Every year, thousands of high school juniors apply to the Coolidge Scholarship. In the process of applying, candidates read Coolidge’s Autobiography and many of his speeches to prepare their application essays. In 2024, we asked applicants what impact applying to the scholarship had on them. Here’s what candidates had to say:

~ “I developed a newfound appreciation for our nation’s Constitution, and I became more aware of the question of executive prerogative.”

~ “Applying to this scholarship demonstrated to me the value of learning about the leaders of the past. I knew very little about President Coolidge before applying, and by reading about his values and ethics, I learned a lot about what it takes to be a good leader. Since submitting the application, I’ve committed myself to reading at least one biography of every president (currently, I am working my way through Chernow’s Washington). This application really changed the way I view my own values, and that is something more valuable than any scholarship out there.”

~ It helped me understand what was important during that time period and gain more knowledge for my AP US History class.”

~ “It impacted me by giving me hope that there is still room for Coolidgian, conservative values in today’s society. I am appreciative of the works of a somewhat unheralded American hero, whose humility, dedication, and kindness should be a model for all.”

~ “Applying to the Coolidge Scholarship allowed me to delve deeper into our country’s history and challenge assumptions made by many about President Coolidge and his work in office. I gained not only a better understanding of effective public policies during President Coolidge’s time but also sharper insight into how those same strategies can be relevant to the modern day.”

~ “I am reminded of how politics once was, in stark contrast with the politics of today.”

~ “President Coolidge has become one of my favorite presidents ever! In my AP US History class, everyone now knows me as “the 20th century” person, because of how much I discuss President Coolidge. I have enjoyed reading about his faith and beliefs, as well as his life and background story. Thank you for this opportunity!”

~ “Reading the speeches and story of Calvin Coolidge helped me to overcome my shyness and to start participating in speech contests in my community. This Saturday I am proud to represent the Allen Sunrise Rotary Club at the District 5810 Four-Way Test Speech Contest. Ultimately, I want to thank the Coolidge Foundation for the opportunity to learn more about the thirtieth president of the United States.”

~ “The Coolidge Scholarship was the first scholarship I’ve ever applied to, and it has helped me learn how to apply for scholarships in the future.”

~ “I didn’t really know anything about President Coolidge, but, after applying for the scholarship, I can now appreciate the positive impacts he had on our country and the aspects of his character that made him such a great person.”

~ “Learning about President Coolidge reminded me of the true meaning of “public servant” and inspired me to hold elected officials to a higher standard.”

~ “Learning about Coolidge made me more appreciative of the impact he had on our country, and it also helped me to place greater value on the principle of hard work; just as Coolidge did.”

~ “Having the opportunity to apply to the Calvin Coolidge Scholarship has been invaluable. It afforded me the opportunity to learn a great deal about our thirteenth President. It has opened up my eyes to learn much more about his accomplishments and achievements.”

~ “I really enjoyed applying for this scholarship. Not only did it teach me a lot about my new favorite President, but it also helped me lead with authenticity and humility in my newly elected position as student body president of my school.”

~ “I really liked it. I want to read a biography or an autobiography of every US president now because I love presidential history. I also think Coolidge is very overlooked as a president, even though he and Mellon were great at keeping the economy in an extremely good position.”

~ “[Coolidge’s] values and his principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and integrity resonate with me and have inspired me to adopt similar values in my own life and career.”

~ “I think it strengthened my belief in the most valuable message someone can learn, which is that we mean nothing without hard work and dedication to the things we value.”

~ “Coolidge’s taxing policy was one of the most counterintuitive, yet productive and innovative economic ideas of all time. By reverting from the Progressive movement of the early 1900s and handling the war debt, Coolidge initiated supply-side economics and the trickle-down effect by lowering tax rates on the wealthy, resulting in the Roaring 20s. I applied this to my APUSH class and discussed Coolidge’s political strategies and policies thoughtfully with my teacher. I also changed my viewpoint on how the economy can function successfully.”