Voice of Democracy 2022-2023 Theme is: "Why is the Veteran Important?"

Established in 1947, our Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regard to a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay.  Each year, nearly 25,000 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of more than $2 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 at least a scholarship of $1,000. Before submitting your essay, read the rules and eligibility requirements, and find your sponsoring local VFW Post as applications must be turned in by midnight, Oct. 31Download and complete the 2022-2023 Voice of Democracy entry form here.



The Voice of Democracy Scholarship

Students compete by writing and recording an audio essay on an annual patriotic theme. Prizes and scholarships can be awarded at the Post, District, state, and national level. Department (State) winners receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington DC, to tour the city, be honored by the VFW and its Auxiliary and receive their portion of $156,000 in national awards, the top scholarship being $30,000.

The Voice of Democracy is open to students in grades 9-12 who submit their application and essay by the Oct. 31 deadline. The student records their original 3-5 minute (+ or – 5 second max.) audio essay on a flash drive, or other electronic device. They will submit the recording, typed essay and this completed entry form. Students will provide these items to their school/group competition or a local VFW Post for judging. In addition, they can submit their emailed entry form, essay, and audio file to the VFW Post upon approval.