The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity sponsors an annual essay contest to challenge college students to analyze urgent contemporary ethical issues. Essay topics, as well as rules for submission, are published online each fall. The top five essays each year receive Elie Wiesel Prizes in Ethics, as follows: $5,000 for first prize, $2,500 for second prize, $1,500 for third prize, and $500 each for two honorable mentions.
Eligibility is limited to registered undergraduate full-time juniors or seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the U.S.
In the selection process, readers look for several factors, among them clear articulation and genuine grappling with an ethical dilemma, originality and imagination, intensity and unity in the essay, and eloquence and observation of the rules of standard English.