Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Social Impact Initiative (SII) or Platform?

In 1989, the Miss America Organization founded the platform concept, which requires each candidate to choose an issue she is passionate about and is relevant to our country. Miss America and titleholders from each state and local program use their position to address community service organizations, businesses, civic leaders, the media and others about their platform issues.


Since the conception of the platform, Miss America titleholders have appeared at thousands of public speaking engagements and charitable events to generate awareness for a broad variety of causes, such as homelessness, HIV/AIDS prevention, domestic violence, diabetes awareness, character education, and literacy.


The Miss America Competition in September 2018 saw the evolution of the platform with its increased emphasis on the competition. Now called the Social Impact Initiative (SII), each Miss candidate has more opportunities than ever to tell others about the cause her title has allowed her to promote. She advocates it not only in her private interview but in her onstage question and, starting with the Miss America Competition in December 2019, the social impact pitch. In local and preliminary competitions at the state and national level, each candidate has thirty seconds to promote her cause to the audience, then twenty seconds to answer a question from the first judge to question her in her private interview. The finals night of competition gives each top five candidate sixty seconds to make a final pitch. The Onstage Question is asked separately in this phase of competition, but she still has twenty seconds to answer.


What is a year like as Miss Minnesota?

Once crowned, Miss Minnesota embarks on her year of service. As a spokesperson for the program and Minnesota, and advocate for her SII, Miss Minnesota travels throughout the state, addressing diverse audiences. It is her opportunity to develop her skill set, communicate her passion and create a bond of support with others as she serves. You only get one chance to make every day count as Miss Minnesota, so she is required to take her first six months off from her job and education to focus on representing Miss Minnesota and to prepare for the national competition in December.


Can I represent my state at the national Miss America Competition more than once?

A candidate must first win a local competition, then compete to represent her state to become Miss America.  It requires significant 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 Miss America Competition one time. 

Is there an entry fee to compete?

Each local candidate of a Miss America Organization local competition will pay a one-time $35 membership fee each competition season. which gives her free access to several virtual workshops with national professionals across a variety of specialties. She's also automatically entered into a drawing in her state for a $1,000 educational scholarship!  Each Miss candidate will pay a $75 fee for each local competition she enters. All proceeds go to the Miss America Foundation and the Miss Minnesota Scholarship Organization. Thereafter, each local titleholder must raise $325 or more for MAF before arriving to compete at her state competition. and each state Miss must raise $1,000 before she goes to the Miss America Competition.


Are the Miss America and Miss America's Outstanding Teen program different than Miss USA?

Yes, they are different.


The Miss America Organization (MAO) is a non-profit organization whereas Miss USA/Miss Universe is a for-profit company. Catalina Swimsuits founded the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants in 1952 as promotion tools after discontinuing their sponsorship to Miss America. Moreover, while some young women compete in both Miss America and Miss USA, the two systems are completely separate. And no, the Miss America Organization has never been owned by Donald Trump. That was the for-profit Miss USA system. Again, all of MAO is a non-profit charitable organization. 


What are the competition categories at Miss Minnesota?
  • The preliminary competition for multi-day events (competitions with 21 or more candidates) includes:

    • Artistic Expression (Talent - 35%)

    • Presence and Poise (Red Carpet / Evening Wear - 15%)

    • Social Impact Initiative Awareness (Social Impact Pitch & Onstage Interview Question - 15%)

    • Presentation and Community Achievement (Private 10-minute Interview - 35%)​​

  • Finals night for a multi-day competition includes:

    • Composite Score​​​​​ - (Preliminary score totals minus high and low scores - 40%)

    • Artistic Expression (Talent - 35%)

    • Presence and Poise (Red Carpet / Evening Wear - 15%)

    • Social Impact Pitch & Onstage Interview Question - (10%​​​)

      • These scores determine the Top Five candidates for the Final Ballot

  • Top Five phase for the finals of a multi-day competition includes:
    • Final Social Impact Pitch ("Ted Talk") – 60 Second Presentation
    • Final Conversation with the judges about the job of Miss Minnesota


  • Top 5 Ranking and Final Ballot for a multi-day competition
    • Following the Final 60-Second Conversation with each candidate, each judge ranks the Top Five candidates individually in the order which they believe each candidate should place:
      • First-place votes - 100 points (The judge believes this candidate has earned the title.)
      • Second-place votes - 50 points

      • Third-place votes - 30 points

      • Fourth-place votes - 20 points

      • Fifth-place votes - 10 points

  • Please look for local competition information on our Compete page.

Additional Information

Scholarship Information

The Miss America Organization is one of the world’s leading providers of scholarship assistance for young women. Each competition is an opportunity for young women to voice their thoughts in culture, politics, and community. Scholarship awards help further their education toward college, technical, or postgraduate degrees. 


Are scholarships available for those who do not win a title?

Absolutely! There are several types of scholarships available at the local, state and national levels of competition. Even if you do not earn a title, you are still eligible for scholarship assistance. More information is available at