Webb/Smith Essay Competition
The Department of History at the University of Texas at Arlington is announcing its annual Webb/Smith Essay Competition as part of the 52nd annual Walter Prescott Webb Memorial Lecture Series.This year’s essay competition addresses the financial crisis of higher education. With rising tuition and living costs and a growing student population, too many graduates find themselves in financial trouble after graduating. Mounting student debt prevents an increasing number of young professionals from starting the life they envision, such as starting a family and buying a home. Student loan debt endangers the well-being of many American families and poses a significant threat to the American economy and society. Student loans are the second-largest type of personal debt for Americans after mortgage debt, with total personal debt averaging $1 trillion according to 2012 statistics.
We invite original, unpublished article-length essays (maximum 10,000 words plus endnotes) from a wide range of disciplines that include but are not limited to history, political science, economics, sociology, and civil society studies. Essays should provide analyses of the economics of American higher education from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. We are also interested in essays that compare the funding of institutions of higher education in the United States with the funding of universities and colleges in other countries.