Iona Volynets ’20 selected as U.S. Presidential Scholar semi-finalist

April 28, 2020

Iona Volynets ’20 has been selected as a semifinalist in the U.S. Presidential Scholars competition and will advance to the final round.

From nearly 3.6 million graduating high school seniors, over 5,600 students were identified as candidates in the program, and 621 semifinalists have been selected from across the country. These semifinalists form the pool from which the 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars will be chosen.

Students have the opportunity to become U.S. Presidential Scholars based on three paths of accomplishment. The majority of the Scholars are selected on the basis of broad academic achievement. Approximately twenty students are selected on the basis of their academic and artistic scholarship in the visual arts, the performing arts, or creative writing. The scores associated with the top 20 male examinees and top 20 female examinees are used to identify the candidates in each state. Approximately twenty additional students are selected on the basis of their ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

Along with SAT scores and a faculty recommendation, Iona was required to complete six essays to qualify for the program. A commission will review her submissions and consider her for the program.


The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by Executive Order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our Nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the Program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts.

Congratulations Iona!