We the Students Essay Contest
Rules and Regulations
***VOID WHEREVER PROHIBITED
Effective: December 16, 2019 at 12:01 am ET
Deadline: April 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm PT
Section I – General Rules
From Monday, December 16, 2019, through Wednesday, April 15, 2020 (the “Contest Period”), the Bill of Rights Institute will conduct an essay contest in the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia; the U.S. Territories; and American Armed Forces Schools Abroad, focusing on the principles of the Constitution and their relevance today (the “Contest”). To enter, eligible students (see Section II for eligibility requirements) must log on to the essay website and submit an entry that follows the Submission Guidelines as detailed in Section III. We will not accept or consider entries that are mailed-in. As further detailed in Section VII, entrants agree to accept and be bound by all terms of these Official Rules and Regulations and to accept and be bound by the decisions of the Bill of Rights Institute, whose decisions are final with respect to all matters of the Contest. Only one entry per student is permitted. Entries that are incomplete, are submitted late, do not answer all required questions, contain information other than as requested, or otherwise do not comply with these Official Rules and Regulations will not be accepted. By entering the Scholarship Contest, entrants agree that the Bill of Rights Institute will own and administer 100% of the copyright in all entries submitted, with the perpetual right to use such entries and that said entries are solely the work of the entrant for whom they are submitting an entry. The Bill of Rights Institute may edit for grammar, modify for style only, and distribute the submitted entries, without any requirement of additional notification to or permission from the entrant. Entries will only be used to further the educational mission and goals of the Bill of Rights Institute (please see Section VI for a Privacy Statement).
Section II – Eligibility
The Contest is open to all United States citizens or legal residents who are students who are no older than 19 and no younger than 14 as of the end of the Contest Period who (1) attend school in the United States, one of its territories or districts, or an American Armed Forces School Abroad, and (2) who are in grades 8 -12 attending public, private, religious, or charter schools, or (3) are enrolled in a GED or correspondence school program, or (4) are attending a home school program.
Section III – Submission Guidelines
Each submission must adhere to the topics and should fully answer the question and all sub-parts. Each submission must adhere to the word limits for each question (between 500 and 800 words), and must be submitted by 11:59 pm PT on April 15, 2020. Only online submissions will be accepted for the contest. Only one essay per student will be accepted.
Section IV – Judging and Timing
After the Contest Period, the judges selected by the Bill of Rights Institute will review and select finalists from all the eligible entries received. The judges will then select the prize-winners. Entries will be evaluated based upon the following criteria: adherence to the Submission Guidelines (as stated in Section III), originality, organization, writing style, and depth of analysis. Winners will be announced on the contest site on or before May 31, 2020. The Bill of Rights Institute reserves the right in their sole administration of the Contest to disqualify any individual they find or believe to: (i) be tampering with the entry process or the administration of the Contest, (ii) be acting in violation of these Official Rules and Regulations, or (iii) plagiarizing content in any form. The selection of the judges is within the sole and absolute discretion of the Bill of Rights Institute. The judges who are selected by the Bill of Rights Institute will not have a direct connection to the student who has submitted the entry or be in a position to affect the objectivity and impartiality of any judge with respect to a submission.
Section V – Awards
Winners will be announced on the contest site on or before May 31, 2020. Winners must provide publicity photos and information as well as Social Security numbers in order to receive prize money. Social Security numbers are requested from winners for tax purposes only. The Bill of Rights Institute does not sell, nor use student Social Security numbers for any reason other than the required reporting for Federal tax purposes. Winners will receive the following prizes based upon the judges’ evaluations as outlined in Section IV.
Cash prizes for Students in the We The Students Scholarship Essay Contest:
National Grand Prize – $7,500 (plus a scholarship to Constitutional Academy)
Runners Up – Five at $1,500 each
Honorable Mention – Eight at $500 each
Prizes will be awarded within three (3) months of the close of the Contest. Prizes not claimed within 180 days of the check date or the end of the Contest will be void. The Bill of Rights Institute will make commercially reasonable efforts to mail the prize to the winner and is not responsible for incorrect address provided by the contestant. All entrants are solely responsible for understanding and complying with any and all federal, state, and local laws, codes, regulations, and ordinances that may apply to the entrants and the activities or business in which such entrants may engage. There may be tax consequences associated with the prizes and income received by a Contest winner, which may include, without limitation, an obligation to report as income and to pay taxes on such income to federal, state, or local authorities. Each Contest winner is responsible to determine the tax consequences of the income received and to comply with all applicable laws in all respects. All prize-winning teachers are solely responsible for understanding and complying with any and all federal, state, and local laws, codes, regulations, and ordinances, as well as school policies that may apply.
Section VI – Privacy Statement
Section VII – Availability Disclaimer
The administration of the Contest, including, without limitation, determining the eligibility of a student or entry, selecting of a judge, evaluating any submitted entry, and awarding of the prizes, is within the sole and absolute discretion of the Bill of Rights Institute. No student or teacher, or person or organization related thereto, has a right to appeal, contest, dispute, or otherwise challenge any aspect of the administration of the Contest, and any decision of the Bill of Rights Institute is final in all respects. No responsibility is assumed for incorrect or inaccurate entry information whether caused by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized by this contest or by any human error which may occur in the processing of entries into this Contest. The Bill of Rights Institute is not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, or delayed entries or any problems or technical malfunctions of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of players on account of technical problems, or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website or combination thereof. If, for any reason, the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of the Bill of Rights Institute, which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this contest or for any reason the Bill of Rights Institute deems it necessary, the Bill of Rights Institute reserves the right to cancel, modify, or delay the Contest.
Section VIII – Nondiscrimination Policy
In administering the Contest, the Bill of Rights Institute will not discriminate in any manner, including on the basis of race, color, national, or ethnic origin.
Section IX – Limitation of Liability, Governing Law, and Venue
By participating, entrants and submitting teachers release Bill of Rights Institute and its parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, and their members, directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all liability with respect to all aspects of the Contest including all losses, damage or bodily injury resulting from participation in this Contest, and the possession, acceptance, or misuse of prizes. By participating In the Contest, entrants and submitting teachers agree that (a) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected to the Contest shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; (b) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Contest but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (c) under no circumstances will any entrant or submitting teacher be permitted to obtain any award for, and each hereby waives all rights to, any claim; punitive, incidental, or consequential damages; and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforceability of these Contest rules, or the rights and obligations of the entrants, submitting teachers, and Bill of Rights Institute in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Virginia without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth of Virginia. Any legal proceedings arising out of this Contest or relating to these Contest rules shall be instituted only in the federal courts located in the Eastern District of Virginia, and the parties consent to jurisdiction therein with respect to any legal proceedings or disputes of whatever nature arising under or relating to these Contest rules. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Contest rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, these Contest rules shall otherwise remain in effect and be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or illegal provision were not contained in these Contest rules.