United States Presidential Scholars Program

The Texas Education Agency invites high school seniors graduating between January and June of 2016 to apply for the opportunity to be a U.S. Presidential Scholar. The United States (U.S.) Presidential Scholars Program honors graduating seniors for their outstanding scholarship, achievement and promise of future success. Seniors chosen as U.S. Presidential Scholars are selected by the Commission on Presidential Scholars and will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. where they will be presented with a medallion at a ceremony in their honor. While there, the students will engage with accomplished people and participate in conversations and events over issues that concern America and the world.

The Texas commissioner of education will nominate 10 male and 10 female candidates to apply for the honor.

This year, President Obama amended the program by adding a new component – recognition for excellence among students in career and technical education (CTE). Therefore, TEA also invites high school seniors who are participants of a CTE program graduating between January and June of 2016 to apply for the opportunity to be a U.S. Presidential Scholar. In addition to the 20 candidates who will be nominated to apply, the Texas Commissioner of Education will nominate five additional students who are in CTE to apply for the honor.

For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

Eligibility

High school seniors are eligible. Seniors must meet the following criteria:

  • graduate between January and June of 2016,
  • are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents,
  • attend, public, parochial, or charter schools, as well as those who are home-schooled,
  • CTE scholar applicants must be participants in a career and technical education program (i.e., Healthcare, IT, Advanced Manufacturing, STEM, and Transportation).

How to Apply

To apply for the opportunity to be nominated, please download and complete one of the following applications:

2015-16 General Application

2015-16 Application for CTE scholars

Return the application securely in the following manner:

  1. Go to the TEA send files web page.
  2. Click on "I don't have an account yet".
  3. Enter your email address.
  4. You should receive a verification email. Follow the link in the email to verify your previously entered email address.
  5. Create a password. Passwords must be at least eight characters long and must contain a minimum of one number and one uppercase letter.
  6. Once the account is created, use the Send File tab to send a secure email to kelly.ocasio@tea.texas.gov with your file attached.

Applications are due on September 11, 2015. Any applications received after this date will not be considered.

Selection Process

A review committee will consider the following when reviewing applications:

  • involvement and service (in school and community)
  • leadership and character
  • writing samples
  • academic achievements
  • discretionary points for extraordinary achievement, heavy workload, family responsibilities, or obstacles overcome

CTE scholars will also be considered on the following basis:

  • technical competence
  • employability skills
  • ingenuity, creativity, and problem solving

The review committee will submit 40 student names and their general applications to the commissioner for review. The commissioner will make the final selection of the 10 female and 10 male general student nominations.

 The review committee will submit 10 student names and their CTE applications to the commissioner for review. The commissioner will make the final selection of the 5 CTE student nominations.

Timeline

You can review the timeline of events in the table below.

Activity

 

Time Frame

 
Application Due DateFriday, September 11, 2015
Review Committee Process September 14 – September 25, 2015
Commissioner ReviewSeptember 28 – October 9, 2015 
Names Submitted to U.S. Department of Education    October 15, 2015
Nominees Invited to Apply for HonorJanuary 2016