Hoya Spartan Scholars

HSS: A 7-Week Summer Debate Experience!

The Hoya Spartan Scholars offers students the opportunity to work with some of the best coaches in high school and college debate, while experiencing the campuses of two distinct college campuses – Georgetown University and Michigan State University.

Hoya Spartan Scholars 2012

Apply now by clicking here!

Expansion: There will be TWO labs in 2018!

The Hoya Spartan Scholars offers students the opportunity to work with some of the best coaches in high school and college debate, while experiencing the campuses of two distinct college campuses – Georgetown University and Michigan State University.

As an additional bonus, Juniors who attend the Hoya Spartan Scholars are guaranteed admission to the lab of their choosing before their Senior year. Join us and get certain access to one of the most exclusive and highly successful labs in the country!


Alumni of the Hoya Spartan Scholars that choose to attend and join the debate team at either Georgetown University or Michigan State University will receive a $1000 scholarship from the team. “Hoya Spartan Scholarships” may be used for tuition during the first two semesters enrolled at the University and are subject to typical University requirements, including maintaining enrollment, a minimum GPA, etc.

Why Choose the Hoya Spartan Scholars?

Strong Faculty:

Students attending the Hoya Spartan Scholars will work with some of the finest high school and college coaches in the country, including spending seven weeks with Bill Batterman, coach at Woodward Academy, and working with three-time NDT winning MSU head coach Will Repko. Please scroll to the bottom of the page for more info on our faculty!

Creative Curriculum:

Too many workshops have moved labs towards a heavy-research focus and away from actual practice debating. The Hoya Spartan Scholars program intends to have daily debating exercises throughout the seven-week program. The best way to prepare against advanced strategy or unfamiliar critical theory is to repeatedly simulate debating against such arguments. If one’s goal is to defeat the strongest competition, there is simply no substitute for practice. The GDS-SDI staff records speeches at the beginning, middle, and end of the seven-week session – allowing debaters to get a first-hand look at their progress. Every evening (from the close of lab until bed-check), the camp will offer an optional question-answer “After Lab”. Our goal is to let students define their own curriculum for these sessions, as well as to provide them an opportunity to interact with our diverse faculty.

Compare Colleges:

College decisions can be difficult and stressful, especially if successful students have many options and they and their parents aren’t exactly sure that type of environment would be best. At Hoya Spartan Scholars, students get to preview two contrasting experiences—a small, private institution in a major city and a large, public land-grand University in a smaller town.


June 17th - July 8th - Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
July 9th - August 3th - Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI

Price: as low as $6350

$2950 payable to Georgetown - a signifcant discount from general tuition - ($3100 if deposit paid after April 6th)
$3400 payable to MSU with early application discount (deposits by April 6th), $3650 if deposit paid between April 7th and May 18th

To reserve placement, a $1000 deposit (which covers deposits to the MSU half) is due by May 15. The $1000 deposit to the SDI is due to MSU. There is an additional deposit payable to Georgetown University. Please note that deposits are non-refundable for accepted students. The MSU portion of the deposit can be paid online or by a check mailed to:

Spartan Debate Institutes
479 W. Circle Drive, Room 10
East Lansing, MI 48824

How to Apply

Students need to only submit one application, available here. Receipt of application and acceptance of this application covers attendance at both the GDS and SDI. After applying, you will receive automatic confirmation that your application has been received by the program. Notices of admission are typically sent on the last day of each calendar month.


Q: When do students travel between Georgetown and MSU?
A: Saturday, July 8th. Students stay the night of the 7th at Georgetown University and typically leave in the morning on the 8th. When students arrive in East Lansing on the 8th, they proceed directly to registration at the SDI and are checked-in to the MSU Residence Hall.

Q: Does HSS provide transportation between DC and East Lansing?
A: Yes. Each students' tuition includes the cost of coach bus transportation between the two halves of the program.

Q: Do I need to fill out two applications - one for SDI and one for Georgetown?
A: No. Applicants to the HSS need to only complete one application through this website. However, there is an additional set of forms that must be completed for Georgetown.  Questions for the Georgetown Debate Seminar are best directed through email to: georgetowndebateseminar@gmail.com

Click Here to Meet the Staff

Student Testimonials

"HSS made me more than confident about debating critical arguments. I honestly do not know if any lecture could compare in both comprehensiveness and effectiveness to a Repko after-lab. Weekly critical reading assignments were very thorough, while still creating a reasonable expectation for student's free time outside of lab. As a lab, we produced a diverse array of critical affirmatives and negative strategies that allowed for high quality practice." -- Clyde Shepherd, Pace Academy (GA) '15

"Overall, I would most definitely recommend the HSS program to other high school students. Everything about the program is amazing: the locations, the lab instructors, the other campers, and even the food. Students seeking to expand their argumentative comfort zones and willing to challenge themselves will find a home at the HSS program." -- Ricardo Jaramillo, The Greenhill School (TX) '15

"The HSS perfectly balanced research and practice. I participated in nearly thirty practice debates and gave countless speeches on everything from the politics disadvantage to the environmental securitization kritik. My lab researched enough to create and update a variety of affirmatives related to all areas of the topic as well as several negative strategies to each affirmative." -- Tanner Lewis, Pace Academy (GA) '15

"The HSS program is one of the most flexible camps in terms of instruction. Through surveys and conversations with our lab leaders, we were able to request and give opinions on lecture topics. Our lab leaders were nothing but helpful and receptive to many ideas. What made HSS most unique was the wide variety of debate backgrounds from which the instructors came from. In lectures, practice debate feedback, and conversations, I got multiple perspectives on issues that are hotly contested throughout the year." -- Michelle Borbon, Desert Vista HS (AZ) '15

"The critical race readings our lab frequently assigned were wonderfully informative and accessible, so I always looked forward to when we would discus them in lab. HSS instructed those who were interested in critical theory not only how to answer critical arguments, but also how to successfully go for them. So far this season, I have yet to encounter a critique that HSS has not equipped me to debate." -- Ellen Dymit, Washburn HS (MN) '15

"HSS is the ideal combination of helpful, knowledgeable lab leaders and dedicated debaters. We were able to receive feedback from many different experienced coaches who are clearly devoted to the activity. There were useful after labs, informative camp wide lectures, and thorough lab discussions. The practice debates and tournaments were high quality, and there was a genuinely fun atmosphere. I love HSS." -- Alyssa Resar, McDonogh School '15

"Research assignments and practice debates were balanced extremely well at HSS. I learned a lot each time I debated a new argument or I was given comments by a different lab leader. The research helped me feel completely prepared for the new topic. I also found it to be more collaborative than other past experiences, as lab leaders gave in-depth comments on every file but allowed us to take the lead on assignments, too." -- Kate Gehling, Wayzata High School '15

"HSS provided me with numerous practice debates and skill building activities to evolve as a debater. I think it was an educational experience that helped me learn how to improve on my speaking and argumentation." -- Catherine Williams, Alpharetta High School '16

"The research/practice balance at HSS is really great, with enough time to get in-depth knowledge about the topic and produce high quality files, without compromising time for drills and practice debates that build skills key to argument execution." -- Julian Asilis, Gulliver Preparatory School '16