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
    fourteen designated far South Suburban High Schools, namely: Bloom, Bloom Trail, Bremen Township, Crete Monee, Eisenhower, Hillcrest, Homewood-Flossmoor, Marian Catholic, Rich Township Central and South Campuses, Southland College Prep., Thornton, Thornridge, and Thornwood. An Essay Application must be completed and signed by student.
  2. Essays are required to be original works, and must have been written within 6 months of the
    due date.

  3. Contestants must submit four copies of their essay with a signature on the last page, and
    submitted on or before the deadline of Saturday, April 27, 2024.

  4. The top of each page must include the contestant’s name, title of the essay, date written and page number. A cover page should precede the first page of text and all pages thereafter must be numbered.

  5. The essay must consist of a minimum of (6) six pages, and a maximum of (10) ten pages, double spaced using Times Roman or Courier 12 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 application must be mailed and post marked on or before Saturday, April 27, 2024. Please mail to:

Essay Competition
262 Main Street
Park Forest, IL 60466

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 facts 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.