Wilton Senior Named a U.S. Presidential Scholar

Image from U.S. Presidential Scholars Program page on Facebook
Image from U.S. Presidential Scholars Program page on Facebook

Kurt Rubin, a senior at Wilton High School, has been named one of more than 3,000 candidates in the 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, the federal Department of Education has announced. 

Rubin is the son of Keith and Kathleen Rubin.

Here's most of the announcement:

The candidates were selected from nearly 3.4 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2014.

Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 50th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

Over 3,000 candidates were selected for their exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT or the ACT Assessment. In addition, each Chief State School Officer (CSSO) was invited to nominate three male and three female candidates, based on their outstanding scholarship, residing in the CSSO’s jurisdiction. Further consideration is based on students’ essays, self-assessments, descriptions of activities, school recommendations, and school transcripts. A distinguished panel of educators will review these submissions and select 560 semifinalists in early April.

The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens appointed by the President, will make final selection of the Scholars. They will select one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. students living abroad; 15 students at-large; and up to 20 students from the creative and performing arts. The U.S. Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May.

Scholars will be invited to Washington, DC, for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities with their elected representatives, educators, and other leading individuals in public life.

For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, parents and students can call the U.S. Presidential Scholars Office at 319/688-4345, or send an e-mail to PSP@act.org.


The United States Presidential Scholars Program 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. Each year, up to 141 students are named as U.S. Presidential Scholars, one of the Nation’s highest honors for high school students. The Scholars represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people. In honoring the U.S. Presidential Scholars, the President of the United States symbolically honors all graduating high school seniors of high potential.

Students have the opportunity to become U.S. Presidential Scholars based on two paths of accomplishment. The majority of the Scholars are selected on the basis of broad academic achievement. Approximately twenty additional students are selected on the basis of their academic and artistic scholarship in the visual arts, the performing arts, or creative writing.

Each year over 3,000 candidates are identified for the academic component of the program, based on having scored exceptionally well on the SAT or the ACT. Eligible students are U.S. citizens and legal permanent U.S. residents graduating or receiving a diploma between January and August of the current program year, who have taken the SAT or ACT Assessment on or before the preceding October. Students meeting these requirements are automatically considered for participation. Initial inclusion in the pool of eligible candidates is determined by the information (e.g. graduation year) provided by the student on his/her SAT or ACT test registration.

Test scores in each of the states/jurisdictions are reviewed, and the total SAT score is compared to the ACT Sum of Scores. Each student’s highest test score (in a single test administration) is identified; duplicates and/or lower scores are dropped. In each state, scores are ranked from high to low. Approximately twenty females and twenty males are selected as candidates from each state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and from families of U.S. citizens living abroad. In addition, each Chief State School Officer (CSSO) may nominate three male and three female candidates, based on their outstanding scholarship, residing in the CSSO’s jurisdiction. Students are considered in their states of legal residence, unless they have lived abroad for two years or more. Candidacy materials are mailed to students for participation in the program. Application is by invitation only; students do not apply individually to the program, nor do their schools nominate them.

For the arts component of the Program, students are initially selected based on their artistic ability. Students must register for and participate in YoungArts, a national program identifying and recognizing young people demonstrating excellence in the arts. Upon completion of the YoungArts program, the National YoungArts Foundation nominates approximately 60 students who meet the U.S. Presidential Scholars candidacy requirements. Candidacy materials are mailed to those selected students, inviting them to apply to the program.

To confirm their interest and assist in the selection process, all academic and arts candidates complete and submit candidacy materials for review, including essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports and transcripts. A review committee of qualified individuals experienced in secondary and post- secondary education evaluates candidates on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and the quality and content of their essay.Approximately 560 candidates are named semifinalists, and their names and supporting materials are forwarded to the Commission for further review.

In April, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars reviews the applications of all semifinalists, applying the same criteria used by the review committee. The Commission selects up to 121 Academic Scholars and up to 20 Arts Scholars.

All Scholars are honored for their accomplishments during National Recognition Program, held in June in Washington, D.C. During this trip, U.S. Presidential Scholars are guests of the Commission and enjoy an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other accomplished people. Scholars have the opportunity to visit museums and monuments, and to attend recitals, receptions and ceremonies. To commemorate their achievement, the Scholars are awarded the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House.

Since 1964, this unique federal program has honored more than 6,000 U.S. Presidential Scholars, who have demonstrated scholarship, leadership, artistic excellence and selfless service to others. The work of the Commission on Presidential Scholars, on behalf of the President and his Administration, reflects recognition of the immense value and potential of our Nation’s youth, and a deep commitment to ensuring that every child in America receives the benefits of a world-class education.

For general information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, please contact 202/401-0961 or http://www.ed.gov/psp. For general information on the Arts component of the program, please contact the National YoungArts Foundation at 1-800-970-ARTS or http://www.youngarts.org.

Connecticut15 March 17, 2014 at 09:15 PM
The headline should be corrected to say the student is a CANDIDATE for US Presidential Scholar. Good luck to Kurt throughout the next stages of the competition.


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