Does when I apply for RSVBee affect my child's chances of receiving an invitation?

No. Unlike the inaugural year, in RSVBee’s second year, there is no point system for applicants to track and no advantage by submitting the application weeks or months before the deadline. Parents have until March 22, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern to apply for the 2019 RSVBee program at https://secure.spellingbee.com/rsvbee.

Are there any concerns RSVBee might be considered unfair for those who can’t afford the program or unfair for some spellers?

RSVBee is our sincere effort to take a step toward fairness. We believe the National Finals are as fair as possible, but the path to Bee Week is not a consistent or equal journey. Throughout our 90-year history, we have had sponsored regions and unsponsored regions. This means students in a sponsored county have a shot at advancing to the National Finals while students in a neighboring county without a sponsor have no shot. The sizes of sponsored regions also are not created equal — only one speller in all of Georgia can currently advance to D.C., while Ohio sends 18 spellers.

Will spellers still advance to the National Finals with the support of a sponsor?

We want as many children to have an opportunity to participate in the national finals as possible, regardless of their means. One way is for children to win a sponsored trip through a regional bee competition. The other is for families to independently seek sponsorship or raise funds on their own to participate through the RSVBee program.

Is there flexibility in arranging travel and hotel? Can RSVBee families choose travel and lodging that best meet their family needs?

Parents of applicants who receive an invitation to the 2019 RSVBee program on behalf of their child and pay the $1,500 participation fee agree to book a six-night stay at the Bee’s official hotel, Gaylord National Resort on or before April 22, 2019.  Any applicant whose parents elect not to book a six-night stay at the Bee’s official hotel will be required to pay a $600 non-participation fee to the Scripps National Spelling Bee on or before May 26, 2019.