Presidential Scholarship FAQs You’ll Definitely Want to Read

The United State Presidential Scholars Program is one of the most notable presidential scholarships at U.S. universities. The program honors outstanding students from high school for their accomplishments. It was founded in 1964, and over the years has grown to include a wide variety of students. Find more information about this scheme through a number of frequently asked questions about Presidential Scholarship in the following explanation.

Presidential Scholarship
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What is a Presidential Scholarship (Presidential Merit Scholarship)?

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established by the President’s Executive Order in 1964 to acknowledge and reward some of the most outstanding senior high school graduates in our country. The Program was expanded in 1979 to honor individuals who display outstanding talent in the visual, artistic and performing arts. In 2015, the program was expanded once again to honor students who show skill and success in the areas of vocational and technical education.

How much is a Presidential Scholarship worth?

Presidential Scholars earn up to $36,000 in undergraduate study over four years—$9,000 a year.

Is this a scholarship program?

No, it’s a recognition program for the presidential scholars.

Students chosen as Presidential Scholars get an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. in June and in commemoration of their contributions, the Presidential Scholars Medallion is given at a ceremony hosted by the White House. Scholars have access to key national and foreign personalities on their visit to Washington including government officials, academics, writers, artists, scientists and other experienced individuals.

Scholars are given opportunities to: address topics impacting America and the world; attend recitals, dinners and ceremonies held in their honor; and tour museums and monuments in the region. But perhaps the biggest advantage to the scholars is the ability to share thoughts with equally inspired and experienced colleagues, and to establish life-long friendships.

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How do you get a Presidential Scholarship?

The selection committee looks for exceptionally attainable candidates. Students who show academic achievement, teamwork and dedication to their school and society may be such. They can also be arts students, business students, and professional educators.

Students must meet the following requirements to apply for the program:

  • S. citizen or legal permanent U.S. resident
  • Senior high school graduate the year of the program start date
  • High scores on the SAT/ACT

An invitation to apply for the program will take place in a variety of ways. One way to do so is to invite applicants who rate the best on the SAT / ACT. One is to be nominated by a head officer of the state school. A third approach is for a partner company to get nominated.

How do I apply to be a Presidential Scholar?

Application is by invitation only. Students are invited to apply based on their scores on the SAT or ACT exam or their nomination by a Chief State School Officer (CSSO—The CSSO is the individual who heads each state education agency or state Department of Education) or nomination from one of the partner recognition organizations, during the year of students graduation from high school; to be eligible for the program, candidates must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent U.S. residents.

Students who meet all qualifications will automatically be sent program notification and a unique nomination ID in January of 2020. Students who were not U.S. citizens or legal permanent U.S. residents on the day they took SAT or ACT exam but will be U.S. citizens or legal permanent U.S. residents by the application deadline date, or who requested that The College Board or ACT not release their scores to outside entities, should contact the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program at 507-931-8345 (once the candidate list has been posted) to ensure their scores are considered in the determination of the candidate pool.

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How to apply for a Presidential Scholarship in the arts?

YoungArts™, the core program of The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts), nominates up to 60 candidates for consideration as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts following participation in YoungArts™ week. If you are interested in applying to the YoungArts™ program, contact YoungArts™ directly at 1-800-970-ARTS, or The registration deadline for the 2019-2020 program year is October 11, 2019.

How to apply for a Presidential Scholarship in Career and Technical Education?

Students are elected by their head of state school (CSSO) officer. Could CSSO can appoint from their jurisdiction a maximum of five candidates. The CSSO is the person who is in charge of either state education agency or state education department.

Is a Presidential Scholarship a full ride?

Yes, the scholarship covers full tuition plus room and is renewable for all four years of college.

How many students get Presidential Scholarship?

Up to 161 students each year are appointed U.S. Presidential Scholars.

How are Presidential Scholars 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 is the selection process?

Both graduating high school seniors who are U.S. nationals or lawful permanent residents across the world, registered in either private or public high schools, and who performed extraordinarily well on either the College Board’s SAT or the American College Testing Program’s ACT Assessment on or before October of each year are automatically eligible for enrollment.

The United States Department of Education also reviews the examination results of each state / jurisdiction for the top 30 males and top 30 females. For each province, the cumulative file of scores from the top male examinees and top female examinees is then ranked from high to low. The ratings correlated with the top 20 male examinees and the top 20 female examinees are used in-state to classify candidates.

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In each state, the scores identified with the top 20 male examinees and top 20 female examinees are used to define the candidates. When ties exist in the minimum ranking, the state invites more than 20 individuals of that gender. In addition, each Chief State School Officer (CSSO) may nominate up to ten male and ten female candidates, residing in the CSSO’s jurisdiction, based on their outstanding scholarship. Additionally, the program is partnering with several recognition organizations that will each nominate up to 10 candidates from their individual programs. Around 4,000 candidates are eligible to apply for the course each year.

Candidates then go through a lengthy selection process in which nomination documents include papers, self-assessments, high school records and transcripts must be submitted. Candidates are judged on their academic performance, personal traits, competence, service and other extracurricular interests, as well as an overview of their essays.

Around 800 semi-finalists are chosen in mid-April by a selection committee of eligible persons who are specialized in secondary and post-secondary education. For each state / jurisdiction six to twenty Semifinalists are listed. The number of Semifinalists listed per state / jurisdiction is proportionate to that state’s number of candidates.

In May, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars (a group of influential private citizens selected by the President around the country, covering the fields of education, medicine, law, social welfare, industry, and other professions) makes the final selection of up to 161 Presidential Scholars. One male student and one female scholar are picked from the nation, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico’s Commonwealth, and from U.S. citizens ‘families, as well as from foreign residents. On top of this, up to 15 scholars are chosen at-large.

When is the application deadline?

All applications, Secondary School Reports, and transcripts must be uploaded or received in our Saint Peter office by 5:00 p.m. Central Time (6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT) on February 25, 2020. All missing documents or documents obtained after the due date will be rejected and will not be eligible for review. Once, when mailing your submission, we highly suggest using a postal mail service (such as FedEx or UPS) which has a fixed delivery date. Please notice, the U.S. Priority Mail service is not guaranteed for Postal Service.

Will everyone get a letter or only those chosen as Semifinalists/Scholars?

Anyone eligible to apply and who submits a submission for approval thereafter will be sent a letter notifying them of their standing. It will alert semi-finalists and non-semi-finalists in mid-April. Scholars and non-scholars are to be contacted in May.

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