middle school students in a summer college program

Each year, 7th grade students across the country compete for admission at one of a small handful of university-based talent search summer programs. Keep reading to learn more about how students can get a college experience as middle school students.

Duke TIP

Duke’s Talent Identification Program (TIP) 7th Grade Talent Search is the first step to attending TIP’s educational programs. Students qualify for the Talent Search by scoring at or above the 95th percentile on an approved grade-level test. To qualify for the Summer Studies Program, students must then take the ACT or SAT by the end of February.

TIP’s Summer Studies programs are structured to mimic a real college experience. Students gain opportunities to not only get a glimpse into their college futures but to also explore their intellectual abilities and interests, meet other motivated young students, and develop their academic passions. Learn more about Duke’s TIP here.

Johns Hopkins CTY

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) Talent Search identifies students with qualifying SAT or ACT scores. Qualifying under the Talent Search allows students access to a range of educational opportunities including the CTY Summer Programs. Depending on student test scores, students have the option of enrolling in either Academic Explorations, which provides enrichment classes taught at a level equivalent to an advanced high school course, or Intensive Studies, which provides courses comparable to college-level work and is only open to students who meet stringent test score qualifications.

Both of the available Johns Hopkins CTY programs provide a college experience as students live and study on campus. Students will find themselves pursuing academic passions alongside likeminded students in classes taught by some of the nation’s leading instructors. You can learn more about the Johns Hopkins CTY here.

Northwestern CTD

Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development (CTD) provides similar summer programs for middle school students. To qualify for CTD Spectrum, open only to 7th and 8th grade students, students must submit qualifying test scores for the course in which they hope to enroll. Credit Intensive Spectrum Courses allow students to earn honors-level high school credit and accelerate in a particular subject area. Spectrum is a three-week residential program that allows students to live on campus while developing their academic passions. Learn more about Northwestern CTD here.

What’s Next?

Application deadlines for these programs are just around the corner, but these programs are open to both 7th and 8th grade students. If you’re currently in the 7th or 8th grade and you hope to apply to one of these prestigious programs, you will need to finalize ACT scores this February, and the February test date is nearly here! Check out our recent post about getting ready for the February ACT for help.

If you’re currently in 6th or 7th grade, now is a great time to get a jump start on SAT or ACT test prep so that you can be ready to take the test in the fall. Prepping early will allow you to maximize scores so that you can be sure to snag a coveted spot in one of these summer programs for the 2019 sessions.