Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between an official transcript and an unofficial transcript?

Official transcripts are an official record of a student’s performance provided by the school to a recipient (in this case the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History) in a sealed envelope. Most schools require a small fee to process and mail official transcripts.

Unofficial transcripts are transcripts that have not been certified by an authorized person at an individual’s school. Unofficial transcripts are often times provided to students electronically through a portal. There is normally no charge for an unofficial transcript.

What should be in my personal statement?

Your personal statement should reflect your interests and achievements in American history as well as your commitment to public and community service. Please include academic and extracurricular projects including senior thesis, jobs, internships, or volunteer work.

Can college freshmen and sophmores apply?

Yes, college freshmen and sophmores may apply for the award. For more information, please review the eligibility section in the Application Details page.

Can international students apply?

Yes. We encourage all eligible students to apply. For more information, please review the eligibility section in the Application Details page.

Will you let me know if my application is complete?

As soon as you have registered your application online, you should receive a confirmation email that your application has been completed.

Is this award different from the History Scholars Program (that ran from 2003 through 2011)?

Yes, the one-week and five-week programs have been discontinued. The History Scholar Award seeks to honor outstanding juniors and seniors for their achievements in American history.

Where can I find information about past History Scholars?

Go to this page for a list of alumni.