The Presidential Scholars award was established by President Johnson in 1964. In 1979 President Carter raised the acceptance quota by 20. It is run by the Art Recognition and Talent Search Program of the National Foundation for Advancement in Art.

 The Presidential Scholars is the highest honor awarded to high school senior. Through the funding of the federal education department, 141 high school graduates are chosen from all nations including Washington D.C., Puerto Rican Islands, and other Americans living abroad. Each state chooses one male and one female, plus 15 for community service, leadership skills, creativity, excellent academic records, and 20 are chosen by the National Foundation for Advancement in Art. Judging will be based upon: GPAs, SAT or ACT scores, essays, leadership, and extracurricular activities.

 In June, all winners of the Presidential Scholars will be invited to the White House to participate in a week of commemoration and will receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion.