Essay writing contest for high school students about basic income

By Lindsay Advocate

This year is the second Universal Basic Income (UBI) high school essay contest in honor of the 20th Annual BIG Conference. All high school students in the U.S. and Canada are invited to enter. The deadline is March 31, 2022.

Three winners will earn a first, second, and third place cash prize of $300, $200, and $100 respectively, and be invited to appear at The BIG Conference on June 24-26, 2022, where the prize will be awarded. Registration fees for virtual attendance will be waived for the 3 winners.

Essay Requirements: 

  • Essay should be 2-3 pages, double spaced, 1″ margins, 12-point font.
  • Essay must be under 1000 words & written in English.
  • Any sources quoted or paraphrased should be cited in a list of references using some standard reference style, such as APA. (References are exempt from the word count.)
  • Essay should address at least one of the following prompts:
  1. What are the most compelling arguments or narratives that support or don’t support a basic income?
  2. How did the stimulus checks (American Rescue Plan and the monthly Child Tax Credit checks, or Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)) affect your family or community?
  3. How might a basic income policy be implemented?
  4. How might a basic income change the world?


  • You must be a student enrolled in high school in the U.S. or Canada (including territories) for the academic year 2022-2023.
  • Winners will need to provide a letter from a teacher or school administrator confirming that the essay is their own work and that they are a student enrolled in high school. The form and instructions will be provided to the winner at a later date.
  • Winners will also need to provide a parental consent form for participating in the Conference and receiving the cash prize. The form and instructions to do so will be provided to the winner at a later date.

Essay Submissions:  Please submit your essay by March 31, 2022 using this link:

Announcements: Winners will be notified in early May 2022. Winners will be recognized during The BIG Conference June 24-26, 2022. Winning essays will be posted on The BIG Conference website. 

Questions?  Email with “HS Essay Contest 2022” in the subject line.

Conference Registration:  Anyone may attend The BIG Conference without submitting an essay! Registration fees for virtual attendance will be waived for the three winners. You can register using this link:

High School Essay Contest Committee: Aleeza Howitt, Amy Hughes, Eri Noguchi, Erica Wright

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