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 2021 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. Presidential Scholar CTE component. High school seniors who are participants in a CTE program graduating between January and June of 2021 are eligible to apply. The chosen students will represent multiple sectors viewed as the pillars of our nation's economic growth:  Healthcare, IT, Advanced Manufacturing, STEM and Transportation. The Texas Commissioner of Education will nominate 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 2021
  • Are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents 
  • Attend public, parochial, or charter schools, or are home-schooled

CTE applicants must be participants in a career and technical education program: Healthcare, IT, Advanced Manufacturing, STEM, or Transportation.

    How to Apply

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

    2020-2021 USPSP General Application (pdf)
    2020-2021 USPSP CTE Application (pdf)

    Download Free Adobe Reader

    • 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 signature of the nominating principal.

    Submission Instructions: Submission instructions are located on the last page of the application.

    Applications are due by 5:00 pm Central on Thursday, October 15, 2020.  All submitted applications must be complete. A complete submitted application includes:

    • U.S. Presidential Scholars Application form
    • Certifying official (Principal) signature
    • Written response
    • Unweighted transcript

    Incomplete application packages will be considered ineligible for review.

    Selection Process

        General Applications: Texas Commissioner of Education 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.

        The review committee will consider the following when reviewing general applications:

        • Involvement and service (in school and community)
        • Leadership and character
        • Writing samples
        • Academic achievements

        CTE Applications: Texas Commissioner of Education 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.

        The review committee will consider the following when reviewing CTE applications:

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

        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 2021. All scholars will be announced at the beginning of May 2021.

        Contact Information

        College, Career, and Military Prep
        uspsp@tea.texas.gov