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Scholarships

Scholarships give students access to opportunities beyond their classroom experiences - and further their learning.

RIDE operates as a state coordinator for the scholarships below.

The United States Senate Youth Program


The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP), established in 1962 by U.S. Senate Resolution, is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school students interested in pursuing careers in public service.

The USSYP Washington Week will be held ONLINE Sunday, March 14 to Thursday, March 18, 2021. Two students from each state will be selected to attend the online program and each student will receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship. Students may qualify to apply through leadership positions they currently hold per the USSYP official criteria for the current 2020-2021 academic year. If students are unable to hold leadership positions this year due to the pandemic, they can submit the position they held during the 2019-2020 academic year.

All student leadership qualifying positions are subject to the judgement of the state selection administrator and will be verified and confirmed. Student delegates will hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies, as well as participate in a meeting with a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

For more information, please visit http://ussenateyouth.org/ or download the 2020-21 Program Brochure.

Scholarship   How to Qualify   How to Apply   Timeline


Download the USSYP Application Form (note: same form as last year)
Submission deadline: Friday, January 15, 2021.

See "How to Apply" for submission instructions.


Scholarship Requirements

In order to receive the $10,000 scholarship:

  • A student must participate in the Washington Week. If a selected student is unable to participate, merits of his or her reasons will be considered by the program director relative to the scholarship award.
  • A student must, within two years after high school graduation, enroll at an accredited United States college or university and attend courses in government or related subjects to his or her undergraduate program.

How to Qualify

Students must meet the following criteria in order to be considered for this scholarship and program (see the download the 2020-21 Program Brochure for more information):

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident at the time of application (students who are not U.S. citizens must be in possession of their I-551 / "Green Card" at the time of application to be eligible to apply)
  • Rhode Island resident for the entire 2020-21 academic year
  • Current (school year 2020-21) high school junior (Class of 2022) or senior (Class of 2021) enrolled and attending a public or private secondary school (or home schooled) in Rhode Island (Note: a student who graduates at the close of the fall 2020 semester/quarter is not eligible to apply for the program)
  • Currently (actively) serving in an elected or appointed position representing a constituency in an organization related to student government, education, public affairs, and community service for the entire 2020-21 school year.
    Note: If students are unable to hold leadership positions this year due to the pandemic, they can submit the position they held during the 2019-2020 academic year.
    Eligible roles:
    • Student Body president, vice president, secretary or treasurer
    • Class president, vice president, secretary or treasurer
    • Student Council representative
    • A National Honor Society officer (including discipline-based Honor Societies such as the National English and Social Studies Honor Societies that include service components)
    • Student representative elected or appointed (appointed by a panel, commission or board) to a local, district, regional or state-level civic, service and/or educational organization approved by the state selection administrator.
    Ineligible roles:
    • Attendance or officer position at Boys/Girls Nation/State summer conference
    • Member of the National Honor Society (serving as an elected officer for the organization for the entire school year is acceptable)
    • A founder or chairman of a self-created group
    • A participant or officer in Mock Trial, Model U.N., or other academic club, conference, or competition where the primary engagement is for individual educational enrichment

Detailed information on application and eligibility and program participation rules can be found on the USSYP site. Any high school junior or senior student who meets the above criteria is eligible for the program provided he or she has not previously been a delegate to Washington Week and has not received a USSYP scholarship.

How to Apply

  1. Download the USSYP Application Form
    • Note: This is the same form as last year.
    • If students are unable to hold leadership positions this year due to the pandemic, they can submit the position they held during the 2019-2020 academic year, and note the different year on the application form.
  2. Complete the form, with the required signatures
  3. Attach the required essay questions to the application
  4. Include at least one letter of recommendation with the application (cannot be from a parent or family member)
  5. Send the completed application packet to Rhode Island's USSYP Coordinator via email (scanned as PDF) or mail. All applications once received are considered final.

Completed applications and all supporting additional documents must be postmarked (via mail) or received (via email) by 5:00pm on Friday, January 15, 2021.

Mail to: Colleen Brophy, USSYP Coordinator
Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE)
255 Westminster Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02903

Or

Email to: Colleen.Brophy@ride.ri.gov

Timeline

  • Applications received until 5:00pm on Friday, January 15, 2021.  RIDE will confirm receipt of applications via email.  All applications received are considered final.
  • Finalists will be contacted by January 22 to schedule interview and civics assessment.
  • Interviews and assessments will take place virtually from January 25 to January 29.
  • RIDE will notify the USSYP Program of the selection of two delegates and two alternates by February 5, 2021.
  • The USSYP Program and the Hearst Foundations will announce the two delegates and two alternates from each state in December.
  • The two delegates from Rhode Island will attend Washington Week online from March 14-18, 2021.  Please visit the program website for more information about Washington Week, program rules, and scholarship rules.

