"Winning is not the important thing. It is the only thing." Vince Lombardi
Congratulations, 2015 Essay Contest Winners
Essay Contest 2014-2015
The Cornell Club's Essay Contest is open to all 11th-grade high school students in the greater Rochester area. We hope that participating in the contest will help develop your critical thinking and writing skills. In particular, our recent experience demonstrates these skills are critical to success in your college application essay next fall, as well as for your Regents English exam later this spring.
We will award a first prize of $100 in cash, and up to three second place prizes of $50 each; we will also designate an unlimited number of finalists, semi-finalists and honorable mentions, depending on the quality of submissions. In past years, up to 40% of the entrants have been so designated. In addition, if the first prize winner is accepted by and chooses to attend Cornell, the Club will award $950 during the winner's sophomore year. Similarly, if any second prize winner attends Cornell, that student will receive $450.
The Cornell Club of Rochester offers the prize; winning or placing favorably in the essay contest in no way implies a favorable admission decision by any of Cornell's seven undergraduate colleges. But we also know from the past years of the competition that most essayists designated as semi-finalists or higher have been accepted to at least one highly selective college!
In early to mid May, we will notify the winners and send a list of finalists, semi-finalists, and honorable mentions to the participating teachers. The winning essays will be posted on this website after the winners have been notified.
One of the most important skills that you will continue to develop during the balance of your high school years and in college is the ability to thoughtfully evaluate opposing viewpoints -- in other words, to think critically. This skill is important not only for students and scholars, but also for nearly every occupation you might choose, as well as for your personal mental growth and maturity.