The 2020 competition is now closed. Thank you to all who submitted. Check back in March for updated information for the 2021 competition.
The essay itself is limited to 4,000 characters, which is about 750-800 words. Judges will review essays and score them based on a number of factors including:
- Adherence to the prompt
- Originality and creativity
- Grammar and mechanics
- Organization and presentation
- Ability to inspire and evoke emotion
Winning essays will receive a certificate from the program along with one of the following cash award prizes:
- First place
- Second Place
- Third Place
- Honorable mention #1
- Honorable mention #2
- Only sophomores and juniors currently enrolled in a public or private high school in Texas are eligible to apply
- Essays must be the original work of student entrants
- Winning students must submit documentation from their high schools showing their enrollment status
- Each student is allowed only one entry in the competition per year
- Essay forms must be fully completed using the link above for submission to be valid for the competition
- Entrants must agree to allow their essays to be published on the Dedman Distinguished Scholars Essay Competition website and in other materials
- Winners must agree to submit and allow brief biographical information to be posted on the Dedman Distinguished Scholars Essay Competition website and in other materials
- Winners will be required to create a UT EID and submit a payment address with the University.
Students entering the competition are strongly encouraged to review the Writing Resources page to find information about how to craft an effective essay. The resources listed on that page are commonly provided to students at UT Austin to help them write effectively at the college level. Winning essays are expected to be written at that level as well, so all entrants should review and make use of the information provided when crafting their essays.
For questions about the competition, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.