The Miss Hastings Scholarship Competition is a 501(c)3 organization and an official preliminary competition to Miss Minnesota and Miss America.


2019 © Hastings Educational
Scholarship Program, Inc.

Telephone: 651.270.8984 

Judging Criteria and Insights

  • The same panel of five to seven judges will score each area of competition. The adjudication guidelines used by judges are as follows:

    • Each candidate is scored individually, not comparatively.

    • Each judge immediately scores a candidate after she completes each phase of the competition.

    • Judges use the Olympic Scoring System. Scores are 1-10, whole numbers only, and drop the high and low scores. 

  • A note on wardrobe selection in all phases of competition:

    • Always choose something that suits your personality!

    • Judges score on the entire look and overall first impression; not the outfit itself or its cost. 

    • Choose a style, color, and fit that is becoming to you.

    • Like any other job interview, this is a time to put your best foot forward!

  • In all phases of competition the judges are instructed to evaluate contestants by asking these questions:

    • Does this candidate possess the qualities and attributes of Miss America or Miss America's Outstanding Teen?

    • Can she do the job?

    • Will she be eager to listen or difficult to direct once she has the job?

Competition Categories for Miss Candidates​

Talent / 40% of total score
  • The time limit for your talent is ninety (90) seconds. The candidate's entire performance must be completed on the stage from start to finish. 

  • No live animals or props that impose a risk are allowed (I.E. fire batons or sharp objects).

  • All props must be functional and an integral part of the talent presentation. 

  • When choosing your talent music and content, keep in mind the values and image of the Miss America Organization, as well as the personal style you wish to project. This is a family-friendly event.

  • The Miss Hastings Scholarship Program has the right to ban music, movement, costumes, or content deemed inappropriate. 

  • The judges are looking for: overall first impression, interpretive ability, technical skill, stage presence, the totality of all elements including costume, music, choreography, use of the body, presentation, execution, quality of the performance, entertainment value, and how relatable it is to the audience.

Private Interview / 25%
  • Judges conduct interviews in the afternoon of the competition.

  • Your wardrobe selection should be age-appropriate and could be slacks, a skirt or a dress. Choose something you would wear for a job interview. The judges are looking for the face of the Miss Hastings Scholarship Program, not a celebrity. 

  • The judge chair makes the introductions as you enter the room and take your place behind the podium for a press-style interview.  

  • The nine-and-one-half (9-1/2) minute interview will begin immediately. When the time has elapsed, you are notified and given 30 seconds to clarify anything and make a closing statement. 

  • Questions are on general topics, current events, items from your resume, and from your Social Impact Initiative proposal. The interview is your opportunity to let the judges get to know you. 

  • The judging will emphasize your poise in handling the questions and how well you articulate your beliefs on the issue, not the position you take. 

  • The judges are looking for: overall first impression, qualities and attributes of Miss America, positive role model, knowledge and understanding of platform, ability to fulfill job responsibilities, confident and commanding presence, personality, well-presented appearance, validated opinions and responses, ability to express thoughts and defend beliefs, energy, intelligence, and communication skills.

  • Good speech, vocabulary, and grammar skills are essential.

Social Impact Pitch / 20%
  • This category gives the candidate an opportunity to make an elevator pitch about her Social Impact Initiative and how she can use it to make a difference in her community as the local, state, or national titleholder should she advance within the Miss America Organization.

  • The time limit and other details for this category have not been released at this time but will be posted as soon as it's available. 

Onstage Question / 15%
  • Questions may or may not be on your SII. 

  • The judges are evaluating your extemporaneous responses to the onstage question, poise, confidence, and comfort level in speaking before a large audience. 

  • The question is asked by the judge who asked the first question in the interview.

  • The question asked is the one the judge would have asked next in the private interview.

  • The candidate has twenty seconds to answer.


The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.

Ayn Rand