Evaluation Criteria Overview
Quaqua awards are scored according to the criteria below. For awards explicitly directed to one narrow and specific type of talent (e.g. the performing arts, computer aptitude, mathematic ability, entrepreneurship, etc.) the Committee may choose to add, eliminate, or alter the type or weighing of categories. Check your application for any special rules.

(10%) Application

Answers to application questions, including demonstration of Quaqua ideals, quality of goal statements, neatness, etc.

(5%) Letter(s) of Recommendation and Forms of Evaluation 

Letter(s) of recommendation are primarily for verification purposes and are not intended to reward applicants for being well-connected.  Letter(s) evidence that the applicant possesses at least a minimally adequate level of social competence and character and that the applicant may possess unusual or noteworthy traits.  A standard evaluation form may at discretion of the Committee be required in conjunction with the letter.  The letter shall not to be scored higher on the basis of its author’s identity, except insofar as author identity is relevant to demonstrating the author knows the nominee and is a credible evaluator.  The applicant shall not be penalized for a letter with poor form, since the applicant is not allowed to see the letter.  Except where the Committee specifically grants a waiver in advance for unusual circumstances, the letter shall not be written by any blood-relative, adoptive-relative, or step-relative of the applicant.

(10%) Writing Samples & Essays 

The applicant will be judged solely on the technical quality of the expression and exposition; the substantive merit of the position taken shall not be evaluated.  The question shall in most cases relate to some conceptual issue relevant to alternative education.

(20%) Academic, Professional, or Vocational Preparation

Applicants must submit transcripts, lists, test scores, and/or other materials which provide the Committee members with adequate insight into the preparation of each applicant relative to their chosen academic, professional, and/or vocational field.  The Committee shall look for evidence of achievement, commitment, self-direction, and motivation on the part of the student.  The Committee shall consider whether the evidence indicates the applicant has a sufficient base of skills necessary to gain admission to their chosen institutions or programs of advanced learning.  Applicants shall not be penalized or favored simply on the basis of whether their educational track resembles the standard public education structure in such matters as, for example, regimen, curriculum, or accreditation.

(15%) Extra-curricular Activities, Work Experience, and Other Resume Items 

The Committee shall look for depth of accomplishment and adequate and optimal (but not excessive) breadth of activity, and may take into account any commendable je ne sais quoi exhibited by the applicant.

(40%) Display of Talent 

A portfolio, work, writing, project, performance (via video or audio tape), or other display of talent, individually or in combination as dictated by the conventions associated with the relevant talent, shall be submitted by the applicant.

The Committee may consult outside experts in order to enhance their understanding of specialized displays of talent.   The Committee may also take reasonable steps to facilitate observation of an unusual talent or address an applicant facing unique circumstances.

Except where the applicant otherwise requests (e.g., for personal, political, or security reasons, or for legal or trade-secret considerations), the Committee may select submissions from applications for display at Protégé Award ceremonies, fairs, conventions, or promotions, and for depiction in materials and literature designed to promote Quaqua program and operations to the public.

In evaluating the criteria the Committee may consider a variety of factors.