Scholarship Application

Each year, American Atheists awards scholarships to recognize student activism: two $1,000 O'Hair Scholarships, four $500 President's Scholarships, and two $500 Chinn Scholarships for LGBT Atheist Activism. The 2015-2016 Scholarship Application is available for download here. The scholarships will be presented at the 2015 National Convention in Memphis. Winners will receive free convention admission.


American Atheists is an organization of activists, so our scholarships are awarded based on activism. Qualified applicants must submit an entry form and any and all information or evidence they have of their activism for the previous year. Examples include:

  • Letters printed in newspapers.
  • Letter to politicians about key issues with the replies from those politicians.
  • Letters of testimonials from teachers, friends, or other activists.
  • Evidence that you sponsor an Atheist TV show, podcast, blog, etc.
  • Student essays.
  • Photos.

While all activism is important and considered, special attention is given to those students who show activism specifically in their schools, such as starting an atheist group or fighting against violations of the separation of church and state within their school.

Please summarize your activism in a 500- to 1,000-word essay. Detail your activities, motivations, and the importance of atheist activism. Please note that merely writing an essay will not win you the scholarship. This is about activism, and your essay should be about your activism for the cause of atheist civil liberties, the separation of church and state, or presenting a positive view of atheism to the general public and your fellow students and faculty. 


Submit the scholarship application, supporting materials, and a 500- to 1000-word essay to [email protected] by February 1, 2015 for consideration. Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please submit all materials as attachments (PDFs are preferred, Microsoft Word documents are acceptable) to your email. Your application essay should not be included in the body text of the email. 

All files should include your first and last name in the file name. For example: JessicaExample-Application.pdf, JessicaExample-Essay.doc, JessicaExample-Transcript.pdf

Photos and scans should be of appropriate resolution and size.


The winners will be chosen by the Managing Director, the President, and/or the delegates they choose who are directors and/or officers of American Atheists.

A scoring rubric is used to identify and assign points for evidence of activism as outlined above. American Atheists reserves the right to choose the recipients of the scholarships as we see fit. We also reserve the right to withdraw the scholarships after they are announced but before they are paid if we see substantial evidence of conduct which would reflect poorly on American Atheists or the atheist community as a whole. A runner-up may also be chosen in case the winners are deemed no longer worthy. 

American Atheists Center
PO Box 158, Cranford, NJ 07016
Phone: 908.276.7300

Copyright 2016 - American Atheists, Inc.