2022 High School Essay Contest

The Anne Arundel County Bar Foundation invites all high school students in Anne Arundel County to enter its annual high school essay contest. The contest is open to all public or private high school students in grades 9-12, and home-schooled students at corresponding grade levels.

This year’s contest is focused on two current Supreme Court cases regarding a challenge to the consideration of race in college admissions:

Case Summary on SCOTUSblog (Supreme Court of the United States blog)
Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina

Case Summary on SCOTUSblog (Supreme Court of the United States blog)
Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College

Prizes:       1st place:  $500       2nd place:  $250     3rd place:  $100
The winners will be honored at a special ceremony at the Circuit Court.  All participants will receive a certificate.  College admissions offices look favorably upon applications of students who have received writing awards.
How to Enter:
Write an essay on this topic:  How should the U.S. Supreme Court should rule on these cases and why?
Students should submit an essay of up to 1,200 words on the stated topic (see details below). Entries should be double-spaced and either typewritten or printed using a computer word processor.
The essay must be accompanied by a cover sheet that includes the following information: the student’s name, address, phone number and e-mail address; school’s name (if applicable), address and phone number; and the name of the teacher sponsor (if applicable, or parent if home-schooled). All portions of the essay that are not expressly identified as quotations must be the original work product of the student submitting the essay.
Deadline for submissions: 
Essays must be received by June 10, 2022, and e- mailed to:  info@aabar.org

Essay Topic:
The cases under consideration: 

The Supreme Court is hearing a challenge to the consideration of race in college admissions.  The court has taken up lawsuits claiming that Harvard University, a private institution, and the University of North Carolina, a state school, discriminate against Asian American applicants. A decision against the schools could mean the end of affirmative action in college admissions.


Lower courts rejected the challenges, citing more than 40 years of high court rulings that allow colleges and universities to consider race in admissions decisions. But the colleges and universities must do so in a narrowly tailored way to promote diversity.

The court’s most recent pronouncement was in 2016, in a 4-3 decision upholding the admissions program at the University of Texas against a challenge brought by a white woman. But the composition of the court has changed since then, with the addition of three conservative justices. Two members of that four-justice majority are gone from the court: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in 2020, and Justice Anthony Kennedy retired in 2018. The three dissenters in the case, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, remain on the court. 

If you have questions about the contest, please contact us at 410-222-6860 or info@aabar.org.