The Coolidge Scholarship is an annually awarded, full-ride, presidential scholarship that covers a student’s tuition, room, board, and expenses for four years of undergraduate study. The Coolidge may be used by recipients at any accredited American college or university. Anyone of any background, pursuing any academic discipline of study, may apply to this non-partisan, need-blind, program.
Students apply for the Coolidge Scholarship during their junior year of high school. Finalists are flown in for a finalist weekend at the Coolidge Historic Site in Plymouth Notch, Vermont where they interview with the Coolidge Scholars Finalist Jury, chaired by Dr. Bruce Cole, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Recipients of the Coolidge Scholarship are notified of their award late in their junior year, before college application (note: current high school seniors are not eligible to apply). Finalists who are not named Coolidge Scholars are eligible to receive a smaller, one-time, college scholarship.
Calvin Coolidge worked hard in academics; the young New Englander’s only sport was public speaking, often on public policy. The main criterion that distinguishes Coolidge Scholars therefore is academic excellence. Secondary criteria include: demonstrated interest in public policy; an appreciation for the values Coolidge championed; as well as humility and service.
The summer before their senior year of high school, newly-selected Coolidge Scholars spend several orientation days at the picturesque birthplace of the President, Plymouth Notch, Vt. There scholars get to know Coolidge and his world, and help the Coolidge Foundation oversee its formidable debate programs. Scholars return to Plymouth Notch for a week in each of the next three summers.
The top Coolidge applicants are named “Senators.” In the summer, the Coolidge Foundation invites Coolidge Senators to the Senators Summit in Washington, D.C. At the Summit, the Senators explore the nation’s capital, learn about President Coolidge, and perhaps most importantly get to meet other high achieving students from across the country.
The Coolidge Scholars Program is operated by the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation.