GM Genius Essay Contest (Optional)

Interested in another way to win with GM Genius? Participate in the optional GM Genius Essay Contest at the end of the season!  There is one contest for middle and high school students and one for college students. For each contest, the winners will receive Amazon gift cards of the following amounts: $500 for 1st place, $250 for 2nd place, and $100 for 3rd place. 

Essays must be submitted between December 10, 2018 and January 4, 2019.  Email your submission to either as an attached Word document (.docx format) or include a link to a Google Doc in the email.

**Participation is not required to play GM Genius or win any weekly or season-long prizes in the main competition.**

Check out the topics/rubrics and notes sheets below for more information.  You may also email with any questions.


Middle & High School Students

College Students

Terms & Conditions



  • Only one entry per student.
  • To be eligible for prizes, you must be: (1) registered for GM Genius, (2) a legal resident of the fifty (50) United States, U.S. Territories, the District of Columbia or Canada, (3) between 13 and 22 years of age at the time of registration, and (4) a student at a middle school, high school, or college/university.
  • Participation or performance in the essay contest does not affect your participation or eligibility for prizes in the main GM Genius competition.
  • Only essays submitted within the time frame above and by the method described above will be accepted, except at How I Decide Foundation’s (HID’s) sole discretion.
  • Prizes will be awarded in a non-discriminatory manner based solely on each essay’s quality as evaluated against the specified rubrics. HID will not discriminate in any manner including on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, sex, or sexual orientation. Other factors such as financial need, grade point average, and other academic requirements are not considered as part of the contest. HID is the final arbiter of all questions related to competition criteria and winner selection. HID is under no obligation to award prizes if satisfactory submissions are not received. 
  • Prize winners will be notified via the email addresses they used to submit their essays. Failure to respond via email to this notification email within seven (7) business days after notification or return of e-mail notification as undeliverable after three (3) attempts, may result in forfeiture of winner status and any prize, at HID’s sole discretion. HID is not responsible for inaccurate contact information provided by the user.
  • Verification deemed acceptable to HID of certain information may be required before HID provides any prizes. This includes, but is not limited to proof of age and proof of attendance in a school or college/university. Failure to return any of the required information within the specified time frames may result in disqualification.
  • The terms of the GM Genius Privacy Policy apply to this Essay Contest.
  • By submitting an essay, you are attesting that it is your own work and that it was not plagiarized from another source. Plagiarism is grounds for disqualification from the competition.
  • HID employees, board members, advisory council members, sponsors, and donors and their immediate families are not eligible to win any prizes.