FAQ

When did the Miss America Competition begin?
It began in 1921, when East Coast newspapers sent their city representatives to the Second Annual Fall Frolic as special guests. For more information, click here.

What is the Platform?
In 1989, the Miss America Organization founded the platform concept, which requires each contestant to choose an issue about which she cares deeply and that is of relevance to our country. Once chosen, Miss America and the state titleholders use their stature to address community service organizations, business and civic leaders, the media and others about their platform issues. Since 1989, Miss America titleholders have appeared at thousands of public speaking engagements and charitable events to generate awareness for a variety of causes, including homelessness, HIV/AIDS prevention, domestic violence, diabetes awareness, character education, literacy, etc.

What does Miss America do after she is selected?
After Miss America is selected she embarks on a year-long national speaking tour. As a national spokesperson and advocate, Miss America travels approximately 20,000 miles a month, to a different city every other day, addressing diverse audiences, increasing awareness and promoting her chosen platform.

How old do I have to be to compete in the Miss America system?
Contestants in the Miss America system are between the ages of 17 and 24. For more information on becoming a contestant in the Miss America system click here.

Can I represent my state at the national Miss America Competition more than once?
To become Miss America, a contestant must first win a local competition and then compete to represent her state, a process requiring personal commitment, hard work and talent. A woman may compete at the state level more than once, but may only represent her state in the national Miss America competition one time.

Is there an entry fee to compete in the Miss America system?
No, there is not an entry fee to compete in the Miss America system. For more information about becoming a contestant click here.

Is the Miss America program different than Miss USA?
Yes. In 1952, Catalina Swimsuits founded the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants as product promotion tools. Developed by the Miss America Organization, the Miss America program exists to provide personal and professional opportunities for young women to promote their voices in culture, politics and the community. Almost all contestants have either received, or are in the process of earning college or postgraduate degrees and utilize Miss America scholarship grants to further their educations. The Miss America Organization is the leading provider of scholarships for young women in the world. Although some young women compete in both Miss America and Miss USA, the two systems are completely separate.

Are scholarships available for those who are not awarded a title?
Yes. There are all types of scholarships available at the local, state and national levels of competition. Even if you do not win a title you are still eligible for scholarship assistance. The Miss America Organization is the leading provider of scholarships for young women in the world. Each year, the organization makes available more than $40 million in cash and tuition scholarship assistance.

I have not been competing since I was a child, do I have a chance of becoming Miss America?
Yes. Most titleholders have not competed in pageant systems long before being awarded a local title and scholarship money. In her first year of competition, Miss America 2002 Katie Harman won a local title and went on to become the first runner-up to Miss Oregon. The following year she won another local, was selected as Miss Oregon and went on to become Miss America 2002 with only 2 years of competition experience. Katie entered the Miss America system solely for the scholarship money and in 2 years has earned more than $75,000 in scholarships to assist in furthering her education.

How do I contact a representative in my state for more information on becoming a contestant?
Click here for state contact information.

What are the competition categories?
Preliminary competition includes Artistic Expression (Talent); Presentation and Community Achievement (Interview); Presence and Poise (Evening Wear); and Lifestyle and Fitness (Swimsuit). The final night of competition includes the Lifestyle and Fitness, Presence and Poise; Peer Respect and Leadership; Artistic Expression; and Top Five Knowledge and Understanding competitions. Click here for more information on the Miss America competition judging system.

I would like to request an autograph of the current Miss America.
Please send an 8 x 10 self-addressed stamped envelope to:

The Miss America Organization
222 New Road
Suite 700
Linwood, NJ 08221
Attn: Autographs

How do I request the current Miss America for an appearance?
To request an appearance by the current Miss America please fax your letter of request on letterhead to the Manager of Personal Appearances at 609-345-6860. Please include a contact name, phone number, fax number and the date you are requesting Miss America to appear. I would like to request an autograph of the current Miss America. Please send an 8 x 10 self-addressed stamped envelope to:

The Miss America Organization
222 New Road
Suite 700
Linwood, NJ 08221
Attn:Appearances

I am interested in contacting a former Miss America. What is the suggested way to contact them?
Please address your correspondence to the Miss America you are trying to contact and mail it c/o:

The Miss America Organization
222 New Road
Suite 700
Linwood, NJ 08221
When the correspondence is received by the Miss America Organization it is forwarded to the Miss America it is addressed to.

Who has hosted the Miss America telecast?
Bert Parks, the original host of the Miss America telecast, served in that role for 25 years. Ron Ely (1980-1981), Gary Collins (1982-1990; Phyllis George joined Mr. Collins for two years, 1989 and 1990, as co-host), and Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford (1991-1995) have been other hosts for the telecast. In 1996 Mr. Philbin was the solo host. Eva La Rue Callahan and John Callahan served as co-hosts in 1997, with Boomer Esiason and Meredith Vieira hosting the telecast in 1998. Donnie and Marie Osmond hosted the Miss America telecast in both 1999 and 2000. In 2001, the telecast was hosted solo by Tony Danza.
2002 - Wayne Brady
2003 - Tom Bergeron
2004 - Chris Harrison
2006 - James Denton
2007 - Mario Lopez
2008 - Mark Steines

How can I become a volunteer?
On an annual basis, Miss America state and local titleholders, along with the Organization's network of volunteers, participate in more than 12,000 community service projects, providing in excess of 500,000 service hours to worthy causes. Click here for more information about becoming a Miss America Organization volunteer.

How can I start a competition affiliated with the Miss America Organization?
Direct an email with your name, address and telephone number to volunteer@missamerica.org and your information will be forwarded to the State Executive Director in your area.

How can I become a judge in the Miss America system?
Direct an email with your name, address and telephone number to volunteer@missamerica.org and your information will be forwarded to the State Executive Director in your area for consideration.

How can I receive periodic updates from the Miss America Organization?
Click here to sign up for the Miss America e-mailing list.

Where can I buy Official Miss America Merchandise and Photos?
Click here to shop for Miss America memorabilia.

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