Each Spring, USA TODAY honors 20 undergraduate academic all-stars as its All-USA College Academic Team. The students named to the All-USA College Academic First Team have their photos published and accomplishments spotlighted in USA TODAY's Life section as representatives of all outstanding undergraduates. They each receive a trophy and a $2,500 cash award. Forty more runners up named to the Second and Third Teams and up to 20 honorable mentions receive certificates and have their names announced in USA TODAY and USATODAY.COM. The All-USA College Academic Team honors full-time undergraduates who not only excel academically but also extend their intellectual abilities beyond the classroom to benefit society. Criteria include grades, academic rigor, leadership, activities and most important, the student's essay describing his or her most outstanding intellectual endeavor while in college. Unlike a scholarship or grant aimed at helping make education possible, the All-USA Academic Team is an award honoring students for what they have accomplished as undergraduates. The program is open to full-time undergraduates of at least Junior standing at four-year institutions in the United States or its territories. Students must be nominated by their schools and be willing to be held up in a national publication as a representative of all outstanding students. Schools may nominate as many students as they consider appropriate candidates for this award. U.S. citizenship is required.