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The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.
Students are nominated through their Chief State School Officer (CSSO). It is the role of the Iowa Department of Education to collect these nominations and submit them to the U.S. Department of Education for review.
Meet the four 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars from Iowa.
The nominating period for the 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars program has closed. Nominations for the 2025 cycle will open in August 2024.
For the general component of the program, students who meet the following criteria:
- are or will be U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent U.S. Residents by the application deadline (Students who were not U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent U.S. Residents on the day they took SAT or ACT exam, or who requested that The College Board or ACT not release their scores to outside entities, should contact the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program at 507-931-8345 to ensure their scores are considered in the determination of the candidate pool.);
- graduate or receive a diploma between January and August of 2024, the current program year; and
- score exceptionally well on either the SAT of the College Board or the ACT of the American College Testing Program, nominated by their Chief State School Officer (CSSO) or nominated by one of our partner recognition organizations based on outstanding scholarship.
For the CTE component of the program, students who meet the following criteria:
- are or will be U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent U.S. Residents by the application deadline;
- graduate or receive a diploma between January and August of 2024, the current program year;
- demonstrate academic achievement in career and technical programs; and
- are nominated by their state's Chief State School Officer.
Application for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is by invitation only. Students may not apply individually to the program or be nominated (outside of the above process).
- Sept. 29, 2023 - Nominations due to Iowa Department of Education
- Oct. 1-Nov. 29, 2023 - Screening of nominations
- Nov. 30, 2023 - Nomination submitted to the U.S. Department of Education
- January 2024 - Student candidates receive letter of invite to apply to the U.S. Department of Education’s Presidential Scholars program
- Late February 2024 - Student candidate application deadline
- Mid-April 2024 - U.S. Department of Education announces student semifinalists
- First full week of May 2024 - U.S. Department of Education announces 2024 Presidential Scholars
- Mid to late June 2024 - Presidential Scholar national recognition program