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Student Program Eligibility

As part of your application to any PTY program, you will be given instructions to upload all necessary eligibility information at the time you apply. Eligibility requirements vary by program, so please review the eligibility section for the program(s) you are interested in applying. Your application is considered complete when you have uploaded the necessary information. Only complete applications can be processed, so we ask that you plan ahead of the application priority window to gather your qualifying documents. Having an incomplete application could negatively impact your chances of placement in a course.

Please contact our office (pty.peabody@vanderbilt.edu) with any questions related to qualifications.

PTY Online Academy (Grades 3-11) | Mentor Immersion at PTY (Grades 10-12)

Rising Expert: Mini Mentor Immersion (Rising Grades 9-10)

SAVY (Grades K-6)/Career Connections (Rising 7-8) | WAVU (Grades 7-12) |

VSA (Rising Grades 7-12)

PTY Online Academy (Grades 3-11)

Students who test around the 85th percentile on an ability test or in at least one content area on a standardized achievement test will find PTY Online Academy to be a good fit. While scores around the 85th percentile are typically a strong indication that PTY Online Academy 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. We, at PTY, understand that there are additional ways to reflect a student’s academic knowledge and capacity for advanced academic coursework.

What if I do not have test scores for my student?

While PTY Online Academy accepts scores from a wide variety of assessments, we realize that test scores may not always be available. We understand that there are additional ways to reflect a student’s academic knowledge and capacity for advanced academic coursework. Please contact our office for more information about eligibility and alternative documentation options.

Mentor Immersion at PTY (Grades 10-12)

PTY’s Mentorship Immersion program is a rigorous program that requires a substantial and sustained time commitment of approximately three or six months with an independent project component. Because of this, admission to the program is selective based on eligibility with our most popular mentorships involving a competitive selection process. In order to determine if PTY’s mentorship program is a good fit, all students are required to submit an application to the specific mentorship experience(s) they are interested in applying to. The review process for selecting students for the program involves a thorough review of a student’s qualifying test scores, transcript, resume, and thoughtful essay response.

The following are components of the application that are reviewed together to determine fit and placement. We will consider all components of the application when making a determination about admission into the program. Please note, if PTY receives more applications than we have spaces available in a particular mentorship, placement will become a competitive selection process for that mentorship. In this instance, PTY will employ a holistic, context-aware review process to determine which students will be placed in the experience. Therefore, PTY recommends that students are thoughtful with their resume and essay submission regardless of the mentorship that they are applying to.

The following are components of the application that are reviewed together to determine fit:

(1) Test Scores: Scores in the 90th percentile and above for their age group in one or more sections on an advanced achievement assessment (ACT, SAT, PSAT, or AP scores within the content area of the mentorship) or any other nationally normed standardized assessment (such as state testing, if advanced achievement assessment scores are not available) typically suggest that this program is a good fit, academically, for a student. However, PTY does not have cutoffs for standardized test scores in order to apply to the program. When reviewing mentorship applications, we evaluate a student’s test scores as one component of the application in addition to a student’s transcript, resume, and essay. Our mentorship program is designed for students who have performed well based on the opportunities and experiences that are available to them. Also, please note that scores above the 90th percentile to do not automatically guarantee admission into the program.

(2) Transcript: All students are required to submit a current transcript. Grades of mostly As and Bs in the most advanced courses offered by their school suggest that the mentorship program would be a good academic fit. Also, please make sure the transcript reflects particular required prerequisites for certain mentorships. Through the transcript review process, PTY is looking for students who are highly motivated as the mentorship program is rigorous and requires independent work outside of the weekly meetings. PTY also understands that extenuating circumstances might impact a student’s grades. Please make sure to provide additional information if you believe the grades do not accurately demonstrate ability or commitment to academics.

(3) Resume: We want to know more about you! Submit a one-page resume as part of your application, so we have a better understanding of your interests and extracurricular activities. Knowing more about you helps PTY determine if this program is a good fit. The resume should include extracurricular activities, work/volunteer experience, awards, and honors, etc.

(4) Essay: Since PTY’s mentorship program is an intensive academic experience, we want to hear more about why you want to make this commitment, as well as why you are interested in the particular mentorship you have selected as your first choice. Please limit your essay to under 600 words.

International Students: Vanderbilt considers you an international student if you are a citizen of any nation other than the United States of America. You are not considered an international student if you are a dual U.S. citizen, U.S. Permanent Resident, refugee/asylee, or a U.S. citizen living abroad.

If you are an international student, in addition to the other qualification documents, you will be prompted to submit documents showing demonstrated proficiency in English.

