Debating Offers Some Serious Benefits

Parliamentary Debate offers participants keys to present and future success. Not only do young people develop the critical thinking and public speaking skills so prized by employers, they also gain immediate benefits. Debaters perform better in the classroom, score higher on standardized tests, have higher GPAs, and, when compared to their non-debate peers, have a better chance of being accepted into elite colleges and universities.

According to Professor Minh Luong, author of “Forensics in College Admission” and director of the Ivy Scholars Program at Yale University, participation in debate “increases the success rate of college applicants at all schools which track such data.” Winners of major invitationals, national tournaments, and state tournaments “have a 22% to 30% higher acceptance rate at top tier colleges” compared to their peers. Simply being a member of a debate team increases a college applicant’s chances by 4%, which is on par with being elected class president or named captain of a sports team.

After graduating university, debaters enjoy continued success. Many top corporate executives and high-ranking officials in all branches of government are former high school debaters. Debaters become confident leaders in their schools and communities because they develop strong listening skills, tact, self-confidence, and take on leadership roles within their teams. Debaters are politically active and have high levels of civic engagement. This is particularly true for women and students of color, because debate skills break down systemic barriers to civic engagement.

Debate is a path to success. Urban Parli wants to open up this amazing activity and remove as many barriers to entry as possible.