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Scholarships for Debate and Forensics

Some high school and college students debate for the thrill of the argument, because they are interested in legal and social issues, or because they just love speaking in public.

But another great benefit of joining the debate team is all of the available debate and forensics scholarships for college.

The National Forensic League (www.nflonline.org) is the largest speech and debate organization in the country and as such give out thousands of dollars in scholarships for debate team members who participate in tournaments.


Most of the major awards ($10,000) are distributed as part of the National Forensic League’s National Tournament. Individual students cannot register for the tournament themselves, but can certainly encourage their schools to help them compete for debate funding for college.

Another major tournament through Now Debate This (www.nowdebatethis.com) annually pits high school juniors against each other in a debate of a current social issue. The college funding for this scholarship is significant, with $150,000 as the grand prize.

Winning tournaments isn’t the only way to get scholarship funding for forensics and debate. Some colleges and universities with active forensics programs offer scholarships directly to high-achieving debate team members. Emory College (college.emory.edu) offer first-year students interested in debate a scholarship that is renewable for up to four years. Emory is only one of the countless universities that give scholarships for debate team members. Your debate or forensics team coach should be familiar with some of the universities that provide the most significant debate funding opportunities.

Find other debate and forensic scholarships in this section and in the weekly scholarship blog posts.

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