Scholarship Application

Debate Program Scholarship Opportunities

The Missouri State debate program offers numerous scholarship opportunities, almost every member of the team has some form of scholarship. These are awarded either by semester or yearly and are up to the coaches' discretion. Scholarships are awarded based upon expected success on the Missouri State program. Particular concerns include research skills, work ethic, reliability, collegiality and scholastic ability. If you are a younger debater trying to make high school decisions which maximize your chances of a debate scholarship, please see the section below. Types of scholarships include:

  • Regents Scholarships ($2000/year)
  • Out of State Tuition Waivers
  • Variable Cash Awards

In addition to these skill based scholarships, many team members avail themselves of additional academic scholarships through the university's financial aid department. These scholarships are both need based and merit based. Students are encouraged to contact the university and apply for these scholarships as well. Most require application by January 15; however, some have earlier deadlines. For example, the Presidential Scholarships and the Inclusive Excellence Scholarship have December 1 deadlines.

Recruiting Brochure (we can mail you one if requested)

Check out our current recruiting brochure!

Scholarship form: Two Versions

Online Version: We would prefer that students use this form, which is now enabled for applications.

If you aren't ready to full out the whole form today, consider just filling out the fields with your contact information. You can already fill it out again (with just your name and the missing fields), and we will paste them together on our end! You are encouraged to fill out the form as early as possible, although we typically make scholarship offers in April for the fall semester. 

In addition to completing the online form, you are invited to send other supporting materials to help us assess the probability that you will thrive in our program. These are not important for students we've worked with at camps, but can be very useful if we haven't yet had a chance to work with you. Such useful materials might include:

1. Letters of Recommendation - from high school coach(es) or summer lab instructor(s).

2. Completed files - examples of files that you have assembled, in whole or in large part. If others helped assemble the file, please tell us your role.

3. Video of you debating - whether in a camp round, practice round, or tournament round. Any format is fine (Youtube, DVD, VHS) - just help us make sure we can look at it.

We are willing to consider applications without these materials, but applicants - particularly those who haven't worked with us at a summer camp are encouraged to support material to make us more familiar with you.

Students are still eligible for debate scholarships no matter how many other scholarships they have received from the University or other outside sources. Although the university does have a 'cap' on scholarships/financial aid, the cap is well above tuition & housing costs.

We typically begin reviewing scholarships around April 1 for the following fall semester, so submitting your application by that date is important to assure full consideration. We make offers in writing, and those offers are intended to be renewable if you comply with scholarship expectations. If you are forced to respond to another offer before you've heard from us, please email with details and we will see if an early offer is possible (but these are rare). 

Younger Debaters: How to position yourself for a debate scholarship

While most impact players in athletics receive significant scholarship support, debate scholarship support varies dramatically by the host institution. Although Missouri State generally has about 16 people on Regents (or better) debate scholarships, opportunities vary at other schools. It's a good idea to inquire at any school about scholarship support, expectations, whether offers are in writing, and the number of incoming freshmen who receive scholarship offers (or have them renewed). Although programs will rarely offer scholarships before the late spring of your senior year, they will answer these sorts of general questions well in advance.

Even if you end up going elsewhere, you should seriously consider applying to Missouri State and applying for a debate scholarship. MSU's tuition is below nearly all of our competitors, and many excellent debaters have decided for Missouri State late in the process. Furthermore, receiving a debate scholarship increases your ability to petition for additional funding from other universities, and is also excellent PR for your high school debate program. We are willing to discuss arranging a scholarship signing if your high school is interested in hosting it.

Although we've had public forum and Lincoln-Douglas debaters transition to college debate, significant experience in CX-Policy is strongly encouraged (at both Missouri State and elsewhere). There are few handbooks or camps in college, so the demonstrated ability to research a year-long topic is one of the primary skills college coaches are seeking. It is also important to reach out early to express interest - there are thousands of high school debaters out there, and no good way to monitor them all.

Another great tactic is to consider summer camps. Camps are the #1 approach for recruiting - even universities who don't host their own camp will recruit via their coaches or former debaters working at other camps. Of course, if you attend the camp at a school you are considering, you will get a lot more chance to work with multiple people from their program. A typical Missouri State debater, recruited from our camp, receives far more scholarship money each year than the cost of camp tuition, and an out of state student would have an even greater ratio (since we have OOS waivers). Finally, the camp experience is more comparable to college debate than many high school experiences, so it should be a good test run to see if you might enjoy college debate.