Home > Financial Aid > College Scholarships > Scholarships by Grade Level > High School Scholarships > American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest

American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest

$19,500

Deadline Varies

Awards Available: 3

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  • Scholarship Description
  • The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. Since 1938, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation's laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. The program has featured numerous politicians and prominent contestants over the years, including former president candidate Alan Keyes and CNN anchor Lou Dobbs.

    Young orators earn some of the most generous college scholarships available to high school students. Over $138,000 in scholarships can be awarded each year. The overall national contest winner gets an $18,000 scholarship. Second place takes home $16,000, and third gets $14,000. Each department (state) winner who is certified into and participates in the national contest's first round receives a $1,500 scholarship. Those who advance past the first round receive an additional $1,500 scholarship. The American Legion's National Organization awards the scholarships, which can be used at any college or university in the United States.

    High school students under age 20 are eligible. Competition begins at the post level and advances to a state competition. Legion department representatives certify one winner per state to the national contest, where department winners compete against each other in two speaking rounds. The contest caps off with a final round that decides the three top finishers.

    Speaking subjects must be on some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with some emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Speeches are eight to 10 minutes long; three- to five-minute speeches on an assigned topic also are part of the contest.

    Please contact your American Legion State Headquarters directly for your States contest details.

    For more information or to apply, please visit the scholarship provider's website.
  • Contact
  • Scholarship Committee
  • 700 N. Pennsylvania St.
  • P.O. Box 1055
  • Indianapolis, IN 46206
  • oratorical@legion.org
  • tel: 317-630-1204
  • fax: 317-630-1369

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Comments (18)

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Evan P  on 1/12/2016 2:21:51 PM

I am high school senior at a small school in California, I am planning to attend a four year college in the fall of 2016 and major in sports management. I have been involved in sports for most of my life and know what i want to do after college. Both my parents work full time jobs and we manage to scrape by each month. I am bi-racial and was adopted by my now current parents they blessed me with all they have even though they do not have much to offer but i am so thankful for that. I myself or my parents have no money of any form to pay for college, so i must rely on scholarships to get my way through college.With not having much to began with I have learned that life is tough and not to make excuses no matter what comes your way, I have learned to work for what you need and once you start do not quit no matter how hard. That is how i plan to treat college to take it head on and conquer it, by winning this scholarship it will help me significantly to accomplish my goals. Thank you for considering me for this incredible opportunity Evan Pruitt

Alayshia G  on 12/31/2015 7:38:57 PM

I'm applying for this scholarship because I think it would be a great opportunity for me. I need help financially and think this would be a great start.

Dawn W  on 12/17/2015 10:39:42 PM

I am a senior in a small town of Missouri. I am going to attend Cottey College for four years which adds up close to $105,200 not including the cost of books. I was thinking on going to a community college or on campus college but my parents did not like that idea. So I found Cottey not knowing the cost. My parents are going to help a little bit but only for my books. My parents do not believe in student loans so it's up to scholarships and grants. I am wanting to be a nurse in surgery. I have watched few surgeries and think its amazing on how there are people saving another persons life in their. Please and thank you for your time.

Mahamud M  on 12/17/2015 5:37:29 PM

Wonderful opportunity and I I'm looking forward into attending for this scholarship, because I will attend a 4 year college and this will help me tremendously.

Kaitlyn H  on 12/17/2015 12:42:35 PM

I plan on applying for as many scholarships as I can.. My mom is a single parent and she works two jobs just to try and pay our bills. We're currently going through our second bankruptcy and things aren't looking too good.. With medical bills to pay between the both of us and my own personal debts to my grandparents, I work 28-36 hours a week at Taco Bell while maintaining my grades. I'm currently a senior in high school, but I am also a full-time post secondary student. Since I've worked almost all of high school, I never had time to join academic clubs or other extra curricular activities, so I've had to focus on my academics. With my being a first-generation college student and bi-racial (should I be able to get the grants and scholarships I need), it'd be a huge deal for me and my family.

Brian N  on 11/28/2015 3:09:22 AM

I am going to become an actor

Ebony O  on 6/23/2015 4:33:34 PM

Me and my mom are homeless and living in hotels. My mom can't afford to send me to college. So decided to apply for scholarships. To be honest I saw the amount and chose this scholarship. I do apologize if that hurt my chance to get this scholarship but I really want to attend college so I can become a successful woman so I can help my mom out and take care of her like she taken care of me. As a parent my mom did the best she could for me and my older bother he's in the army now but can't help us do to his situation. But if I can win this scholarship I promise to do right by it and finish college as plan. Thank you for considering me as a candidate.

maranda s  on 4/23/2015 11:52:48 AM

My grandfather is a Vietnam Veteran and he is proud to be part of The American Legion, I have listened to his stories some sad and some inspirational, I couldn't imagine how terrifying it was for him, He is so proud to have fought for our country and this would make him proud that you are helping children in our country to afford to go to college and get an education that he did not receive when he was younger when he was drafted to go to Vietnam ,he did not receive his high school diploma until he was in his 50s and he was so proud to have received it, He and other veterans are an inspiration to mine and other generation, Thank You.

Hannah C  on 3/25/2015 4:12:45 PM

I'm excited about applying for this scholarship! I know many people that are currently members of the American Legion and I know this is an amazing opportunity, I hope my application is looked over, and then over again. I am definitely the girl for this scholarship (-:

Anna S  on 1/26/2015 5:12:29 AM

I participated in this scholarship this year and I only won third place in the first round. However, it was an amazing experience and the people of the American Legion group were extremely helpful and kind. I really suggest this scholarship opportunity to everyone! I wish I had had more time to prepare. During the event you have time with the other contestants, so you can get to know each other, which really eases the nervousness! Good Luck to all that apply for this! Tell your friends about it! :D

Bethany G  on 2/23/2014 7:43:26 PM

Good luck to everyone who's applying

meagan r  on 1/27/2014 7:59:10 PM

I will be applying to this scholarship because this sounds like a great opportunity!

Katheryn M  on 11/9/2013 9:44:58 PM

I hope I win! Good luck to everyone applying!!

nina k  on 1/3/2013 6:59:32 AM

I would love to win this scholarship

Karen M  on 7/17/2012 9:44:58 PM

Wow, there is no way I am missing out on this!

Aaron S  on 12/6/2011 10:28:23 AM

Awesome!

Jessica A  on 5/16/2011 4:49:08 PM

Click on "What we do" and the oratorical contest will be the 7th on the list, took me a while to finally realize it. Hope this makes finding it a lot easier.

Stacy S  on 11/22/2009 8:49:14 PM

Catholic HS Students can apply. That would be what is called a parochial school...And they said that's okay.

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