New Jersey Department of Education

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New Jersey Student Learning Standards

Social Studies

U.S. Senate Youth Program

U.S. Senate Youth Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the United States Senate Youth Program?

The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) brings the highest-level officials from each branch of government together with an outstanding group of high school students — two high school juniors or seniors from each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) — during an intensive week-long educational program held in Washington, D.C. The program is merit-based and highly competitive. Each student also receives a one-time $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science. The William Randolph Hearst Foundation provides the funding for this program. The New Jersey Department of Education is responsible for selecting two juniors or seniors based on the criteria established by the Hearst Foundation.

How do I apply to be a USSYP delegate?

Students cannot apply directly for the USSYP. Every principal of a public/non-public high school in New Jersey is invited to nominate one junior or senior to complete the application to become one of New Jersey's two representatives. Nominated students must be a high school junior or senior serving in an elected or selected capacity in a student government, civic, or educational organization* during Washington Week. Nominated students must meet the eligibility requirements and submit the application packet by the due date.
The application packet will be emailed to districts via NJDOE's broadcast system in September.
More information about the application process to become one of New Jersey's representatives can be found at

*see USSYP brochure for information regarding eligibility requirements.

If a district has more than one high school, can one student from each high school be nominated?

Yes. The principal of every public/non-public high school may nominate one junior or senior to complete the application to become one of New Jersey's two representatives.

If more than one application comes from the same school then both applications will be disqualified.

If I am nominated by my school principal and submit an application as a junior but am not named a delegate, can I apply when I am a senior?

Yes. A person may be selected to be their school's nominee when he/she is a senior if he/she was not selected to be a delegate in the previous year.

Can I fax or email my application if I don't have time to mail it?

No. All application packets must be mailed or hand-delivered to the New Jersey Department of Education by the deadline. Application packets received by fax or e-mail will not be accepted.

How will I know if I am selected to be a USSYP delegate or alternate?

The students who are selected to be New Jersey's delegates and alternates to the USSYP will be notified by email during the first week in December. All other students will receive an email at the same time advising them that they were not selected.

What should I do if I have additional questions?

If you have any questions regarding the USSYP, please contact Beverly Plein by e-mail at