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SAVY Frequently Asked Questions


Saturday Academy at Vanderbilt for the Young – offers programs for qualifying gifted and academically advanced children in grades K–6. This program typically meets for three consecutive Saturdays is offered in the fall and spring of each year. For Spring 2022, PTY is piloting a new opportunity and is offering one day, intensive experiences in place of the three day experience. Students may attend one or more of these Saturday experiences.

Summer Academy at Vanderbilt for the Young – offers programs for qualifying gifted and academically advanced children rising 1st-6th grade. 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 – offers programs for  rising 7th and 8th grade gifted and academically advanced students. 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.

Students who test around the 95th percentile on a standardized achievement or ability test are eligible to participate in SAVY courses in their area(s) of strength. We accept a variety of standardized achievement and ability tests including, but not limited to, the following: RIAS, CogAT, TCAP, ERB, Stanford Achievement Test, OLSAT, Woodcock Johnson, WISC. Out-of-level standardized assessments are also accepted. While scores around the 95th 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. Returning SAVY students do not need to resubmit test scores unless their scores are more than three years old. Students without test scores should work with their schools to obtain documentation of their assessments. Families can also For more information about eligibility, please visit the Student Program Eligibility webpage.

Our courses are specifically designed for academically advanced learners. Our instructors teach their courses at an accelerated pace and at a level of depth which research suggests works particularly well with academically gifted students. We use these test scores to ensure that our courses are a good 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. Even if a student is placed in a lower-ranked course, he or she will automatically be placed on the waitlist for the higher-ranked course(s).

Fall or Spring Three Consecutive Saturday Program: $425 (plus an additional $50 for the nonrefundable application fee, which is due at the time of the application).

Spring SAVY 2022 One Day Intensive Program: $150 for the day (plus an additional $50 for the nonrefundable application fee, which is due at the time of the application). For families submitting applications for multiple children, the application fee for the first child is $50 and there is a $25 application fee discount for each subsequent child’s application. Families may also apply for multiple Saturday intensives with the $50 application fee.

Summer: $550 (plus an additional $50 for the nonrefundable application fee, which is due at the time of the application). For families submitting applications for multiple children, the application fee for the first child is $50 and there is a $25 application fee discount for each subsequent child’s application.

PTY is committed to making programs available to academically gifted students regardless of a family’s ability to pay the full tuition. Therefore, need-based financial aid is available based on income. The PTY application review process is need-blind and does not consider financial status when making admissions decisions. If you plan to apply for financial aid, please indicate this on your application. In order to determine eligibility and award amount, families should submit a copy of their household’s most recent tax return along with the completed financial aid application. We ask that you remove all SSNs and/or other sensitive information. Partial tuition scholarships and payment plans are available.

You may apply for financial aid at any point in the application process. The financial aid application, along with a copy of your household’s most recent tax return, should be submitted online. Your student may be offered admission before receiving a financial aid quote. You are not obligated to officially enroll your student until you receive a financial aid award. When your financial aid quote is received, you may accept or decline the amount and placement in a course. Please visit the SAVY Tuition and Financial Assistance page for more information.

Programs for Talented Youth works with organizations, companies, foundations, and individuals who are interested in directly supporting students’ attendance through named scholarships. Scholarships are based on criteria defined by the supporting organization, company, foundation, or individual and vary year-to-year. Scholarships, along with criteria, are located on the course page of the specific program session they are associated with. Scholarships range in monetary aid and eligibility requirements, with select scholarships offering full tuition.

Interested in helping support students through a named scholarship or in connecting us with a company, organization, or foundation? Please contact our office to learn more!

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. Please check our course pages to learn more about course availability for a particular session or course.

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 (full- waiting list closed; full- waiting list only; available- limited space; available) can be seen on our course pages. Students who have not been placed in their first-choice course are automatically placed on the waiting list for that class. Students may then be placed in a second-choice (or third-choice) course within their age group, if ranked on the application, or may be placed on the waiting list if these course options are also full. We move students into courses they ranked higher on their application if space becomes available; however, there is no guarantee that spots will open in a class. If space becomes available, or if PTY determines that the program can no longer accept additional students from the waiting list, 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 his or her status, please contact PTY at 615-322-8261.

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.

Before the start date of the program, admitted students will receive a packet of required forms. These required forms include 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.

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. Every SAVY session also 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. The Summer SAVY day also includes a 25-30 minute period of Organized Recreational Activities (ORA) for all grade levels and an Academic Class Enrichment (ACE) for rising 1st and 2nd grade students. 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 evaluate student progress, and you will receive a course evaluation report from your child’s instructor after SAVY concludes. 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.

For Fall and Spring SAVY, a boxed lunch will be included. Students are also welcome to bring a snack and water bottle. At this time, students enrolled in the Summer program should bring a snack and a lunch each day. Career Connections students at SAVY will have the opportunity to pre-purchase meals through Vanderbilt dining. 

For Summer SAVY, an optional classroom open house has typically been available to parents and guardians during a publicized time on the last day of each SAVY session. However, different arrangements may be made due to COVID-19 protocal. 

SAVY may offers parents the opportunity to attend a complimentary Parent chat during a fall or spring session. Parents can also get involved by enrolling in PTY’s Parent Support Groups, when available, which may be offered during the Fall and Spring sessions. If offered, Parent Support Group meetings take place on three consecutive Saturdays on Vanderbilt’s Peabody campus during the Fall and 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 or following us on Facebook (Vanderbilt SAVY and Vanderbilt PTY) or Instagram (@vanderbiltpty). Parent Chats and Support Groups will not be offered during the 2021-2022 school year.

Spring SAVY

In an effort to protect all members of our community, Vanderbilt has put in place COVID-19 policies for student programs. The following list includes some of our current policies related to SAVY. More comprehensive information will be provided at a later date to enrolled families. As always, policies are subject to change.

  • In order to protect the safety of our community, masks will be required for all students and staff in indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Masks will be required at all drop-off and pick-up location due to physical distancing constraints.
  • Students will be physically distanced in classrooms (3 feet) and will be physically distanced at snack and meal times when masks are removed (6 feet).
  • If students are able to physically distance outside, masks are not required.
  • Academic Buildings are not open to the public. All students will be welcomed and will depart the program through a car rider line.
  • We ask that parents monitor their child’s heath daily leading to each drop off each SAVY Saturday, which may include specific steps outlined closer to the start of SAVY. Parents should not send their child to the program if they are exhibiting signs of illness. We also ask that a student does not attend the program until a quarantine/isolation period has fully ended.**
  • Vanderbilt will follow CDC and TN Department of Health guidance regarding contact tracing protocol when any positive COVID test is communicated to the program leadership.

**SAVY administration will try to accommodate a necessary change of program plans for any family who is unable to attend for a documented COVID-19 related reason. This may include applying previously paid tuition to a future program or attempting to reschedule the student in another Saturday session.

Summer SAVY

Programs for Talented Youth is still determining its policies for Summer 2022, and those policies remain subject to change. Click here the most up-to-date information on VSA policies related to COVID-19.