Oratorical Contest General Information
The purpose of The American Legion's National High School Oratorical Contest is to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States on the part of high school students. Other objectives of the contest include the development of leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly and intelligently, and the preparation for acceptance of the duties and responsibilities, the rights and privileges of American citizenship
Scholarship awards are presented to the three finalists in the Final Round of the National contest as follows: 1st place -- $18,000; 2nd place --$16,000; 3rd place -- $14,000. Each Department (State) winner who is certified into and participates in the first round of the National Contest will receive a $1,500 scholarship. Each first round winner who advances to and participates in the second round, but does not advance to the Final Round, will receive an additional $1,500 scholarship to pursue education beyond high school.
The scholarships awarded by the National Organization of The American Legion to the three finalists, to the Department winners, and to the first round winners who are eliminated during the second round of competition may be used to attend any college or university in the United States. Funds for the scholarships awarded by the National Organization are provided by The American Legion Life Insurance Fund.
In addition to the scholarships award by the National Organization, there are several hundred scholarships awarded at the discretion of the intermediate organizations, to participants at Post, District or County, and Department levels of competition.
Eligible participants in The American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest shall be citizens of or lawful permanent residents of the United States.
All contestants must be bona fide students herein described as any student under the age of twenty (20) years on the date of the National Contest who is presently enrolled in a high school or junior high school (public, parochial, military, private or state home school) in which the curriculum of said high school is considered to be of high school level, commencing with grade nine (9) and terminating with grade twelve
(12). Students must be enrolled in high school or junior high school during the time of participation at any level of The American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest.
The three finalists of the National Contest will be ineligible for further participation at any level.
What to Wear
Uniforms are not permitted. Appropriate business attire is required by all contestants. Contestants are not permitted to wear awards and medals from previous competitions
The National Organization of The American Legion will pay the travel and lodging expenses of Department Winners and their chaperones to the National Contest. All contestants must be accompanied by a chaperon over 21 years of age.
The National Organization of The American Legion will not assume liability for personal injury, property damage or loss sustained by any contestant or chaperone en route to or from the contest; however, The American Legion does carry a nominal group accident insurance policy on contestants certified into the National competition. Contestants will travel by an air carrier selected by The American Legion.