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U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools

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Each state is invited to submit up to five pre-K–12 school or district nominations annually, and one college or university nomination, for a maximum of six nominations in total. Schools, districts, postsecondary institutions, and early learning centers do not apply to ED for this award, but instead apply to their state education authorities.

State participation in the award is voluntary and not all state education authorities choose to nominate.  Interested candidates should contact their state education agency or higher education authorities to request nomination. 


States generally submit their nominees to ED by February 1, annually. They set their own state-specific application deadlines to allow them time to review, select, and submit nominees to ED. The U.S. Secretary of Education announces national honorees on Earth Day, April 22 and honors them at a ceremony in Washington, DC in the summer or fall. States are encouraged to offer additional state recognition titles and events, and to partner with the private sector to offer cash prizes, amplifying the impact of their award implementation.

Last Modified: 07/14/2022