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Prestigious Awards/Competitions/Recognition List - do you think it's a valid list?

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I found this list on collegeconfidential while looking into the prestigiousness of the Congressional Gold Medal Award (see previous post)


Do you agree with these? I know many on these boards have tons of experience with college admissions, tons of you have excelled in many of these areas. Do you agree more or less with these rankings? If not, what would you change?


Rank 10:
*Division 1 athlete
*Intel Science Talent Search Top 10
*Siemens National Winner
*Intel ISEF Top 3 Grand Prize
*Published in Nature, Science, or similarly rigorous journal
*Carnegie Hall Soloist

Rank 9:
*Siemens Finalist
*Intel ISEF Best in Category
*Intel STS Finalist
*NFL Nationals winner
*Research Science Institute (RSI)

Rank 8:
*USPhO/USChO/USABO/USACO National Finalist
*Siemens Semifinalists
*Intel STS Semifinalist
*Intel ISEF 1st – 4th place Category Award
*Published in a respectable journal or publishing house
*Starting a successful business
*AMC Perfect Score
*Presidential Scholar
*Davidson Fellow
*Presidential Scholar of the Arts
*Scholastic Art & Writing Portfolio, Gold Award

Rank 7:
*Selective summer programs (EX: SSP, Clark Summer Program, NIH Research, MITES)
*Having a patent
*Intel ISEF special award
*USAMO qualification
*ARML Tiebreaker Round/Top Team
*Scholastic Art & Writing National Silver or Gold Medal
*NFL Nationals qualifier
*Appearance on Jeopardy
*USAMTS Gold Medal
*MATHCOUNTS top 12 sprint/countdown round
*State AP Scholar (note: as a junior or prior)

Rank 6:
*Columbia Scholastic Press Crown
*Intel ISEF Finalist
*Science Olympiad National medal
*USAMTS Silver
*First Robotics National Championship
*State Athletic Championship
*Science Bowl/Ocean Science Bowl/NAQT winners

Rank 5:
*Columbia Scholastic Press Medalist (if Editor-in-Chief, 5; if Editor, 4; if other staff, 3)
*Mock Trial State Champion (depends on state)
*National Latin Convention 1st Places Academic Contests
*All-Eastern/All-Regional music
*National History Day winner
*Congressional Award Gold Medalist
*AIME qualification
*Science Bowl national qualification
*National AP Scholar (note: as a junior or prior)
*Class President
*President of a large, academic, serious club (EX: MUN, Mock Trial, Science Olympiad)

Rank 4:
*National Latin Exam perfect score (multiple years)
*The majority of state-level awards
*All-State music
*Science Olympiad state medals (depending on which state)
*National History Day
*JETS TEAMS National Finalist or Regional winner
*Model United Nations Best Delegate Gavel
*1st Place State-level Debate
*AMC 10/12 school winner
*Congressional Award Silver Medalist
*Eagle Scout
*President of a smaller/less serious club
*Student Council position

Rank 3:
*All-County music
*Winning (1st–3rd place) at regional science fairs
*1st Place Regional-level Debate
*National Merit Scholar
*Rensselaer Medalist
*Leadership in an academic club (EX: Vice President, Treasurer)

Rank 2:
*Bank of America Awards
*The majority of local awards
*Essay Contests
*State History Day
*Membership in a club (that requires some work)

Rank 1:
*National Honor Society
*Beta Club
*School Departmental Awards (EX: math dept. award)
*Book awards (EX: Harvard book award)
*School Honor Roll
*Key Club
*Interact Club

Rank 0:
*Who's Who
*National Honor Roll
*National Society of High School Scholars
Edited by mirabillis
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This was the most updated version, in ranking order. What do you think? (Again it was just on CC - a community-wide effort.

10: Congrats

D1 athlete
Intel STS Top 10; Siemens Finalist; ISEF Top 3 Grand Prize; Google Science Fair age group winner
History Day National Winner
Single/First Author in High Impact Factor Journal

9: Almost a ticket to a prestigious school

Siemens Westinghouse finalists; Google Science Fair Finalist; MOP; Intel STS Finalist; ISEF Best of Category
FL Nationals winner
RSI (Research Science Institute)
Published in a relatively prestigious journal

8: Amazing accomplishment; Large boost

TASP, USPhO/USChO/USABO/USAC National Finalist
Google Science Fair Semifinalist; Siemens Semi-finalists; Intel ISEF 1st-4th place category; Intel STS semifinalist,
Running your own *successful* business
AMC Perfect Score, Presidential Scholar, Davidson Fellow
Writing Portfolio Gold Award, Presidential Scholar of the Arts, Scholastic Art
FIRST Dean's List winner, top 5 at FIRST World Championships,


SSP, Simons, Clark Summer Program, NIH Research, and MITES and other selective programs
Science Olympiad national medals, EUCYS prizes
State governors schools with acceptance rate <15% (PGSS, NJGSS, most other science governor's schools)
USAMO qualification, ARML Tiebreaker Round / Top Team, YES Competition (Young Epidemiology Scholarship), USAMTS Gold Medal
Intel ISEF Finalist, History Day National Level
Scholastic Art & Writing National Gold Medal. NFL Nationals (speech and debate) "breakers" (elimination rounds), Tournament of Champions (debate) "breakers," Congressional Award Gold Medalist,


USPhO/USChO/USABO/USACO semifinalist, Science Olympiad Nationals qualification
Less competitive governor's schools (Acceptance rate between 15% and 25%), any other scholarship summer programs not aforementioned
Congressional Award Silver Medalist, NFL Nationals/Tournament of Champions Qualifier, FBLA Nationals
Science Bowl/Ocean Science Bowl/NAQT winners, Technology Student Association Nationals
FIRST Dean's List finalist
Top 5 FIRST Super Regionals (FTC)
Scholastic Art & Writing National Silver Medal

5: Pretty good; will complement an already-strong record

National Latin Convention 1st Places Academic Contests,
All-Eastern/all-regional music, State History Day top 3 place
Top 5 FIRST State Championship (or Regionals for FRC), JETS TEAMS National Finalist, Skills USA Nationals
State Science Fair Winner/Top Award


Science Fair Regional winner
Science Olympiad state medals (depending on what state you're from)
Science Bowl national qualification
Perfect Score (Multiple Years) on National Latin Exam
State awards (all-state music, etc)
MUN Gavel
AMC 10/12 school winner (depends on your school)
Art and Writing Regional Gold award
top 5 FIRST Regional (FTC)

3: Some effort involved, but not uncommon

Winning at local/regional science fairs
All-County music,
Eagle Scout, National Merit Finalist
Head of a competitive club that you did not found (ex: Mock Trial, Model UN, Science Olympiad)

2: Your average go-getter

Bank of America Awards
Local awards/trophies
Essay Contests
Regional History Day

1 : Common activities

National Honor Society
Beta Club
School Departmental Awards
School Honor Roll
Key Club, CSF, Interact Club
National Merit Commended
Member of a club with no distinctions earned

0: A dime in a dozen; meaningless

Who's Who, National Honor Roll, National Society of High School Scholars
Edited by mirabillis
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