• The New York Times & AASCU Student Writing Contest: A More Perfect Union

    The American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) American Democracy Project (ADP) and The New York Times are pleased to announce their student writing contest: A More Perfect Union.

    What does it mean to be civically and politically informed and engaged? What current events have sparked you to think more deeply about our democracy? If information is power, how do you harness credible sources of news media to make informed decisions about policy, social issues and political issues or about your community, region, our country, or the world? We want to hear your voice, read your words and understand your thoughts on what it means to be an engaged citizen. 

    Past Winners



    In 750 words or less, using an article published in The New York Times between March 1, 2019, and Sept. 12, 2019, tell us what sparked your thinking about civic and political engagement. Take an issue and show how it affected you and what you did in response. How do you use information to ensure A More Perfect Union? The entry should cite both The New York Times article and its author.

    The contest is open to registered undergraduate students enrolled in AASCU’s American Democracy Project or in NASPA LEAD colleges and universities with a NYT program. Any eligible individual who would like to participate should use this entry form (pdf). Entries (one submission per person) should be submitted in a single PDF to nudelmanf@aascu.org.


    Entries must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Sept. 30, 2019.

    Selection Process

    A committee of representatives from The New York Times, AASCU and ADP campuses will judge entries and select first and second place winners.


    Winners will receive a cash prize—$500 for the top prize and $250 for the runner up—and have their essay posted in The New York Times' Education section and on the ADP website