Program Pillars

Program Pillars

We use our four program pillars of scholarship, leadership, progress, and service as the criteria that guide our decisions about which candidates advance in the selection process. We look very closely at the Georgia Tech admission application, including essays and contribution to community, to find the strongest students admitted to the Institute according to all four pillars.

No pillar is any more important than another. For example, a perfect test score is not viewed as better than outstanding leadership. On occasion, however, we do select students who are not as well-rounded, but are truly exceptional in one pillar. For example, someone who might have the potential to become a Nobel Laureate.


  • Outside Classroom:

    • are creative, curious problem solvers who can think critically.

    • seek to learn about one or more subjects outside their field.

    • demonstrate intellectual activity beyond the classroom.

  • Inside Classroom:

    • take a rigorous course schedule (for school) and earn and mostly A grades; earn high GPA and rank usually in the top 5-10% (weighted when available).


  • leave a clear footprint of impact through influence.

  • are globally minded citizens and exceptional communicators.

  • take initiative and exhibit strong character.

  • motivate others toward significant achievement.

  • perform significant work in schools and communities by improving existing organizations or

  • establishing new ones, whether holding an official title or not.


  • act with passion, purpose, and energy, especially regarding technological and/or societal improvement.

  • show consistent involvement in activities.

  • demonstrate improvement from start to finish.

  • move groups or organizations forward by facilitating collaboration or teamwork.

  • exhibit grit or perseverance through challenging situations or circumstances OR by surmounting obstacles blocking the achievement of significant goals.

  • Note: holding a job to develop one’s skills, responsibilities, or independence may be considered progress as well.


  • share time and talent to make a positive difference through volunteering and public service.

  • coach, tutor, or mentor others.

  • perform nonprofit work.

  • consider others in decision making.

  • have an orientation towards helping others.

  • Note: work for pay or extraordinary duties conducted in support of the family may be considered as well.

Holistic Review Process

Learn more about our holistic review process and how applicants are considered for the Stamps President’s Scholars Program.

Holistic Review Process