Debaters Today, Leaders Tomorrow.

Not only does debate helps students develop skills highly desired by universities and employers, but 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 graduation, debaters tend to enjoy 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.