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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions from Students

Questions from Parents

From Students

We recommend that you choose your class based on what interests you. We encourage you to rank at least two courses, but be sure that any course you rank on your application is something you’d be willing to take and pay for. Apply early to have the best chance for placement in your first choice class!
No, WAVU does not give grades or award credit. We want you to stretch your intellectual capacity without fear of failure. Because WAVU goes by so fast, instructors do not have enough time to get to know students well enough to be able to fill out an informative rubric. Your parent will have the opportunity to speak to your instructor at the Open House Saturday evening.
WAVU is a full day academic experience on Vanderbilt's campus. Students do not spend the night.
The WAVU daily schedule and level of supervision is comprehensive. The WAVU day is packed with learning experiences and as such in this one day experience, there is not enough time. You will have a break to enjoy some planned activities outside of class and interact with your peers. Additionally, we follow Vanderbilt University’s policies regarding the presence of minors on campus, and student safety is prioritized above all else. While we understand that students are responsible individuals, WAVU requires free time and recreational activities to be fully supervised and every student to be accounted for at all times. We want you to have a wonderful time while you’re with us on campus, and we encourage new friendships and community building at every turn.
Yes. However, we do have restrictions on use of these devices, which we will ask you to follow. The policy for use of electronics will be detailed by your instructor and/or PTY staff member at the start of the day.

Yes. Either a computer or ipad will be needed for WAVU. We also have restrictions on the use of these devices, which we will ask you to follow. PTY is not responsible for lost or stolen items. PTY has a limit number of loaner laptops. Please contact our office prior to the start of WAVU if you will be unable to bring an iPad, tablet, or laptop to campus.

WAVU is an academic environment that requires a casual but appropriate dress code. We ask that students use good judgment in deciding what to wear as temperature differences in the classroom and outside can be drastic. Clothing with offensive language, symbols or designs is unacceptable. Revealing clothing is also unacceptable. Inside is often cool with ample air conditioning or warm with heat. Be comfortable and bring layers! Plan for walking across campus. Wear comfortable shoes and check the weather forecast. Please bring an umbrella or rain jacket.

From Parents

All applications received during the application priority window (the first 48 hours when we accept completed WAVU applications) will be placed in a priority pool regardless of the particular date/time submitted. This means that any complete and qualifying application submitted during the window has the same chance for placement. At the close of this window, all applications received will be randomly assigned a number determining their placement in the review queue. Applications received after the application window will be time and date stamped upon arrival and reviewed in order of receipt.  Because our courses fill so quickly, we highly recommend that you submit your student’s application during our priority window for the best chance at placement in his or her top ranked course.
While most classes fill within the application priority window (first 48 hour period), we will continue to accept applications until all courses are full.
WAVU specifically designs courses 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 want WAVU to be a good curriculum match for your student, and out-of-level standardized test (ACT/SAT) with scores at the 85th percentile (in either math or reading) are typically a good indicator of program success.
Eligibility for financial aid and the financial aid award amount are determined based on financial need. Families must submit their most recent federal tax return, the completed financial aid application, and any other documents that might prove helpful in order to demonstrate need. We will contact you shortly thereafter with the award amount. All admissions decisions for WAVU are need-blind. No commitment to the program is required until you receive your financial aid decision and subsequent tuition balance.
No. All financial aid awards are partial.
No. Admission to WAVU is not an indicator of admission to Vanderbilt University. However, attending WAVU will provide an inside look at Vanderbilt and opportunities to learn more about the typical college admissions process than you may get from a regular admissions visit.

We provide lunch for the students.

Yes. Please make notes of all dietary restrictions in the Required Forms after admittance.

Check-in begins at 8:00 AM CT on the day of the program. Driving directions and general WAVU information will be communicated to you via email upon admittance prior to the program start date.

All students are expected to bring a notebook and a writing instrument. If your child is in a math or science course, a calculator is recommended. For students in a science-based course, pants and closed-toed shoes are required for labs and fieldwork.

Either a computer or ipad will be needed for WAVU. We also have restrictions on the use of these devices, which we will ask you to follow. PTY is not responsible for lost or stolen items. PTY has a limit number of loaner laptops. Please contact our office prior to the start of WAVU if you will be unable to bring an iPad, tablet, or laptop to campus.

The $50 application fee is nonrefundable for all applicants.

No refunds will be granted after the tuition deadline for the session. Please visit the WAVU Tuition and Financial Assistance webpage for specific dates and deadlines.

If Vanderbilt University determines that it is in the best interest of VSA participants to delay or cancel the WAVU 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. As is the WAVU application policy, the application fee and deposit are nonrefundable. 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.

COVID-19 Statement

Programs for Talented Youth’s on-campus experiences are designed to provide students with the opportunity to take part in a unique community of learners. Our policies uphold the university’s mission and values and are grounded in decisions in science, expert advice, and protecting our community members.

The policies outlined below remain subject to change. Deposit and tuition payments for PTY programs are nonrefundable after the communicated deadlines regardless of any changes in COVID-19 policies. 

After admission into the program, individual COVID-19 vaccination status reporting is optional as part of the PTY health forms and paperwork needed for program participation. Vaccination reporting is not required for students or staff and will not be used during admission consideration.

What is your policy on masking and distancing?  

The university continues to follow the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based on Davidson’s County’s COVID community level. PTY participants are encouraged to follow CDC guidance based on Davidson’s County’s COVID community level. 

At this time, our programs do not require masking or physical distancing indoors. “Mask optional” means it is an individual’s choice whether to wear a mask or not. PTY students and staff have the option of bringing and wearing a mask, including in classrooms, dining spaces, and community spaces. PTY will continue to support those who want to wear a mask at any time for any reason and expects all community members to respect one another as well. There are currently no physical distancing requirements, whether an individual is masking or not. 

What if my child tests positive for COVID-19 while in a PTY program?

As your child’s health and the health of others at PTY programs are our priority, parents will be contacted if their child shows signs of illness during a program. PTY requires parents, guardian, or authorized individuals to pick up a student within two hours if a student is symptomatic. 

If a student tests positive before a PTY program day, the student may attend the next PTY program day 5 days after their symptoms started or they received their positive test result, whichever is earlier, if the student has improving symptoms and no fever. Upon returning to a PTY program, students who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 are required to monitor symptoms and wear a tight-fitting mask for 5 additional days. 

Please note, we understand that COVID-19 may impact a student’s ability to attend a program. Regardless, the application fee and tuition are nonrefundable after the tuition due date.

Does PTY contact trace?  

PTY does not contact trace and/or communicate close contacts to students, families, and staff.