NEACAC Annual Essay Contest

Win a scholarship for College!

The New England Association for College Admission Counseling (NEACAC) announces its Annual Essay Contest for high school juniors and seniors. NEACAC is an educational association of more than 3,500 secondary school counselors, college and university admission and financial aid counselors, and individuals who work with students in the transition from high school to post-secondary education.

High school juniors and seniors from NEACAC-member high schools in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont are invited to submit a 500-word essay on the following topic: 

Describe a trusted mentor (counselor, teacher, coach, or peer) who has had the greatest impact on your decision to attend college. 
How has this individual supported your educational goals? 
Please reflect on their influence/effect on your college process.

How to Enter

Fill out the application and upload your 500-word essay formatted as a Word document (.doc or .docx), a pdf or as a google doc. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

The 2023 Essay Contest Application is now available! Deadline to submit is April 1, 2023. 


Counselors: Please feel free to share this PDF with your students.


A panel of high school counselors and college admissions officers from NEACAC-member institutions will select the winning essays. Essays will be evaluated holistically, taking into consideration factors such as originality, creativity, focus, clarity, and structure. Priority will be given to applicants who hold an identity that has been historically excluded from higher education. For additional writing guidelines, click here.

Winning Entries

One Winner from each state will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship and a separate New England Overall Winner will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship (cannot be combined with the state award.) These students will receive recognition at an awards ceremony during the Association’s Annual Meeting & Conference and have their names published in the NEACAC Newsletter.

2022 Essay Contest Winners

Six winners—one from each of the six New England states— were awarded a $1000 scholarship and received recognition at an awards ceremony during the Association’s Annual Meeting & Conference. Over 90 submissions were made.

The 2022 Essay Contest Winners

Connecticut: Nia Gatison, Hamden High School

Maine: Maddox Fessenden, Oak Hill High School

Massachusetts: Basak Celik, Northfield Mount Hermon

New Hampshire: Alexander Thibeault, Nashua High School South

Rhode Island: Baya Ginsburg, East Greenwich High School

Vermont: Charlie Wallace Richford Junior Senior High School

Questions?  Contact NEACAC at [email protected].