Rising Expert: Mini Mentor Immersion (Rising Grades 9th -10th)

PTY’s Rising Expert: Mini Mentor Immersion program is a rigorous program that requires a substantial and sustained time commitment with a small independent project component. Because of this, admission to the program is selective based on eligibility, with our most popular mentorships involving a competitive selection process. In order to determine if the PTY’s mentorship program is a good fit, all students are required to submit an application to the specific mentorship experience(s) they are interested in applying. The review process for selecting students for the program involves a thorough review of a student’s qualifying test scores, transcript, and thoughtful essay response.

The following provides a description of the components of the application that are reviewed together to determine fit and placement. We will consider all components of the application when making a determination about admission into the program. Please note, if PTY receives more applications than we have spaces available in a particular mentorship, placement will become a competitive selection process for that mentorship. In this instance, PTY will employ a holistic, context-aware review process to determine which students will be placed in the experience. Therefore, PTY recommends that students are thoughtful with their essay submission regardless of the mentorship that they are applying to.

Here is a description of the required application components:

(1) Test Scores: Scores in the 90th percentile and above on any section of a nationally normed standardized assessment (such as state testing, if advanced achievement assessment scores are not available) would suggest that this program might be a good fit academically for a student. However, PTY does not have cutoffs for standardized test scores in order to apply to the program. When reviewing mentorship applications, we evaluate a student’s test scores as one component of the application in addition to a student’s transcript and essay. Our mentorship program is designed for students who have performed well based on the opportunities and experiences that are available to them. Also, please note that scores above the 90th percentile do not automatically guarantee admission into the program. PTY also accepts out-of-level assessments like the ACT, SAT, and PSAT.

(2) Transcript: All students are required to submit a current transcript. Grades of mostly As and Bs in the most advanced courses offered by their school suggest that the mentorship program would be a good academic fit. Also, please make sure the transcript reflects particular required prerequisites for certain mentorships. Through the transcript review process, we are looking for students who are highly motivated since the mentorship program is rigorous and requires independent work outside of the weekly meetings (up to 2-3 hours per week). PTY also understands that extenuating circumstances might impact a student’s grades. Please make sure to provide additional information if you believe the grades do not accurately demonstrate ability or commitment to academics.

(3) Essay: Since PTY’s mentorship program is an intensive academic experience, we want to hear more about why you want to make this commitment, as well as why you are interested in the particular mentorship you have selected as your first choice. Please limit your essay to under 400 words.

International Students: Vanderbilt considers you an international student if you are a citizen of any nation other than the United States of America. You are not considered an international student if you are a dual U.S. citizen, U.S. Permanent Resident, refugee/asylee, or a U.S. citizen living abroad.

If you are an international student, in addition to the other qualification documents, you will be prompted to submit documents showing demonstrated proficiency in English.

SAVY (Grades K-6 & Career Connections (Rising 7-8)

Students who test around the 95th percentile on an ability test or in at least one content area on a standardized achievement test typically find Saturday/Summer Academy at Vanderbilt for the Young to be to be a good fit. 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. We, at PTY, understand that there are additional ways to reflect a student’s academic knowledge and capacity for advanced academic coursework, and alternative documentation may be accepted. Please contact our office for more information about eligibility and alternative documentation options.

Eligibility requirements for Career Connections at SAVY, the summer day-program option for current 6th and 7th grade students (rising 7th/8th grade), are the same as those for SAVY. The summer application priority window dates for Career Connections will also be the same as those for SAVY. However, there will be a separate online application for students interested in Career Connections.

What if I do not have test scores for my student?

While SAVY accepts scores from a wide variety of assessments, we realize that test scores may not always be available. We understand that there are additional ways to reflect a student’s academic knowledge and capacity for advanced academic coursework. Please contact our office for more information about eligibility and alternative documentation options.

Want to learn more about how to prepare for your summer 2022 application?

Learn more about the Steps to Apply for SAVY or Career Connections

Still have questions about SAVY eligibility? Contact our office at 615-322-8261.

WAVU (Grades 7-12)

Students who test at the 85th percentile and above on one or more sections of a standardized achievement or ability test typically find WAVU to be good fit. We accept any standardized achievement or ability test including, but not limited to, the following: RIAS, CogAT, ERB, Stanford Achievement Test, OLSAT, Woodcock Johnson, WIAT, WISC IV/V, ITBS. We also accept a variety of state achievement tests. Out-of-level standardized assessments (e.g., ACT, SAT) are also accepted and have different scoring criteria.

While scores around the 85th percentile are typically a strong indication that WAVU 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 we at PTY understand that there are additional ways to reflect a student’s academic knowledge and capacity for advanced academic coursework. Returning SAVY, WAVU, or VSA students do not need to resubmit test scores unless scores have changed significantly since submitting them to PTY or as requested by PTY staff. 

