BURLINGTON, VT. >> The deadline is approaching for Vermont high students to submit entries for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' annual State of the Union essay contest.

The deadline is noon on Friday.

The sixth annual contest gives students a chance to address what they see as the major issues facing the country.

It coincides with President Barack Obama's delivery of his final State of Union address to Congress on Jan. 12.

A panel of Vermont teachers will judge the entries. Twenty finalists will have their essays entered into the Congressional Record.

Essays may be submitted online at http://www.sanders.senate.gov/stateoftheunion/. More information about the contest is available by calling (800) 339-9834.