The Coolidge Scholarship application includes three essays. Essays two and three both have required readings which can be found below.

Please note: while the below readings are required, you are certainly permitted to reference other sources when preparing your essays — a good place to start is our About Coolidge page and the Coolidge Virtual Library.

Essay 1

You have learned and achieved much up to this point in your life. What are the next intellectual frontiers you hope to explore in your college years and how do you envision you might use the knowledge you gain?

Note: this essay does not simply ask what you hope to major in during college and what job you want as a career. Instead, please write about the ideas that interest you most, what you still have to learn about them, and what you envision you might do with the knowledge you gain in college. Please limit your essay to 400 words.

Essay 2

Throughout history, Americans have always wanted a better future for their country. However, the role the Federal Government should play in bringing about that better future has been a subject of debate from our country’s earliest days. In an essay of no more than 600 words, compare and contrast Calvin Coolidge’s philosophy about the proper role of the Federal Government with that of another U.S. president from the same era — Theodore Roosevelt. Describe each leader’s views and explain the logic of how each President thought his respective philosophy about the proper role of the Federal Government would bring about a better America. For this essay, limit your analysis to domestic — rather than foreign — policy. To prepare for this essay, read the Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge and other resources provided at the links below. You may augment these materials with additional research if you like.

Required Readings

Essay 3

Today the federal individual income tax seems a permanent fixture of American life. But the income tax was relatively young in the 1920s — having been made permanent by the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution and the 1913 Underwood-Simmons Act. Following World War I, tax rates were high and federal tax reform was a major policy priority of the 1920 Republican platform, which called the load of taxes on Americans “staggering.” Tax changes were a key goal of Warren Harding’s Administration. When Harding passed away in 1923, President Coolidge and his Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon continued to lead reforms.

The 1920s represent an early experiment in tax reform. In this essay, you are tasked with analyzing this experiment. What was the logic behind the 1920s tax reforms? Reviewing the evidence from this decade, what is your evaluation of the impact of the 1920s tax reforms? What lessons, if any, should we take away? Please find resources available at the link below to assist in your research. You may augment these materials with additional research if you like. Please limit your essay to 600 words.

Required Readings & Research