International Public Policy Forum Debate Essay Contest 2016

On Friday afternoon, 4 Westfielders - Marlah, Indira, Seamus and Aidan - headed to UCONN MUN for 3 days.  (We missed Ben Manus who was sick.) It was a wonderful conference which just ended a little while ago.  All 4 of them did amazingly well.  

Indira won a Most Improved Award in her committee which was very impressive since they only gave two awards per committee!  

Each participant received written feedback:

  • On Seamus' - who received the highest score in each category of his evaluation - they wrote:  "Awesome job!  Great resolution writing."  
  • Marlah, who also received the highest score in each category, received:  "Very respectful, knew parliamentary procedure very well, very active in debate and very good at interacting with other delegates!"  
  • Aidan's said:  "Awesome, excellent delegate!" and 
  • on Indira's:  "You did absolutely fantastic and were a great presence in the room!" 

Looking to save money on college tuition? Debate experience could be the ticket! Numerous scholarships are available to both individuals and teams who participate in debate. From national tournament contests sponsored by major debate leagues to smaller scholarships offered by both private and public colleges and universities, the options are plentiful for students involved in high school debate.

Check out our top resources for scholarships and cash awards for speech and debate students, and get those applications in today.

1. National Forensic League Scholarships

As the largest and arguably most well-known speech and debate organization in the country, the National Forensic League awards thousands of dollars in scholarships annually to debate team members who participate in tournaments.

Award: Varies; major awards up to $10,000
Awards per Year: Varies
Audience: High School Seniors
Major/Field of Study: Open
How to Apply/Contact: Visit the National Forensics League website.

2. Now Debate This Scholarship Contest

Now Debate This hosts an annual debate competition for 16 high school juniors to compete for a grand prize of $150,000 for college. To get to the finals, students submit three-minute videos regarding a current social issue (which changes yearly). Videos are judged for creativity, depth of knowledge and technical execution.

Award: Grand prize award of $150,000, two secondary awards of $50,000 each
Awards Per Year: 3 (per above)
Audience: High School Juniors
Major/Field of Study: Open
How to Apply/Contact: To find out this year’s topic and instructions on how to create and upload a video, visit

3. International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) Debate Contest

While not a scholarship per se, the Bickel & Brewer/New York University International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) provides cash awards to winning debate teams. It’s the only contest that gives high school students around the globe the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy. Teams qualify by submitting written essays on a public policy topic (which changes annually), and the top teams go on to compete in an oral debate competition. The IPPF awards one $10,000 grand prize and several lesser cash prizes.

Award: $10,000 grand prize plus additional prizes for runners-up
Awards Per Year: Varies
Award is Open to: High school students
Major/Field of Study: Open
How to Apply/Contact: Visit the IPPF website to learn more and to apply.

Winning tournaments is one way to obtain college scholarships, but there are other avenues for students who are active in the debate community. Many colleges and universities with active debate programs offer scholarships directly to high-achieving high school debate students. Check out these additional resources for scholarship information, and check out schools’ individual websites for more information on the specific scholarships they offer.


Niche offers reviews and rankings of millions of colleges and universities, as well as relevant articles and resources, including information on debate and other scholarship opportunities.


The SchoolSoup website provides a listing that includes more than $40 billion in available scholarships, including those for debate students.

Financial Aid Finder

Financial Aid Finder provides tools and resources for students, including tips on funding a college education through savings plans and student loans. The site also includes a listing of debate scholarships.

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