Scholarship Rules

Download the list of scholarship rules HERE


1.  Contestants must be an African American Junior or Senior in High School attending one of the
twelve designated far South Suburban High Schools, which include: Bloom, Bloom Trail, Crete Monee, Hillcrest, Homewood-Flossmoor, Marian Catholic, Rich Central, and South, Southland College Prep., Thornton, Thornridge, and Thornwood. An Essay Application must be completed and signed by the student. 

2.   Essays are required to be original works, and must have been written within 6 months of the
due date.

3.   The deadline for receipt of all essays is Saturday, April 30, 2022. If an essay is mailed and postmarked on that date or before, it will be accepted.

4.   The cover page of the essay must include the: contestant’s name, title of the essay, and date written, each page thereafter must be numbered. Contestants must submit three copies of their essay and sign the last page of each copy.

5.   The essay must consist of a minimum of (8) eight written pages of text, which does not include the cover page, and a maximum of (12) twelve pages, all double spaced using Times Roman or Courier 12 or 14 font. A Bibliography is required and does not count toward the minimum page requirement.

6.   Contestants must be prepared to answer questions if asked by one or more judges.

7.   Essays and an The Application and the Essay should be sent electronically to or mailed to: WSESF, Essay Competition, 262 Main St., Park Forest, IL 60466 and if mailed, post marked on or before Saturday, April 30, 2022.

Essays are judged by the following criteria:

  1. Creativity and literary expression of subject matter
  2. Grammar usage, spelling, and overall organization
  3. Degree of complexity of topic and contestant’s knowledge of subject matter
  4. Credibility of cited resources and research materials
  5. Quantity of supporting documentation using Footnotes & Bibliography

An essay is an analytic or interpretative literary composition usually dealing with its subject from a limited or personal point of view.

An original essay is the written expression of its author’s opinion. At best, an essay blends fact with imagination, knowledge, and emotions, never giving itself wholly to one or the other. The essay’s purpose is always the same: to express an opinion about a specific subject. Therefore, the writer should feel strongly about the topic; one that he or she has experienced, witnessed, or has a serious opinion or interest in the subject.