Platt Family Scholarhsip

This scholarship was established in memory of Chuck Platt, co-founder and longtime Treasurer of The Lincoln Forum, and sponsor of the annual Platt Family Lincoln Essay Contest for college students.  Designed for full-time, undergraduate students in an American college or university, recipients are chosen by the Scholarship Committee of The Lincoln Forum based on their submitted essay.  Essay’s topics are chosen each year by this committee.  The first place winner has the opportunity to attend the annual syposium of The Lincoln Forum in Gettysburg, PA in November.

Annual Amount

1st Prize   $1500

2nd Prize   $750

3rd Prize   $500

Additional Selection Criteria

  • The scholarship essay contest is designed for students who are FULL TIME, undergraduate students in an AMERICAN COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY during the Spring 2018 semester. The July 31 deadline is designed to give these students time to finish their essays, if need be, after final exams.

  • You do not have to be an American citizen, but you do need to be attending an AMERICAN COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY during the eligibility period.

  • It is NOT open to high school students. Key question to consider; when we contact your college or university registrar will they be able to confirm that you were enrolled as a full-time college student during the spring 2018 semester? If the answer is no, you are not eligible.

  • The eligibility of entrants will be confirmed by the Lincoln Forum prior to the awarding of prizes.

  • Entries will be judged by the essay committee of The Lincoln Forum.

Application Process

Essay Topic for 2018:  Frederick Douglass, Stephen Douglas, and Abraham Lincoln

2018 marks the 160th anniversary of the famous debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. It will also be the bicentennial of the birth of abolitionist Frederick Douglass.  Although Lincoln had major policy disagreements with both of these men,  they also greatly influenced his political philosophy. What is the historical impact of Lincoln's relationships with Stephen Douglas and Frederick Douglass?

  • Deadline for entries is July 31, 2018

  • Entries must contain a minimum of 1,500 and a maximum of 5,000 words.

  • Essays may be submitted via regular mail (postmarked by July 31, 2018) or via e-mail (time stamped before midnight July 31, 2018) to the address below.

  • The essay must be typed and include a works-cited page or bibliography. End notes are suggested but not required.

  • There is no application form for the contest. The essay and your contact information serves as your application.

  • Applicants must include the name of their college or university with their entire and all contact information (regular and email address) must be put on the essay proper.

  • Judging will take place during the fall. The three winners will be announced at the Lincoln Forum annual meeting in Gettysburg on November 18th. Checks from the Lincoln Forum will be sent to the winners in December 2018 The scholarship prize money is designed as a reward for academic excellence. It can be used for any purpose the winner desires.

  • The essay can be sent via email ( e-mail: ) or regular mail to the address below.


July 31, 2018


November 18th

For the application or more information go to: