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Should my school use a particular character program?

We partner with many organizations that promote character development and provide resources for families, schools, sports teams and the workplace to use as part of their comprehensive character initiative. Character.org does not endorse any particular program or approach. We encourage schools to use the 11 Principles Framework to develop a character initiative that best suits the needs of their students, staff, families and school community.

When does the application open?

The 2023 application opens in June 2022.

When are applications due?

The 2022 application closed on Friday, November 19, 2021 at 11:59pm EST.

What if I miss the deadline?

We cannot accept applications submitted after the deadline. We recommend that you save a copy of all your documents and that you continue to work on your character initiative so you can apply the following fall.

What is the fee to submit an application?

The fee for the state review is $250. If your school is selected to participate in the national review there is an additional fee of $250. Fees vary for districts and charter networks.

View all fee information

How do I know if my school is ready to submit an application?

Becoming a School of Character is a process. Every school is different, but typically, character teams working to implement the 11 Principles receive their certification in 3-5 years. Some schools require more time.

Do I need to be a member of Character.org to submit an application?

You do not need to be a Character.org member to submit an application. We do ask, however, that you sign up to receive our free e-newsletter as we are always disseminating useful information about character development and the 11 Principles.

How do I submit payment?

There will be a box in the application where you can enter credit card information or a purchase order number.

When will I know if my school receives certification?

State Schools of Character are announced in late January, and National Schools of Character are announced in May.

Will my school be certified if we've been trained in the 11 Principles Framework?

A school or district trained in The 11 Principles Framework cannot assume it will become a State or National School of Character. The training will help a school staff understand the principles better; however, every school and district is independently evaluated based on the strength of its SOC application.

How long do the certifications last?

Both State and National Schools of Character hold their designations for 5 years.

Is there a celebration at the state level?

All schools achieving state certification receive a digital state badge/logo that can be used on their school materials and may purchase a State School or State District of Character banner from Character.org to display at their school. Character.org provides a press release to all state applicants as well as social media templates to help spread the word of their achievement. State Coordinators and state affiliate sponsors work with schools to plan local recognition events.

Is there a national celebration?

National Schools and Districts of Character are formally recognized and celebrated at Character.org’s Annual Forum. All schools receiving national designation will receive a digital certificate and a digital badge/logo that can be used on their school materials. National School or National District of Character banners may be purchased from Character.org to display at their school.