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“… each of us holding our breath to hear the name of the first runner-up, knowing that life would change beyond imagination for the name that was not called. Suddenly I felt, more than heard, the audience acclaim and struggled to hold still while Amber pinned that wobbly crown to the top of my body, which was quaking with disbelief and excitement. Thus began an incredible adventure…”

- Janet Reasons, Miss Washington 1996


To become Miss America, a candidate must first enter and win a local competition, and then compete to represent her state—a process requiring hard work and personal commitment.  As a state titleholder, a contestant may only compete once at the national Miss America Competition.

In order to compete, you must:​

  • Be at least eighteen (18) years of age as of December 31st in the calendar year of the State Competition in which she competes.

  • Must not be older than twenty-eight (28) years of age as of December 31st of the year of the State Competition in which she competes.

  • For the avoidance of doubt, Candidate cannot turn twenty-nine (29) years of age at any time during the calendar year in which she could compete at the State Competition. (Calendar Year defined as January 1st through December 31st).

  • Be a United States citizen.

  • Be a Female.

  • Residency - Must fulfill one of the following:

    1. Must reside in the local area of competition

    2. Be enrolled in and physically attending classes on a full-time basis at an accredited college or university in the local area of competition

    3. Be employed on a full-time basis in the local area in which she intends to compete.

  • Meet character criteria as set forth by the Miss America Organization. 

  • Be in reasonably good health to meet the job requirements.

  • Be able to meet the time commitment and job responsibilities as set forth by the local, state and national competition(s) in which you compete.

  • Candidates must meet all additional requirements pursuant to the Miss America State and Local Application & Agreement: 


A portion of the questions you are asked in the interview phases will be based on your Community Service Initiative (formerly known as a platform).  In the Miss America Organization there are five phases of competition:

  • Private interview (one candidate with the full panel of judges)

  • Evening Wear

  • On-stage conversation

  • Talent

  • Fitness in Activewear


Because time commitments vary from one local pageant to the next, you should contact the local pageant you qualify for to get an estimated time commitment and define the responsibilities and duties expected of their local representative. For a listing of all local pageants in the state, visit our local programs tab.


The Miss Washington Scholarship Organization family is here to help you do, and be, your very best! We look forward to the opportunity to watch you participate and grow as a young leader. This scholarship program has created many opportunities for young women - opportunities that are far-reaching beyond receiving a crown. We are blessed to have you participate and know this will be an exceptional experience that you will cherish for a lifetime.

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