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Inspiration Awards

Inspiration Award Winners 2012

Recognizing and Honoring the Most Improved Schools in America

The College Board Gaston Caperton Inspiration Awards celebrate the extraordinary commitment of educators and communities to their students' futures. Despite sometimes overwhelming odds, these outstanding schools are taking remarkable steps to give their students the bright futures they deserve.

Winning schools are selected by a panel of independent experts and are announced each spring. Three winning schools each receive $25,000; up to five schools each receive $1,000 honorable mention awards.

Each spring the College Board presents Inspiration Awards to three of America's most improved secondary schools. Award-winning schools are recognized for their outstanding college-preparation programs and partnerships among teachers, parents and community organizations. Through their dedication and commitment, these school communities have opened doors to higher education for students facing economic, social and cultural barriers by:

  • Improving their academic environment
  • Creating a college-going culture
  • Helping a significant proportion of students realize the promise of higher education

Eligibility Requirements

Please make sure your school meets all of the following qualifications before submitting an application for a 2013 Gaston Caperton Inspiration Award:

  1. Applicant schools must be secondary schools in the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia.
  2. A minimum of 40 percent of the school's student population must qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.
  3. Applicant schools must have graduated at least five senior classes.
  4. Schools with an academic admission policy and/or academic/entry requirements in any phase of the admission process are not eligible for an Inspiration Award.
  5. The school should be able to demonstrate consistent growth across the entire student population in:
    • Participation in rigorous curricula, as in the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®);
    • The number of students participating in college-preparatory course work;
    • The percentage of students graduating with diplomas; and
    • The number of students accepted to two- or four-year institutions of higher education.
  6. Previous recipients of the College Board's Inspiration Awards are not eligible, but schools that have received an honorable mention award, and schools that have applied in the past can and are encouraged to reapply.
  7. College Board Schools and EXCELerator™ Schools are not eligible.

Application Directions

The deadline for submission has past. Applicants will be notified via email of their status by early Spring 2013.

If you have questions regarding the Inspiration Awards, please call the College Board: 212-713-8192 or email:

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