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SAVY Frequently Asked Questions


Saturday Academy at Vanderbilt for the Young: A program for qualifying gifted and academically advanced children in grades K–6. This program typically meets for three consecutive Saturdays and is offered in the fall and spring of each year. Students may register for fall, spring, or both.  

Summer Academy at Vanderbilt for the Young: A program for qualifying gifted and academically advanced children rising grades 1-6. Summer SAVY is a weekday program that offers a variety of courses throughout six different sessions. All sessions are one week-long and students take only one course for the week. Students may register for multiple weeks. 

Career Connections at SAVY: A summer program for gifted and academically advanced students in rising grades 7-8. Career Connections is a weekday program that offers a variety of courses throughout three different sessions during the month of July. All sessions are one week-long and students take only one course for the week. Students may register for multiple weeks. 

Programs for Talented Youth include other day, online, and residential academic programs for students up to 12th grade.  

All student participants must submit qualification documents to determine program eligibility. Students who test around the 90th percentile on a standardized achievement or ability test are eligible to participate in SAVY courses in their area(s) of strength. We accept many standardized achievement or ability test options including, but not limited to, the following: RIAS, CogAT, ERB, Stanford Achievement Test, OLSAT, Woodcock Johnson, WIAT, WISC IV/V, ITBS, Iowa and MAP/NWEA. We also accept a variety of state achievement tests, including AIMSweb, STAR, TCAP, Fastbridge testing, and other progress-monitoring assessments for provisional placement. Out-of-level standardized assessments are also accepted. 

While scores around the 90th percentile are typically a strong indication that SAVY is an appropriate curriculum match for a student, feel free to contact the PTY office for questions about scores that do not meet these criteria, as alternative documentation may be acceptable. Typically, SAVY students do not need to resubmit test scores unless their scores are more than three years old. Some progress-monitoring assessments may only provide eligibility for one year. Students without test scores should work with their schools to obtain documentation of their assessments.  

For more information about eligibility, please visit the Student Program Eligibility webpage. 

Our courses are specifically designed for academically advanced learners. Our instructors teach courses at an accelerated pace and at a level of depth which research suggests works particularly well with academically advanced students. We use these test scores to ensure that our courses are a good academic fit for a student. 

The best way to help your child select appropriate courses is to consider your student’s area(s) of strength and interest. If your child is interested in taking more than one course, please rank the courses in order of their preference. Ranking courses increases your child’s chance of admission to the SAVY program. When ranking courses, keep in mind that your child could be placed in any class that you rank. Thus, only rank classes your child is willing to take. Classes fill very quickly, so we sometimes have to place students in lower-ranked classes.  

Fall and Spring SAVY: $450 for each 3-Saturday program (plus $50 for the nonrefundable application fee, which is due at the time of the application). Families may apply for both Fall and Spring SAVY with the academic year $50 application fee. 

Summer: $625 for each 5-day, one-week program (plus $50 for the nonrefundable application fee, which is due at the time of the application). Families may apply for one or more summer SAVY sessions with the summer $50 application fee. 

Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth is committed to making programs available to academically advanced students regardless of a family’s ability to pay the full tuition. Therefore, some need-based financial aid is available based on income for families with an Adjusted Gross Income of $105,000 or less, or with a severe hardship. 

The PTY application review process is need-blind and does not consider financial status when placing students in courses.   

All financial information provided is reviewed thoroughly with specific attention to adjusted gross income and number of dependents in the household. While we understand that there may be more factors affecting a family's ability to pay tuition, at this time, these are the primary factors determining eligibility for financial assistance.  

For PTY to provide program opportunities for as many students with financial need as possible, financial assistance awards for individual students will be limited to two courses per season. PTY has two operational seasons: academic year and summer.  

PTY is unable to offer financial assistance to international students at this time. 

Payment plans are not available for fall and spring programs. 

Please visit the SAVY Tuition and Financial Assistance page for more information. 

If you plan to apply for financial assistance, please indicate this on your application. Once indicated, you will be automatically asked to complete the financial assistance application as part of your program application.  

Please note, your program application is not considered complete if you indicate that you are applying for financial aid and you do not upload the required documentation or provide the required information. We are unable to process your application until both the program and financial aid application are complete. Please plan accordingly.   

All financial aid applications must include a signed copy of your most recent federal income tax return.  

If you are divorced, only the custodial parent tax forms are required. During the application, families are required to upload one of the following forms: Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ.   

If you believe your 1040/1040A/1040EZ does not provide an accurate or complete picture of your family’s financial need, you may include additional tax forms, including: W-2 Forms, Form 4562, Schedule A, Schedule C and/or F, Schedule D.   

We ask that you remove all SSNs from any documents you upload in your application.   

Please visit the SAVY Tuition and Financial Assistance page for more information. 

While most classes fill within the Application Priority Window, SAVY continues to accept applications after the Application Priority Window has ended until all classes are filled. We also maintain waiting lists for full courses.  

Typically, Summer SAVY course applications open early January and Fall/Spring SAVY course applications open late August or early September. Please check our SAVY Session Dates and Applications page to learn more about specific program and application dates. 

Our admissions process is intended to facilitate an equal opportunity for all potential participants to be placed in a course of interest. Each application period begins with an application priority window. All qualifying applications submitted during this window have the same opportunity for placement. All applications received during the priority window will be considered part of the primary applicant pool regardless of the specific time within the window the application is submitted. 

