Sterling Scholar Awards: Information

Published: Monday, Dec. 20 2010 3:00 p.m. MST

The Sterling Scholar Awards are open to Utah public high school seniors. It is expected that each school will nominate one candidate in each of the 13 categories. Each school may nominate only one student in each of 13 categories. (A school must fill at least 10 of the 13 categories.) A student may be nominated in only one category. PLEASE NOTE: The selection process and nomination of students as Sterling Scholar nominees is left entirely up to each high school.

Sterling Scholar officials consider a student a high school senior if he/she will be graduating with the senior class in 2011.

High school seniors who attend college classes full or part-time or are classified as foreign exchange students are eligible for the Sterling Scholar Awards. However, the program is designed to recognize scholastic achievement in Utah public high schools. To be selected a Sterling Scholar nominee, students must have extraordinary scholarship scores as well as service in leadership and community service/citizenship opportunities at their Utah public high school. It is up to each public high school to determine if an individual has been in attendance enough to experience these leadership and community service/citizenship opportunities.


Selection of winners and runners-up will be made on the basis of Scholarship, Leadership and Community Service/Citizenship as demonstrated through activity and interest in an area of high school education characterized by one of the program's categories.

Each Sterling Scholar nominee's entire school experience will be considered, although emphasis will be placed on the high school years. High school officials are urged to nominate scholars for categories in which the students are genuinely interested and qualified.

The general measurement will be defined and applied in this manner:

A. SCHOLARSHIP (50 POINTS). Scholarship consists of two sections: Overall Scholarship and Category Scholarship. A students overall GPA, difficulty of class schedule, standardized test scores such as ACT, class ranking and similar scholarship items attained during high school will be used to establish 25 points for Overall Scholarship. The other 25 point section is Category Scholarship, which emphasizes the nominee's ability and talent in their specific category. While judges will seek evidence of growth and service in all activities, the nominee's talent and aptitude towards their category will receive particular emphasis.

B. LEADERSHIP (25 POINTS). The qualities of leadership in Utah public high schools can be measured in part by the responsibilities placed on a student by his/her teachers and fellow students. However, evidence of positive influence with fellow students also shall be considered an indication of leadership.

C. COMMUNITY SERVICE/CITIZENSHIP (25 POINTS). Each Sterling Scholar nominee should exhibit a record of high standards of citizenship throughout his/her high school years. Service to school, community or other organizations will be considered. The nominee's attitude toward and acceptance of responsibility in contributing roles, as well as seeking out service opportunities, will be especially important. Evidence of a long-term commitment to service will also receive particular attention.

SPECIAL NOTE: It is the intent of the sponsors that the above Sterling Scholar Awards judging criteria be based on high school and community experiences from the 10th through 12th grades. For this reason, no specific requirement — such as preparation of assignments of special art projects — is required. The sponsors wish to reward students for scholastic excellence over the course of their high school years — not for a special effort directed specifically toward the Sterling Scholar program.

Method of nomination

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