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What is the Great Debate? 

NHI's Great Debate is a communications and leadership development program for ambitious and courageous young people. If you are or know a young person committed to making meaningful change in the world, and are driven toward building up our community, NHI and the Great Debate experience is a must.

For over three decades, first-year NHI members have come to harness the power of their voices and engage with perspective-changing ideas. The Great Debate offers a rigorous learning experience for high-achieving, high-ability 9th-grade youth who aspire to community and civic leadership roles in the future.

Click on image below to view our 2023 Great Debate Brochure


Who is eligible to apply for the Great  Debate?

All students are welcome to apply for the Great Debate if they meet the following requirements:

  • Currently enrolled in the 9th grade
  • Has a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • First-time NHI participant

Recommended Backgrounds:

  • Students who seek to enroll in and graduate from a four-year college/university

  • Students interested in increasing their knowledge of Latino/Hispanic/Latino cultures

  • Students who want to expand their peer network and receive mentorship

PLUS at least 2 of the following goals:

  • Students who aspire to be a community leader

  • Students who seek to strengthen their communication skills

  • Students who enjoy service and volunteerism

  • Students involved in extracurricular and/or enrichment programs

  • Students involved in: speech/debate, student council, volunteerism, honor society, Spanish club, Latino/Hispanic/Multicultural club, athletics, journalism

What does the admissions process look like?

  1. Complete online registration and submit a $25 registration fee
  2. Upload a recent report card or transcript (last reporting period for 2022-2023 school year accepted)
  3. Enrollment Office reviews the application within 1-3 business days
  4. Upon acceptance, please pay a $150 non-refundable deposit within 10 days
  5. Upload the completed Parent Release Form
  6. Complete final tuition payment by assigned deadline (flexible payment plans available)

What is the timeline of the Great Debate?

  • Fall Semester: Submit an application
  • Fall Semester - End of Winter Break : Complete registration and prerequisite "mini courses"
  • Winter Break: Meet your orientation leader, and older NHI participant who will welcome you to NHI and introduce you to your orientation group
  • Beginning of New Year/Winter Semester: Officially join your local or community team and begin the journey in preparing for the debate
  • Summer: Compete in the Great Debate and gain the experience of a lifetime

What are the application requirements?

All participating students must:

  • Upload a copy of their most recent report cards or transcripts upon registration
  • Read the Parent Release Policy
  • Complete and upload the Parent Release Form, which is due upon acceptance to the program
  • NHI COVID Policies


What is the cost of the Great Debate?

The cost of the Great Debate is broken down  into distinct fees, all of which will culminate in supplying your student with the adequate resources for a fulfilling and fun leadership experience :

Application Fee - A $25 non-refundable application fee

Great Debate Program Tuition - $775

What does the payment schedule look like?

NHI will provide details about the payment schedule upon acceptance into the program. 

NHI is committed to flexibility - that is, payment plans and fundraising tools are available to all families who request them. 



National Hispanic Institute

P.O. Box 220
Maxwell, Texas 78656

+1 (512) 357-6137

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