Honors and Awards

Awards and honors are an important part of applying to colleges and for scholarships.

Pursuing recognition in the form of honors and awards demonstrates commitment and distinction, something that will set you apart from other applicants.

Have you been keeping the certificates, medals, trophies that represent your awards and honors? Do you have pictures of yourself at academic competitions? All of those can come in handy during your application process.

How to keep your physical awards organized:

It is imperative that you save all academic certificates you receive. Does your school give out course awards? Honor roll certificates? Character certificates? Have you received certificates for volunteering? Make sure you save them!

Saving the certificates will assist you when it’s time to fill out college and scholarship applications and create your resume. There won’t be any wondering about what awards you won because they will be at your fingertips!

There are several methods for properly storing your certificates and awards. Choose the method that works best for you. Each person has their own way of staying organized and keeping records. Determine what works best for your family and when the time comes to fill out applications and resumes you won’t have any issues!

  1. Box or file folder
    • Use a file folder or storage container for each grade throughout high school and store all certificates in the selected file folder.
    • Keep any certificates, ribbons, photos, and even newspaper articles stored together in your storage container.
    • If you don’t want to display your trophies, ribbons and/or medals, add them to the box. You can also list them and put the information in the file folders along with your certificates.
  2. Scan and save on computer
    • Scanning awards and saving them on a computer is a great method for keeping everything organized. Always backup your information. You never know when your computer will fail you and everything could be lost.
    • Methods:
      • Computer folder
      • Google Drive or DropBox
        • Free storage with an account.
        • They can be accessed from anywhere you have Internet access.
        • They will not be lost if your computer crashes.
        • Easily accessible when filling out applications and resumes.
      • USB
        • Backup your information to a USB and store in a safe and secure spot.
        • Only use this USB for college prep materials and information such as awards, resumes, etc.
  3. Take pictures
    • Do you have artwork, a science fair project, or something else you won an award for or other academic achievements that are hard to store in a box? Take a picture and save it to your computer, online drive and/or USB drive.

BONUS TIP: Save pictures of yourself in action. Did you win a debate competition or a science fair competition? Display pictures of you earning your award. Be proud of your accomplishments!

How to keep track of awards in your College Readiness Tracking System:

Awards and honors will draw from other areas (community involvement, athletics, extracurriculars, etc…), but need to be tracked independently. This will be helpful when filling out applications that include an entire section specifically for awards and honors.

Awards and honors received in an area of emphasis being tracked in one of the blank sections of your College Readiness Tracking System and should also be recorded in this section. This will ensure that the information is organized and easily accessible depending on the focus of each application. For example, if your area of emphasis is music and you received an award at a music contest, it would be recorded in the Awards and Honors section and your Music section.

Not every award or honor will come with a certificate, or other physical representation like those mentioned. So do not restrict yourself to those forms of recognition. Any type of recognition or achievement should be logged.

BONUS TIP: Remember to include team awards. Even if you do not have access to the physical award, team awards should still be listed in this section’s log.

What to track:

  • Title of award or honor
  • 1-2 sentence description
  • Date received
  • Presented to
  • Received from
  • Trophy, certificate, ribbon or other item representing award
  • Where is it stored?
  • Other information


  • Dig up all of your certificates, trophies and other awards and honors and store them all together in your storage container.
  • Log all of these awards and honors, and any others you can think of, in the Awards and Honors section of your College Readiness Tracking System.

Share your questions or thoughts in the comments below.