United States Presidential Scholars Program

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. The selected students will engage with public service officials and participate in conversations and events regarding national and international affairs. 

The Texas Education Agency invites high school seniors graduating between January and June of 2019 to apply for the opportunity to be a U.S. Presidential Scholar. For the general component, the Texas Commissioner of Education will nominate 10 male and 10 female candidates to apply for the honor. The 20 nominees will then be invited to submit a full application to the U.S. Presidential Scholar Commission.

In addition to the U.S. Presidential Scholar general component, students with demonstrated excellence in career and technical education (CTE) may apply for the U.S. Presidental Scholar CTE component. High school seniors who are participants of a CTE program graduating between January and June of 2019 are eligible to apply. The Texas Commissioner of Education will nominate an additional five CTE students to apply for the honor. The five nominees will then be invited to submit a full application to the U.S. Presidential Scholar Commission.

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 2019
  • Are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents 
  • Attend public, parochial, or charter schools, or are home-schooled

Additionally, CTE 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: 

    2018-2019 General Application

    2018-2019 CTE Application

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

    Applications must be submitted with valid signatures. 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):
      1. Go to the TEA send files web page.
      2. Click on "I don't have an account yet".
      3. Enter your email address and click "Register."
      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 celeste.padilla@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 submitted in this format are due by 5:00pm on Friday, October 12, 2018. 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: Celeste Padilla, 1701 N. Congress Ave., Austin, TX  78701
      3. Applications submitted in this format must be postmarked by Friday, October 12, 2018. 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
    • Applicant signature
    • Certifying official (Principal) signature
    • Written response
    • Unweighted transcript

    Incomplete application packages 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

    Additionally, CTE scholars applications consider the following:

    • Academic rigor
    • Technical competence
    • Employability skills
    • Ingenuity, creativity, and problem solving

    General: The Texas Education Agency will select 10 female and 10 male general student nominations. The U.S. Presidential Scholar Commission will review these applications and invite a select number of students to complete the full application.

    CTE: The Texas Education Agency will select five CTE student nominations. The U.S. Presidential Scholar Commission will review these applications and invite a select number of students to complete the full application.

    Please note that TEA will not notify students of the status of their application. If a student is selected to apply for the honor, the student will be contacted directly by the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program office in mid-January 2019. All scholars will be announced at the beginning of May 2019.