Official Rules

1.  The Essay

  • The topic for the 2018 Junior Achievement Essay Competition is: "What would make your high school experience more relevant to your future?”

  • Essays will be judged on the following criteria:

    • Creativity & originality

    • Persuasiveness

    • Grammar & spelling

    • Understanding of subject matter

    • Relevancy of response to topic question

  • Essays must be 1,000 – 1,500 words. Footnotes, citations, endnotes, and essay titles will not be counted as part of the 1,000 – 1,500 words allotted to the applicant.

  • Applicants must use proper grammar and spelling in the essay and will be penalized for use of improper grammar or spelling.

  • Applicants are not permitted to include any forms of media other than plain text in their essays, such as photos, diagrams, or charts.

  • Applicants should not include their name, their school’s name, or personally identifiable information either within the content of the essay or on any pages on which the essay is printed. Applicant ID Codes will be automatically assigned after the completion of the first step of the online submission process and will serve as personal identifiers.

  • Applicants may opt to cite external references in their essays, such as statistics or quotes. All external references must be properly cited as parenthetical citations or endnotes.

  • Essays must be the original work of the applicant. Essays must neither have been entered in another competition nor have been published previously in any form or sold for publication. Essays must not contain material that infringes on the intellectual property rights of others. Any essay that violates these rules will be disqualified and any awards made for such essay will be rescinded and must be returned to Junior Achievement. All essays will be checked for plagiarism by Junior Achievement with SafeAssign by Blackboard.

  • Junior Achievement will collect personally identifiable information about applicants as part of the application process. This information will be used to contact applicants in connection with the essay competition and in announcements, events, and press releases related to the essay competition and will be provided only to parties related to Junior Achievement of Greater Washington (“Junior Achievement”), and the applicant’s school and legal guardians. No personally identifiable information about the applicants will be revealed to any member of the judging committee at any time during the judging process. Personal information may only be included on the completed application form.

2.  Awards

  • The winning essays will be determined by a judging committee selected by Junior Achievement.

  • A first, second, and third place winner will be selected from each of Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one grand prize winner will be selected from among all three regions, for a total of ten winning applicants.

  • The grand prize winner will receive a $20,000 award. The first, second, and third place winners from Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia will each receive a $10,000 award.

  • Awards are dispersed by Junior Achievement directly to the college or university that the winner is planning to attend for tuition and fees only. Winners may work with Junior Achievement staff members and college or university financial aid officials to coordinate disbursement.

  • All winners will have their essays published on Junior Achievement’s website.

  • Winners will be announced on in spring 2019.

  • In each of Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, the school with the greatest number of eligible applications will receive a $6,000 award, for a total of three winning schools.

3.  Who May Enter

  • Applicant must be a student enrolled in the 9th – 12th grade at an accredited high school or accredited home school program in Junior Achievement’s Franchised Region on the date on which he or she submits a conforming essay and application. Junior Achievement’s Franchised Region comprises the following counties and cities:

    • Maryland: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Saint Mary’s

    • Virginia: Alexandria City, Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax City, Fairfax County, Falls Church City, Fauquier, Fredericksburg, King George, Loudoun, Manassas City, Manassas Park City, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren

    • Washington, DC

  • Applicant must be a citizen or legal resident of the United States.

  • Immediate family members of judging committee members and of Mr. David Rubenstein are ineligible for this essay competition. Immediate family members of employees of Junior Achievement, the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement, the Associate Leadership Council of Junior Achievement, the Prince George’s County Advisory Council of Junior Achievement, the Northern Virginia Advisory Council of Junior Achievement, and the Montgomery County Advisory Council of Junior Achievement are also ineligible.

  • Grand prize winners from any prior Junior Achievement Essay Competition are ineligible for this essay competition.

  • Any applicant who has been previously disqualified from a Junior Achievement competition is ineligible for this essay competition.

  • Each applicant may enter only once and may only provide one essay on the topic.

4.  How to Enter

  • Applicant must submit his or her essay to Junior Achievement between December 17, 2018 – February 15, 2019. Essays received by Junior Achievement after 11:59 p.m. (E.S.T.) on February 15, 2019, will not qualify and will not be considered.

  • Applicants must submit an application form via the competition’s website, Essays submitted by mail, courier, fax, or any means other than the competition’s website will not qualify and will not be considered.

  • Essays submitted with an incomplete or non-conforming application form or essay format or by an applicant who does not meet the qualifications of the essay competition will not qualify and will not be considered for any award.

5.  Conditions for Participation

  • All submitted essays become the exclusive intellectual property of Junior Achievement, and Junior Achievement obtains all rights to use and republish all or any part of such essays upon submission to our website.

  • Junior Achievement may use prizewinners’ names, likeness, and other identifying information (such as hometown, school, or grade) in promotional materials relating to this essay competition.

  • Winners (or their parents or guardians) will be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility, originality, and compliance with the official rules, a liability release, and a publicity release as a condition to receiving their award.

  • Winners will be required to have an educator, guidance counselor or other official at his or her accredited school or accredited home school program in the Franchised Region submit verification of the winner’s school enrollment in the Franchised Region on the date of submission.

  • Winners will be required to provide written evidence from an institution of higher education confirming their intent to matriculate to that institution as a condition to receiving their award which will be disbursed to the institution of higher education.

