U.S. Senate Youth Program

$10,000Award Amount
104Number of Awards
9/13/2023Submission Deadline

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The United States Senate Youth Program is an intensive week-long educational experience and scholarship sponsored by the United States Senate for outstanding high school students who are interested in pursuing careers in public service.

Have you ever wanted to see how our government works firsthand? If you are a high school junior or senior already serving as an elected official in your student body or other state or community organization, you may already be qualified to apply.

Two delegates from each state and the District of Columbia are selected to participate in the program. Each delegate chosen receives a $10,000 college scholarship. Selections start at school level, where students are nominated by their principal and teachers. Candidates then compete at a state level to become finalists.

Key Information of U.S. Senate Youth Program

Study Details

Area of Study


Country of Study

United States

Specific Schools


Scholarship Details

Intended Level of Study


Award Amount


Number of Awards


U.S. Senate Youth Program Timeline

August 2023

Applications Open

Applications open around August each year, but check your state's site for more accurate dates.

September-November 2023

Application Deadline

Each state has its own deadline, so check your state's site for accurate dates.

December 1, 2023

State Finalists Chosen

The two finalists, and two alternates, must be finalized by this date.

March 4-11, 2023

Washington Week

The 104 delegates travel to Washington, D.C. for Washington Week.

Scholarship Eligibility

To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the following criteria.

  • Eligible Grade: High School Junior – High School Senior
  • Maximum Age: Any
  • Required GPA: Any
  • Geographic Eligibility: United States
  • Gender: Any
  • Race/Ethnicity: Any

Application Requirements

Here’s what you need to submits besides your application.

  • Essay
  • Recommendation letters
  • Grade transcript

How to ace the U.S. Senate Youth Program


Get active in student government

Hopefully, you already hold a student government office. To prepare for the U.S. Senate Youth Program Application, think about what you hope to accomplish while holding this position. What is the best way to display your passion for public service? How can you break that down into smaller, achievable goals?


Pick an engaging essay topic

Your essay centers around a current issue in Congress. Don't be afraid to write about a controversial topic! The goal of the essay is to analyze all points of view, then take a position and defend it with logic and reason. If you do this well, you shouldn't be afraid of offending your reader.


Get to know your principal or counselor

Good news! If you hold a student government position, you should already be well-acquainted with your principal and/or guidance counselor. You need a great letter of recommendation from them, so don't be shy. Talk to them about what you hope to accomplish in student government, and what the U.S. Senate Youth Program means to you.


Showcase your leadership skills

It’s one thing to qualify for the program as someone in a student office position, it’s another thing to actually have leadership skills. Make sure you highlight your skills in your application.

How the U.S. Senate Youth Program is Judged

Candidates are judged on their elected position, interest in history, and public service. They are also evaluated on the essays they submit, specifically the relevancy of the content.

Why We Love the U.S. Senate Youth Program


You can read winning essays

The official U.S. Senate Youth Program website posts all 104 winning student essays on their website! We especially recommend reading the winning essays from your own state.


You get to meet the President

Student delegates will meet with the President, Senate Co-Chairs, other Senate leaders and the Senate parliamentarian and historian; a justice of the Supreme Court, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and other executive agencies, a foreign ambassador to the U.S., and senior members of the media. We dare you to find a better networking opportunity.


You've already been elected

Just to be eligible, all applicants must hold a student government office. That means when you write your statement of leadership activities, you'll have plenty to talk about.

5 Facts About The U.S. Senate


The name means "old man" in Latin

The word “senator” comes from "senex," the Latin word for “old man.”


History of service

The longest-serving Senator was Robert C. Byrd, from West Virginia, who served for 56 years.


President in the Senate

The first former president to be elected Senator was Andrew Johnson.


Government paycheck

Senators receive a yearly salary of around $165,000.


Youth in government

The youngest senator to serve was John H. Easton of Tennessee, who was 28.

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