Skip to main content
Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know

U.S. Senate Youth Program


On this page...

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 62nd annual United States Senate Youth Program Washington Week is being planned to be held in person in Washington, D.C. March 2–9, 2024. Two student leaders from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity will spend a week in Washington experiencing their national government in action. Students must be actively serving in high-level elected or appointed leadership positions to qualify to apply.

Student delegates will hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies, as well as usually participate in meetings with the president and a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. All transportation, hotel and meal expenses will be provided by The Hearst Foundations. In addition, each delegate will also be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate studies, with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science.

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 2024 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 2023-2024 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.

See full list of eligibility requirements.


  • August 9, 2023 - Applications opens
  • September 29, 2023 by 4 p.m. - Applications due
  • October 2-20, 2023 - Screening of applications
  • Week of October 23, 2023 - Top four applications will be notified
  • October 30-November 17, 2023 - Top four applicants participate in interview process
  • Week of November 27, 2023 - Names of two delegates and two alternates submitted to the Hearst Foundations
  • Mid-December 2023 - 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.
  • Application (Form will open on August 9, 2023)