DATE: September 15, 2017
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

Seeking Nominations (High School Seniors) for the 2018 Presidential Scholars Program

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is seeking nominations of high school seniors for the 2018 Presidential Scholars Program (General Category).  Each Chief State School Officer (CSSO) may nominate up to ten male and ten female candidates.  Students selected as finalist for the Presidential Scholars Program are invited to participate in a National Recognition Program in Washington, D.C.  They will receive an all-expense paid trip to our nation’s Capital to meet with government officials, educators, and other accomplished people.  Finally, they will be awarded the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House.

Each Superintendent’s Region is asked to select one female and one male student candidate (Please note that Region 4 may submit two female and two male student candidates due to the large student population).  We encourage you to nominate students who demonstrate outstanding scholarship, but who might not otherwise be nominated through the current SAT/ACT, Arts, or CTE recognition processes. 

State Superintendent Nomination Process:

Please note:  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).

The Presidential Scholars Program:

The U.S. Presidential Scholars ProgramThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.

The VDOE Presidential Scholars Nomination Form is attached and must be returned to the Virginia Department of Education, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, no later than Friday, November 3, 2017.  For additional information please contact Ms. Leah Dozier Walker, Community and Minority Affairs Liaison, by email at or by telephone at (804) 225-3304.



  1. VDOE 2018 Presidential Scholars Nomination Form (Printable PDF)
  2. VDOE 2018 Presidential Scholars Nomination Form (Electronic Fillable PDF)