Miss America Age Requirements; What You Need to Know

Nothing beats the excitement of winning a title. But what happens when suddenly, before it even had time to soak in, it is ripped away?

Previously, when the Miss America pageant was held in Las Vegas, contestants were required to be 24 leading up until the national pageant. However, they were eligible if they were still 24 during their local pageant, and state pageant, and were set to turn 25 during their Miss America reign. This in mind, the contestants were required to affirm that they would not reach their 25th birthday until after December 31 or that year.

So when the Miss America pageant came home to Atlantic City, and moved 3 months forward, there was much speculation regarding the age requirement. Would the deadline move forward as well?

In a series of unfortunate events, Amanda Longacre received the worst new of her pageant life: she had accidentally slipped past both Delaware’s local and state paperwork team, and despite being ineligible, was crowned Miss Delaware 2014. This was an easy mistake, and Amanda deserves our respect, as it is already a very difficult time for her. Due to the confusion between the age cutoff, both Amanda and Brittany will receive the winning scholarship.

As per Miss America guidelines, Brittany Lewis; the first runner up, claimed the Miss Delaware crown. Amanda will continue to serve the community and state she loves, but without the crown.

So, are you eligible?

In order to compete in the 2016 season, you must be between the age of 17 and 24.

17: Girls must be a senior in high school, and accepted to an accredited college or university.

24: Girls must turn 24 after December 31, 2015 meaning that they will turn 25 after December 31, 2016*.

*This being said, if a contestant wins Miss America during her last year of eligibility, she will turn during her reign. She will not be 25 during any phase of competition.

If you have any questions, please email your local or state director!