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Information for Prospective College Debaters

Author: Carly Watson

When I was a high school student looking to debate in college, there were very few resources available for students navigating the process. I was lucky enough to have debate camp lab leaders point me in the right direction but I still didn’t know the questions to ask or what opportunities were available.

During my time at MSU, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting hundreds of high school students as they were amidst the college application and selection process. Unfortunately, many high school debaters still aren’t able to find a centralized place that provides basic information about different programs in a digestible way. The NSDA has a great resource available that lists scholarships schools offer but we get several other questions from prospective students regularly:

  • How many students are on your debate team?
  • What scholarships does your team and/or school provide?
  • Does the school pay for travel to and participation in tournaments?
  • How many tournaments can a first-year student expect to attend in a semester?
  • How are partnerships decided?

We’ve solicited answers to those questions from programs and posted them in a shared document here. These aren’t the only questions students might have when applying but they are commonly asked in opening meetings.

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