What if I do not have test scores for my student?

While WAVU accepts scores from a wide variety of assessments, we realize that test scores may not always be available. We understand that there are additional ways to reflect a student’s academic knowledge and capacity for advanced academic coursework. Please contact our office for more information about eligibility and alternative documentation options.

Still have questions about WAVU eligibility? Contact our office at 615-322-8261.

VSA (Rising Grades 7-12)

In order to determine if VSA’s accelerated courses are a good fit, all students are required to submit qualifying documentation as part of their application.

How Can I Qualify for VSA?

(1) Test Scores (Required):

Students applying to Vanderbilt Summer Academy must submit test scores at the time of application. Test scores in the 90th percentile and above for their age group in one or more sections on an advanced achievement assessment (ACT, SAT, PSAT, or AP scores within the content area of the course) OR any other nationally normed standardized assessment (such as state testing, MAP/NWEA testing, ITBS, or ERB if advanced achievement assessment scores are not available) would suggest that this program might be a good fit academically for a student. We also accept cognitive measures (i.e., WISC-V, CogAT, Otis Lennon, Stanford-Binet) and out-of-level test scores (i.e., ACT in 7th grade). Individual ability and/or achievement assessments from psychologists are also accepted. All pages of the individual evaluation and assessment need to be included. Test scores should be less than three years olds. When reviewing scores we look specifically at strengths and accelerated achievement in the content area(s) for select course(s) of interest. However, PTY does not have cutoffs for standardized test scores in order to apply to the program.  Also, please note that scores above the 90th percentile do not automatically guarantee admission into the program based on our randomized admissions process.

Students may submit a screenshot or picture of student assessments as long as the student’s name is seen on the form.

Note: ACT/SAT scores that were achieved through Talent Search programs, such as the Johns Hopkins (CTY), Northwestern University (CTD), Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP), among others, are accepted, but you are not required to participate in a Talent Search in order to apply to Vanderbilt Summer Academy.

(2) Essay (Required):

We use this essay to get to know a little more about you, so please use this opportunity to let your personality and interests shine. The prompt for this essay states – “In 200-300 words, please tell us why you think VSA would be a good fit for you. What contributions would you make to the VSA community, and what do you hope to get out of your VSA experience?”

(3) Transcript (Required for Some Applicants):

  • In order to better understand if VSA would be a good fit for a student, we ask that a student submit a transcript as part of their qualification materials if a student’s test scores fall below the 90th percentile. Our VSA program is designed for students who have performed well based on the opportunities and experiences that are available to them. Understanding a student’s academic achievement through a school transcript can be helpful when making placement determinations. Grades of mostly As and Bs in the most academically advanced courses your school offers typically suggest that the VSA program would be a good academic fit. Through the transcript review process, we are looking for students who are highly motivated. PTY also understands that extenuating circumstances might impact a student’s grades. Please make sure you provide annotation if you believe your grades do not accurately demonstrate your ability and motivation to participate in an accelerated academic environment.
  • We also ask that all students who apply for classes with prerequisites make sure to submit a transcript.

Transcripts can be submitted as a picture or screenshot of a student’s unofficial record but must include the student’s name.

(4) Supplemental Evidence of Advanced Performance (Requested for Some Applicants After Initial Application Review):

We understand that there are additional ways to reflect a student’s academic knowledge and capacity for advanced academic coursework besides test scores and transcript information. Feel free to contact the VSA office for questions about scores and a transcript that do not meet these criteria, as alternative documentation through additional portfolio information may be acceptable to determine fit. Additional portfolio components include a resume, teacher recommendation form (provided by VSA) and possible work sample. This information should not be submitted at the time of original application unless requested. After reviewing a student’s initial application (test scores and transcript), a member of the VSA team will be in touch about whether additional information might be helpful in determining if VSA is a good academic fit. A request for additional information will not impact the timestamp of when VSA receives the student’s application, and therefore, will not negatively impact placement in a course if the additional information is helpful in determining fit.

Want to learn more about how to prepare for your summer 2022 application?

Information Coming Soon!

Are there additional requirements for international applicants?

VSA welcomes students from across the globe to apply for and participate in our summer residential program. Vanderbilt considers you an international student if you are a citizen of any nation other than the United States of America. You are not considered an international student if you are a dual U.S. citizen, U.S. Permanent Resident, refugee/asylee, or a U.S. citizen living abroad.

To learn more about eligibility requirements for international students, please visit the VSA International Student webpage.

Still have questions about VSA eligibility? Contact our office at 615-322-8261.