National Recognition Program (NRP), sponsored by the White House Commission on U.S. Presidential Scholars and the Department of Education, presents a U.S. Presidential Scholar with his or her first opportunity to join the Presidential Scholars community. Students chosen as U.S. Presidential Scholars receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D. C. in June and the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion in recognition of their achievements. During their visit to Washington, Scholars have access to important national and international figures, including government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other accomplished people. Scholars are provided opportunities to: wrestle with issues that concern America and the world; participate in volunteer activities; attend recitals, receptions and ceremonies held in their honor; and visit area museums and monuments. But perhaps the greatest benefit to the Scholars, and the one they most often remark on, is the chance to exchange ideas with similarly motivated and accomplished peers, and to forge friendships that last a lifetime.

National Recognition Program concludes with an Salute to the U.S. Presidential Scholars, a performance by Scholars in the Arts at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  This performance is hosted in partnership with the National YoungArts Foundation, a major supporter of the Presidential Scholars Foundation.

The National YoungArts Foundation identifies and nurtures the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts and assists them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development. U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts exemplify academic and artistic excellence.

The Presidential Scholars Foundation and Alumni Association operate independently of the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program and the White House Commission on U.S. Presidential Scholars.


“You can’t imagine how much it has meant to me to be a part of the U.S. Presidential Scholars family. The … support I felt from my country during Recognition Program strengthened my drive to serve and to make the world a better place. The officials we met spoke so often [about our] being the nation’s future, that I felt they were entrusting us with the country, and saying, ‘Take good care of it.'”

– Recent U.S. Presidential Scholar commenting on the National Recognition Program