Miss Candidates

Competing for the Job of Miss America

 Whether you want to become a doctor or a dancer, an accountant or an architect, the Miss America Organization has an opportunity that will help bring you closer to achieving your goals. To compete for the job of Miss America, a candidate must first win a local competition and then compete to represent her state, a process requiring personal commitment, hard work and talent. 

A woman may compete as a state titleholder only once at the national Miss America competition. More than twelve thousand young women participate each year in the local and state events, culminating in the selection of 51 national finalists who vie for the Miss America. Tens of thousands of volunteers organize the local and state preliminary competitions, promoting community involvement throughout the United States and furthering scholarship and achievement among young women in their communities. It does not cost a cent to compete in the Miss America program – all you need is commitment, perseverance, talent and ambition.

New to pageants?  Don’t worry, the Miss Northern Virginia team will help you through the process to ensure that your first pageant experience is fun and enjoyable.


Becoming a Candidate

There is no entry fee to compete for Miss Northern Virginia.  To compete you must:

  • Be between the ages of 17 and 25 (A high school graduate and no older than twenty-five (25) years of age)
  • Be a United States citizen.
  • Never have been married
  • Be a female
  • Meet eligibility requirements for competing in Virginia (A contestant must be a resident of city/town/state for a least six months preceding the date of the local pageant in which she wishes to compete OR must have fulfilled eligibility requirements by educational status or employment.)
  • Meet character criteria as set forth by the Miss America Miss Virginia Organizations
  • 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 Miss Northern Virginia Scholarship Organization
  • Raise funds for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH)

Miss Areas of Competition

Private Interview - 25%
The private interview is 10 minutes long: 9 min 30 seconds of open questions and 30 seconds at the end for the contestant to make statements on issues/subjects that she wants the judges to know about that has not been previously discussed. If discussion ends before the 30 seconds are up, then the interview ends. A podium will be used. The contestant may stand behind it, or on either side of it, but not in front of it.

Talent – 30%

Talent will be a maximum of 90 seconds. Any talent presentation under 90 seconds is unacceptable. Talent may not consist of more than two songs from any one piece or medley of songs. Nothing longer will be accepted, and this will be strictly enforced! Contestants should plan a performance that will not exceed this limit. Judges will be informed immediately if a contestant runs over her allotted time. Each judge will then use this information to assist in determining his/her score of the contestant’s talent competition. Judging of talent will also take into consideration the qualities and attributes of Miss Local.

Lifestyle & Fitness in Swimsuit – 10%

Two-piece swimsuits are allowed on the local level and should be in good taste. No thongs are permitted. No hose will be worn. DO NOT use oil on body. Lotions may be used. This is the responsibility of the local pageant committee. It is up to the discretion of the local pageant committee to decide if the contestant wears shoes during this phase of competition. The Lifestyle & Fitness in swimsuit is designed to see how well the contestant maintains a lifestyle of good physical health, whether she meets the public expectation of a titleholder, and whether or not she has the confidence needed to be a titleholder. The contestant’s drive, energy and presence are to be likewise considered.

Evening Gown – 15%

Evening wear should express a sense of style and appropriateness for young women ages 17 to 24. The Evening Wear phase of competition is designed for the judge to assess the contestant’s beauty, poise, grace, and commanding stage presence. The contestant’s total look is considered. Her evening wear (not the value of the evening wear) should complement the contestant’s individuality. It is permissible to wear cocktail dresses, evening pant suits, or long gowns.

On Stage Question – 20%

Two on-stage questions will be given. The first question will be a light question followed by a question from either the interview or her platform (if she has one). The contestant’s answer will be scored.