Student Resources

Collegiate Scholars Program

  • Program Description: The Scholar program is a five-day, four-night tuition-free camp and retreat for college debate students. The Scholars program is dynamic, and changes every year based on the interests of the staff and the needs of the students.  Our goal is for students to leave feeling a deep sense of connection and trust with each other and the staff. We hope that these bonds will persist throughout students’ debate and professional careers.
  • What’s it like? Unlike other instruction at the WDI, the Scholars program operates in a lab format. This is designed to encourage close and extended discussion about controversial and critical issues in debate. Scholars are invited to teach high school courses and electives, but spend most of their time in the lab environment. In addition, Scholars are able to spend considerable unstructured time with our inter-generational staff to discuss graduate school, business and professional life and other topics of interest.
  • Who should come: The Scholars program is focused on students entering their first or second year of college, although others are welcome to apply. Although most students are likely to participate in policy debate, students in parliamentary debate are welcome to apply. We especially encourage applications by students of color, students with nonconforming gender identities, and students whose identities intersect multiple historically marginalized social locations.

High School Student Program

  • Program Description: The High School Program is a five-day, four-night tuition-free debate camp. In August 2022, Camp Ascend in Dallas, Texas hosted our camp. Students who attended the camp learned debate strategy and developed their skills all under top notch instruction for our staff of argumentation professionals, coaches and educators. Alongside developing students’ debate skills, we stress community building and critical discussion about gender disparities in debate.
  • Travel Stipends: Travel stipends are available for students who would not otherwise be able to attend the WDI. If you require a travel stipend, please make sure to answer the appropriate questions on the student application.

Application Information

The WDI hopes to admit at least 55 students for our annual summer camp. If there are more applications than the number of spaces available, the committee will use a variety of criteria to establish priority:

  • Quality, originality, and strength of essay answers
  • Number of years in debate
  • Year in school
  • Need (students with fewer camp opportunities are prioritized)
  • Previous admission to the WDI
  • Overall compatibility with applicant pool

Diversity and Inclusion:

  • 50% of admitted students come from Urban Debate League schools.
  • As an inclusive organization, we welcome applications from trans students and staff.
  • Active recruitment of debaters from historically marginalized backgrounds, especially Black debaters.


For some applicants declined admission, the WDI will offer the opportunity to be placed on a waiting list.  If any of our accepted students are unable to attend, we will offer admittance to a debater on the waitlist.  The criteria for waitlist removal is the same as above.


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