I've seen a lot fo headlines today congratulating Alyssa Campanella on becoming the next 'Miss America'--which is wrong. Alyssa is the new Miss U.S.A.
The Miss America and Miss U.S.A pageants are not the same! Despite giving out titles, tiaras and scholarships the competitions are completely different.
Miss U.S.A. is part of the Miss Universe organization which is owned by none other than Donald Trump. Miss U.S.A. debuted in 1952 and is a qualifier for the Miss Universe pageant. Miss California, Alyssa Campanella, won this year's competition and will compete for the title of Miss Universe in September. Miss U.S.A. is probably best-known for it's relationship with the Miss Universe pageant and its controversies. A number of winners have been found to be less than 'wholesome,' daning on stripper poles and bettling drug addiction.
Miss America began in 1921 and is mostly known for its scholarships. Though the same women can (and sometimes do) compete in both competitions, the main prize for Miss America is a scholarship while Miss U.S.A. gets a scholarship, a shot at Miss Universe and some other perks, like one year of free rent in Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in New York. The two organizations are completely separate.
Miss U.S.A. was founded by Catalins Swimsuits as part of a promotional tool while Miss America was founded as a scholarship program.