This post was last updated on September 6th, 2016 at 11:50 pm

Deadline:  April 28, 2017

Eligibility:  Entrants must be graduating high school seniors or college students and submit an essay of 800 to 1,600 words on one of three topics available on the official webpage. Essays will be judged on whether the student is able to argue for and justify his or her view—not on whether the institute agrees with the view the student expresses. Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of Atlas Shrugged.

Award: All awards are cash prizes. Checks are mailed directly to the winners with no restrictions on how the prize money is spent.
First prize: $20,000.
Three second prizes: $2,000.
Five third prizes: $1,000.
25 finalists: $100.
50 semifinalists: $50.

Contact: Application available at Send questions to