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 40,000 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of $2.1 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program. 

The national first-place winner receives a $35,000 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 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements (click here), then download and complete the current year's entry form (click here). All student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post (click here) by midnight, Oct. 31.

 Applications must be submitted by October 31 of the current year and winners are announced the following calendar year after they have been judged at the local, state, and national levels. Thus we show two-year labels for year of submission and year of award.