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U.S. Senate Youth Program


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About the Program

The state of Iowa has accepted an invitation to participate in the U.S. Senate Youth Program (USSYP), sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundations. The program is designed to give young Americans a working knowledge of American political life.

Each year, two Iowa students have the opportunity to spend a week in Washington, D.C. The William Randolph Hearst Foundations pays all expenses. In addition, the two Iowa high school representatives each receive a $10,000 scholarship.

Selection of the two Iowa high school representatives is based on the outstanding ability and demonstrated leadership qualities of elected junior and senior high school officers.

Visit for general program information.

Application Information and Materials

The 61st annual United States Senate Youth Program Washington Week is being planned for March 4–11, 2023. The program may be held online pending public health guidance and status of large group access to the government venues traditionally visited. If held in person, all delegates will be required to be fully vaccinated and boosted to attend.

All eligible students are encouraged to apply. A final decision regarding the in-person program will be determined in the fall of 2022, with adequate time for students to complete the full vaccination series prior to travel. If held online, vaccination status will not be required. Students must attend the program to receive the scholarship. Regardless of platform, all student delegates will partake in a comprehensive, interactive leadership program in the stated timeframe, and each will receive the $10,000 college scholarship in the name of the United States Senate.

Two students from each state will be selected to attend the program and each will receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship. Students may qualify to apply through leadership positions they currently hold per the USSYP official criteria for the current 2022-23 academic year. All student leadership qualifying positions are subject to the judgment of the state selection administrator and will be verified and confirmed.

The 2023 US Senate Youth Program brochure outlines eligibility requirements for participating in the United States Senate Youth Program. Read the brochure thoroughly before submitting an application.

To qualify:

  • Students must be a junior or senior
  • Students must hold a leadership position in any one of the following student government, civic, or educational organizations during the 2022-23 school year. 
    • Student body president, vice president, secretary, or treasurer
    • Class president, vice president, secretary, or treasurer
    • Student council representative
    • A National Honor Society representative (including discipline-based Honor Societies such as the National English and Social Studies Honor Societies that include service components)
    • Student representative elected or appointed (appointed by a panel, commission, or board) to a local, district, regional, or state-level civic, service, and/or educational organization approved by the state-selected administer
    • Students must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents at the time of application and a resident of Iowa.


  • August 1, 2022 - Applications opens
  • September 30, 2022 by 4 p.m. - Applications due
  • October 1-19, 2022 - Screening of applications
  • Week of October 24, 2022 - Top four applications will be notified
  • October 31-November 18, 2022 - Top four applicants participate in interview process
  • Week of November 28, 2022 - Names of two delegates and two alternates submitted to the Hearst Foundations
  • Mid-December 2022 - Notification of delegates and alternates

Application Materials:

  • Principal Certification Letter - Have your principal sign this form PRIOR to starting the application process.
  • Recommendation Letter - You must submit a recommendation letter from a teacher, your principal, a community member, etc. specifically addressing why you would be a good candidate for this program. Have this recommendation letter ready to submit PRIOR to starting the application.
  • USSYP Application - Complete the form to apply for the 60th Annual United States Senate Youth Program. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2022.