Eight Iowa students have been named semifinalists for the prestigious 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars program. They are:

  • Justin W. Berlage, Ridgeway - Decorah High School
  • Eshaan S. Chandani, Johnston - Johnston High School*
  • Maya Chu, Iowa City - West High School
  • Alaina M. Gebel, Lansing - Waukon High School*
  • Claire X. Gu, West Des Moines - Valley High School
  • Tejas K. Gururaja, Cedar Rapids - Linn-Mar High School
  • Anish Lodh, Coralville - West High School
  • Alaina Whittington, Diagonal - Diagonal Junior-Senior High School

* Semifinalist for U.S Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education

Out of nearly 3.7 million graduating high school seniors from across the country, over 5,000 students were identified as candidates in this program, and 628 semifinalists were selected. These semifinalists form the pool from which the 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars will be chosen.

The 2023 U.S Presidential Scholars will be announced in May.

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. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.

Visit the U.S. Department of Education website to learn more about the Presidential Scholars Program.

View complete list of 2023 Presidential Scholars semifinalists.

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