Miss America Organization Raises Competition Age to 25

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -

Miss America contestants will now get an extra year to compete for the crown, thanks to a new rule drafted by organization officials.

According to a spokesperson with the Miss America Organization, officials have drafted a new rule to change the maximum age of contestants from 24 to 25 in hopes of allowing more young women pursuing advanced degrees to benefit from the program.

The change will take effect with the 2018 contests and it is the first change to the pageant rules since former Fox News anchor and 1989 Miss America Gretchen Carlson recently became chair of the organization's board of directors.

Changes in leadership to the organization came after a series of leaked emails revealed that former CEO Sam Haskell and several other board members were making derogatory comments about former Miss Americas.

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