SAGLA Liberal Arts Essay Competition

130 Collins Classroom Center
Contact: Deans Office
Phone: 715-346-4224

Each year UW System hosts an essay competition sponsored by the System Advisory Group on the Liberal Arts (SAGLA). Students submit essays based on the connection between their university experience and their education in the liberal arts. Winners are selected at each UW System campus and state wide across the entire UW System.

This Year’s Topic

The value of a liberal arts education is often debated. Some people will argue, “We need an education that focuses on training for jobs that are currently in demand.”  Others will claim, “An education is more than that. It provides the foundation for a meaningful life and career.”  With these positions in mind, write a letter to the editor of your hometown paper that stakes out and defends your position in this debate.  Your letter may mention several arguments, but should focus on one that is derived from your college experiences, both in the classroom and beyond.

Up to three UW-Stevens Point finalists will receive $100 scholarships, will have their essays posted on the College of Letters and Science website and will be formally honored by the College of Letters and Science. Up to three students selected from across the UW System will receive $2,000 UW System scholarships.
Eligibility Criteria
This competition is open to any UW-Stevens Point undergraduate student in academic good standing who has completed a minimum of 30 credit hours by the end of the Fall Semester 2015, and who has at least one semester remaining (Fall 2016) as a full-time undergraduate student.
Submission Requirements
All submissions are to be original essays, 1,000-1,250 words in length, typed, double-spaced. Each essay must include a title page with the following information:
1. title of essay
2. student’s name
3. major
4. institution
5. college
6. home address
7. e-mail address
8. telephone number
9. the following statement: “I hereby affirm that this is an original essay and my own work..”
Submission Process and Deadline
All submissions (Word document or PDF) must be sent, as an e-mail attachment, to, by 4:30 PM Friday, January 29, 2016.
Students are strongly advised to confirm receipt of their submission by requesting acknowledgement from the Office of Academic Affairs.
Campus Selection Process
A committee of UW-Stevens Point faculty and academic staff will review submissions and select up to three finalists for submission to the UW System for review and final selection of winners.
The review committee will use the following criteria to judge essay submissions:
1.  Organization and clarity of thesis
2.  Development of content that is specific, interesting, appropriate, and convincing
3.  Transitions that contribute to a fluent style of writing
4.  Accuracy of grammar and spelling
5.  Command of mature, unpretentious English
UW System Selection Process
Final selection of winning essays will be determined by a group of judges from the UW System Advisory Group on the Liberal Arts (SAGLA). Recipients will be notified in spring 2016.
More information about this competition may be found at

2016 Recipients

Olivia De Valk – More Than a Means to an End

Sara Polacek  – “Dearest Editor”

Emily Thiele – Liberal Education: Because There’s More to Life Than Your Job

2015 Recipients


2014 Recipients

Katheryn Bermann - A Firsthand Account of Writing as a Craft of the Liberally Educated Person

Kaira Kamke - A New World Through the Eyes of the Liberally Educated

2013 Recipients

2012 Recipients