Upon the close of the window, all applications received will be randomly assigned a number determining their order in the review queue. Applications of siblings will be reviewed and placed simultaneously, space permitting. Applications received after the application priority window will be time and date stamped upon arrival and reviewed in order of receipt. 

Applying during the application priority window does not guarantee admission, but it increases your child’s chances. We strongly recommend applying during this window. If course space remains after the application priority window, courses will be filled on a first-come, first-served system, based on availability and eligibility. A waitlist will be maintained for full courses. 

SAVY maintains waiting lists for courses that have reached maximum enrollment. The status of each course (CLOSED; Full-- waiting list only; Available--limited space; Available) can be seen on our course pages. 

Students will be placed in their highest ranked course that has available space, based upon their eligibility. Students will be automatically placed on the waiting list for any higher ranked courses that were full at the time of enrollment, or for all ranked courses if all ranked courses are full at the time of enrollment. If a space becomes available in a higher ranked course, we will move the student into the higher ranked course, even if they had previously been placed in a lower ranked course. However, once the tuition deadline has passed, only families who have either 1) paid their tuition for the currently enrolled course or 2) emailed and have declined enrollment in the lower ranked course but specifically requested to stay on the waitlist for a higher ranked course, will be eligible for placement in higher ranked courses, if space becomes available. There is no guarantee that space will become available in a course. If space becomes available, we will communicate with families via email.  

The application fee is not refundable to families of students who are not admitted from the waiting list. If your student has been waitlisted, and you have questions about their enrollment status, please contact the SAVY office at 615-322-2664 or at for more information. 

Cancellations by the student made before the tuition due date will be eligible for a 100% tuition refund, less the non-refundable application fee. After the tuition deadline, no tuition refunds will be awarded for students who cancel program participation. The application fee will not be refunded for any reason. Tuition deadlines associated with each program can be found in the admissions notification email and on the specific program timeline on the website. A student’s tuition and refund deadlines can be found in the admissions notification email. Additional information may also be found on the SAVY Session Dates and Application Information page. 

If Vanderbilt University determines that it is in the best interest of SAVY participants to delay or cancel the SAVY program, VU staff will issue a timely statement to participants via email and the PTY website to advise of the delay or cancellation. No tuition reimbursements will be given for delays. If a cancellation is announced prior to the program start date, tuition paid, less the nonrefundable application fee, may be applied to a future program of the family’s choosing, or if preferred, a tuition reimbursement may be issued. In the event of a cancellation during a program, VU may, in its sole discretion, elect to provide partial tuition reimbursements. VU is not responsible for any expense or cost incurred by you in preparing for or arising or resulting from a delayed or cancelled program, including without limitation, the cost of non-refundable airfare, other transportation, lodging and meal expense and the cost of any additional or alternative arrangement you elect or are required to incur or make as a result of a delayed or cancelled program. 

Admitted students will gain access to an electronic packet of required forms which must be completed in their SchoolDoc portal by the required form due date. These required forms include, but are not limited to, emergency contact information, medical and allergy information, medication forms, and a media release. All students who participate in programs through Programs for Talented Youth must also have health insurance documentation on file with PTY prior to the start of the program. Starting in the fall of each academic year, new required forms must be submitted by all students, even if students have previously participated in PTY programs.  

During all SAVY sessions, students can expect to spend the majority of their day in the SAVY accelerated course in which they are enrolled, participating in a variety of hands-on, engaging activities and experiences. Each morning when students arrive, they will be greeted by the their Classroom Assistant and the SAVY admin team. Every SAVY session offers a 30-minute supervised lunch period during which students can engage with their peers of similar ages and grade levels from other SAVY courses. During the Summer SAVY day, students will also engage in a 25-30 minute period of Organized Recreational Activities (ORA) for all grade levels. For more information about the daily experience, including a sample schedule of the SAVY day for each session, please visit the SAVY Student Life webpage

No, SAVY instructors do not give grades. We want to stretch your child’s intellectual capacity without fear of failure. Your child’s instructor will provide a student rubric at the conclusion of the session that includes feedback regarding student understanding, habits of a scholar, areas of strength and areas for growth. The report will detail your child’s progress on a variety of factors and aims to give you a broad picture of your child’s academic growth in the course. Additionally, your student will receive a Course Certificate to indicate that they participated and completed their course.  


For Fall and Spring SAVY, lunch will be included. Students are strongly encouraged to bring a snack and water bottle. 

For Summer SAVY, morning and afternoon snacks will be provided, but students should bring a nut-free lunch and water bottle each day.

Career Connections students at SAVY will have the opportunity to pre-purchase meals through Vanderbilt dining. Additional information about this option will be sent to admitted students.


Parents receive information on their student's day from the instructor in the form of a welcome letter (prior to the start of the program), daily blog posts (during the program), and a student rubric (after the completion of the program). The daily blog posts share a recap of the material covered throughout the day and often include discussion questions related to the course material.  

Throughout the year, there are often opportunities for SAVY parents to attend a complimentary parent chat during a fall or spring session, or register for a Parent Support Group. If offered, Parent Support Group meetings take place on three consecutive Saturdays on Vanderbilt’s Peabody campus during the Fall or Spring SAVY sessions. Parents may learn more about support options in the For Parents section of our website. Additionally, parents can stay in the loop by reading our SAVY blog. Please contact the SAVY office at 615-322-2664 or if you have any questions.