Bridges Resource Library

American Legion Oratorical Scholarship Competition

Updated as of June 11, 2024.

About the Contest

On a national level, the American Legion awards more than $200,000 in scholarships to winners of its Oratorical Scholarship Competition. Maryland conducts the American Legion, Department of Maryland ​Oratorical Scholarship Competition


  • “to develop knowledge and appreciation of the United States Constitution, the ability to think and speak clearly and critically, and the acceptance of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship.”


​“Prepared Oration”

  • “Each contestant shall deliver a prepared oration, which must be an original effort. The oration must address some aspect of the Constitution of the United States, which emphasizes the attendant duties and obligations of a citizen to our government. Possible subjects include:
    • An American Citizens Rights and Responsibilities Under The Constitution
    • Our Constitution – Worth Having, Worth Defending
    • The Constitution in a Changing World
    • The Constitution in Our Everyday Life
    • The Bill of Rights – Reciprocal Rights and Duties
    • The Constitution – Guardian of the People’s Rights

“Assigned Topic Discourse”

  • “In addition to a Prepared Oration, contestants must be prepared to speak on a specific article or amendment to the Constitution. The National office chooses four each year and contestants will prepare a speech for all four. However, only one is chosen, at random, during a contest and all contestants will speak on the same article or amendment. Contestants are sequestered during the contest so they do [not] know which choice was drawn until it [is] their turn to speak. See below for the list of selected assigned topics for the year.”

Awards for 2024

  • Maryland District and Post scholarship or cash awards vary.
  • State Finals:
    • 1st Place Gold Medal and $3,000 scholarship
    • 2nd Place Silver Medal and $2,000 scholarship
    • Others (3rd +) Bronze Medal and $750 scholarship
  • National Finals:
    • 1st place $25,000 scholarship
    • 2nd place $22,500 scholarship
    • 3rd place $20,000 scholarship
    • All state winners who participate in first-round National contests receive $2,000 scholarships.
    • All second-round contestants receive an additional $2,000 scholarship. ​


Contact the Bridges Helpdesk for More Information

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Text: Send to: (410) 357-1546

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This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

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