Princess Program Eligibility Requirements

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To participate in the 500 Festival Princess Program, you must:

  • Claim legal residence in the state of Indiana and be able to demonstrate proof of residency via a valid Indiana driver’s license.

  • Presently be enrolled as a full-time student at a fully accredited college or university located in the state of Indiana; be a full-time student through the spring 2016 semester, taking a minimum of 12 academic hours for undergraduate studies or a minimum of nine (9) academic hours for graduate studies; in good standing and not on scholastic probation.

  • Have maintained a cumulative college GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. If a candidate’s most recent semester’s GPA is above a 3.0, yet her cumulative GPA remains below a 3.0, the candidate will NOT be eligible for the 2016 500 Festival Princess Program.

  • Be female.

  • Be actively involved in at least one worthwhile extra-curricular college or community service activity.

  • Be 18 years of age by January 1, 2016, but no older than 23 years of age by May 31, 2016.

  • Be unmarried with no children, have never married and agree not to marry before May 31, 2016.

  • Candidates who have an immediate family member currently employed by the 500 Festival, currently serving on the 500 Festival Board of Directors, or currently employed by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are not eligible to apply.

  • Be able to attend and willing to make a 1-2 minute speech about herself at the 500 Festival Princess Reception on Saturday, April 23, 2016.

  • Attend all mandatory 500 Festival events during the month of May (unless participating in graduation ceremonies or other major life events).

  • Be able to provide their own transportation and parking (when determined) to and from all 500 Festival events and activities.

  • Each candidate must submit an online application by Friday, January 8, 2016.

  • Each candidate must submit an application packet by Friday, January 15, 2016. The application packet must contain the following:

    • Copy of valid Indiana driver’s license

    • College transcript (can be official or unofficial)

    • Three character references. Please include only the reference’s name, phone number and email address. Character references must not be family members. No letters please.

    • Cover letter

    • Resume

  • Each candidate must attend the first round of interviews for 500 Festival Princess selection, occurring on Saturday, January 23, 2016. Failure to attend the selection interview will result in disqualification.  

  • The top 66 candidates will proceed to the second round of interviews for the 500 Festival Princess Program, held on Saturday, January 30, 2016. Failure to attend the selection interview will result in disqualification.

  • All Princesses are eligible to be selected 500 Festival Queen. The 500 Festival Queen selection is based upon a third round of interviews with an independent panel of judges and the 1 – 2 minute presentation given by each 500 Festival Princess Ambassador at the 500 Festival Princess Reception.

Additional 500 Festival Princess Program Policies

  • Selection as a 2016 500 Festival Princess prohibits eligibility in any future 500 Festival Princess Program selections.
  • Participants may not endorse products or appear in advertisements as a representative of the 500 Festival without written consent of the President/CEO of the 500 Festival.
  • 500 Festival Princesses may take part in contests, leadership development or other scholarship programs throughout their time in the 500 Festival Princess Ambassador Program. However, if another title is held and a scheduling conflict should arise, the Princess agrees to make the 500 Festival events and activities her top priority throughout the months of April and May.
  • The decision of the independent panel of judges for the selection of the 2016 500 Festival Princesses and 500 Festival Queen are final.
  • While representing the 500 Festival, Princesses will conduct themselves at all times in such a manner as is consistent with the highest moral and ethical standards. This includes, but is not limited to, avoidance of all of the following: a conviction of felony or misdemeanor; alcohol or other drug abuse/solicitation; nudity, full or partial; public nuisance; inappropriate posts and pictures within any and all social media outlets; and/or behavior deemed by the 500 Festival as detrimental to and in depreciation of the interests of the 500 Festival, its representatives, sponsors or licensees.
  • The Princess will forfeit all rights, title, or claim to any title designations, gifts or awards, conferred upon her immediately as a result of any conduct which, in the sole discretion of the 500 Festival, is deemed to be adverse to the interests of the 500 Festival, their representatives, sponsors or licensees.
  • Should dismissal occur, the applicant with the 34th highest 500 Festival Princess selection score will replace the dismissed Princess in all of her duties, activities and gifts.
  • The Princess acknowledge that it is in the interest and benefit of the 500 Festival to make personal appearances on behalf of the 500 Festival and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including, but not limited to, appearances and performances on radio, television, or any other broadcast media and charitable service, endorsement, or advertising appearances, without compensation. 500 Festival Princesses will comply faithfully with such reasonable requests for appearances.
  • Absence or habitual tardiness from official events will result in the dismissal of the 500 Festival Princess.

One 500 Festival Princess will be selected to serve as the 500 Festival Queen. The 500 Festival Queen is required to attend all of the 500 Festival and Indianapolis Motor Speedway events throughout May. In addition, she will be asked to make media and publicity appearances on behalf of the 500 Festival. She will work closely with the 500 Festival staff to develop messaging, talking points and presentations.