U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts

White HouseThe Medal

For more than 50 years, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. 

In 1979, President Carter expanded the program to honor up to 20 students through an artistic competition. The National YoungArts Foundation is the sole nominating agency for these scholars - the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts - identifying candidates selected from among the winners of its national program. YoungArts begins with approximately 11,000 applications and ultimately nominates 60 winners for consideration by a Commission appointed by the President. Through a rigorous selection and review process administered by the U.S. Department of Education, scholars are selected on the basis of academic and artistic success, leadership, service in school and the community, and creativity.

Each year, the U.S. Presidential Scholars are invited to Washington, D.C. for several days of recognition activities. The scholars meet with government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other leaders. Scholars also visit museums and monuments in our nation’s capital and attend recitals, receptions and ceremonies held in their honor. 

In addition to these activities, the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts have the opportunity to display their artwork in an exhibition and perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 

2015 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM 

Monday, June 22 | 8 PM
A Salute to the 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

View the list of 2015 Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

A full list of 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars Nominees is available here

Watch A Salute to the 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars performance by the twenty Scholars in the Arts and YoungArts Alumni. The performance, directed by Tony-Award Winner Bill T. Jones, was performed at the Kennedy Center on Monday, June 23, 2014.

Photos of the twenty 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts' trip to Washington, D.C. trip are available on our FaceBook page

Past Presidential Scholars in the Arts Winners
2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts
2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts
2012 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts
2011 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts 
2010 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts