To become a contestant, you must:

  • Be between the ages of 17 and 25

  • Be a United States citizen

  • Meet residency requirements

  • Meet character criteria as set forth by the Miss America Organization

  • Be in reasonably good health to meet the job requirements

  • Be able to meet the time commitment and job responsibilities as set forth by the Miss Merced County committee


The Miss Merced County competition is a "closed" or "structured" competition. This means that our contestants must live*, work full time, or attend school full time** within a specific boundary.

Ladies from throughout Merced County are eligible to compete for the title of Miss Merced County. Additionally, because there is no Miss Stanislaus County, Mariposa County or Madera County at this time, young women who reside within these counties are also eligible.

Additionally, full time students at any accredited college within Merced County, Stanislaus County or Madera County are eligible. Such institutions include (but are not limited to): the University of California, Merced, Merced College, California State University, Stanislaus, Modesto Junior College, Paul Mitchell the School- Modesto, Sierra College of Beauty, and Milan Institute of Merced.

MISS sierra nevada/Miss yosemite valley ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

The Miss Sierra Nevada/Miss Yosemite Valley competition is what the Miss California Organization refers to as an "open" competition. This means those contestants do not have to live within any specific area, but rather, may apply from anywhere in California, provided that they are eligible to compete within the Miss California Organization.


Contestants must be at least 13 years old by the beginning of state competition (held the last week of June), and no older than an 18 year old Junior in high school to compete. If a contestant is academically accelerated, meaning she has skipped a grade or more, she may still compete.

*Must show proof of residence dating six months prior to Miss Merced County Competition
**Full time is calculated as 12 credit hours. Contestants competing as full-time students must have completed at least one semester or two quarters prior to the Miss Merced County competition.

(1) Eligible if the contestant reaches 13 years of age by the first day of the 2019 Miss State’s Outstanding Teen competition.
(2) This chart represents eligibility based on a potential contestant’s Age and Education. There are other eligibility requirements and rules including: Residency, Citizenship, Other Personal Characteristics, Contractual and Other Obligations, and any special requirements of the Local or State Organization. Refer to the current MAOTeen Application and Contract for Local and State Competitions for more detailed requirements.
(3) The last day that a local Miss Competition may be conducted in the State.
(4) In this case the contestant could also be a high school graduate or have received her G.E.D.
(5) In this case the contestant must graduate from high school or receive her G.E.D. by the end of the Spring 2019 school year.