What it is

The 2018 Hamilton Award recognizes young people for their academic, personal, service and entrepreneurial accomplishments. Thirty-five students from across the nation are selected annually as winners of the Hamilton Award and subsequently enrolled in the five-year Alexander Hamilton Scholars (AHS) Empowerment Program. All applicants should be college-bound, and committed to participating in our rigorous five-year curriculum, designed to provide a comprehensive network of support and practical guidance to Alexander Hamilton Scholars as they transition from high school to college, and college to career. Each year of the program also includes an all-expenses paid leadership conference hosted in various cities:

YR 1 | High School Senior | College Readiness | New York Leader Week (July 2018)

YR 2 | College Freshman | College Transition | Seattle Leader Week (June 2019)

YR 3 | College Sophomore | Leadership & Service | International Leader Week (August 2020)

YR 4 | College Junior | Career Readiness | Texas Leader Weekend (October 2021)

YR 5 | College Senior | Career Transition


Program Goals & Expectations

Provided at no cost to the student the program consists of individual support through phone calls, video conferencing, and emails with AHS staff members and an assigned peer Scholar mentor. Group support and learning is offered through conference calls and Leader Weeks. All curriculum is designed around our 5 Pillars of Success (see below). After completion of the 5-year Empowerment Program, success is defined by all Scholars reaching the following benchmarks:

  • TRANSITION: Successful transition from high school to college, and college to career.
  • HERITAGE: Increased knowledge of how the history of the United States connects both with each Scholar’s individual journey, and with the collective national experience. Increased civic engagement and participation in community governance.
  • EMPOWERMENT: Establishment and fulfillment of the goals identified in the Personal Development Plan process in all 7 key areas – financial, career, educational, public service, family & friends, personal, spiritual. Goals correspond with Scholars’ values and guiding principles.
  • FINANCIAL LITERACY: Scholars graduate college with manageable debt, and with a solid understanding of how to create and manage a budget, save money, and invest in their future financial health.
  • LEADERSHIP: Inspired by Alexander Hamilton’s legacy of leadership through service, Scholars prioritize and value their responsibility to use their talents and skills to effect positive change in their communities, the nation, and the world, and have an overall understanding of the importance of social impact and legacy.

Achieving these goals requires AHS staff to offer their full support and guidance to each Scholar while helping them access resources and opportunities. This relationship and the success of the program relies on reciprocity and a mutual commitment from both AHS staff and Scholars. Each curriculum year has corresponding assignments and conference calls that require Scholar time and attention, and prompt communication is essential. Please note that applying for the 2018 Hamilton Award signals your commitment to actively participate in all 5 years of the program to the best of your ability.

Winners will also receive a $500 cash scholarship to pay for college expenses. In addition, all winners will have access to AHS internship programs and will join a distinguished cohort of peers from across the US. This unique Scholar community extends back through 12 years of cohorts, and supports one another as they take steps together towards achieving a college education and a meaningful career, eventually becoming leaders who change their own communities, our nation, and our world through their service, innovation, and excellence.



Winners are high-achieving, service-focused high school juniors with grit, perseverance, and demonstrated need. Attendance at New York Leader Week is mandatory July 14-19, 2018. Applicants must answer yes to the following questions:

  • Are you currently a junior in high school?
  • Do you have a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0?
  • If selected for the Hamilton Award you are also accepting admission into the Alexander Hamilton Scholars Empowerment Program. Do you understand the implications of the Hamilton Award and, if selected, will you participate in the 5-year program to the best of your ability?
  • The Hamilton Award and Empowerment Program is designed for students who plan to attend college and complete a college degree. Do you plan to attend a 4~year college or university and complete a college degree?
  • Winners of the 2018 Hamilton Award will participate in New York Leader Week in New York City, NY July 14th-19th, 2018. This all-expenses paid, no-cost to student trip is mandatory. Are you available to travel to New York City and participate in this leadership conference?
  • The Hamilton Award is given to students that have demonstrated financial need. Is your household's adjusted gross income LESS than $100,000 a year?


2018 Hamilton Award Timeline

The application for the 2018 Hamilton Award is open November 13, 2017-January 16, 2018. The judging cycle is as follows:

Round I - Triage: January 17- January 31, 2018
Judges will narrow the applicant pool to the top 250 candidates.

Round II - Grading Competitive Applications: February 1- February 16, 2018
Judges carefully review applications and grade each based on 3 main criteria: Achievement, Service and Need.

Round III - Phone Interviews: March 5- March 19, 2018
Interviews are conducted with the top 60 candidates, giving AHS the chance to learn more about each potential Scholar before selecting our final 35 Winners.

Final judging will take place the last week of March, with winners announced on April 2, 2018.

Applicants will be notified if they are eliminated from further consideration.
If you have further questions, please email program@hamiltonscholars.org, call us at 206-774-0764, or watch our webinar.