Additional rules for College Level:
Standard specifications apply to the literary contest: letter size paper (short bond paper), easily readable 12 pt. font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri, one-inch margin on all sides, double spaced. No need for headers/footers unless you are referring to notes, and unless you are planning to use them creatively.
Judges will definitely weigh all essays based on content. A few hundred words over or under 5000 won’t really matter.