The Ritz Herald
Nouhoum Koita performing at National YoungArts Week 2020. © Em Watson

The 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts

Applications open on June 2, 2020

Published on May 21, 2020

National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) congratulates the 56th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, with special acknowledgment to the 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts who are YoungArts award winners and were nominated for the honor by YoungArts. The U.S. Presidential Scholars award—one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic excellence, leadership qualities, and community service—is presented on behalf of the President of the United States and honors up to 161 graduating high school seniors of high potential each year.

Students who would like to be considered for Presidential Scholars in the Arts in the future must first apply to the National YoungArts Foundation‘s annual competition. Applications open on June 2, 2020 at Applicants must be between the ages of 15–18 or in high school grades 10–12. To be further considered for nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar by the organization, applicants must be high school seniors and meet all of the U.S. Presidential Scholars requirements.

In 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established by executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson to recognize and honor the nation’s top graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrated 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.

Scholars are selected annually by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by the President, based on academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and writing ability.

Click here for the full list of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

Senior Writer