Submission Deadline

11:59PM Eastern on Monday, March 8th, 2021

The submission deadline for this year’s contest has passed.


All essays should specifically address the Video Topic, which is:

Certain endeavors were always considered a job for government, but entrepreneurs have changed that. Consider space exploration. Elon Musk’s SpaceX recently sent two astronauts into space for two months. But it’s not just up in space that entrepreneurs are making changes. Down here on Earth, entrepreneurs are forcing us to reconsider what private enterprise might do better than government does. Education and the Postal Service are two other examples of numerous government-run operations that might face similar challenges from private enterprise. Is this the future? Is society better served with greater involvement from entrepreneurs? If so, who pays and who profits?

Eligibility – The contest is open to students aged 12-18 at some point during the contest period (September 1, 2020-March 8, 2021). No more than one submission will be accepted for each student. Students must be located in North America or Hawaii, and all submissions should be in English. Employees of Stossel in the Classroom, Stossel TV, and Center for Independent Thought, or any person or organization involved in the operation and/or setup of the contest, and their immediate family members are not eligible for this contest. Previous winners of a Stossel in the Classroom first place prize are not eligible for prizes in our subsequent contests.

Video Length – Videos must be 1-3 minutes in length. Submissions that are less than 1 minute or exceed 3 minutes will be disqualified.

Deadline – Videos must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm Eastern Time, March 8, 2021.

Plagiarism – All videos must be the original work of the student whose name is listed on the submission form. Plagiarism will result in immediate disqualification.

Taxes – Winners will be solely responsible for any federal, state, or local taxes on winnings.

Judges – Videos will be judged on their ability to answer the topic question in an articulate, clear, and entertaining manner. Stossel in the Classroom will evaluate video submissions in a fair and unbiased three-round judging system, in which judges all use the same criteria. Judges will be selected by Stossel in the Classroom based on their backgrounds and expertise in education, entertainment, and/or the subject matter. Decisions of the judges are final.

Ownership and Use – The ownership of any submission remains the property of the student, but entry into the competition constitutes the entrant’s permission and consent, without compensation, with or without attribution, for Stossel in the Classroom, Stossel TV, and Center for Independent Thought to use, reproduce, transmit, post, distribute, adapt, edit, and/or display the submission.


We recommend all students read this list of tips. It might help you avoid common mistakes that could cost you prize money!

  • Watch the Contest Video. You can find it above.
  • You can cite the video, but avoid basing your video entirely on the Stossel TV video. Do additional research, make your own arguments, and give us your thoughts.
  • Feel free to think outside the box. In our past contests, we’ve awarded prizes to videos in a variety of genres, including serious video essays, animation, comedy sketches, and even an original music performance. Find what you do best and go for it!
  • Don’t forget the 1-3 minute time requirement. Videos that are too short or too long will be disqualified.
  • Be original. To win the top prize, your video needs to stand out.
  • Check your facts. Factual errors can remove an otherwise great video from contention.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your video. It takes time to upload a video to YouTube, and that time could be the difference between meeting the deadline and missing it.

We look forward to watching your video. Good luck!