Coolidge Cup Online Qualifiers

If you are not able to make it to one of this year’s Qualifying Tournaments, or were not one of the top finishers that received a bid from one of those tournaments, you can still compete for a bid to the 2021 Coolidge Cup via one of our online qualifiers. This year we are excited to announce that we are hosting two Coolidge Cup online qualifiers: one in the fall and one in the spring. They are:

  • FALL online qualifier: OPENS November 5, 2020; CLOSES December 5, 2020.
  • SPRING online qualifier: OPENS April 1, 2020; CLOSES May 1, 2021.

Coolidge Cup bids will go to at least the top 10 competitors in each online qualifier. In addition to the opportunity to earn a Coolidge Cup bid, the top three competitors in each qualifier will receive cash prizes in the following amounts: 1st prize $500, 2nd prize $250, 3rd prize $100.

You may enter both of the Coolidge Cup online qualifiers if you wish. To enter, follow the instructions in the form at the bottom of this page. The application asks you prepare and record two 5-minute speeches on video, one for the affirmative side of the resolution and one for the negative side of the resolution. Note that submissions are accepted up until 11:59pm ET on the closing date for each qualifier. Applicants will be notified of the results three weeks after the qualifier closes.

Resolution for the FALL Online Qualifier (Runs from April 15 – May 16)

The resolution will be posted here on November 5, 2020. Please check back then.

We will also provide you with a research brief, posted here when the contest opens. You are not limited to the content in the brief. You are encouraged to use this brief to get yourself oriented to the topic, and to go beyond the arguments and evidence in the brief to make your case as strong as possible.

Video Dos and Don’ts

  • DO keep your videos to 5 minutes or less
  • DO title your videos with your name and the side (affirmative, negative)
  • DO remember to do one video for each side
  • DO NOT use any props, or edit your video to enhance it with music, photos, graphics, etc.
  • DO NOT use language that would make your video unsuitable for a general audience
  • DO NOT wear or display awards or medals from other competitions

Judging Criteria

Each of your two videos will be scored on two component areas: content and style. Each of those two areas is worth up to 10 points for a total of 20 possible points per video and a 40 points across both of your videos. The scoring is done internally and confidentially by the Coolidge Foundation. We do not share final scores, and unfortunately due to the volume of applications we receive, we cannot give individual feedback. We will, however, let you know whether you have won one of the available Coolidge Cup invitations within three weeks of the close of the tournament. The Coolidge Foundation will give out at least the number of invitations , and reserves the right to give out more if .

With regard to speaking content, we are looking for: a) a clearly articulated opinion in response to the resolution, b) a compelling argument that an educated citizen would understand, and c) use of good-quality evidence. You should structure your speech appropriately, with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. Inclusion of Coolidge quotes or ideas can add a nice touch, but they are neither required nor expected.

With regard to speaking style, we are looking for students to speak at an appropriate volume, with good articulation, and at a reasonable rate of speed (i.e., excessively fast talking or “spreading” is not recommended). Other elements of style include good eye contact, appropriate gesturing, and good posture.

If you wish to list your major debate accomplishments in the space provided, you may do so. This information is not scored explicitly, but we may consider it in some circumstances.

Eligibility

This application is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are current high school students and who have received permission in writing from a parent or legal guardian. (Students must be in grades 9-12 as of May 2020.) You do not need to be part of a school debate team or club in order to take part in this contest.

 


Enter the Fall Coolidge Cup Online Qualifier

The submission form for the Fall Coolidge Cup Online Qualifier is not yet open.

 


Results and Information On Previous Online Qualifiers From This Year

Online Qualifier #4 (Closed May 16, 2020)

  • Resolved: The federal government should cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for every person with student loan debt.
  • Download the research brief
  • Winners have been announced:
    • 1st place: Lorelei L. $500 prize + Coolidge Cup invitation
    • 2nd place: Sarah Beth G. $250 prize + Coolidge Cup invitation
    • 3rd place (Tie): Edward C. & EJ R. $100 prize + Coolidge Cup invitation
    • Coolidge Cup invitations are still currently being sent out. You will hear from us by Sunday, June 7th.

Online Qualifier #3 (Closed March 7, 2020)

  • Resolved: The federal government should adopt the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.
  • Download the research brief
  • Winners have been announced:
    • 1st place: Matthew T. $500 prize + Coolidge Cup invitation
    • 2nd place: Brendan M. $250 prize + Coolidge Cup invitation
    • 3rd place: Jacob Z. $100 prize + Coolidge Cup invitation
    • Coolidge Cup invitations: Patrick M., Kaitlyn P., Sarah C., Daniel S., Selin O., Cobin S., Tyler B., Judah B., Shaye M., A.J. C.

Online Qualifier #2 (Closed December 31, 2019)

  • Resolved: The United States should adopt a single-payer healthcare system (commonly known as Medicare For All).
  • Download the research brief
  • Winners have been announced:
    • 1st place: JJ Y. $500 prize + Coolidge Cup invitation
    • 2nd place: Natasha P. $250 prize + Coolidge Cup invitation
    • 3rd place: Patrick M. $100 prize + Coolidge Cup invitation
    • Coolidge Cup invitations: Ryan S., Alba A., Krishma G., Emhyr S., Jacob Z., Chloe P., Ethan D., Rajveer K.

Online Qualifier #1 (Closed November 9, 2019)

  • Resolved: The United States should replace its federal welfare programs with a universal basic income.
  • Download the research brief
  • Winners have been announced:
    • 1st place: Patrick M. $500 prize + Coolidge Cup invitation
    • 2nd place: Aron R. $250 prize + Coolidge Cup invitation
    • 3rd place: Ryan L. $100 prize + Coolidge Cup invitation
    • Coolidge Cup invitations: Aubrey W., Brendan M.