Students Recognized as Candidates for U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

Four students qualified as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Along with approximately 3,000 students across the country, seniors Julia Chmyz, Runming Dai, Caroline Deng and Jerry Liu qualified for the program based on their performances on the SAT or ACT.

The program began in 1964, honoring the nation’s most distinguished high school seniors. After being selected as a candidate, students can apply to the program to become a semifinalist.

“It’s pretty similar to a college application,” Julia said.

The application process consists of essay writing, transcript submission and a list of extracurriculars. The program will announce 500 semifinalists in April, and the semifinalists will then be reviewed by a panel of 32 citizens selected by President Barack Obama. The program will announce the finalists in May, and up to 141 of the nation’s best students will be rewarded with a trip to the Washington D.C.

“It was nice [being invited] because I didn’t even know such a program existed,” Julia said. “It’s something that you just get automatically entered into.”

In the nation’s capitol, students will receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion in a ceremony at the White House. Students will also visit museums and monuments, and attend conferences as guests of the Department of Education and the Executive Office of the President.