Economic Club Of Grand Rapids Essay Contest Rules

2017-2018 Student Essay Contest

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis announces the 30th Annual Student Essay Contest open to all high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District.

2017-2018 Question:

Should the federal government increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour?

Topic Primer

Writing Guide

Contest Rules and Submission Information


Thirty student finalists will receive $100. In addition, a first-, second- and third-place winner will be selected. The third-place winner will receive an additional $200, and the second-place winner will receive an additional $300. The first-place winner will receive an additional $400 and a paid summer internship at the Minneapolis Fed during the summer of 2019. The winning essays will be published online.

Teachers with one or more students who are selected as finalists will receive a $100 cash prize.

Contest Timetable

Student essays due

April 20, 2018

Finalists announced

May 4, 2018

Awards Program at Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

May 18, 2018

If you have any questions, email or call 612-204-5168.

Essay Contest Archive

Rules | Finalists | 2017 Teacher Letter

Each year the Economic Club of Traverse City holds an essay contest to inspire area students to apply themselves and become engaged in discussions of economic issues relevant to our area.  The first place award is $1,500, second place is $1,000.

2018 Essay Rules & Directions

Eligibility:   All high school juniors and seniors in the five-county Grand Traverse Region

(Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau)

Deadline: March 16, 2018

EMAIL cover sheet and essay as Word documents to

All emails must include two Word documents – one word document cover sheet and another word document for essay. Both Word documents must be in the same email.

Within the COVER SHEET please include

  • Your name, address, phone number and email address
  • Your school, class and name of instructor (or adult) who informed you about this contest
  • Whether you are a junior or senior
  • Your name must only appear on the cover sheet, not on the essay submission


  • Please write as an opinion or persuasive paper.  We are more interested in the development and presentation of your thoughts.  Do not write a research paper.  But it is expected if you quote outside sources you will provide proper reference citation (i.e. identify your sources to give credit to them and to lend credibility to your point of view).
  • Given the level of prize awards, it is very important that you use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation.  Proofread, proofread, and proofread.  This area is of high importance.
  • Essays should be minimum 750 words with a maximum of 1000 words (two-three pages double spaced).  Please provide a computer word count on your paper so this requirement can be verified.


The United States national debt is one challenge that your generation will be facing. How do you feel it ranks among other important issues of the future and what are your concerns about it?  Present your case for the two best ideas about how to reduce the deficit.

Winners will be contacted in early May. Contest winners and their teachers will be honored and prizes will be presented at the June 22, 2018 Economic Club luncheon. The meetings are held at the Traverse City Golf and Country Club.

Questions? Call Gina Thornbury at 231-709-1810 or email

2017 Essay Finalists

Congratulations to the 2017 Traverse City Economic Club Essay finalists!

1st Place- Stephanie Purifoy

Glen Lake High School

Read 1st Place Essay

2nd Place- Jacob Palmer

Glen Lake High School

Instructor: Tim Wheatley

Read 2nd Place Essay

Previous Finalists

2016 Click here to read 2016 essays

2015 Click here to read 2015 essays

2014 Click here to read 2014 essays

2013  Click here to read 2013 essays

2012  Click here to read the 2012 essays

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