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FUSD Students Named Candidates for Presidential Scholars Program
Posted 2/7/20

FUSD is proud to announce 13 of its high school students have been named as candidates for the United States Presidential Scholars Program. 


Established in 1964, by executive order of the President, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognizes and honors some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional 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. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.


Eight students from Mission San Jose High School, four from American High School and one from Washington High School are invited to apply for semifinalist positions from which the Scholars will be chosen in May 2020.


FUSD Presidential Scholar Candidates:


American High School

Ayesha Desai

Arnav Gupta

Emily Lin

Michael Sun


Mission San Jose High School

Jeffy Li

Vivienne Lin

Brent Liu

Patrick Liu

Derek Luan

Ganesh Murugappan

Andrew Xu

Emily Zou


Washington High School

Isaac Shih


The selection of approximately 4,000 general program candidates, for the most part, made based on SAT and ACT scores. Test scores in each of the states/jurisdictions are reviewed, and the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) and Math SAT score is compared to the ACT English, Reading and Math score. Application is by invitation only; therefore, students may not apply individually to the Program, nor may their schools nominate them.


A review committee of qualified individuals experienced in secondary and post-secondary education evaluates candidates on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and an analysis of their essay. Approximately 800 candidates are named semifinalists and forwarded to the Commission for further review. All Arts nominees submitting candidacy materials are automatically advanced to the semifinalist stage.


In April, the Commission on Presidential Scholars reviews the applications of all semifinalists based on the same criteria used by the review committee. The Commission selects up to 161 U.S Presidential Scholars each year. All scholars are honored for their accomplishments during the National Recognition Program, held in June in Washington, D.C.


U.S. Presidential Scholars are guests of the Commission during the National Recognition Program and enjoy an expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with government officials, educators, and other accomplished people. To commemorate their achievement, the Scholars are awarded the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House.