Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois

Created in 1988 by the award-winning teachers of the Golden Apple Foundation, the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program recruits and prepares a rich ethnic diversity of bright and talented high school graduates for successful teaching careers in schools of need throughout Illinois.


Beginning in April of their junior year and continuing through November 30 of their senior year, any Illinois high school students who are interested in a teaching are eligible for the Golden Apple Scholars program. To apply, students must first be nominated for the program by a teacher, counselor, principal or other non-family adult. Students may also nominate themselves. Additionally, eligibility is open to college sophomore in attendance at one of the 53 Illinois colleges and universites that partner in the program. Candidates who are college sophomores may acquire the application by contacting the Scholars staff, a current Scholar, or the liaison of a participating university.

As many as 100 high school and college students are selected each year from public and nonpublic schools and universities throughout Illinois. Nominees are invited to complete a written application and provide ACT scores and transcripts to the Golden Apple Foundation. From the completed applications, Golden Apple Award-winning teachers choose finalists to be interviewed and then select the Scholars in February.

Golden Apple Scholars must earn a bachelor's degree at one of 53 Illinois universities that participate in the program, obtain Illinois teacher certification, and teach for five years in an Illinois school of need.

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