  • Winners will be required to affirm that the award will be used solely for paying tuition and fees incurred as part of attending an institution of higher education as a condition to receiving their award.

  • All taxes to the extent applicable shall be the responsibility of the winners of the competition. Winners will be required to submit a completed IRS Form W-9 to Junior Achievement as a condition to receiving their award. Junior Achievement is not providing any tax advice in connection with the competition. Winning Applicants may wish to review IRS topic 421,

  • The award will be disbursed during the summer prior to their matriculation to the verified institution of higher education.

  • By submitting an application and/or essay to Junior Achievement, the applicant agrees to all of the terms and conditions set forth in these Official Rules and on Junior Achievement’s website governing the 2018 Junior Achievement Essay Competition.

6.         Miscellaneous

  • No essay will be given preference over any other essay on the basis of an applicant’s name, school, grade, gender, race, ethnicity, geographic origin, or any legally protected status.

  • Applicant acknowledges that Junior Achievement shall have no liability of any kind as a result of any errors or omissions in the administration of this essay competition, or any network or website errors or incompatibilities, and by entering this competition applicant releases any and all claims applicant may have against Junior Achievement in this regard.

  • No essays or applications will be returned to applicants.

  • No notice will be given to applicants with non-winning or non-conforming essays or applications.

7.         Consent and Release: To the fullest extent possible in law, Entrants, and on behalf of their respective heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, successors and assigns (“Releasing Parties”), release, defend and hold harmless Junior Achievement from any and all actions, causes of action, suits, debts, dues, sums of money, accounts, reckonings, bonds, bills, specialties, covenants, contracts, controversies, agreements, promises, variances, trespasses, lost profits, indirect or direct damages, consequential damages, incidental damages, punitive or exemplary damages, judgments, extent, executions, claims and demands whatsoever, in law, admiralty or equity, whether known or unknown, foreseen or unforeseen, against Junior Achievement which any one or more of the Releasing Parties ever had, now have or hereafter can, shall or may have which in any way arise out of or result from Entrant’s participation, acceptance and use or misuse of prize (if determined to be a winner). Junior Achievement is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of the offer, administration of Essay Competition or in the announcement of any prize. In the event Junior Achievement  is prevented from continuing with the Essay Competition as contemplated herein by any event beyond its control, or otherwise, including but not limited to fire, flood, earthquake, explosion, labor dispute or strike, act of God or public enemy, satellite or equipment failure, riot or civil disturbance, terrorist threat or activity, war (declared or undeclared) or any federal, state, or local government law, order, or regulation, or order of any court, or other cause, Junior Achievement shall have the right to modify, suspend or terminate the Essay Competition. Furthermore, Junior Achievement reserves the right to terminate the Essay Competition if it becomes technically corrupted (including if a computer virus or system malfunction inalterably impairs its ability to conduct the Essay Competition, and to determine winners from among all eligible Entries received prior to termination.

8.            Arbitration: This Essay Competition shall be governed by and interpreted under the laws of the District of Columbia, U.S.A. without regard to its conflicts of laws provisions. Entrants hereby agrees that any and all disputes, claims, causes of action, or controversies (“Claims”) arising out of or in connection with this Essay Competition shall be resolved, upon the election by Entrant or Junior Achievement, by arbitration pursuant to this provision and the code of procedures of either the National Arbitration Forum (“NAF”) or the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), as selected by the Entrant. IF ARBITRATION IS CHOSEN BY ANY PARTY WITH RESPECT TO A CLAIM, NEITHER PARTY WILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO LITIGATE THAT CLAIM IN COURT OR HAVE A JURY TRIAL ON THAT CLAIM. FURTHER, NEITHER JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OR ENTRANT WILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN A REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY ON BEHALF OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC OR OTHER PERSONS SIMILARLY SITUATED, OR AS A MEMBER OF ANY CLASS OF CLAIMANTS PERTAINING TO ANY CLAIM SUBJECT TO ARBITRATION. EXCEPT AS SET FORTH BELOW, THE ARBITRATOR’S DECISION WILL BE FINAL AND BINDING. NOTE THAT OTHER RIGHTS THAT ENTRANT WOULD HAVE IF ENTRANT WENT TO COURT ALSO MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE IN ARBITRATION. ANY CLAIMS, JUDGMENTS AND/OR AWARDS SHALL BE LIMITED TO ACTUAL OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH ENTERING THIS ESSAY COMPETITION. ENTRANT HEREBY WAIVES ANY RIGHTS OR CLAIMS TO ATTORNEY’S FEES, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ENTRANT, WHETHER FORESEEABLE OR NOT AND WHETHER BASED ON NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE. The arbitrator’s authority to resolve Claims is limited to Claims between Junior Achievement and Entrant alone, and the arbitrator’s authority to make awards is limited to awards to Junior Achievement and Entrant alone. Furthermore, claims brought by either party against the other may not be joined or consolidated in arbitration with Claims brought by or against any third party, unless agreed to in writing by all parties. No arbitration award or decision will have any preclusive effect as to issues or claims in any dispute with anyone who is not a named party to the arbitration. Notwithstanding any other provision in this Agreement and without waiving either party’s right to appeal such decision, should any portion of this provision be deemed invalid or unenforceable, then the entire provision (other than this sentence) shall not apply.