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 in late May of their junior year, before college application (note: current high school seniors are not eligible to apply).
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, service, and leadership.
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 will get to know Coolidge and his world, meet policy leaders, 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. During the academic year, scholars participate in the Coolidge Scholars Leadership Training Program.
The Coolidge Scholars Program is operated by the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation. The inaugural class of Coolidge Scholars was named in spring of 2016.
To become “a Coolidge” is a life-changing event.