Welcome to your virtual recognition toolkit.


In 2019–2020, 10,675 middle schoolers scored well enough on at least one section of the ACT or SAT to qualify for a Duke TIP Recognition Ceremony.

They live in forty-six states, as well as the District of Columbia. 

To qualify for a state ceremony, a student must have achieved one of the following scores:

ACT Score
SAT Score
English ≥ 22 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing ≥ 550
Math ≥ 22
Reading ≥ 23 Math ≥ 540
Science ≥ 22

To qualify for the Grand Recognition Ceremony, a student must have achieved one of the following scores:

ACT Score
SAT Score
English ≥ 30 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing ≥ 650
Math ≥ 28
Reading ≥ 31 Math ≥ 650
Science ≥ 28

And to qualify as a Scholar of Distinction, a student must have achieved a perfect score on at least one section of the ACT or SAT.

See the students' names here:

Alabama to Kansas

Kentucky to North Carolina

North Dakota to Wisconsin

At-Home Ceremony Toolkit

Achieving such an exceptional score on the ACT or SAT as a middle schooler is an amazing accomplishment. Typically, we would invite you and your family to an in-person recognition ceremony at one of over two dozen college campuses to celebrate your triumph. We hate that we're unable to do that this year.

Your yard might not look like a college quad and you might not have a stage to walk across in your house, but that doesn't mean you don't deserve a recognition ceremony.

We'll provide the script, the invitations, and the certificates. You'll just need to nominate a master of ceremonies and schedule your family's ceremony on a video chat platform of your choice—we don't really have a favorite among all the options! 

We can't wait to see what you come up with.


Ceremony Script

It's up to you how much formal pomp and circumstance you want to have for your ceremony. Our in-person ceremonies often look like high school graduations. This script has a welcome message and a keynote address. You'll just need to find a brave soul to serve as master of ceremonies and read them!

Virtual ceremony script

Download Ceremony Script (PDF)


We all but guarantee that Grandma and Grandpa would love to receive one of these. Below, you'll find a couple of different options—an image you can add to an email invitation, as well as a fillable PDF that you can print out and send via snail mail.


Download Generic Invitation (JPEG)

Download Personalizable Invitation (PDF)

Zoom Backgrounds

Above, we said we don't really have a favorite video chat service. However, it is true that Zoom makes it very easy to use a virtual background and put yourself in front of, say, the Duke Chapel or Cameron Indoor Stadium.


Show Off Your Success!


Ah, GIFs! The beloved image format that was developed over thirty years ago but has taken the world by storm in recent years. Give these guys a right-click + download, and then use them to spice up your social media profile. #DukeTIP

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Aced the SAT.gif


Facebook Frames

If you have a Facebook profile, adding one of these frames to your profile pic is easy. You can go here and search for "Duke TIP." Or you can just click or tap on your profile picture, go to "Add Frame," and search for "Duke TIP." All of these options should pop up. #DukeTIP

Virtual ceremony ACT social frame version 11
Virtual ceremony ACT social frame 22
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Virtual ceremony SAT social frame 11
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Virtual ceremony SAT social frame 33


Printable Signs

Hang it on your fridge, frame it on a wall, or take it to a local print shop and turn it into a yard sign. We're providing several different versions below. The only difference between the at-home versions and the professional versions is that the professional versions have crop marks that a print shop will need.

Virtual ceremony yard sign image

Download Small Sign for Home Printers (PDF)

Download Large Sign for Home Printers (PDF)

Download Small Sign for Professional Printers (PDF)

Download Large Sign for Professional Printers (PDF)

Next Steps

"Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon."

That's a quote widely attributed to the Romantic poet Percy Shelley. Translation: you've accomplished something great, but use it as a launching pad for even greater heights. Duke TIP envisions a world where academically talented individuals flourish, transforming communities and the world. This is just a start—for your own life, and for the contributions you'll make to the world.

As you complete middle school and move into high school, remember that your biggest advocate is you. Believe in yourself, trust yourself, and apprise yourself of the knowledge you need to succeed.

Duke TIP has prepared a series of research-based hand-outs that explain the core issues affecting gifted education programs in America today. All of these hand-outs are concise, easy to understand, and backed by credible research. Use this information to advocate for yourself and to help us spread the word about the need for more fact-based approaches to gifted education policies.

Above-Grade-Level Testing

Above-level tests are an important tool for assessing gifted students. They let educators and parents identify relative strengths as well as more accurately assess what material students have already learned. 

Download PDF

Academic Acceleration

For decades, research has consistently shown that allowing students to accelerate academically in order to help match their learning environment with their learning needs can lead to numerous benefits for both the student and for society.

Download PDF

School Versus Summer Growth

High-achieving students have similar summer and school-year academic growth rates—indicating that they may not be receiving adequate challenge in school.

Download PDF

Selection Criteria

Academically gifted programs should have selection criteria that match the skills needed to succeed in the program.

Download PDF 

How Many Students Are Underchallenged?

Researchers estimate that large numbers of US students are not receiving the challenge they need.

Download PDF

Student Age and Learning Needs

Students do not have the same learning needs just because they are the same age, and that can create problems for teachers.

Download PDF