You are here

WaCLA Essay Contest

Submitted by Caterina Rost on March 11, 2016 - 11:55am

Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts (WaCLA) invites UW undergraduates to participate in an essay contest that explores the value of a liberal arts education. Cash prizes will be awarded to first and second place winners in each category: freshmen/sophomores and juniors/seniors. To apply, students must submit their essays to Jamie Barnhorst ( no later than 5 pm on 4/2/16.

College Essay Contest

Open to all undergraduate students currently enrolled at WaCLA institutions

Submissions must address, in no more than 500 words, the following prompt:

A liberal arts education is characterized by the idea that understanding many different ways of knowing can help students learn how to be effective and responsible members of their communities.  Choose a current controversial issue in your community and describe how you've come to understand that issue from different perspectives.


The essay contest is open to all undergraduate students currently enrolled in WaCLA member institutions; this includes UW. Entrants will be divided into two categories: students who have freshman or sophomore standing at their institution and those who have junior or senior standing.


Awards are made in two categories: freshmen/sophomores and juniors/seniors. Two awards are made in each category: $1,000 for first place and $750 for second place. Winners will be announced by June 10, 2016.

Deadline and Submission Instruction:

Each WaCLA institution will set its own deadlines and will select up to three campus essays to be submitted to WaCLA for statewide adjudication in each category. The UW deadline is 4/2/16 at 5pm. Email essays to Jamie Barnhorst at

For more information, please see the essay contest cover sheet instructions. Feel free to email Jamie ( with any questions.

News Category: