The State Scholar Program recognizes students attending approved high schools (typically, Illinois public high schools; see the Approved High Schools section on this page for further details) for outstanding academic achievement. State scholar designation provides honorary recognition with no monetary award. Approximately the top ten percent of graduates from approved high schools are announced as State Scholars each year.
To be considered for State Scholar eligibility, students must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
- Be a resident of Illinois
- Attend an approved high school
- Take the ACT, SAT or Prairie State Achievement Exam between September 1 and June 30 (by the end of the third semester before high school graduation*)
- Perform in the top one-half of your high school class at the end of the third semester prior to graduation*, and/or score in the 95th percentile on the ACT, SAT or Prairie State Achievement Exam
- Graduate from high school during the academic year in which you were selected as a State Scholar
Note that meeting the requirements listed above qualifies the student to be considered for this program, but does not guarantee State Scholar designation. Once all applicants who meet the above requirements have been identified, a specific formula is used to select State Scholars. Further details are provided in the Selection and Notification Process section, below.
*(typically the end of your junior year in high school)