Applications open for 2022 500 Festival Princess Program


Staff Reports

The 500 Festival is accepting applications for the 2022 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by The National Bank of Indianapolis.

Since 1959, the program has celebrated Indiana’s top college-aged women leaders and philanthropists. More than 2,000 Indiana women have served as 500 Festival princesses.

Applications, rules and regulations are available online at, and the deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. Jan. 9.

Each year, 33 of Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically driven young women are selected to serve as a 500 Festival princess. The program provides young women with once-in-a-lifetime experiences and countless opportunities for leadership and professional development. They have the unique opportunity to grow as leaders while making a profound impact on their community and the state.

500 Festival princesses will participate in the 500 Festival Leadership Development Program, presented by BKD, which empowers participants to make a profound impact within their community and the state.

Princesses receive one-on-one mentorship from the 500 Festival board of directors and experience more than 10 sessions and 20 hours of learning, led by business and community leaders, on topics including goal setting, professionalism, leadership, community engagement and more.

The top 264 applicants will participate in interviews with an independent panel of community leaders on Jan. 29 in Indianapolis. The top 66 will be invited to participate in second-round interviews Feb. 12. Then 33 will be selected to serve as 500 Festival princesses. Selection is based on the following categories: Communication skills, commitment to service, leadership, scholarship and professionalism.

To be eligible to serve as a 500 Festival princess, applicants must:

Claim legal residence in Indiana

Currently be enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited college or university located in Indiana, taking a minimum of 12 academic hours for undergraduate studies or a minimum of nine academic hours for graduate studies

Maintain a cumulative college grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

Be actively involved in at least one extracurricular activity

Be 18 by Jan. 1, 2022, but no older than 23 by May 31, 2022

Support of the 500 Festival Princess Program is provided by The National Bank of Indianapolis, Marlyne Sexton, BKD, Khamis Fine Jewelers, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Vera Bradley and the 500 Festival Foundation.

Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces life-enriching events and programs celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering a positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana.

To learn more about the festival, visit

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