Presidential Scholars


We are seeking from all Rhode Island high schools nominations of students to be named as 2022 Presidential Scholars. We encourage you to work with your high-school principals to select one male student and one female student from each high school as your nominees. Up to 10 male and 10 female students will be chosen from Rhode Island.

Criteria

Here are the criteria, as set forth by the U.S. Department of Education:

In this general category, we encourage you to nominate students who demonstrate outstanding scholarship, but who might not otherwise be nominated through the current SAT/ACT, Arts, or CTE recognition processes.

All high school seniors graduating between January and June of 2022, who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents and who attend public, parochial, or independent schools, as well as those who are home-schooled, are eligible.

The candidates will go through the application process, and as in the past, the 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars will be selected by the Commission on Presidential Scholars and receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a ceremony in their honor in Washington, DC.

It may be helpful to consider the following questions as you contemplate the selection of your nominees:

  • What about the student makes him or her stand out as having outstanding scholarship?
  • Were there special challenges or hurdles this student has overcome while still achieving high academic success?

In addition, it may be useful for you to know that the reviewers will be considering the following categories when evaluating the nominees at the semifinalist and Scholar evaluation levels:

  • involvement and Service (in school and community);
  • leadership and character;
  • writing samples;
  • academic achievements; and
  • discretionary points for extraordinary achievement, heavy workload, family responsibilities, or obstacles overcome.

Nomination Process

Each student you nominate should prepare an application that includes:

  • his or her resume, including home mailing address and personal email address;
  • a letter of reference from you or a school official that explains how the student stands out as having outstanding scholarship; and
  • a brief (approximately 500 to 750 words) essay that responds to this question: “What special challenges or hurdles have you overcome while still achieving high academic success?”

You must submit all of the following information for each student you nominate, or the application will not be considered for the award:

  • Student’s name
  • Student’s home mailing address
  • Student’s gender
  • Student’s personal email address
  • High-school name and mailing address
  • High-school CEEB code

We remind you that this last point (the CEEB code) is particularly important to this nomination process, as these nominations will recognize students who would not be considered for this award based solely on their academic achievement.

Submission Process

Either superintendents or high-school principal(s) will be our contact in this process. We ask either superintendents or principals (not the nominated students) to submit your nominations to info@ride.ri.gov by November 8, 2021.

From nominations we receive, we will select up to 20 nominees from Rhode Island (up to 10 male students, 10 female students). We will notify you when we have submitted nominations to the Presidential Scholars Commission, but you will not hear further from us on the nominations.

The Commission will select finalists early next year, and Scholars will be announced in the spring. Scholars will receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

For more information about the program, see: http://www.ed.gov/programs/psp.

Presidential Scholars in Career & Technical Education (CTE)


We are seeking from all Rhode Island Career & Technical Centers nominations of students to be named as 2022 Presidential Scholars. We encourage you to work with your career & technical center directors to nominate students to be recognized for excellence in CTE. Up to 5 students will be selected from Rhode Island.

Criteria

Here are the criteria, as set forth by the U.S. Department of Education:

We are proud this still new component of the program will honor students “on the basis of outstanding scholarship and demonstrated ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.”

All high school seniors who are participants of a CTE program graduating between January and June of 2022, who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents and who attend public, parochial, or independent schools, as well as those who are home-schooled, are eligible.

Candidates who are nominated and choose to apply, and whose applications are complete, will be reviewed by a committee of qualified individuals experienced in career and technical education.

All 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars will be selected by the Commission on Presidential Scholars and will receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a ceremony in their honor in Washington, DC.

Nomination Process

Each student you nominate should prepare an application that includes:

  • his or her resume, including home mailing address and personal email address;
  • a letter of reference from you or a school official that explains how the student stands out as having outstanding scholarship; and
  • a brief (approximately 500 to 750 words) essay that responds to this question: “What special challenges or hurdles have you overcome while still achieving high academic success?”

You must submit all of the following information for each student you nominate, or the application will not be considered for the award:

  • Student’s name
  • Student’s home mailing address
  • Student’s gender
  • Student’s personal email address
  • High-school name and mailing address
  • High-school CEEB code

We remind you that this last point (the CEEB code) is particularly important to this nomination process, as these nominations will recognize students who would not be considered for this award based solely on their academic achievement.

Submission Process

Either superintendents or career & technical center director(s) will be our contact in this process. We ask either superintendents or directors (not the nominated students) to submit your nominations to info@ride.ri.gov by November 8, 2021.

From nominations we receive, we will select up to 5 students from CTE. We will notify you when we have submitted nominations to the Presidential Scholars Commission, but you will not hear further from us on the nominations.

The Commission will select finalists early next year, and Scholars will be announced in the spring. Scholars will receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

For more information about the program, see: http://www.ed.gov/programs/psp.