Lawson Collins, a senior at Chanute High School received notification that he is a candidate in the 2021 United States Presidential Scholars Program. Of the nearly 3.6 million high school seniors graduating this year, he is one of approximately 5,000 students to receive the invitation.
The US Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. Graduating high school seniors must have have scored exceptionally well on either the SAT or the ACT college admission test.
Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.
To be considered further, candidates must submit candidacy materials, including essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports, and transcripts.
Candidates are evaluated on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and an analysis of their essay.
A distinguished panel of educators will review these submissions and select approximately 600 semifinalists in early April. The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens appointed by the President, will select the finalists, and the US Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May.
Annually, up to 161 US Presidential Scholars are chosen, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth. If circumstances permit, all Scholars are invited to Washington, DC in June for the National Recognition Program, featuring various events and enrichment activities and culminating in the presentation of the Presidential Scholars Medallion during a White House-sponsored ceremony.