All young people should have an opportunity to develop their talents in positive ways to create value for themselves and others.
The Davidson Young Scholars program provides FREE services designed to nurture the intellectual, social, emotional, and academic development of profoundly intelligent young people between the ages of 5 and 18 (students must be between the ages of 5 and 16 when applying).
Families choose their level of involvement in each of the following:
Family Consultants offer individualized support. We can assist with resource location, educational advocacy, talent development, college planning, academic support, and social and emotional development.
An Online CommunityOur private website provides the opportunity to connect, share experiences, and learn from other parents and Young Scholars, as well as participate in online seminars with experts in various fields. We also offer online middle school classes exclusively for Young Scholars.
Attend the annual summer event to meet other Young Scholar families and the Davidson Institute team, or make local connections by attending informal get-togethers arranged by Young Scholar families throughout the year.
Community Service Endeavors
Young Scholars may submit their community service activities to be recognized in the online community. They may also apply to the Ambassador Program to develop, initiate and manage a significant community service project with training and advisement support.
Summer Programs (fee-based)
Residential summer programs are available for Young Scholars ages 8-16. More information
More than 3,000 of our nation's brightest young people are Davidson Young Scholars.
Read some of their
Need assistance now? Check out these FREE Davidson Institute Guidebooks, available to the public.
"We feel very fortunate to be part of the Davidson program,
and will always be grateful for all the wonderful support we have received. Your work is simply priceless!"
- Davidson Young Scholar Parent
Q. What is the Davidson Young Scholars program?
This free program offers services designed to nurture the intellectual, social, emotional, and academic development of profoundly intelligent young people between the ages of 5 and 18 (students must be between the ages of 5 and 16 when applying). Families choose their level of involvement in each of the services provided, including individualized support from a Family Consultant, an online community of Young Scholars and their parents, online seminars facilitated by experts, get-togethers, and online directories. A family’s participation may ebb and flow over time as their needs change.
Q. How do we join the program?
Prospective Young Scholars apply to participate in the Young Scholars program. Applications include intelligence or achievement testing, a nomination from someone outside the family, and a parent questionnaire. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. For more information, please see our Application Process page.
Q. How can a Family Consultant help our family?
Family Consultants are available to Young Scholar families wanting to connect with a professional who can assist with resource location, educational advocacy, talent development, college planning, academic support, and social and emotional development. Some families work very closely with a Family Consultant and develop a close relationship over time; other families find they do not need this level of support and, instead, take advantage of the other services offered through the Young Scholars program.
Q. Is support focused primarily on academics?
Not necessarily. Due to their intellectual ability, profoundly gifted students often have an extreme need for constant mental stimulation and the ability to learn and process complex information rapidly. Therefore, these students and their parents frequently need guidance in finding a supportive academic environment and like-minded peers. The Young Scholars program focuses on the whole child, however, so families can also access support based on their needs in other areas such as social and emotional development.
Q. Is it necessary to have access to a computer, email and the Internet to participate in the program?
Yes. Not only do we communicate information about the program through email correspondence and our private website, but working together online also offers parents and Young Scholars the opportunity to connect, share experiences, and learn from each other. Need-based financial assistance is available to provide Young Scholars and their families with the appropriate hardware, software and Internet connectivity required to participate.
Q. What is the duration of the Young Scholar’s enrollment in the program?
Davidson Young Scholars are eligible to receive services until the age of 18. Once a Young Scholar turns 18 years old, the young person becomes part of our Alumni program, which offers opportunities for giving back to the Young Scholar community, as well as forums for Alumni and families to continue communication.
Q. What does it cost to participate in the Davidson Young Scholars program?
There is no fee to apply to, or participate in, the Young Scholars program.
Started in 1999, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a 501(c)3 private operating foundation. Our mission is to recognize, nurture and support profoundly intelligent young people ages 18 and under, and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference.
Profoundly gifted students are those who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ and achievement tests. Read more about this population in this article.