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!

Press Release Template

Download it, fill it in, and submit it to your local newspaper. Your accomplishment is indeed newsworthy!

Virtual ceremony press release image

Download Press Release (PDF)

Download Press Release (DOCX)


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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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)

TIP Store Discount Code

Enter code CONGRATS30 to receive 30 percent off your total purchase. The "TIP Is Love" shirt is one of our favorites!

Shop the TIP Store

Host Sites

These are the colleges and universities that wish they could have invited you to a recognition ceremony on their campus this year. We encourage you to take some time to tour these colleges virtually. Your dream school might just be among them. 


University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa | Virtual Tour Congratulations from the University of Alabama!


University of Arkansas, Little Rock | Virtual Tour Congratulations from the University of Arkansas!


Florida A&M University, Tallahassee | Virtual Tour Congratulations from Florida A&M University!
Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne

Congratulations from Florida Tech!

You’re smart. You’re talented. You’re hardworking, ambitious, and driven to succeed. If you also enjoy sunshine and hands-on learning, you may want to add Florida Tech to your list of colleges to consider in the future. We’re a smaller university located minutes away from the Atlantic Ocean on the “Space Coast” of Florida, where you can also find Kennedy Space Center. Florida Tech is an exciting place to learn and we invite you to reach out for more information anytime. We hope to hear from you. Go Panthers!

Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton

Congratulations, 2020 Duke TIP 7th Grade Talent Search state and grand recognition honorees! Yours is a highly competitive and prestigious honor, demonstrating outstanding academic capacity as evidenced by your performance on the ACT or SAT.

Given your exceptional abilities, it is important that you continue to challenge yourself with rigorous educational opportunities, diligently pursue your passionate interests, and learn to communicate and relate well with others.

You should take great pride in your accomplishment as a Duke TIP recognition honoree, be grateful and inspiring to others, and demonstrate outstanding character as you carry yourself forward in life.

We wish you the very best in all of your future endeavors!

University of South Florida, Tampa | Virtual Tour

Congratulations from the University of South Florida! USF appreciates and acknowledges your drive, dedication, and accomplishments as a Duke TIP Scholar. As you continue to search for your future college home, we hope that you will consider University of South Florida. Congratulations once again from USF!


Middle Georgia State University, Cochran | Virtual Tour Congratulations from Middle Georgia State University!
Georgia Southern University, Statesboro | Virtual Tour

Georgia Southern University would like to congratulate all of this year’s Duke TIP award recipients. We're very sorry we couldn't celebrate with you in-person, but we look forward to meeting you in the future. Please feel free to explore our virtual options to learn more about Georgia Southern University.



University of Kansas, Lawrence | Virtual Tour

As a Duke TIP Scholar, you are already demonstrating the strong academic spirit necessary to succeed at KU. As you explore your college possibilities over the next few years, we hope you will consider joining the Jayhawk Family.

Again, congrats from KU and Rock Chalk!



Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green 

Congratulations from The Center for Gifted Studies!

The academic talent you display as a Duke TIP Scholar makes you a wonderful candidate for our online summer camps. We invite you to apply to The Summer Camp for Academically Talented Middle School Students (SCATS) June 8–19, 2020 and The Summer Program for Verbally and Mathematically Precocious Youth (VAMPY) June 22–July 11, 2020. Learn more at

We can’t wait for you to join us (virtually) on the hill!



Northwestern State University, Natchitoches

Northwestern State University applauds you for being named a Duke TIP scholar. Although I wish I could congratulate you in person, know that your accomplishments are recognized and pave the way for your bright future ahead.  

Northwestern State offers a fantastic student experience in which students learn and grow in a family atmosphere. You may be interested in exploring the Louisiana Scholars’ College at NSU, the state’s only designated honors college, and other academic programming. We invite you to visit us with a virtual tour or contact us about an in-person tour in the near future.  

Congratulations and keep up the good work!



The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg | Virtual Tour Congratulations from The University of Southern Mississippi!


Drury University, Springfield | Virtual Tour Congratulations from Drury University!


Creighton University, Omaha | Virtual Tour

Great work, Duke TIP Scholars! Among our Creighton students are many Duke TIPsters who have gone on to further exciting achievements, such as publishing original research or engaging in life-changing service. We want to encourage you, like them, to go set the world on fire with your great ideas and dedication. 


New York

New York University, New York City

Congratulations from New York University!

NYU is home to bold thinkers like you. As you continue your educational journey, we invite you to stay engaged with our dynamic community of students and faculty on To learn more about NYU's campuses in New York City, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai, register to participate in a virtual information session.

Congratulations again, we look forward to connecting with you!


North Carolina

East Carolina University, Greenville

Congratulations from East Carolina University on your recognition as a Duke TIP Scholar! ECU has many wonderful opportunities available for high-achieving students like you, so we hope as you embark on your college search journey over the next few years you will consider joining Pirate Nation. Again, congratulations and Go Pirates!

Campbell University, Buies Creek | Virtual Tour Congratulations from Campbell University!
Elon University, Elon | Virtual Tour Congratulations from Elon University!
Appalachian State University, Boone | Virtual Tour Congratulations from Appalachian State University!

You are one of the best and brightest in our nation and the type of student who will thrive in our challenging and supportive academic environment at App State. We hope that you explore what App has to offer and consider joining us as a Mountaineer in the next few years. Again, congratulations on your achievements, and we cannot wait to connect with you throughout the coming years!

South Carolina

University of South Carolina, Columbia | Virtual Tour Congratulations from the University of South Carolina!


Belmont University, Nashville | Virtual Tour Congratulations from Belmont University! Your academic accomplishment has shown your commitment to academic achievement, a commitment that we at Belmont also share. So, as you begin to think about your Higher Education plans, we would love to have you on our campus both for a visit and as a full-time student. Again, congratulations from Belmont University!


Texas Christian University, Fort Worth | Virtual Tour Congratulations from Texas Christian University!
Texas Academy of Mathematics & Science at the University of North Texas, Denton Congratulations from the University of North Texas!
Trinity University, San Antonio | Virtual Tour

Congratulations from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas!

Trinity recognizes your work, dedication, and persistence. This is exactly the momentum you will need to succeed at Trinity University should you choose to become a Trinity Tiger!

Lamar University, Beaumont | Virtual Tour Congratulations from Lamar University!
Texas A&M University, College Station | Virtual Tour

Congratulations from Texas A&M University! 

As a Duke TIP Scholar you are already demonstrating the strong academic spirit necessary to succeed at Texas A&M. As you explore your college possibilities over the next few years, we hope you will consider joining the Aggie Family.

Again, congratulations from Texas A&M & Gig ‘Em!

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