US Presidential Scholar Award 2021 Guide
The United States Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by Executive Order of the President. The aim of the award is to recognize and honor some of the Nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors.
In 1979, the Program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.
U.S. Presidential Scholars Award
Each year, up to 161 students are named U.S. Presidential Scholars, one of the Nation’s highest honors for high school students. The Scholars represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people.
In honoring the U.S. Presidential Scholars, the President of the United States symbolically honors all graduating high school seniors of high potential.
U.S. Presidential Scholar Eligibility
Students have the opportunity to become Presidential Scholars based on three paths of accomplishment. The majority of the Scholars are selected on the basis of broad academic achievement.
Approximately 20 additional students are selected on the basis of their academic and artistic scholarship in the visual arts, the performing arts, or creative writing. Another 20 students are selected on the basis of their outstanding scholarship and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.
For the arts component of the Program, students are initially selected based on their artistic ability. Students must participate in YoungArts, a national program identifying and recognizing young people demonstrating excellence in the arts.
YoungArts, the core program of YoungArts, the National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists, nominates approximately 60 students who meet the U.S. Presidential Scholars candidacy requirements.
Candidacy materials are mailed to the selected students, and they are invited to apply to the program. To confirm their interest, academic and arts candidates complete and submit candidacy materials, including essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports and transcripts for review.
For the career and technical education component of the program, students are initially selected based on their accomplishments in career and technical education fields. Students are nominated through their Chief State School Officer (CSSO).
Each CSSO can nominate up to five candidates who meet the U.S. Presidential Scholars candidacy requirements. Candidacy materials are mailed to the selected students, and they are invited to apply to the program. To confirm their interest, all candidates complete and submit candidacy materials, including essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports and transcripts for review.
U.S. Presidential Scholar Selection Process
The selection of approximately 4,000 general program candidates, for the most part, made based on SAT and ACT scores. Test scores in each of the states/jurisdictions are reviewed, and the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) and Math SAT score is compared to the ACT English, Reading and Math score. Each student’s highest test score (in a single test administration) is identified; duplicates and/or lower scores are dropped.
In each state, scores are ranked from high to low. The scores associated with the top 20 male examinees and top 20 female examinees are used to select candidates from each state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and from families of U.S. citizens living abroad.
A universal score is determined for both males and females from that state. In addition, each Chief State School Officer (CSSO) may nominate up to 10 male and 10 female candidates, based on their outstanding scholarship, residing in the CSSO’s jurisdiction. The program is also partnering with several recognition organizations that will each nominate up to 40 candidates from their individual programs. Students are considered in their states of legal residence, unless they live abroad. Candidacy materials are mailed to students for participation in the program.
Application for U.S. Presidential Scholar Awards
Application is by invitation only; therefore, students may not apply individually to the Program, nor may their schools nominate them.
A review committee of qualified individuals experienced in secondary and post-secondary education evaluates candidates on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and an analysis of their essay. Approximately 650 candidates are named semifinalists and forwarded to the Commission for further review. All Arts nominees submitting candidacy materials are automatically advanced to the semifinalist stage.
In April, the Commission on Presidential Scholars reviews the applications of all semifinalists based on the same criteria used by the review committee. The Commission selects up to 161 U.S Presidential Scholars each year. All scholars are honored for their accomplishments during the National Recognition Program.
U.S Presidential Scholars are awarded the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion each June.
For over 57 years, this unique federal program has honored almost 8,000 U.S. Presidential Scholars, who have demonstrated leadership, scholarship, and contribution to school and community. The work of the Commission on Presidential Scholars reaffirms, on behalf of the President, the Nation’s commitment to education.
How Presidential Scholars are chosen?
Students are nominated through their Chief State School Officer (CSSO). Each CSSO can nominate up to five candidates who meet the U.S. Presidential Scholars candidacy requirements. Candidacy materials are mailed to the selected students, and they are invited to apply to the program.
How much money is the Presidential Scholarship?
Awards are made for a maximum of eight fall and spring semesters (four years) to students seeking their first undergraduate degree. Award ranges from $16,000 to $24,000 per year.
How to Win the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program
The U.S. Presidential Scholars program is one of the most awarding scholarships.
However, the Presidential Scholars Program is available on an invite-only basis. So even if you are eligible, you may not necessarily be able to apply unless you are invited. Here are the criteria for each of the three main pathways of general, arts, and career and technical education (CTE)
How do you get a Presidential Scholar Award?
Eligible candidate can be invited through any of the following career pathways:
#1. The general Presidential Scholars pathway
#2. The arts pathway
#3. Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathway.
For the general Presidential Scholars pathway, the most common way that a student is invited is through achieving a high score on their ACT or SAT. Alternatively, students can be nominated by their Chief State School Officer or a Presidential Scholar partner organization.
For the arts pathway, students must demonstrate “academic achievement and talent in the visual, creative, or performing arts.” Additionally, students must participated in the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts program.
Finally, for the CTE pathway, students must be nominated by their state’s Chief State School officer and show academic achievement in career and technical programs.
What happens if you are a presidential scholar?
Students chosen as U.S. Presidential Scholars receive a Presidential medallion, in commemoration of their achievements during National Recognition Program. I’m not a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent U.S. Resident.
Is it hard to get a presidential scholarship?
It’s a very selective and highly prestigious program for high school seniors in the U.S. It was originally organized by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Every year since then, it has celebrated high school students’ achievements in many areas including community service, leadership, and academic education.
Is a presidential scholarship a full ride?
The Presidential Scholarship covers full tuition plus room and is renewable for all four years of college. These awards usually go to students who are ranked in the top 1-2% of their high school classes. Award notifications are around April 1 each year.
How many presidential scholarships does Villanova give?
25 Presidential Scholarships are offered annually. Each year, the University awards a portion of Presidential Scholarships to historically underrepresented students who have demonstrated leadership in their ability to make significant academic and social contributions to their school and communities.
How much is the RIT Presidential Scholarship?
The RIT Presidential Scholarship program award a maximum of $15,000 and a minimum sum of $9,000
Does presidential scholar matter?
The Presidential scholar award is more than just an academic award. While a 2400 SAT score doesn’t hurt to be nominated, it is not the only thing that matters. It is precisely this that makes the US Presidential Scholars Program different from other academic awards.