Rising high school juniors and seniors may obtain a USSYP application through their high school principals, guidance counselors and social studies teachers OR they may inquire directly to their state selection contacts using this website (see selection contacts listing on home page). All student delegates to the United States Senate Youth Program are selected by state-level education officials – the United States Senate and The Hearst Foundations do not provide individual states’ applications or choose the delegates and alternates.
USSYP Selection Process – How to Qualify
Qualified high school junior or seniors must show demonstrated leadership by serving in elected or appointed positions in which they are actively representing or previously represented a constituency in organizations related to student government, education, public affairs and community service. Students may qualify to apply through leadership positions they currently hold per the USSYP official criteria for the current 2020-2021 academic year, OR if students are unable to hold leadership positions this year due to the pandemic, they can submit a qualifying position held during the 2019-2020 academic year. All student leadership positions are subject to the judgement and verification of the state selection administrators. They must also be enrolled in high school and living in the state (and for these purposes the District of Columbia) that they will represent for the entire academic year.
The DoDEA central administrative office will select the DoDEA delegates and alternates residing overseas. Military dependents who reside and attend schools in the U.S. shall apply for the program under the RESIDENCY ruling shown below.
Alternate delegates will be selected as replacements if a primary delegate is unable to participate in Washington Week. If the primary delegate is unable to attend, The Hearst Foundations must be notified in advance. Attendance during the entire Washington Week ONLINE program is required to receive the financial scholarship; appropriate disposition of scholarship funds will be determined by the program director in the event a primary delegate is unable to attend the program due to emergency circumstances.
Selection will be based on the student’s outstanding abilities and demonstrated qualities of leadership in an elected or appointed high school student office for the entire school year. The primary purposes of the qualifying leadership position must be representation of a constituency and service to others. A student who graduates high school at the close of the fall semester / quarter is not eligible to apply for the program, and students other than DoDEA delegates must be residing in one state of primary residence in the U.S. during the academic year to participate.
Any high school junior or senior student is eligible for the program provided he or she has not previously been a delegate to Washington Week and has not received a USSYP scholarship.
RESIDENCY – Each student must be a legal permanent resident or citizen of the United States at the time of application. Students who are not United States Citizens must be in possession of their I-551 / “green card” at the time of application to be eligible to apply. Students must be enrolled for the entire academic year in a public or independent high school located in the state (and for these purposes the District of Columbia) in which at least one of their parents or guardians currently resides. Home-educated students must be approved by their state department of education to apply.