Got your sparkly tiaras ready? It's time to watch the ultimate tiara-crowning beauty pageant that also includes a hefty scholarship. The 2016 Miss America pageant's prize on Sunday night will be a $50,000 college scholarship. Yowza, right? That's pretty much a year of tuition at a private university, but the crown-winner isn't the only elegant miss coming away as a winner. The Miss America organization will be offering $303,000 in scholarship money for the runners-up, finalists, preliminary talent winners, the swimsuit winners, and Miss Congeniality. That scholarship was certainly missing at the end of the Sandra Bullock's Miss Congeniality.
College tuition costs a pretty penny these days, and I'm sure the contestants would love to take home that crown and some tuition bucks. Of course, it takes a ton of hard work to get there, but at least many women don't go home empty-handed. "Scholarships are awarded to competitors at every level of competition, regardless of whether a participant wins a title," says a Miss America press release examining the organization's many scholarships. "While a majority of scholarships are awarded to competitors based on their placement in the competition, scholarships are also awarded based on other criteria, including, but not limited to: Community service, GPA, financial need, geographic location, field of study, extra-curricular activities, and participation in the performing arts." According the Miss America website, once the winner is "elected," she will begin a nationwide speaking tour to promote the platform and cause of her choosing. And that's just the stuff we know about.
So how does Miss America's prize compare to the other beauty pageant scholarship programs? Check out the respective prizes below.
Last year's Miss USA received a salary and an apartment in NYC, which is pretty much worth an entire year's salary in rent costs, along with gifts from sponsors, a personal stylist and wardrobe, professional skin care, public relations representation, and a one-year scholarship to the New York Film Academy. Jackpot.
The woman who is essentially the entire universe will apparently relocate to New York City and immediate take upon her favorite cause, which will involve hard work and long hours. But hey, at least there's a bright future in it all, according to the Miss Universe organization titleholders have gone on to impressive careers.
The prizes for the crowned woman of the world is a bit of a mystery — even to the Miss World herself. The 2013 winner, Megan Young, said she hadn't received her prizes from the pageant whose tagline is "Beauty with a Purpose." According to the International Business Times, her mom even tried googling what the prizes would be — and couldn't find anything. Mysterious.
Yes, this pageant is real. Four planetary beauties are crowned to reign over the elements — Miss Earth, Miss Earth Air, Miss Earth Water, and Miss Earth Fire. Each element winner receives a gorgeous crown and jewelry from Ramona Harr Jewelry.
Miss U.S. International
According to the organization's website, the crowned winner goes onto represent the USA in the Miss International pageant, which is also vague about its prizes. But Miss U.S. International isn't — she also gets paid airfare to the next pageant, a gown gift certificate for the competition, a custom swimsuit, business cards (!), and more, which is valued up to $8,000.
Let's not forget the guys. After competing in extreme and sporting challenges along with talent and fashion, the "Search for the Most Desirable Man" (as the pageant calls itself) crowns the winner, who receives $50,000, according to the U.K.'s Daily Mail.
Being crowned Miss America isn't just about wearing the crown, all of that hard work pays off — literally.