Mentor Immersion: Summer Experience (Rising Grades 11-12)
PTY’s Mentor Immersion program is a unique experience offering in-depth exposure in an academic field and the potential for a culminating product to be created with expert feedback.
We launched our inaugural Mentor Immersion program during the 2020-2021 academic year and had overwhelming interest, so this program was added to our summer program options.
In Mentor Immersion, students engage in accelerated content in a discipline such as genomics, leadership, genetics and data science and work toward creating a project in their selected field of study with the support of a content expert with whom they are paired. Approximately 8-10 students are paired with a mentor and an additional teaching assistant/peer guide. Through this unique experience students are able to deepen their understanding in a field of study while making new friends with high-ability peers.
The Summer Mentor Immersion program runs for 3 months and is designed for rising 11th and 12th grade students. The 3-month time frame in the summer allows for the same number of contact hours as the semester long Mentor Immersion experience offered during the academic year. The summer experience is more intensive because of the condensed time frame.
Each mentorship meets synchronously for four hours a week for the length of the program. Typically, mentorship meeting times are in the evenings or weekends, allowing students time to also enjoy other extra-curricular activities during the summer. The times of the meetings vary by mentorship and will be posted with the mentorship description.
During each weekly session mentees work with their assigned content expert, teaching assistant/peer guide, and approximately 3-9 other students to learn more about the content area of their mentor and explore real world topics and how to be successful in the field of study. The experiences and conversations in the early weeks of the program lay the foundation for each student to complete a project, under the guidance of their mentor, during later weeks of the program. Participants will present their completed projects to their mentor, other Vanderbilt faculty and staff, or professionals in the field. Families will also be invited to this presentation of the culminating experience.
Students can expect 4 hours of live sessions with their mentor and classmates each week, 2 hours of office hour time each week to meet with their mentor, and approximately 3-6 hours per week of meaningful asynchronous work during the 3-month mentorship experience. Class times that fall on a Memorial Day, Labor Day, or July 4th weekend will be cancelled.
Session 1: May 13 – August 12, 2024
Session 2: June 10 – September 9, 2024
|Week of December 5, 2023
|Mentorship Descriptions Announced
|January 4, 2024
|Online Application Opens
|January 11, 2024
|Last day to submit your application for first round admissions consideration (priority application window ends)
|General application window begins (rolling admission based on eligibility and availability with admissions notification sent within 3-4 weeks of application receipt); Review of first round applications received during priority window begins
|Admissions notification sent on or before this date for students who applied before January 14 during priority application window
|Applications continue to be accepted and placements made if spaces remain; Admissions notification sent within 3-4 weeks of receipt of application
|Tuition and required forms due for all students previously admitted
|February 15 - May 1
|Final application window if spaces remain; Tuition/required forms due within one week of admission notification
|Session 1 Begins
|Memorial Day Weekend - Break
|Session 2 Begins
|Juneteenth - No Mentorships
|June 30 - July 6
|Summer Break - No Mentorships
|Session 1 Ends
|August 31 - September 2
|Labor Day Weekend - No Mentorships
|Session 2 Ends
PTY’s Mentorship Immersion program is a rigorous program that requires a substantial and sustained time commitment of several months with an independent project component. Because of this, admission to the program is selective based on eligibility, with PTY’s 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 OR educator recommendations, transcript, resume, and thoughtful essay response.
The components of the application listed below are reviewed together to determine fit and placement. PTY will consider all components of the application when making a determination about admission into the program.
Please note, students are asked to apply for specific mentorship experience(s) rather than the mentorship program overall. Students may rank order the mentorship experiences of most interest when applying. Students do not have to rank all experiences, only those of interest. If PTY receives more applications from eligible students 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 for which they are applying.
Here is a description of the four application components:
1. Test Scores or Educator Recommendations
PTY allows for students who do not have test scores available to submit two educator recommendations in lieu of test scores. Selecting one option over the other will not help or hurt a student’s chances of placement.
Test Scores Option:
Please note that test scores in the 90th percentile and above for age group in one or more sections on an advanced achievement assessment (ACT, SAT, PSAT) 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 suggests that VSA would 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 old.
When reviewing scores, we look specifically at strengths and accelerated achievement in the content area(s) for selected mentorship(s) of interest. For example, if a student is applying to a humanities mentorship, the PTY team is looking at reading/writing/ELA test scores.
Students may submit a screenshot or picture of an assessment as long as the student’s name is visible on the test results.
Educator Recommendations Option:
Please note, while submitting educator recommendations instead of test scores does not hurt a student’s chances of admission, PTY strongly encourages students to submit test scores if available.
