The Miss America pageant is a lot of fun to watch, but if that was all there is to it, the contestants probably wouldn't be there. What does Miss America win? The winner does walk away with something more tangible than a title and position.
The monetary prize for the Miss America pageant is a $50,000 college scholarship, according to last year's data, to continue her education — and you have to consider the fact that each contestant has already won a fair amount in scholarships by winning the pageants that got them there. Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014, spent her prize money on medical school. It's a lucrative business, competing in pageants! That's going to add up. Every contestant, runner-up, and title recipient receives scholarship money of some kind. For example, last year's runner-up got $25,000 in scholarship money, the second runner-up went home with $20,000, and so on. The Miss America organization was one of the first to offer scholarships to women at all, which is pretty incredible.
Miss America, of course, also embarks on a speaking tour and spends the year making official appearances, which adds up as well. It's not as exciting or flashy as a vacation or a new car — but think, millennial friends, about how much you could do or accomplish without the dark cloud of student loans looming over you at all times...
Plus, the future new Miss America basically guaranteed success and life in the public eye. That kind of visibility and recognition goes a long way. Various winners have gone on to careers in politics, the performing arts, and broadcast journalism. For many Miss America title holders, the scholarship prize is just the beginning.