jan. 1 through April 30.
- Applications for the spring semester will be accepted Aug. 1 through Nov. 15.
- Fall semester scholarships will be awarded in August, and spring semester scholarships will be awarded in January.
- Scholarships must be used by the end of the school semester for which the veteran is applying or they will become null and void.
- Scholarships are restricted for tuition and fees only and will be paid directly to accredited schools.
- Be a citizen of the United States.
- Be retired, honorably discharged, active duty, or a member of the National Guard or Reserve.
- Have completed Basic Training and follow-on training (Advanced Individual Training, technical school, etc.).
- Separated with or currently hold a military rank of E-5 or below.
- Demonstrate a need for financial assistance.
- Participate in, be accepted to or currently enrolled in a VA-approved program or school at an accredited post-secondary institution.