Students who do not submit test scores should request recommendations from two educators (teachers, administrators, or counselors) by sharing the link below. When recommenders complete the form, the completed form will be emailed to PTY. Students should not request that recommenders write a letter or submit a recommendation in any method other than the following form. The form takes 10-15 minutes to complete.
A student’s application will not be complete, even though it may be marked as 100% in our application portal, until PTY receives two educator recommendations.
Can I request educators submit recommendations before a program application opens?
Educator recommendations can be submitted at any time. Before requesting educators complete the recommendation form, please create a SchoolDoc account (free) by visiting https://app.schooldoc.com/register/vanderbiltpty. As your educators submit recommendation forms, they will be internally associated with your account.
If I submitted educator recommendations for a previous PTY program application, do I need submit new recommendations for future PTY program applications?
You are not required to submit new recommendations if PTY has recommendations on file from the previous school year. We ask that you submit new recommendations if your previous submission is older than the previous school year. If we have current recommendations on file, you are welcome to request additional recommendations from educators who may be able to provide more recent assessments of your academic performance. Our admissions team may reach out to request additional recommendations depending on the content area of your top-ranked course or the date of your previous recommendations.
All students are required to submit a current transcript. Grades of mostly As and Bs suggest that the mentorship program would be a good academic fit. Also, please make sure your 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. PTY also understands that extenuating circumstances might impact a student’s grades. Please make sure you provide additional information if you believe your grades do not accurately demonstrate your ability or commitment to academics.
Transcripts can be submitted as a picture or screenshot of a student’s unofficial record but must include the student’s name and show grades for the 2022-2023 school year and the fall 2023 school year.
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.
Since PTY’s mentorship program is an intensive academic experience, please answer the following in less than 600 words: “Why you would like to make this commitment? Why you are interested in the particular mentorship that you have selected as your first choice?”
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.
To learn more about eligibility, please refer to the PTY Eligibility page or call 615-322-8261.
Fees & Tuition Costs
Tuition for this unique mentor experience is $2750 per student. Tuition costs cover the online meetings and access to the mentor throughout the session. A $50 nonrefundable application fee should be included with the application. Students may apply for mentorships within both sessions for the $50. This $50 nonrefundable application fee may be submitted online at the time of application submission. The application fee is nonrefundable regardless of a student’s placement or admittance in a mentorship program. Only the application fee is due when applying. Families will receive a tuition statement via email if your student is admitted in a ranked mentorship experience. PTY does not collect full tuition until after a student has been admitted and placed with a mentor.
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.
When to apply for financial assistance
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.
What documents are needed to apply for financial assistance?
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.
How is financial assistance determined?
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.
Other important information about PTY 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.
Please note: If your financial situation significantly changes after being placed in a course for a program, but before the tuition deadline for the program, you may contact the VSA office (firstname.lastname@example.org) in writing to request the possibility of submitting a late financial aid application. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis when there are significant and unpredictable life events that drastically change a family’s ability to pay tuition.
PTY is unable to offer financial assistance to international students at this time.
How to Apply
As part of the application process, you can rank order multiple mentorship opportunities (1st choice, 2nd choice, etc.) within and/or across the summer session offerings. Ranking multiple opportunities in no way negatively impacts your chances of being placed in your first choice mentorship. At the same time, only ranking one mentorship does not increase your chances of being placed. If you are placed in a mentorship that you ranked lower in your application, you will remain on the waiting list for mentorships that you ranked higher. You can rank as many (or as few) mentorships as you have interest.
Admissions Process & Placement for Summer 2024
We also ask that you carefully read the section below to learn more on the details of how PTY’s admissions process works for this program.
Mentor Immersion Summer 2024 program accepts applications during a priority application window, which begins January 4 and closes at midnight on January 11. After the close of the window, complete applications will be equally prioritized and reviewed for fit and placement. All applications received during the window will be prioritized and evaluated with the same level of priority and rigor. Therefore, you can apply at any point during this window. However, applying during this window does not guarantee placement in a mentorship even if you are eligible because there may be more applications received during this window than space.
Please note that you may show interest in more than one mentorship experience as part of your application. Showing interest by ranking more than one mentorship opportunity will not decrease your chances of being placed in your top-ranked mentorship. Ranking more than one mentorship experience may increase your overall chances for placement in the program if you are eligible after the rigorous review process. See the waiting list section below for more information about ranking, placements, and waiting lists.
