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NIAF NCCA Christopher Columbus Essay Contest


About the Contest

Since 1996, NIAF has proudly joined with the National Christopher Columbus Association (NCCA) to sponsor an annual national essay contest on a topic related to Christopher Columbus for high school students throughout the United States.

Three outstanding essays are chosen from amongst the submissions to win a cash prize. The first-place winner receives a $1,200 prize and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington to read the essay at the Columbus Day event in Washington.  The second-place winner receives $500 and the third-place winner receives $300.

2023-2024 Topic

Christopher Columbus’s transatlantic voyages are largely considered the beginning of the Age of Exploration. How did Columbus’s voyages set the stage for the Age of Exploration and impact European commerce and politics?”


Program Details

The contest is open to students in grades 9 through 12 in public, private, or parochial schools, or to those who are home schooled. This contest is conducted without regard to race, religion, gender, or national origin.

For more information regarding the specific criteria of the essay, please visit the link below.

Important Dates

All submissions must be sent as PDF or Word Document format via e-mail to

Deadline: March 15, 2024 11:59pm EST

Notification: June 15, 2024 5:00 pm EST