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U.S. Senate Youth Program


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About the Program

U.S. Senate Youth Program websiteThe 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 60th Annual United States Senate Youth Program is being planned for March 5-12, 2022 in Washington, D.C. The program may be held online pending public health guidance, to be determined in the Fall of 2021. 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 2021-22 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 2021-22 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.


  • Oct. 1, 2021 by 4 p.m. - Applications due
  • Oct. 2-20, 2021 - Screening of applications
  • Week of Oct. 25, 2021 - Top four applications will be notified
  • Nov. 1-17, 2021 - Top four applicants participate in interview process
  • Week of Nov. 29, 2021 - Names of two delegates and two alternates submitted to the Hearst Foundation
  • Mid-Dec. - 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 Oct. 1, 2021.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on May 18, 2022 at 12:17am.