U.S. Presidential Scholar Applicants 2021

Hello all:

We just found out my D21 has been selected as a 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars candidate. I don’t know much about this program.

Has anyone had any trouble logging into the application? The page says there is a place to click on “Signup” but we can’t find that. My D21 has emailed them for assistance, but just wanted to see if anyone else is having this same problem?

Also, congrats to all other candidates!


Update: they got back to my D21 really fast and she was able to log in.

Good luck all!

So my C21 is on the list of students nominated to apply as a '21 Presidential Scholar — but he’s FTM trans. Legal name change successfully completed. Legal gender change in process but won’t be completed before the application deadline. Should he click the “F” or “M” box? Should he even bother applying? Most of the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars seem to have been appointed under the Trump Administration. Is the program simply too conservative?

Can I assume I was named a candidate for the program because of my scores if I don’t know any state education officials?

Scroll to your state and find your name (alphabetical)

How are you guys putting down the hours per week that you spend on each activity, if you don’t do all your activities the entire year?

Does anyone know the score requirements for being nominated? I believe the award goes to two students in each state, so I assumed it would start with 1600/36s and narrow it from there. But five kids are nominated from my D22’s high school and I’m pretty certain they didn’t all perform at that level.

So it gets complicated. The school officer can pick a few people for their own reasons and then there are artists and tech people recognized separate from the general competition. For the general: it’s the top 10 female and male ACT and SAT scorers in the state (40 kids). BUT if there is a tie at #10, all of the kids with that score qualify.

I also believe (SOMEONE PLS CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG) that they have a rule stating should one cutoff be lower than the other (girls/boys) than everyone above that cutoff qualifies, and that’s why you see some states have 25 girls and 30 boys or vice versa. If the top ten girls SAT cutoff is a 1550 for example, but for the boys is a 1580, all of the boys and girls with a 1550+ will receive the nomination.

Thanks, that helped me hunt it down.

scores from the top examinees are then ranked from high to low in each state. The scores associated with the top 20 male examinees and top 20 female examinees are used to identify the candidates in each state. When ties occur in the cut off score, more than 20 persons of that gender are selected in that state. Once the cut off score is determined for both male and female for an individual state, the lower of the two (if they are different) becomes the universal score for both male and female in that state.

In addition, each Chief State School Officer (CSSO) may nominate ten male and ten female candidates based on their outstanding scholarship, residing in the CSSO’s jurisdiction.

What I wonder about is the ACT. It doesn’t indicate that they are separate. And there are many, many more 36s than 1600 (and even adding in or 1590s), because 35.5 and 35.75 all round to 36.

But it does go to the lower scores of the two top 20s, and includes ties. Which is why the “top 20 plus top 20 plus 20 special nominations” became 170 in PA. But I think that’s still 1590-1600 and 36 only.

Other states have a much higher percentage of the HS population. I’m guessing it’s because the 20th highest score just dipped to 1580 and then every 1580 in the state made it. (Small states may be even lower).

(Follow up, it does say “ For each examinee, the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) and Math SAT score is compared to the ACT English, Reading and Math score. Each student’s highest test score from the first three attempts (in a single test administration) is identified;”.

Science isn’t included, and there are section concordances from math to math and (ACT English + Reading) to EBRW, so that must be it.)

UGH…so I just realized that I posted in the 2020 thread of same topic, but that one had a few recent replies with application questions.

I am going to paste this here too in hopes to reach some people working on their applications this year.

My daughter had originally planned to skip this honor/application.
Application is a lot with many other things going on right now.

But GC suggested she go for it (if could complete without too much stress)

SO…she has been working on it and is done all of the essay parts.

I have a question regrading the photo/candidate essay.

Did anyone else only use about 2/3 of the space?
Her essay is about 4,500 characters or so (7.000 limit)
She could write more but it fits the photo and is well written.

Her other answers all maxed out the space, but they were only 1,600.


I’m running into the exact same problem; I feel like most common app essays aren’t more than 4,000-5,000 characters. I want to “use the space wisely” but I also don’t want to end up rambling just to have lots of content

The submission deadline has already passed, hasn’t it? I’m not sure of the exact date but my daughter submitted hers early in the week because she said she had to meet the deadline.

Yes, but I was offered an extension since I was not notified of my candidacy until early-mid February (I’m assuming most other people were notified in January). Can you please provide some insight into how you listed seasonal activities?

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Ah, I see. I can’t offer any insight, sorry. My daughter did her application totally on her own and I didn’t review it at all.

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thank you!

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