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National Advisory List

NASSP List of Approved Contests

Welcome to the 74th annual publishing of the NASSP List of Approved Contests, Programs, and Activities for Students, produced by NASSP through its National Committee on Student Contests, Programs, and Activities.

The purpose of the national list is to provide information to assist principals, teachers, parents, and students in making decisions regarding participation in a wide variety of program opportunities.

The National Committee on Student Contests, Programs, and Activities reviews all programs based on the following standards:

  • Educational value
  • Financial support
  • Organizational structure
  • Promotional accuracy
  • Fair, appropriate adjudication

Any program that meets the list guidelines, as determined by the committee, will be included on the list. To provide additional guidance for principals, teachers, parents, and students, the committee has also developed recommendations for evaluating student-related materials in areas such as recognition programs, scholarship search programs, and direct marketing practices.

Please Note:

The inclusion of a student program on the list does not imply endorsement by NASSP. A program listing indicates that it has been reviewed by a committee of NASSP member principals and found to meet the established standards of quality for student contests and activities established by the NASSP National Committee on Student Contests, Programs, and Activities and approved by the NASSP Board of Directors.

2015–2016 NASSP List of Approved Contests, Programs, and Activities for Students
The 2015–2016 NASSP List of Approved Contests, Programs, and Activities for Students is now available and features more than 140 student programs and contests that have been reviewed and approved by the NASSP National Committee on Student Contests, Programs, and Activities. Approval is valid for one year beginning with the publishing of the list in September and running through the end of August of the following year (for example, September 2015 to August 2016). NASSP reserves the right to remove programs temporarily or permanently from the National List if programs fall below the standards for approval.

National Committee Program Standards
The NASSP National Committee on Student Contests, Programs, and Activities maintains Standards and Guidelines that have been approved by the NASSP Board of Directors. The standards are used by the committee to evaluate and place student contests, competitions, tournaments, and other nonathletic activities on the National List. NASSP encourages principals and advisers to refer to the Standards and Guidelines in the process of determining student participation in such activities, and provide a link to them for parent and students. The Standards and Guidelines are also available in a printable PDF format.

2015–2016 Student Program Applications are Here!
NASSP invites sponsors of student contests and programs to apply for consideration of inclusion in the 2015–2016 NASSP List of Contests, Programs, and Activities for Students. All applications are reviewed by an NASSP committee and those programs found to meet established committee standards will be approved for inclusion.

Why should programs seek NASSP approval? Today’s principals, parents and students are seeking student programs and contests that can demonstrate a level of quality in multiple ways including educational value, operational and financial practices as example. For nearly three quarters of a century, NASSP has served it members and their students evaluate and assess programs as a validation of their legitimacy and value to students.

To apply, program sponsors should complete and submit online applications on or before February 1, 2016There is a $185 nonrefundable processing fee for each application submitted. Sponsors hosting multiple programs or contests that have different curricula, formats, or program goals must submit separate applications for each program to be evaluated.

The 2015–2016 Student Program Applications and credit card payment are fully online. Programs wishing to pay by check will be prompted to download a ‘Check Payment’ form at the time of submission. Programs where the processing fee was paid by check will not be considered for committee review until payment has been confirmed by the NASSP Finance Office.

Sponsors of submitted programs will receive an automated email to confirm successful submission of each application. The email will also contain a copy of all application entry data for sponsor records.


Do you have questions about Student Exchange Programs or Student Visas?
NASSP recognizes the guidelines and standards used by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) to approve inbound and outbound student exchange programs for their CSIET Advisory List. For questions regarding guidelines for student exchange programs and to view the list of organizations currently approved by CSIET, please visit www.csiet.org.

Youth exchange program participants, like all nonimmigrant visitors to the United States, are subject to U.S. immigration laws. Educational institutions, including high schools, are subject to immigration regulations with regard to nonimmigrant students who visit the United States as F-1 academic students. High school student exchange organizations are subject to regulations with regard to non-immigrant students who visit as J-1 exchange visitors. On April 4, 2006, the U.S. Department of State amended the J visa secondary-school exchange student regulations. CSIET has provided NASSP members with a concise overview of the F-1 and J-1 Visa programs to assist principals in better understanding the regulations and criteria surrounding each one.

U.S. Government Regulations Regarding International Youth Exchange [pdf]

DISCLAIMER – The NASSP List of Contests and Activities for Students (the “List”) is intended for use by teachers and administrators at the middle and secondary school levels. NASSP makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy or suitability of any program or program sponsor information included on the List; all such content is provided on an “as is” basis. NASSP HEREBY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES REGARDING THE CONTENTS OF THE LIST, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ALL WARRANTIES OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. NASSP does not guarantee, warrant, or endorse the products or services of any firm, organization, or person. NASSP SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS, DAMAGE, INJURY, CLAIM, OR OTHERWISE, AND SHALL FURTHER NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOST PROFITS, OR DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND EXPENSES) ARISING FROM PARTICIPATION IN ANY STUDENT PROGRAM ON THE LIST. Anyone using the List to select programs for student participation should perform their own inquiries into the suitability of the offered programs for their students.