1. What is The Miss America Organization?
The Miss America Organization, a 501(c)4 non-profit organization, is the nation’s leading advocate for women’s education and the largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women in the United States, awarding millions of dollars annually in cash awards and in-kind tuition waivers. MAO is comprised of 52 licensed organizations, including all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
2. What’s the difference between The Miss America Organization and The Miss America Foundation?
The Miss America Organization (MAO) is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization that controls and oversees the local, state, and national competition framework and hosts the annual Miss America Competition and telecast.
The Miss America Foundation (MAF) is a separate 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves as the scholarship arm that processes scholarships for recipients across the country.
3. How do I become a contestant?
To become a contestant, you must:
- Be between the ages of 17 and 24;
- Be a United States citizen;
- Meet residency requirements for competing in a certain city or state;
- Meet character criteria as set forth by The Miss America Organization;
- Be in reasonably good health to meet the job requirements; and
- Be able to meet the time commitment and job responsibilities as set forth by the local, state, and national competition(s) in which you compete.
For more information on becoming a contestant, contact your State Organization.
4. How do I request my scholarship funds?
To request scholarships awarded at the local, state, or national level, please fill out the Scholarship Request Form and submit it to your State Executive Director. A full list of Miss America scholarship rules & regulations can be found at MissAmericaFoundation.org.
5. What are the competition categories and percentages?
6. Is the Miss America program different than Miss USA/Miss Universe?
Yes. The Miss America Organization is a non-profit organization, whereas Miss USA/Miss Universe is a for-profit company. In 1952, Catalina Swimsuits founded the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants as a product promotion tool after Miss America dropped Catalina as its swimsuit sponsor.
Miss America provides opportunities for young women to promote their voices in culture, politics and the community. Miss America contestants working towards college or postgraduate degrees can earn scholarship awards to help further their education. The Miss America Organization is the nation’s leading provider of scholarships for young women, awarding millions annually in cash awards and in-kind tuition waivers.