What Is the President’s Award for Academic Excellence?

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The President’s Award for Educational Excellence and the President’s Award for Academic Achievement are two awards given annually by the President of the United States, and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, to honor students with remarkable academic achievements. These two academic awards belong to the President’s Education Awards Program. They help school principals recognize and reward students with academic talent through the presentation of one of two awards from the presidential program.

Each year, the President’s Educational Awards Program identifies and rewards students with exceptional academic records. The program targets students graduating from elementary, middle and high school. Eligible students must meet certain academic criteria to meet eligibility standards, outlined by certain categories, classified in Category A, Category B and Category C.

Typically, candidates must meet requirements in Categories A and C. Category A requires maintaining a grade point average of at least a 3.5 on a 4.0 GPA scale, which equates to a 90 out of 100 percent. Category C requires high test scores on state or national exams, or the recommendations of a teacher and staff member as an alternative.

Schools without traditional letter grade systems nominate students using criteria in Category C as well as Category B, which requires students to maintain a 90 percent average academically and demonstrate superior personal traits such as intellectual capacity, leadership and motivation.