500 Festival PRincess Program
Presented by The National Bank of Indianapolis
The 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by The National Bank of Indianapolis, celebrates Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically driven young women. Each year, 33 college-aged women are selected as 500 Festival Princesses and serve as ambassadors of the 500 Festival, their hometowns, and their colleges/universities.
Serving as a 500 Festival Princess provides young women with once-in-a-lifetime experiences and countless opportunities for leadership and professional development. Since the program’s founding in 1959, more than 2,000 Indiana women have experienced the honor of being selected as a 500 Festival Princess
Cultivating Indiana’s Next Generation of Leaders
Each 500 Festival Princess will participate in the 500 Festival Leadership Development Program, presented by FORVIS, further empowering participants to make a profound impact within their community and the state of Indiana. In addition, each 500 Festival Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship, made possible by Marlyne Sexton, an Indianapolis philanthropist and president of The Sexton Companies, and the 500 Festival Foundation.
In the months leading up to May, the 500 Festival Princesses will perform outreaches with community organizations, including hospitals, schools, and nonprofits.
Applications for the 2023 program are now closed. Please click the button below to fill out our 2024 interest form to be notified when applications open next year.
Each 500 Festival Princess will receive the following:
- Opportunity to serve as an ambassador for the 500 Festival, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, city of Indianapolis, and the state of Indiana
- $1,000 scholarship to assist with educational expenses, made possible by Marlyne Sexton, an Indianapolis philanthropist and president of The Sexton Companies, and the 500 Festival Foundation
- Participate in the 500 Festival Leadership Development Program, presented by FORVIS, which provides various opportunities for personal and professional development experiences
- Opportunities to create lifelong connections with business and community leaders
- 500 Festival branded apparel
Criteria to Participate in the Princess Program
- Claim legal residence in the state of Indiana and be able to demonstrate proof of residency via a valid Indiana driver’s license or valid Indiana state ID card.
- 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 2023 semester, taking a minimum of twelve (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 2023 500 Festival Princess Program.
- Identify as female.
- Be actively involved in at least one worthwhile extra-curricular college or community service activity.
- Be 18 years of age by January 1, 2023, but no older than 23 years of age by May 31, 2023.
- Participate in 500 Festival events during Spring 2023.
- Be able to provide their own transportation and parking (when determined) to and from all 500 Festival events and activities as needed.
- Submit a complete online application by 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, January 8, 2023.
- Be able to participate in the interview process, scheduled to take place on January 21 and February 4, 2023. Failure to participate in the selection interview will result in disqualification.
- Be able to participate in Princess Program orientation, scheduled to take place on February 18, 2023.
Additional support of the 500 Festival Princess Program is provided by: The National Bank of Indianapolis, 500 Festival Foundation, BKD, Khamis Fine Jewelers, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Vera Bradley.
500 Festival Princess Alumnae
The 500 Festival Princess Program was launched in 1959 and since then, nearly 2,100 of Indiana’s brightest young women have participated in this program. If you’re a Princess Program alumna, we want to hear from you!
Please fill out the form below so we can keep in touch and send updates regarding the Princess Program, Alumnae events, 500 Festival volunteer opportunities and more!
Fill Out Form