Ceremony FAQs

What is a state recognition ceremony and what is a grand recognition ceremony?

State: Each year Duke TIP hosts at least one state recognition ceremony in states with the largest enrollments (currently Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas) to honor students currently in the 7th Grade Talent Search who tested in December, January, February, or March and who meet the state level qualifying score criteria. A student who qualifies for a state ceremony is sent a special invitation inviting them to attend it.

Grand: Duke TIP hosts a grand recognition ceremony at Duke University for participants who meet the Grand level qualifying score criteria. If your student qualified for the grand ceremony, you will have received a separate invitation for it.

Both ceremonies are similar to a graduation ceremony—there is a keynote speaker and honorees are called on stage to receive a medal. Invitations are mailed to qualifying students in April.

I qualify for both ceremonies. Should I attend the grand ceremony or a state ceremony?

We realize that distance and travel expenses may make it difficult for you to attend both ceremonies. At a state ceremony, you will be recognized separately as a grand honoree. If you only attend the grand ceremony, your award from your state ceremony will be mailed to you in the summer.

How long does a ceremony last?

The ceremony generally lasts from one to one-and-a-half hours. The hosting institution may plan optional activities before and/or after the ceremony itself. These activities are outlined on the website for each ceremony.

I tested after March and qualified for state (or grand) recognition. Will I be invited to a ceremony?

No. Scores from later testing dates arrive too late for the student to be invited to attend a recognition ceremony. Students testing in April, May, or June of their seventh grade year will be mailed an award during the summer. Students enrolled through TIP Option are not ceremony eligible.

How do I know which state recognition ceremony I am assigned to?

Duke TIP made assignments in March after all the scores were reported to Duke TIP. Invitations were mailed in April. If you reside in a state where there is only one ceremony, you are assigned to that ceremony. If you reside in a state with multiple ceremonies, Duke TIP assigned you to a nearby site, however ─ due to capacity limitations at some sites ─ it may not have been the closest site.

How do I let you know that I will attend a ceremony?

Respond online or complete and mail the enclosed reply card from your invitation only if you plan to attend. If you do not plan to attend, you do not have to do anything.

How do I get to the ceremony?

Travel expenses are the responsibility of the participant. We provide some guidance on the ceremony web pages for directions and accommodations, but the final arrangements are up to the families.

What should I wear to the ceremony?

Please dress to be comfortable in relation to the weather and activities. You will be walking across a stage area to receive your award. There is always a wide range of clothing styles from dressy to casual, and we respect your family's decision about appropriate attire.

Do I need a ticket for the ceremony?

No, you do not need a ticket for the ceremony.

What happens if I am not able to attend a ceremony?

The ceremony is optional, and Duke TIP recognizes there will be scheduling conflicts that prevent a student from attending the ceremony. If you cannot attend, please do not send the reply card back. Your medal will be automatically mailed to you in the summer.

Why are some ceremonies held on a school day? Or not held later in the summer?

We work with the schedules of our hosting universities and often they are only able to accommodate the ceremony on a weekday. We cannot hold the ceremonies in the summer because they would conflict with our summer programs. Most schools are delighted to have a Duke TIP ceremony qualifier and encourage their students to attend.

Are TIP Option enrollees eligible for recognition?

The recognition ceremonies and awards are benefits available only to participants who took the ACT or SAT through the 7th Grade Talent Search. Students enrolled in TIP Option are not eligible.

Is my school notified of my test results?

Scores are reported to you and to Duke TIP by the testing organizations. If your scores arrive to Duke TIP by early March, TIP will share your scores with your school. Otherwise, it is up to families to share their student’s scores with their schools.