United States Presidential Scholars Program

The Texas Education Agency invites high school seniors graduating between January and June of 2018 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.

Beginning in 2016, outstanding students who demonstrated excellence in career and technical education (CTE) have been included for recognition. Therefore, TEA also invites high school seniors who are participants of a CTE program graduating between January and June of 2018 to apply for the opportunity to be a U.S. Presidential Scholar. In addition to the 20 general application 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. Presidential Scholars Program and the Commission on Presidential Scholars website.

Eligibility

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

  • graduate between January and June of 2018,
  • 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).
  • Each school may only nominate one general applicant and one CTE applicant.

How to Apply

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

2017-2018 General Application

2017-2018 Application for CTE scholars

  • Students may only apply for one competition (General OR CTE). If an application is received for both programs, the applicant will only be considered for the CTE competition.
  • Each school may only nominate one student for the general competition and one student for the CTE competition. Principals must hand sign the application form in acknowledgement of their nomination.

There are two ways to submit your application (please select ONE method of submission):

1. Secure Submission (please note: this method requires the scanning of application materials with valid signatures):

  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 karen.grad@tea.texas.gov with your file attached. (All files must be submitted in a .doc, .pdf, or .docx format. Any other format is not acceptable.)
  7. Please note that applications in this format are due by 5:00pm on Friday, October 6, 2017. Applications received after this date and time will not be considered. 

2. Mail Submission:

  1. Applicants may mail all required materials to TEA.
  2. Return to: Texas Education Agency, Attn: Kelly Ocasio, 1701 N. Congress Ave, Austin, TX  78701
  3. Applications submitted in this format must be postmarked by Friday, October 6, 2017. Applications postmarked after this date will not be considered.

Please note: if you send an application electronically, do NOT also send via mail. Applications should only be submitted through one method.

*All submitted applications must be complete. A complete submitted application includes:

  • U.S. Presidential Scholars Application Form (form must be completed)
  • Applicant Signature
  • Certifying Official (Principal) Signature
  • Two Writing Responses
  • Unofficial Transcript

Applications that are missing any component of the complete submitted application will be considered ineligible for review.

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

Additionally CTE scholars applications will be considered on the following:

  • academic rigor
  • 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.

Please note that student applicants will not be notified of the status of their application from TEA. If a student is selected to apply for the honor, he/she will be contacted directly by the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program office in mid-January 2018. All scholars will be announced at the beginning of May 2018.

Timeline

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

Activity

 

Time Frame

 
Application Due DateFriday, October 6, 2017
Review Committee Process October 6– November 17, 2017
Names Submitted to U.S. Department of Education    November 22, 2017
Nominees Invited to Apply for HonorJanuary 2018