Our missions is to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogues and youth focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Every year, the Foundation receives many questions regarding the details and eligibility requirements of the Contest. The following is a list of frequently asked questions, complete with answers. Please read through this list before contacting the Foundation with additional questions.

The guidelines state that “Registered undergraduate full-time juniors or seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States during the fall 2018 semester” are eligible to enter the 2019 contest. Students must fill this requirement in order to have their essay and application accepted for The Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics Essay Contest – no exceptions will be made.

If students are not sure whether they are registered undergraduate full-time juniors or seniors at their accredited four-year schools, they should check with their registrar first before contacting the Foundation.

Students are eligible to enter the 2019 contest if:
They are registered undergraduate full-time juniors or seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States during the fall 2018 semester, or

2) They fulfill the guideline requirements and are studying abroad during the 2018-2019 school year, as long as they are registered as full-time juniors or seniors at their home schools in the U.S., or

3) They are international or non-citizen students who fill the guideline requirements and are attending schools in the U.S.

Students are NOT eligible to enter if…
They are not yet attending college (includes not attending during the fall 2017 semester), or are in high school.
They attend two-year programs or schools, or are enrolled in an Associates degree or community college program.
They will enter their junior year during the Spring 2019 semester.
They are part-time junior or senior students during the Fall 2018 semester.
They have finished their undergraduate studies before the Fall 2018 semester.
They are in a doctorate, masters, or any graduate program.
They are attending un-accredited schools or institutions.
They are students at a school outside of the U.S.

If you are not eligible this year, you may be eligible in following years.
New application forms and guidelines are posted every summer.

In designing the Contest, the Foundation felt that limiting entries to juniors and seniors would allow students two years to take classes and develop their views and understanding of ethics before competing in the Contest.

Again, please remember that this is an annual contest and you are welcome to apply in the future.

The Foundation receives many inquiries regarding what students may write about in their essays. The topics provided by the Foundation each year are merely suggested topics – students may feel free to write about any topic as long as it pertains to ethics.

Any interested professor at the student’s school may act as a Faculty Sponsor. Students entering the contest are required to have a Faculty Sponsor review their essay and sign the Entry Form. Faculty members should only endorse thought-provoking, well-written essays that fall within the contest guidelines.

Students studying abroad may have professors at their home or abroad institution serve as their Faculty Sponsor.

The names and essays for the current year’s winners can be found on the page titled This Year’s Winners.

All First, Second and Third Place winning essays from 1990 to the present are also available on our website, these essays are located under Past Winners. All essays are available in both html and PDF format. There is no publication for purchase at this time which includes winning essays.

Please remember that the essays may not be reproduced or distributed without written permission from the Foundation.