Post 6401

VFW Scholarships


Each year more than 125,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $50,000, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. 

The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.

Who can enter: High School Students grades 9-12
2019-2020 theme::  What Makes America Great
Deadline: October 31, 2018

First:          $250
Second:    $100
Third:        $75

Who can enter: Middle School Students grades 6-8
2019-2020 theme: What Makes America Great
Deadline: October 31, 2018

First:          $100
Second:    $75
Third:        $50

Submit entries to local VFW Post by October 31, 2020 Students (public school, private school or Home School).  Students  in Bonner  Springs and Edwardsville School District, USD 500 and Piper School District may submit entries to VFW 6401.


Each year, nearly 40,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of the $2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition.

The VFW established the Voice of Democracy program (VOD) in 1947 to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles.

The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from each (state) VFW Department wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.