Georgia Tech’s Stamps President’s Scholars Selection Process

– The selection process for the Stamps President’s Scholars Program begins with applying to
Georgia Tech for admission by the early action date of October 15th. From there, admissions counselors review all of the applications in their regions, and they recommend folks that they think would actually be a good
fit for our program. Our staff takes those recommendations and ultimately selects about
300 students as semifinalists. Those semifinalists then
have a regional interview. This is done in the early spring. From there, about a third of them are selected to be finalists. We bring them to campus in later spring, and they participate in
different activities there, and of course interviews,
and we ultimately offer 40 Stamps President’s
Scholars Program to them. About 20 of them are gonna
be for Georgia students, and 20 of them are for students outside the state of Georgia. Our program, really, is
undergirded by four pillars, and we look at those both as ways that we select the students,
sort of selection criteria, but also how we develop them
when they get to Georgia Tech. We ultimately use them
in the selection process as ways that we evaluate their
application and interviews to tell us, are these
the types of students who embody these things? There’s scholarship, there’s leadership, there’s service, and there’s progress. Scholarship is the one that we look at when we’re trying to figure out what a person has done
intellectually outside the classroom. And that really surprises a lot of people. Folks think, oh well, I
got really good grades, and I have these great test scores. And certainly that’s important,
but we’re looking for the student that is
intellectually curious. They are able to think critically about the issues affecting our world. And so, you might just as easily find them in the library as you would the classroom. And then they’re also having
conversations beyond that with other people in
their general community. Whether it’s a teacher,
whether it’s a friend, whether it’s mom and
dad, they’re going beyond what you just expect that they would do just as part of being in school. That’s really the kind of scholarship that we’re looking for, and
then we seek to develop that when they actually get
here to Georgia Tech. So leadership is our second pillar. And really what we’re looking
for there is not the titles that I think a lot of people
associate with leadership. For us, we’re breaking it
down into the fundamentals. Are you impacting the
world or your community? Now we don’t expect, necessarily, a high school senior’s impacted the world. And are you influencing other people as part of that process? There are plenty of people that work hard, and they make an impact. But leadership is about
influencing others toward a goal. And so we’re looking for
that, regardless of title. And we’re trying to find
out, are these people that are going to affect
our campus and our society in a way that ultimately
improves the world around us? Progress is our third pillar,
but it’s really difficult to distinguish progress
from our fourth pillar, which is service. In fact, Georgia Tech’s
institutional motto is progress and service. Progress is really making
sure that people aren’t just spending their time sort of idly. We can all sit in a club, and
we can sort of pay attention to what they’re doing,
and then we can leave. Or we can take an active
part in that club. We can try to grow the number of members. We can try to raise more money
than we did the year before. Or let’s say we’re not in a
club, we’re in a laboratory. We’re actually making a difference in the body of knowledge
that we started with all the way to the end point. There’s a discernible difference in where this person started
and where a person ended. When it comes to service,
we’re trying to make sure that people aren’t just
progressing for their own sake. Are they thinking about the communities that they’re trying to serve? Are they asking people, hey,
is this thing that we’re trying to grow or improve or
develop even useful to you? And the orientation of our
students, not just with progress, but with regard to the other pillars of scholarship and leadership, has to be that they’re considering
other people in those actions. That’s how we look at service.

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