The Coolidge Scholarship pays for a student’s tuition, room and board, and required fees for four years of undergraduate studies. It also offers an annual stipend for books and supplies.

What is the Coolidge Scholarship?

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The Coolidge Scholarship is a full-ride presidential scholarship awarded each year that covers a student’s tuition, room, board, and other expenses for four years of undergraduate study. Recipients may use the Coolidge at any accredited college or university in the United States. Anyone from any background and studying in any academic discipline may apply to this non-partisan, need-blind program.

During the junior year of high school, a student may apply for the Coolidge Scholarship. Finalists are flown in for a weekend filled with interviews with the Coolidge Scholars Finalist Jury. This takes place at the Coolidge Historic Site in Plymouth Notch, Vermont. Coolidge Scholarship recipients are notified of their award late in their junior year before applying to colleges and universities (note: current high school seniors are not eligible). If a finalist is not named a Coolidge Scholar, they may qualify for a more minor, one-time college scholarship.

Calvin Coolidge studied hard; the young New Englander’s only sport was public speaking, frequently on public policy. Academic excellence is thus the primary criterion that distinguishes Coolidge Scholars. Secondary measures include:

  • A demonstrated interest in public policy.
  • Respect for the values Coolidge championed.
  • Humility and service.

The summer before the senior year of high school, newly selected Coolidge Scholars spent several days at the President’s birthplace, Plymouth Notch, Vermont. Scholars learn about Coolidge and his world while assisting the Coolidge Foundation with its formidable debate programs. Every summer while in college, scholars return to Plymouth Notch for a week.

Although only a few students are named Coolidge Scholars each year, one hundred of the top Coolidge Scholarship applicants are named “Coolidge Senators.” Coolidge Senators are invited to attend the Senators Summit, held each summer in Washington, D.C., at no cost. The Senators visit the nation’s capital, learn about President Coolidge, and meet other high-achieving students from across the country at the Summit.

The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation manages the Coolidge Scholars Program.

Eligibility Requirements

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  • Applicants for the 2023 Coolidge Scholarship must intend to enroll full-time as an undergraduate for the first time in fall 2024 at an accredited U.S. college or university. Students completing their junior year of high school are eligible to apply, or the equivalent, if home-schooled. (Students currently partaking in their junior year of high school but taking some courses at a local college are eligible to apply for the Coolidge Scholarship.)
  • By the scholarship deadline in 2023, applicants must be citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States of America.
  • Any current employee or trustee of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation or the Coolidge Scholars Program.

Eligibility FAQ

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I’m an international student. Am I Allowed to apply for the Coolidge Scholarship? 

The Coolidge Scholarship is open to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents currently in high school abroad are eligible to apply. 

I am a junior in high school. I am also taking some courses at a local college; am I still eligible to apply? 

Yes, absolutely! Confirm that you intend to enroll full-time in a U.S. college or university for the first time in the fall of 2024.

I am a current high school junior, and I have plans to take a gap year after graduation and thus begin college after fall 2024. Am I qualified?

No, only current high school juniors planning to begin full-time undergraduate studies in the fall of 2024 will be eligible to apply for the 2023 scholarship. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Am I eligible to apply as a current high school senior? 

No, only current high school juniors planning to start college full-time in the fall of 2024 will be eligible to apply for the 2023 scholarship. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Is a current high school senior who wants to take a gap year before starting college eligible to apply? 

No, only current juniors in high school are eligible to apply. There are no exceptions to this rule.

The Coolidge Senators Program

Coolidge Scholarship | My Education Compass

The Coolidge Senators Program is a separate program from the Coolidge Scholarship that recognizes one hundred top Coolidge Scholarship applicants who have excelled academically and have a strong interest in Calvin Coolidge. All Coolidge Scholarship applicants are automatically considered for the Coolidge Senators Program; no separate application is required.

Students eligible for the Coolidge Senator designation will be notified directly by the Coolidge Foundation. Students must attend the Coolidge Senator Summit in Washington, D.C., to accept the Foundation’s invitation and become a Coolidge Senator. Coolidge Senators attend the Summit, a multi-day, expense-paid event in which they tour the nation’s capital, discuss various pressing issues in policy and business with renowned experts and participate in formal debates on matters of national importance. Coolidge Senators are also given a small, one-time college scholarship.

The Summit provides Senators with insight into the inner workings of our government. This includes tours around the East Wing of the White House, engaging in Q&A on the House floor with former members of Congress, having conversations with clerks to Supreme Court justices, hearing from former Governors, and meeting with top officials from federal agencies such as the Office of Management and Budget and the Bureau of Labor Statistics have all been previous activities.

President Coolidge recognized the importance of America’s free enterprise system to the survival of our republic. As a result, the Senator Summit specializes in entrepreneurship and the private sector, bringing business leaders to speak to students about entrepreneurship and innovation.

Notably, the Summit allows Coolidge Senators to form friendships with other top students from across the country. As a Coolidge Senator, you gain access to an extensive network of peers and mentors. During their college years, Coolidge Senators can take advantage of additional enrichment opportunities provided by the Coolidge Foundation.

Recommendation Guidelines

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  • Please include the applicant’s first and last name in the first paragraph of your letter.
  • At the end of the letter, please include your full name and affiliation.
  • Please describe how you know the applicant, how long you’ve known them, and in what capacity you know them.
  • Your letter should be as specific as possible, with relevant examples and other information that will help the Coolidge Scholars Program understand why the applicant is a worthy candidate. More information about the Coolidge Scholarship and the selection criteria that will be considered when evaluating applicants can be found at coolidgescholars.org.
  • Your letter should not exceed 1,200 words.
  • Co-written letters or letters signed by multiple people are not permitted.
  • You can submit your letter in either PDF or Microsoft Word format.

Submission Instructions

Please follow these steps to submit your letter of recommendation:

  • When you receive an email from the Coolidge Scholarship indicating that a student has listed you as a reference, click the link in the email.
  • Fill out the form that follows and upload your letter.
  • To upload your letter, save it as a Microsoft Word or PDF file on your computer. Then, look at the bottom of the form, and click the “+Select a file” button. A pop-up window will open. Here you can select the file to upload from your computer.
  • Fill out the remainder of the form. Press the “Submit” button.

Conclusion

Coolidge scholars should have an outstanding academic record. Competitive candidates will have pursued and completed the most rigorous course of study. Awardees will exhibit exceptional academic depth and intellectual curiosity. Depth is just as important as breadth regarding the Coolidge Scholarship. Coolidge Scholars are interested in scholarly and philosophical pursuits outside of the classroom.

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