On April 17, Jacob Wu ’19 was selected as a semifinalist for the 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The Program recognizes 161 high school seniors every year. Scholars are invited to Washington, D.C. to meet government officials at the National Recognition Program, for which all expenses are covered. The Presidential Scholars are also presented a medallion during a White House sponsored event.
Applications are by invitation only; the Program does not accept general student and school nominations. 4,000 candidates are initially selected based on their SAT and ACT scores. The test scores are ranked from highest to lowest which allows the board to pick 20 females and 20 males as candidates from throughout the U.S.
Experienced educators judge candidates based on academic achievements, personal characteristics, leadership skills, service activities, and their essay. After the evaluation process, only 800 students are chosen as semifinalists including Wu this year. After being named a candidate, students go through an extensive application process, in which they must apply under one of three categories – academic accomplishments, arts, or career and technical education. Wu qualified under the general admission category of academic accomplishment. The application itself asks for students’ extracurricular activities, reflections on high school experiences, contributions to the community, and one hardship the candidate has faced.
Wu found the application to be a great lens to reflect on his connection to Lawrenceville. “One particular experience that I reflected on was my time as a Hutchins Scholar during my [Third Form] and [Fourth Form] years. I wrote about the Hutchins community and also how my research fed into other research that I pursued during my [Fifth Form] year,” Wu said.
Wu hopes to receive the presidential Scholar title and is excited to learn from the experience. Wu said, “The Presidential Scholars program would be an exceptional opportunity to gather in D.C. and get to know some of the people who help run our national government.”
For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through House and Harkness, Lawrenceville challenges a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose. Our mission is to inspire the best in each to seek the best for all.