Nominations Being Accepted for the All-USA College Academic First Team

USA Today is enlisting support in selecting the nation’s best and brightest college students.

Twenty students will be named to the 17th annual All-USA College Academic First Team. The students will be featured in a two-page color spread in the USA Today in February 2006 and win $2,500 cash awards. Forty more students will be recognized in the newspaper as Second and Third teams.

The criteria are designed to find students who excel not only in scholarship but also in leadership roles on and off campus. A key element given most weight by the judges will be a student’s outstanding original academic or intellectual product. The judges will be influenced by the student’s ability to describe that outstanding endeavor in his or her own words. They will not read an author’s work, see an artist’s painting, or hear a composer’s music. They will rely solely on the student’s ability to describe the effort in writing, supplemented by recommendations from the nominating professor and two other people of the nominee’s choice.

USA Today invites faculty to nominate qualified students. To nominate more than one student, please duplicate the form or download additional forms from their Web site at Bookmarking the site would be helpful for future use.

Any full-time undergraduate of at least sophomore standing at a four-year institution in the United States or its territories is eligible. U.S. citizenship is not required.

Criteria for the academic team were developed in consultation with the co-sponsors: the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the American Council on Education (ACE).

Winners will be selected by a panel of educators, chosen in cooperation with the co-sponsors of USA Today.

Nominations must be postmarked by Nov. 30. Call Carol Skalski at 703.854.5890 or e-mail for questions.

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