State of the Union Essay Contest

State of the Union FlierSen. Bernie Sanders’ annual State of the Union essay contest is designed to engage Vermont’s high school students on the major issues facing the country. Over the past four years, more than 1,150 students from schools throughout Vermont wrote essays to the senator about important issues such as the declining middle class, climate change, health care reform and the rising cost of a college education.

The U.S. Constitution calls for the president to “give to the Congress information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” 

As the president prepares his state of the union speech for delivery to a joint session of Congress, Sen. Sanders’ essay contest asks Vermont’s high school students to write an essay of 250 words to 500 words about their view of the “state of the union.”

Finalists will have their essays published in the Congressional Record and will participate in a roundtable discussion with the senator. The winner of the essay contest will be able to have Sen. Sanders visit his or her school to conduct a meeting on issue of concern to high school students.

DEADLINE: Student essays must be submitted by noon on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015.

Please fill out the form below and copy and paste your essay in the box provided.

QUESTIONS: Contact Alex Craven at 1-800-339-9834 or email him at