Applications are accepted online only. If you are unable to process the application online, please contact the program administrator for Wisconsin immediately at DPI.USSYP@dpi.wi.gov.
Please read the entire application before beginning, using the available PDF of all the questions. We strongly suggest that students have a parent or trusted teacher read over the application, especially the essays, before submitting.
This is an extremely rigorous selection process; remember that grammar, punctuation, and citing resources are all taken into account in the assessment of the applications.
Incomplete applications will be discarded; make sure to fill out all sections completely and according to directions.
Applicants must obtain a letter of recommendation from their principal or headmaster. This shows that the administration understands that only one student per high school may submit an application. It must be sent to DPI.USSYP@dpi.wi.gov directly from the administrator's email address. It may be brief and to the point. Applicants may have one other letter of recommendation sent to that address, but the principal letter is required. Administrators will receive a short reply within one business day of receipt; if they do not receive a reply email, the letter has not been received. It is the applicant's responsibility to ask for the letter, to ensure the principal has time to write it, and to follow up that it has been sent.
Make sure to keep short and long essays within the word limit, and to cite resources. It is suggested that applicants use a word processor with spell-check and a grammar function, as well as having a trusted adult proofread the essays. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word count are "counted" in the application process.
ALL materials, including the administrator letter, must be received by the due date and time. The application portal will be disabled at that time, and no late submissions are accepted.
The timeline for determining delegates and alternates is very tight. Therefore, there is no time to return incomplete or incorrect applications. Incomplete student applications are discarded in the first round of review.
Due to the large number of applications and the limited resources on our end, individual feedback cannot be given to students on their applications.
The most common reasons for discard are:
- Failure to complete the entire application, including the required essays;
- Student not holding an elected or selected office during the current school year, as required by the Hearst Foundation, who funds the program;
- Letter from administrator is not sent.