US Presidential Scholars Program


Program Summary

The South Dakota Department of Education is seeking candidates for the state’s nominations for U.S. Presidential Scholars. The program was established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and, since that time, has honored more than 7,000 outstanding high school seniors. In 2015, President Obama amended the program by adding a new component – recognition for excellence among students in career and technical education (CTE).

This year each Chief State School Officer can nominate up to 20 students in the traditional Scholars program: 10 males and 10 females. Additionally, up to five students in CTE can be nominated. All high school seniors graduating between January and June of 2018 who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents and who attend public, parochial, or independent schools, as well as those who are home-schooled, are eligible.

After South Dakota submits its U.S. Presidential Scholars nominations, applications will be reviewed and narrowed to a list of nation-wide nominees. All U.S.-nominees will be announced and invited to apply in mid-January 2018 by the U.S. Presidential Scholars program office. Completed applications will be due in February 2018, and Scholars will be announced at the beginning of May 2018.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is a recognition program. Students chosen as U.S. Presidential Scholars receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D. C. in June and the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House, in commemoration of their achievements. During their visit to Washington, Scholars have access to important national and international figures, including government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other accomplished people. Scholars are provided opportunities to: wrestle with issues that concern America and the world; attend recitals, receptions and ceremonies held in their honor; and visit area museums and monuments. But perhaps the greatest benefit to the Scholars, and the one they most often remark on, is the chance to exchange ideas with similarly motivated and accomplished peers, and to forge friendships that last a lifetime. More information can be found at www.ed.gov/programs/psp.

Application Deadline: November 10, 2017

Click here to review information to gather prior to submitting a nomination.

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates must:
  • Be a high school senior graduating between January and June of 2018
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
  • Attend public, parochial, or independent schools, as well as those who are home schooled
  • Achieve an ACT composite score of 30 or higher


Application

To submit a nomination for the U.S. Presidential Scholar Program, nominators must submit a Program Application Form by November 10, 2017.

After South Dakota submits its U.S. Presidential Scholars nominations, applications will be reviewed and narrowed to a list of nation-wide nominees. All U.S.-nominees will be announced and invited to apply in mid-January 2018 by the U.S. Presidential Scholars program office. Completed applications will be due in February 2018, and Scholars will be announced at the beginning of May 2018.

Contact:

For more information, contact Erin Larsen the Department of Education's Division of Career and Technical Education at (605) 773-2533.