Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition

$1,000–$30,000Award Amount
50Number of Awards
10/31/2022Submission Deadline

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The Voice of Democracy Scholarship Program is sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, a nonprofit veterans service organization comprising qualified veterans and military service members from the active, guard, and reserve forces.

The national winner receives a prize of $30,000 from the scholarship. Other national scholarships vary from $1,000 to $16,000, with a minimum of $1,000 awarded to the first place recipient from each VFW Department (state).

The scholarship is paid to the recipient’s American university, college, or vocational/technical institution. Students must submit a recording of their audio essay, as well as a typed essay, that answers the provided prompt.

Key Information of Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition

Study Details

Country of Study

United States

Specific Schools


Scholarship Details

Intended Level of Study

  • Undergraduate
  • Vocational/Technical School

Award Amount


Number of Awards


Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition Timeline

April 2022

Application Open Date

The scholarship usually opens for application around this month.

October 31, 2022

Submission Deadline

The application closes at midnight on October 31.

April 2023

Award Announcement Day

Winners of the contest are announced just before the cycle opens.

Scholarship Eligibility

To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the following criteria.

  • Eligible Grade: High School Freshman – High School Senior
  • Maximum Age: 20
  • Required GPA: 3
  • Geographic Eligibility: United States
  • Gender: Any
  • Race/Ethnicity:

Application Requirements

Here’s what you need to submits besides your application.

  • Oration
  • Video Submission
  • Essay
  • Recommendation letters

How to ace the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition


Listen to past winners' essays

We advise you to listen to past winners' essays to be enlightened on how they tailored theirs to the year's theme.


Be original

We advise that you make your essay unique. Research America's history to find a story that appeals to you and formulate your essay.


Stick to the program's theme

Every year, the sponsors change the essay theme. Be sure to get familiar with the year's theme you make your application.


Submit a clear audio

Try recording your essay in a noiseless environment devoid of all external sounds. Also, make use of a suitable device that produces good audio quality.

How the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition is Judged

Originality is 30 points: the theme should be treated with creativity and human interest. Content is 35 points: Organize your thoughts and communicate them. Develop your theme fully and use transitions to flow from one idea to another. Delivery is 35 points: Speak clearly and authoritatively.

Why We Love the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition


Many students benefit from the program

Aside from the national winner, other state winners are selected from every 50 states of the United States and the District of Columbia.


Creative scholarship application

Most scholarship applications require applicants to only write an essay, but the VOD lets you read it out. This way you can have your essay understood and expressed as you would prefer it.


Promotes America's history

The essay promotes Americanism amongst the youths.

5 Facts About the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition


Non-renewable scholarship

The scholarship is a one-time payment made to the recipient's college.


Very competitive scholarship

According to VFW, nearly 64,500 9-12 grade students from across the country join each year to win their share of the program's more than $2 million in educational grants and incentives.


Sponsors other scholarships

The Veterans of Foreign Wars sponsors other scholarship programs aside from the Voice of America Essay Competition.


For United States citizens

The scholarship is set aside for United States citizens only with no exception.


Open to students from 9th–12th

The Voice of Democracy scholarship is only open to students who are enrolled in high school.

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