The Omaha World-Herald is preparing its annual tribute to outstanding high school students in Nebraska and western Iowa. Letters were mailed in early February to schools with the details and deadlines for this year’s recognition program. Additional information can be found here.

Criteria for Nomination

• Every Nebraska and western Iowa school automatically has two nominees – the two highest-ranked students in the senior class. (Note: If a tie means your school has more than two ranked No. 1 and No. 2, the school must decide whom to nominate.)


• Schools also should nominate all other seniors who scored at least a 32 on the ACT or at least 1450 on the SAT. There is no limit on the number of additional students your school can nominate as long as the test score criteria are met.

How the Program Works

From all eligible students, the newspaper selects a 12-member first team for each Nebraska region and the western Iowa region, and a 12-member second team for each Nebraska region.

From the students named to the three Nebraska first teams, a nine-member All State team is chosen. This team will be featured in our Sunday, May 12, Scholars special section.

Note: All students who qualify for nomination earn at least Honorable Mention recognition. Their photos also will appear in our gallery of Honorable Mentions, as well as photos of the members of the first and second teams from each region, in the May 12 special section.

Deadlines for receipt of nomination forms: 5 p.m. Monday, March 18

This process is all electronic. No paper copies. None will be sent to schools, and none will be accepted.

We are using a two-part process:

First, the student fills out his or her nomination form, and attaches a photo. When the student hits “submit,” the file moves to an official at his or her school for review.

Second, a school official reviews the student nomination form. The school official makes sure the nomination form is accurate and ready for submission, attaches an electronic transcript, and then marks it ready for The World-Herald. (One or more school officials can handle the reviews and transcript attachment; the login will be unique to the school, not to an individual user.)

For Students:

Start at and log in using scholars for both the username and password. The nomination form will open for you.

NOTE: The form must be completed all at one time; there is no saving part of it and returning to complete it.

For Counselors:

After students submit their information, we will periodically send out an email notice to the appropriate school official that the nomination is available for review and approval. As students are entering their nomination, we will ask for students to enter the name and email for the school official who will be approving the form, so please make sure the students have that information. The email will come from an automated email address so please make sure that address is authorized and unblocked in your systems.

NOTE: The school administrator does not have to wait for the automated email before completing the student’s nomination form. It is just a reminder that a student has submitted their form.

Start at and log in using the username and password we provided your school.

Click on “students.” You will see forms that students have completed so you can 1) review the form for accuracy and completeness, 2) attach the student’s electronic transcript and 3) attach the student’s photo if the student has not done so. When you are done, check the DONE box at the end of the form on the lower left and then click the SAVE AND SUBMIT TO WORLD-HERALD button to submit the form to us.

You also may add students from this link. Please check that your students don’t have multiple submissions.

The school administrator, working from the administrative access side, may save a student form before submitting. Here’s how: The colored box on the bottom lower right lets you save without submitting (though you must enter your information in the top three spaces); when you check the box at the lower left that lets us know the submission is complete.

Certificates and Awards

Schools will be notified by mid-April if they have a student named to the All State Team or to a First or Second Regional Team.

All State team awards and First and Second Team certificates will be mailed to the schools by Friday, April 26, for presentation at honors events. PDFs of certificates that can be printed out for honorable mention students will be emailed to the counselors.


• Photos will be published as head-and-shoulders shots of the students. If a student has more than one pose available, send the one that will work best in that format.

• Digital photos can be in jpg or tiff format.

For Metro Area Schools Only

• Key Staffer nominations and photos are due by Friday, March 29. Find a list of the 44 schools that are part of this program by clicking here. Download the form by clicking here.

Key Staffer criteria: Select the student most worthy of recognition for his or her journalistic achievement on any high school publication. Please include a comment on why the student was selected.

• Note: In a change from previous years, we are no longer collecting scholarship lists from the metro area schools.


Contact us at or phone Kelly Forbes at 402-444-1566 or Shelley Larsen at 402-444-1143.