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Students learn about Governor's Scholars Program

Students learned about the Governors Scholars Program from Counselor Elizabeth Miller

Juniors studying the Application Process

Jaylene Campos learning about Governors Scholars

Jaylene Campos learning about Governors Scholars through a handout her Guidance Counselor gave her.Sam Criswell watching a video having to do with Governors Scholars

Sam Criswell watching a video introducing the Governors Scholar's Program to local WCHS students.

.Guidance Counselor speaking with the students

Guidance Counselor Elizabeth Miller giving students tips on applying for Governors Scholar's Program. Counselor Elizabeth Miller talking to Isaac Duncan

Counselor Elizabeth Miller talking to Isaac Duncan, who is interested in applying.

Cory Brown at the computers learning about Governors Scholars

Cory Brown was amongst the students learning about Governors Scholars.

Juniors: 

If you would like to apply for the Governor’s Scholars Program, download the application from the GSP website, and save it to a flash drive or computer.  As you work on the application over the next few weeks, make sure you save your progress each time. Final applications should be turned in to the counselors’ office by 3:00 PM on Friday, December 10, 2021.   

https://gsp.ky.gov/applicants/Pages/Applications-and-Forms.aspx

How to Apply

Student Application & Selection Packets are sent to every public, private and parochial school district in the state. Applications may be picked up in the school guidance office in late September or downloaded from our website.  Homeschools should contact the GSP Office to receive a Homeschool application packet. Before reaching the statewide competition, each student must first submit his or her application through his or her school and participate in the school and/or district level competitions.  Only those students selected as candidates and sent on by their district (or unaffiliated private school) may compete in the statewide selection process.  The number of candidates each district may submit to the statewide process is based on the district-wide junior class enrollment. Approximately 2,000 applications are received at the state level each year, with approximately 1,020 students selected to attend.

Click here for a list of important dates in the 2021-2022 selection process.

Selection Process

The selection process for the Governor’s Scholars Program is multi-tiered. Students compete first at the school and/or district level. At each level of the competition, some applicants may be eliminated. Those students selected at the district level are sent on to the state level for the final competition.

Once they arrive in Frankfort for the state level competition, the applications are divided into eight distinct sections. The first section, which contains all of the student’s biographical information, is filed separately and tied to the rest of the sections only through the "journal number" that is used to identify each applicant.  This allows each application to be read blindly, without any regard to the student's personal information, and ensures fairness in the selection process.  The remaining seven sections are divided among the members of the Statewide Selection Committee, a panel consisting of college admission personnel, college and high school teachers, and education leaders from different areas of the state.  Each committee member reads and scores only one of the seven different sections.

Academic Achievement (30 Points) – consists of ACT, PSAT, or SAT test score, grade point average, and difficulty of course load.
The Academic Achievement Section is awarded points based on the attached charts.

Student Profile (30 Points)
The three sections of the Student Profile are ranked by three selection committee teams. It may be necessary to list duplicate information in these sections to garner maximum points.  For example, if the student is Captain of the Basketball Team, the information will be listed as an Extracurricular Activity for participation and also as a Honor/Award for being named the Captain.

  • Student Profile – Extracurricular Activities
    This section is scored by multiple selection committee members.  The scores are then averaged for a final score for this section.
  • Student Profile – Service – Voluntary or Paid
    This section is scored by multiple selection committee members.  The scores are then averaged for a final score for this section.
  • Student Profile – Honors and Awards
    This section is scored by multiple selection committee members.  The scores are then averaged for a final score for this section.

Writing Entry – 500 Words (20 points)
Selection committee members, trained in using the Kentucky Holistic Scoring Guide, rank the submitted writing entries in six categories.

Teacher Recommendation (10 Points) – This must be completed by a teacher who has had the student in class for a core academic subject in 9th, 10th, or 11th grade.  This section is scored by multiple selection committee members. The scores are then averaged for a final score for this section.

