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ScholarshipsThis program includes National scholarships for students. The Voice of Democracy is a speech writing competition, which has been around since 1947. It is opened to High School students, who write and record an essay on an announced topic. The Patriot’s Pen competition is opened to middle school students, who submit a written essay. The Patriotic Art competition is opened to high school students who express their patriotism through art. The Auxiliary also offers a scholarship to members for their continuing education
Voice of Democracy (VOD) - a speech writing competition, where 9th through 12th grade students write and record their speech. Winners at the National level receive thousands of dollars.
Established in 1947, our Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay. Each year, nearly 40,000 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of $2.1 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program. 

The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. A complete list of other national scholarships ranges from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Want to apply?

Read the rules and eligibility requirements and download the entry form and brochure before you submit your entry at your local VFW Post. 
2023-2024 Voice of Democracy Program Theme
"What are the greatest attributes of our Democracy?”
Voice of Democracy Entry Form 2023-2024 

Patriot's Pen - where 6th through 8th grade students submit a 300 to 400 words essay. Again, National winners receive special recognition and thousands of dollars.

Each year more than 132,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $54,500, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level. 

The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. Want to apply? 

2023-2024 "PATRIOT PEN” ESSAY Program Theme
"How are you inspired by America?”


Continuing Education Scholarship

-----Continuing Education Scholarship Application

The VFW Auxiliary is pleased to present the Continuing Education Scholarship to assist members and their immediate family members who wish to further their education by pursing a college degree or career direction at a vocational/technical school.

Who is Eligible to Apply?
  • Applicant must be 21 years of age or older.
  • Applicant must be one of the following: - Current VFW Auxiliary Member* - Spouse of current VFW Auxiliary Member* - Son of current VFW Auxiliary Member* - Daughter of current VFW Auxiliary Member**Qualifying member must have been a member of the VFW Auxiliary for one (1) year by the application submission deadline.
What is the Scholarship Amount?
Four $1,250 scholarships will be awarded each year, one in each of the four VFW Auxiliary Conferences.
What are the Scholarship Submission Requirements?
Each applicant must:
  • Answer all questions on the application.
  • Write a brief essay (no more than 300 words) describing their commitment to their goals and how this scholarship will help them attain these goals.
What are the Scholarship Deadlines?
  • July 1: Application process begins.
  • February 15: All applications must be submitted to VFW Auxiliary National Headquarters*
  • May 1: Scholarship recipients are notified.
* required deadlines
Young American Creative Patriotic Art-----Young American Creative Art Application
Each year, more than 3,500 high school students from across the country participate in the VFW Auxiliary’s Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest. The contest began in 1979 to recognize up-and-coming artists and encourage patriotism in youth. View all the previous first-place national winners.

Who is Eligible to Apply?
  • Any student in grades 9-12 who is enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States.
  • Maximum student age of 18 at time of local entry.
  • Student must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national.
  • Applicant does not have to be related to a VFW or VFW Auxiliary member to participate, but the student must attend school in the same state as the sponsoring VFW Auxiliary.
What is the Scholarship Amount?
  • The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $21,000.
What are the Scholarship Submission Requirements?
  • Art must be on paper or canvas. Watercolor, pencil, pastel, charcoal, tempera, crayon, acrylic, pen-and-ink or oil may be used.
  • Digital art and photography is NOT ACCEPTED.
  • Submit canvas entries on stretcher frames or canvas board; other entries must be matted on white.
    Do not frame.
  • Art should be no smaller than 8” x 10” but no larger than 18” x 24,” not including the mat.
  • Complete entry form and attach to back of entry.
  • Submit a typed explanation of patriotism expressed in art (150 words or less).
What are the Scholarship Deadlines?
  • March 31: Student Entry Deadline to Local VFW Auxiliary*
  • April 10:  Local VFW Auxiliary and District Judging Complete.
  • April 15:  Local VFW Auxiliary and District Winners to Department (state) for Judging*
  • May 5:  VFW Auxiliary Department (state) Winners to VFW Auxiliary National Headquarters