Press Release

Common Sense Society Launches College Grants Program

September 29, 2021

International educational network funds university events promoting civil discourse, free speech, viewpoint diversity

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Common Sense Society (CSS), a leading international educational network, today announced its inaugural Common Sense College Grants program at colleges and universities across the country. Encouraging collaboration and open discourse on college campuses, the grants will be awarded to student groups for their use in hosting joint events with fellow campus organizations that have differing perspectives.

Throughout the past couple of years, freedom of speech has been increasingly threatened in higher education, with viewpoint suppression at a near all-time high. In response to this looming crisis, the CSS Grants challenge two or more organizations who have conflicting perspectives or disagreements to come together, encouraging viewpoint diversity and an open dialogue amongst participants in order to host an event that will benefit their shared community. The grants will be awarded up to $2,000 per event.

“There is no bigger threat to higher education than the absence of open discussion and debate on campus. Suppression of free expression on college campuses has never been more prevalent, and that’s why we are launching the Common Sense College Grants program for students now.” said Marion Smith, president and C.E.O. of Common Sense Society. “We have a path out of America’s crisis of contempt and coercion. We must provide pathways for the next generation of leaders to speak without fear and engage in civil discourse. This is often encouraged by structured debate on college campuses. As a society, we need to relearn how to encounter conflicting ideas without dehumanizing those who hold them.”

Since 2011, CSS has hosted hundreds of debates and public events promoting civil discourse throughout North America and Europe, and its new College Grants program will continue this mission with a heightened focus on higher education, empowering young Americans to engage in collaborative, free, and open discussion. The application deadline for the CSS College Grants program (for both Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters) is October 13, 2021. For more information or to submit your application, click here.

Common Sense Society (CSS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes liberty, prosperity, and beauty through education and public discourse. The educational fellowships, curriculum resources, publications, cultural programs, community initiatives, and national campaigns of CSS illuminate the enduring ideas that have transformed the course of human history for the better. CSS does not accept funding from governments or political parties.


For more information or to set up an interview with Marion Smith, contact Emily Soper at

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