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Two Austin Prep Students Qualify for Presidential Scholars

Apr 17, 2015 10:40AM ● By Kieran Gilman
(Editor's Note: The following information was submitted by Julianne Bloise of Austin Prep.)

Two seniors at Austin Preparatory School in Reading have been selected as candidates for the 2015 United States Presidential Scholars Program. 

Only 3,900 students out of a possible 3.4 million graduating seniors from across the country are selected as candidates, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Senior Matthew Bouchard of North Reading earned the highest possible composite score of 36 on the ACT college admission placement exam. According to ACT’s national office, less than one-tenth of one percent of all test- takers earn the top score – less than 1,500 of the nearly 2 million who take the test.

Matthew has been accepted to Brown University, Duke University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, Trinity College (Connecticut), the University of Massachusetts Amherst , the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University. He has not decided on a college.

Senior Eric Chaykovsky of Tewksbury earned 2350 on the SAT college admission exam out of a possible 2400, an achievement only a few hundred students out of several million a year earn, according to The College Board.

Eric has been accepted to Boston University and received the Cardinal Medeiros Scholarship (full-tuition for four years), Northwestern University, Tufts University, the University of California Los Angeles, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Vanderbilt University. He has not decided on a college.

Their exceptional performances on the college exams qualified them for the Presidential Scholars Program. In addition, Matthew and Eric had to be nominated by the Massachusetts Chief School Officer for candidacy – only five boys and five girls from each state earn a nomination. 

Candidacy is based on their outstanding scholarship, school recommendations, school transcripts, students’ essays, self-descriptions and descriptions of activities. 

A distinguished panel of educators will review the candidates and select 560 semifinalists next week. 

The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens appointed by the President, will make final selection of the Scholars. They will select one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. students living abroad; 15 students at-large; and up to 20 students from the creative and performing arts. The U.S. Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May.

Scholars will be invited to Washington, D.C., for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities.

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