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Academy of Higher Learning is an educational enrichment academy that aims to promote a higher level of learning through competitive speech and debate.  Whereas many of our students earn regional, state, national and world titles, our focus has always been, first and foremost, on the educational aspect of the activity. Below are a few words about the importance of debate.


  • Among the highest risk students, 72% of debaters graduated as compared with 43% of non-debaters.

  • The level of participation in debate (number of rounds debated) is a strong predictor of high school completion. Students who debate more, are more likely to graduate.

  • All students who debated, including those at-risk, scored higher on the ACT and were more likely to achieve college readiness benchmarks in English, Reading and Science.

Impact of participating in a policy debate program on academic achievement: Evidence from the Chicago Urban Debate League, Educational Research and Reviews, September 2011 (PDF)

          The Home School Association explains the benefits of debate participation in terms of improved writing ability, noting that, “Debate students excel in written and oral communication, and greatly improve their reading comprehension (sometimes 25% more than their peers… This researching, writing, and arguing ability will carry over to many other fields such as preparing research and background papers and answering essay questions on exams.),”

(citing Catterall,, James S. “Essay: Research on Drama and  Theatre Education.” In Richard Deasy, ed.  Critical Links: Learning  in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development)

Prominent NFL alumni include Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito; Senators Richard Lugar, Russ Feingold, and Bill Frist; media visionaries Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey; Academy Award winners Mark Boal, Renee Zellweger, Patricia Neal, and Don Ameche; Emmy award winners Kelsey Grammar and Shelley Long; news anchor Jane Pauley; C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb; Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; and Golden Globe winner Chris Colfer​.​

"There is nothing better that prepares you for college other than debate. There is nothing better that prepares you for LIFE, better than debate.”

John Sexton, President

New York University (NYU)

​"College admissions directors are relying less on grade point averages and standardized test scores, and are relying more on success in academically related extracurricular activities such as speech and debate ..."

Professor Minh A. Luong
Yale University

Some related articles in favor of speech and debate ...

Debate as the Ultimate SAT Prep:

The Value of Speech and Debate in the Middle School Years:

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