After the close of the window at midnight on January 11, applications received are examined with the same level of rigor as previously submitted applications, but applications are reviewed as part of a general admissions window on a rolling basis based on the date in which they are received. Students also may apply for mentorships that are currently full. A student’s position on the waiting list for applications received after mentorships are full will be based on eligibility and the date/time the application was submitted.
We encourage students applying after the close of the priority application window to visit the Mentor Immersion experiences page before applying to check availability, as the application fee is nonrefundable regardless of whether a student is placed in a mentorship. Please note that while we try to keep our website as up-to-date as possible concerning mentorship availability, sometimes our availability changes quickly during peak application times. Make sure to check the date published on the website of when the mentorship availability page was last updated. We anticipate that many of our mentorship opportunities will fill quickly, so we recommend that students apply during the priority application window to be considered in our first round of admissions.
Students will be typically notified of admissions by January 23, 2024 if the application was received within the priority application window. Students applying after the close of the window will receive information about their admission status on a rolling basis within 3-4 weeks after the application is submitted.
PTY is unable to process incomplete applications. We ask that you complete your application as soon as possible to be considered for admission. You can check the completeness of your application through the application portal. PTY will also be in touch as soon as possible about missing components. However, note that incomplete applications can result in delayed processing and could impact placement.
For families who have applied for financial aid, financial aid information may be included in the admissions notice if you are placed in a mentorship program and financial aid materials have already been submitted. The admissions notice will include the tuition statement.
A waiting list is retained for all full mentorship opportunities. Students who we are unable to offer a place in a particular mentorship due to space will be placed on a waiting list. Being placed on a waiting list means you are eligible for the program, but there is not a space available in the particular mentorship experience you are interested in.
Those applying to mentorships on or before January 11, 2024 who are not offered a place in the mentorship through the competitive review process will be placed on a waiting list for the mentorship, if eligible. A student’s placement on a waiting list is based on their application if they applied during the window. Eligible students who apply the close of the priority window will be placed on the waiting list behind those who applied during the window. Placement on the waiting list for these students will be based on the date/time of application receipt.
Students will be placed in their highest ranked mentorship that has available space, based upon their eligibility. Students will be automatically placed on the waiting list for any higher ranked mentorships that were full at the time of enrollment, or for all ranked mentorships if all ranked mentorships are full at the time of enrollment. If a space becomes available in a higher ranked mentorship, we will move the student into the higher ranked mentorship, even if they had previously been placed in a lower ranked mentorship. However, once the tuition deadline has passed, only families who have either 1) paid their tuition for the currently enrolled mentorship or 2) emailed email@example.com and have declined enrollment in the lower ranked mentorship but specifically requested to stay on the waitlist for a higher ranked mentorship, will be eligible for placement in higher ranked mentorships, if space becomes available. There is no guarantee that space will become available in a mentorship. If space becomes available, we will communicate with families via email.
Waiting lists are held until close to the start of the mentorship program session. No tuition payment will be owed until you are placed in a mentorship that you ranked in your application. The application fee, however, is nonrefundable regardless of placement.
If you have been placed on a waiting list, and you have questions about your status on the waitlist, please contact PTY at 615.322.8261 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The application fee is nonrefundable for all applicants regardless of admission or placement in a mentorship. No tuition refunds will be granted after the tuition deadline for the session. Please see the Program Timeline section above for program tuition refund deadline.
Upon admission into the program, families will receive instructions concerning required forms. Required forms includes emergency contact information, participant permission, media release, etc. All students who participate in programs through Programs for Talented Youth (PTY) must have current required forms for the 2023-2024 school year on file with PTY.
Technology and Materials Requirements
Internet speed: Many online video conferencing platforms, which will be utilized for live mentorship experiences, have specific bandwidth requirements. Typically, an internet speed of 1.5 megabits per second (mbps), for both upload and download speeds, is needed on these platforms. If you would like to test your internet speed, you can visit: http://www.speedtest.net/.
Device: It is recommended that students have uninterrupted access during live mentorship times to a laptop computer, desktop computer, iPad, or tablet for classroom experiences. Students should not use a mobile device. Windows, Mac and Chrome OS Operating Systems are compatible with all courses unless noted with the specific mentorship description.
Class Materials: In addition to a computer, most mentorship materials required will be typical classroom supplies (e.g. pencil/pen, notebook, graph paper, ruler, calculator) and are provided by the student. Any specific materials (e.g. book, downloadable documents) will be provided by PTY. Some classes may also require free software to be downloaded. This information will be provided before the course begins or as soon as possible. Any required texts will be sent to a student’s home address as listed in their SchoolDoc account. Please make sure your SchoolDoc profile is up-to-date with the correct mailing address information.