Community Recommendation (10 Points) - This must be completed by a member of the community in a role not associated with the applicant's school.  The recommender may not be a member of the applicant's immediate family. This section is scored by multiple selection committee members. The scores are then averaged for a final score for this section.

The scores for the seven sections are totaled to determine each applicant’s final score, out of 100 possible points.

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Five students stand in a glass tunnel that goes through the middle of an aquarium.

The Governor’s Scholars Program will be able to accommodate 30 more Kentucky students this year, and for each of the next two years, with a focus on expanding equitable opportunities for students from historically underserved backgrounds and areas. The funding is coming from an infusion of federal funding from the Kentucky Department of Education. These are Governor's Scholar students visiting the Newport Aquarium in 2018. Photo courtesy of the Governor's Scholars Program


Governor’s Scholars Program to add 30 more students due to federal relief funds from the Kentucky Department of Education

(FRANKFORT, KY) – The Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP) will be able to accommodate 30 more Kentucky students this year, and for each of the next two years, thanks to an infusion of federal funding.

Kentucky is slated to receive just over $2 billion from a third round of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Most of that money will go directly to local school districts, but one-tenth is set aside for state-level use. From that set-aside, the Kentucky Department of Education is directing $75,000 a year toward supporting the expansion of the GSP as a summer enrichment and learning opportunity in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

With the goal of expanding equitable opportunities for students from historically underserved backgrounds and areas, Kentucky Department of Education staff – including Commissioner of Education Jason E. Glass and Deputy Commissioner and Chief Equity Officer Thomas Woods-Tucker – worked with GSP staff and staff from the Kentucky Center for Statistics to identify high-poverty areas in Kentucky and elevate applications from those areas. 

"We are proud to partner on this effort to expand the Governor's Scholar Program to a broader and more diverse group of students,” Glass said. “This program is a powerful and life-changing learning experience for Kentucky youth. Going forward, I am excited about how these changes can be implemented in future years to create a more representative and equitable GSP experience.”

The additional Governor’s Scholars may be qualified students who might have to help support their families by working, whose families didn’t know how to apply for the Governor’s Scholars Program or who belong to traditionally disadvantaged groups, said Aris Cedeno, GSP executive director and academic dean.

“This helps us enhance our goal of bringing more representation from all over Kentucky,” he said.

Cedeno said he is very happy Glass took the initiative to use some of the state’s newly available federal funding to support the GSP.

In 2020, the GSP announced it would accept 1,020 students for summer 2021, but there were more who qualified for the program, Cedeno said. The new contribution will help more of those who qualify take part.

“Thirty more is a great support,” Cedeno said.

The five-week summer program will be held on the campuses of Bellarmine University in Louisville, Centre College in Danville and Morehead State University in Morehead. It costs about $2,500 per scholar per year, Cedeno said.

“We are not a state agency. We are a not-for-profit organization created in 1983 for the purpose of putting together an enrichment summer program for students between their junior and senior years in high school to enhance their intellectual and personal potential and help them move on their trajectory to be successful,” he said.

Since the beginning, Kentucky has funded about three-quarters of the program’s needs through state appropriation, Cedeno said. The remaining 25% comes from fundraising. The GSP budget currently stands at about $2.5 million a year, he said.

“The Governor’s Scholars Program was created originally as a private-public partnership, and the most important word in that phrase is the partnership,” Cedeno said.

The organization worked with state legislators to secure its annual appropriation, and with companies and foundations for the rest of its funding, he said.

“This is one more example of how the community – regardless of public or private – builds partnerships to build the future of Kentucky,” Cedeno said. “These students will be the future leaders of Kentucky.”

Governor’s Scholars come from all across the state. They are chosen by a selection committee of education professionals from different areas of the state. The decision is based on students’ academic achievement, awards, extracurricular activities, public service, a 500-word essay and recommendations from teachers and community members.

 
 




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