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The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. Since 2013, Chief State School Officers have been invited to nominate candidates from their states who might not otherwise be nominated by the U.S. Department of Education. Beginning in 2016, outstanding students who demonstrate excellence in Career and Technical Education ("CTE") were included for recognition. This allows the State Superintendent of Education to nominate up to ten male and ten female students for the general component of the program AND up to five additional students for the CTE component. Students are nominated based on outstanding scholarship, school and community service, leadership, and extraordinary achievement. For more information about the program, please visit www.ed.gov/psp.​

 Eligibility

For the general component of the program:​

  • are or will be U.S. citizens or Legal U.S. Residents by the application deadline;​
  • graduate or receive a diploma between January and August of the current program year;​
  • score exceptionally well on the ACT/SAT or nominated by the State Superintendent of Education.​

For the arts component of the program:​

  • are or will be U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent U.S. Residents by the application deadline;​
  • graduate or receive diploma between January and August of the current program year;​
  • demonstrate academic achievement and talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts; and​
  • participate in the YoungArts Program.

For the CTE component of the program:​

  • ​are or will be U.S citizens or Legal Permanent U.S. Residents by the application deadline;​
  • graduate or recieve diploma between January and August of the current program year;​
  • demonstrate academic achievement in CTE programs; and​
  • are nominated by the State Superintendent of Education. ​

 Nomination Forms

If you have questions about the State Superintendent's nomination process, please contact presidentialscholars@isbe.net or (217) 785-5585. ​​

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