Skip to Content

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 Foundation. 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 Foundation 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 United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) Washington Week will be held online the week of March 15, 2021. The exact timeframe of the program is to be decided. Two students from each state will be selected to attend the online 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 2020-2021 academic year. If students are unable to hold leadership positions this year due to the pandemic, they can submit the position they held during the 2019-2020 academic year. All student leadership qualifying positions are subject to the judgment of the state selection administrator and will be verified and confirmed.

The USSYP 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 2019-2020 school year. If students are unable to hold leadership positions this year due to the pandemic, they can submit the position they held during the 2019-2020 academic 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.


  • December 14, 2020 by 4 pm: Applications due
  • December 15-31, 2020 Screening of applications
  • Week of January 4, 2021 Top four applications will be notified
  • January 11-29, 2021 Top four applicants participate in interview process
  • February 5, 2021: Names of two delegates and two alternates submitted to the Hearst Foundation
  • Mid-February 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 - The USSYP application includes seven sections: demographic information, school information, eligibility, student leadership profile, student leadership essay, a content essay and a confirmation page. Please make sure to set aside enough time to complete the application in one setting.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 15, 2021 at 8:31pm.